George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General Anthony Wayne, 15 July 1779

From Brigadier General Anthony Wayne

Fort Montgomery [N.Y.] 15th July 1779

Dear General:

On the 11th Colonels Butler & Febeger with myself Reconnoitred the Enemies works at Stoney point in the most Satisfactory manner possible—and are decidedly of Opinion that two attacks & one faint ought to be made agreeable to the Enclosed plan & Disposition, which I now transmit.1

by the unanimous Voice of the Field Officers present as well as by your Excellencies permission, I have ventured to add the second Attack which is the only Alteration from your’s of the tenth, Instant2 I perfectly agree with you⟨r⟩ Excellency that an enterprize of this Nature don’t so much depend upon Numbers, as on Secrecy & prowess, yet the mass of our Soldiery will derive Confidence from the Reputation of Numbers—from this conviction I have taken the Liberty to Order Colo. Balls Regimt stationed at Rose’s farm to follow in my Rear3 & shall at a proper time give out that the Whole Virginia Line are to Support us—it can have no bad Effect—but it may have a very happy one.

I have taken every possible precaution to secure the passes leading to Stoney point for which purpose I have Detatched—three small parties of picked men under Vigilant Officers with directions to Approach near the Marsh or4 Revene a little before Night so as to Reconnoitre & fix on the proper places to plant their Sentries as soon as it’s dark also to secure Certain persons to serve as Guides—I shall meet Major Lee between Clements’s & Storms.5

I was pleased at the prospect of the morning, & have the most happy presages of the fortune of the Night. adieu my Dear General & believe me with every Sentiment of Esteem Your Most Obt & Affectionate Huml. Sert

Anty Wayne

ALS, DLC:GW; ADfS, PHi: Wayne Papers.

1See Wayne’s undated plan of attack, printed as an enclosure to this letter.

2Wayne is referring to GW’s letter to him of 10 July.

3Wayne’s order to Lt. Col. Burgess Ball of the 1st Virginia Regiment, if written, has not been identified.

For Rowe’s (Rose’s) home and farm, see GW to Richard Butler, 21 June, and n.7 to that document.

4The previous two words do not appear on Wayne’s draft manuscript.

5Clement’s was located along the road about three miles southwest of Fort Montgomery. Storm’s was roughly another four miles to the south.

For GW’s request that Wayne confer with Maj. Henry Lee, Jr., see his letter to Wayne, 14 July, and n.3 to that document. Wayne acknowledged the value of Lee’s intelligence in his second letter to GW, 16 July.

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