George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General Anthony Wayne, 29 September 1779

To Brigadier General Anthony Wayne

Head Quarters West-point 29th Sepr 1779.

Dr Sir

It is agreeable to me that you should move with the light corps to the vicinity of Stoney-point on the principles proposed in your letter of yesterday. But as I should not be entirely without apprehensions for your security, the enemy having it in their power secretely to reinforce their garrison, and make an attempt upon you—I shall write to Lord Stirling, directing him in some measure to co-operate with you, by advancing some troops towards your right flank;1 and as there is a regiment of cavalry about Paramus, it may be employed wholly, or in part, with you (if forage can be procured) as may be agreed between his Lordship and yourself.

You will apply to the quarter master General to furnish you with the number of waggons you stand in need of.2

In your new situation you cannot possibly be too vigilant, as you will be somewhat exposed, and the enemy will no doubt have every disposition to retaliate the affront you gave them at Stoney-point.3

You will always be ready to move at the shortest notice, whatever way the exigency of the service may require. You will see Lord Stirling and concert with him a plan for mutual support. I am Dr Sir Your most obt servt

Go: Washington

LS, in James McHenry’s writing, PHi: Wayne Papers; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1See GW to Stirling, this date. For Wayne’s difficulty in coordinating mutual support with Major General Stirling, see Wayne to GW, 5 October.

2Q.M. Gen. Nathanael Greene’s deputy Richard Claiborne wrote to Col. James Thompson, wagonmaster general, from West Point (on either this date or 30 Sept.) to request that wagons and teams needed for the light infantry be taken from either the line regiments or the commissary department, as could best be spared. On 1 Oct., Thompson, at New Windsor, N.Y., wrote to Greene that he had six wagons for the light infantry, but Wayne would have to furnish experienced drivers himself (see Greene Papers, description begins Richard K. Showman et al., eds. The Papers of General Nathanael Greene. 13 vols. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1976–2005. description ends 4:426, 432).

3For Wayne’s surprise attack on the British fort at Stony Point, N.Y., on the night of 15–16 July, see GW to Wayne, 1 July, n.2; Wayne to GW, 17 July; and GW to John Jay, 21 July.

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