George Washington Papers

III. From George Washington to Major General Stirling, 7 June 1780

To Major General Stirling

June 7th 80

My Lord—

The enemy landed at De Harts Point last night in considerable force—and are advancing rapidly this way. They may aim at our camp or they may only intend to proceed as far as the mountains and file off to the left making a sweep of all the forage Cattle &c. in their way. In any case we ought to collect the Militia to give them all the opposition in our power. I request your Lordship to give the alarm as extensively as you can in your quarter and to remain to form them as they collect and march them towards the enemy with direction to skirmish on their left flank.1 We shall as quick as possible move forward with the army.2 I wish your Lordship’s particular attention to the Militia.3 I am Yr Lordship’s Most Obedt serv.

Go: Washington

The enemy were on the road from E. Town to Springfield—We shall move towards Chatham.

LS, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, MH: Dearborn Collection.

1Within the next three days, over 2,000 militia from Morris, Essex, Somerset, and Middlesex counties assembled around Springfield (see GW to Nathaniel Heard, 9 June, source note).

2GW issued his marching orders to the brigades at 7 A.M. (see Document II).

3Stirling wrote New Jersey governor William Livingston on 10 June that after receiving these orders he “immediately wrote to the Commanding Officers of the militia of the Counties of Midlesex North & South of Raratan, Somerset N. & South of Raratan and ⟨illegible⟩ Letters to the Commanding officers of the Militia in Hunterdon, after dispatching these letters with an open one to all Officers of Militia the messengers Could meet with, I pushed off to Springfield with such militia as I could Collect, while the Continental Army were moving by Chatham to the same place” (DNA:PCC, item 68).

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