George Washington Papers

IX. From Major General Stirling to George Washington, 5 October 1779

From Major General Stirling

Ramopogh [N.J.] October 5th 1779 8 oClo. P.M.

Dear Sir

I have Just received your Excellency’ letter of Yesterdays date, I have no doubt the Count de Estainge is Comeing this way; & from the reports of this day (but I have none well Vouched) I am inclined to belive he is already at Sandy hook. Your Excellency may depend that I will take every measure in my power to Intercept the troops of Stoney & Verplanks point should they attempt to Move by land towards New York, my placeing my division at Paramis was with a Veew towards it and yet maintaing the power of Joining the main Army, should it be Necessary. Not withstandg my terrible Scituation of Body,1 I will tomorrow Join the division and see Genl Wayne as soon as possible.2 I take the liberty of encloseing to your Excellency a memorandom of some operations which I think ought to draw the first Attention of yr Excellency as well as the Count de Estainge I send it in the first ruff drought as I do not Chuse to put such papers in my files.3 with the Utmost Veneration & Affection I am your Excellency Most Obt Humble Servt


ALS, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1In a letter of 4 Oct., which has not been found, Stirling informed GW of his poor health (see GW to Stirling, 7 Oct.).

2Both GW and Brig. Gen. Anthony Wayne disagreed with Stirling’s selection of Paramus, N.J., as a position for his division, and GW soon ordered him to shift to a better location (see Wayne to GW, 5 Oct.; GW to Wayne, 6 Oct.; and GW to Stirling, 7 Oct.).

3The undated enclosure, described in the docket of this letter as “Hints for attackg Staten Island,” reads: “the Enemy will undoubtly endeavour to fortify Staten Island in such Maner As to give the Count de Estaing every Obstru[c]tion in their power to enter the Narrows. that Island at all rates we must Carriy. In order to do it the Troops the Count has with him can land at Princes Bay (and no where Else on the South side of the Island) about three Miles below Amboy.

“the Troops we can Collect must at the Same time Cross at Amboy, New Blazeing Star ferry, from Halsteads point, and from Cranes ferry Elizabeth Town to make a landing if possible on the North Side of the Island, near Mushereaus Warf. But for these purposes it will be Necessary to have more Boats than we Already have there are many Boats fit for this Now on delaware which might be brought Accross over land to Brunswick, and if an immediate order is sent they may probably be in time at the Moment of these operations takeing place, the Count de Estaing should make a forceable push to pass the Narrows, if possible his Operations should be a little previous to the Others. When Staten Island is Secured the other operations will be easy” (DLC:GW).

Index Entries