George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General John Sullivan, 28 October 1779

To Major General John Sullivan

Hd Qr W. Point 28 Octbr 1779


Since my letter of yesterday, I have received an account (tho it does not come well authenticated) that the enemy had destroyed the forage at Middlebrook and were still in that quarter.1

I wish you to move towards them as light, and with as much expedition as possible.2 The Virginia division under Lord Stirling, and the Light Infantry under Genl Wayne with your own troops and the militia will give you a considerable body. I leave it intirely to yourself—to act either on the defensive or offensively according to circumstances. I am Dr Sr Yr


Df, in James McHenry’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1GW is referring to Lt. Col. John Graves Simcoe’s raid into New Jersey (see GW to George Clinton, 29 Oct., and n.5).

2In response to GW’s order, Sullivan’s command apparently began marching southward on 1 Nov. (see Sullivan Expedition Journals, description begins Frederick Cook, ed., and George S. Conover, comp. Journals of the Military Expedition of Major General John Sullivan against the Six Nations of Indians in 1779 With Records of Centennial Celebrations. Auburn, N.Y., 1887. description ends 190, 210, 274, 283). The movement ended within a few days because of altered military circumstances (see GW to Sullivan, 31 Oct.; see also GW to William Maxwell, 1 Nov., and Maxwell to GW, 3 Nov.).

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