George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Robert Howe, 28 May 1780

To Major General Robert Howe

Morris Town May 28th 1780

Dr Sir,

In consequence of the late incursion of the enemy upon the frontiers of New York, I have determined to march the Brigade of that state to its relief.1 It will commence its march tomorrow; and will probably arrive at Kings ferry on Wednesday evening2—I wish you to have a sufficient number of boats at that place ready to receive the troops on their arrival and convey them with their baggage to Newburgh, where vessels will be prepared to carry them to Albany. Lieutenant Dodge is sent forward to take charge of the boats and make some other arrangements for the progress of the Brigade3—I beg you will have this business dispatched, as it is of infinite importance the troops should meet with no delay.

The brigade including officers will consist of about eleven hundred men with their baggage—This will enable you to judge of the number of boats necessary. I am with the greatest regard Your Most Obedient.

Df, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

2The following Wednesday was 31 May. Brigade marching orders issued on 29 May directed the New York troops to move “by the left in Regt as fast as” teams arrive following a route through Pompton and Ramapo, N.J., to King’s Ferry, N.Y. (Lauber, Orderly Books of the Fourth and Second New York Regiments description begins Almon W. Lauber, ed. Orderly Books of the Fourth New York Regiment, 1778-1780, the Second New York Regiment, 1780-1783, by Samuel Tallmadge and Others, with Diaries of Samuel Tallmadge, 1780-1782, and John Barr, 1779-1782. Albany, 1932. description ends , 366).

3GW most likely is referring to Henry Dodge (1756–1820), who enlisted as a private in the 3d New York Regiment in July 1775. He transferred as a lieutenant to the 5th New York Regiment in November of the following year and served as the regiment’s adjutant from late fall 1779 until July 1780. Dodge became a captain lieutenant in March 1780, and he left the army in January 1781.

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