George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General John Sullivan, 31 October 1779

To Major General John Sullivan

Head Quarters West point 31st Octobr 1779.

Dear Sir

I have your favr of the 28th:1 You will, previous to the receipt of this, have received intelligence that the enemy have returned to Staten Island—We have a very large and valuable collection of Forage under Newark Mountain, which is much exposed, and which, from the late specimen, may be easily destroyed by a light party2—To cover this, you will be pleased to detach General Maxwell with his Brigade, with orders to take a position in the neighbourhood of Westfeild, and to make the security of the Forage the particular object of his attention.3 As the Brigade may, from circumstances, have occasion to move again from thence at a moments warning, be pleased to desire Genl Maxwell to keep the Officers & Men together and have all things in constant readiness for that purpose. I am Dear Sir Yrs &.

The troops while at Westfeild will give every aid to the Forage Master.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Sullivan’s letter to GW of 28 Oct. has not been found.

2GW is referring to Lt. Col. John Graves Simcoe’s raid into New Jersey (see GW to George Clinton, 29 Oct., and n.5).

3For the march of Brig. Gen. William Maxwell’s brigade toward Westfield, N.J., 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 274; see also GW to James Caldwell, 31 Oct., and to Maxwell, 1 Nov., and n.5.

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