George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Robert Howe, 27 July 1780

To Major General Robert Howe

Head Qrs near Passaic Falls [N.J.] July 27. 1780


I am to request that you will be pleased, on receipt of this, to put the troops under your Command in motion as soon as may be: except the New-Hampshire Brigade & such of the Militia as you may judge necessary for the Garrison of West Point & its dependencies.

You will direct the N. York, Connecticut & Massachusetts Lines, and the remainder of the Militia, to march successively in the order here mentioned, to some good position in the vicinity of Kings Ferry, on the East side of the river, and advise me of the time, when you may be expected there with the troops1—It should be recommended in the most forcible & pointed manner to the Officers; to divest themselves of as much of their Baggage as possible, to be deposited at West Point, Fish Kill, or such place of safety as they may think proper.

The Quarter Master should also be directed to have all the Boats compleatly in repair, & ready for service on the shortest notice.

I am further to entreat that you will give Majr Tallmadge instruction, to keep a vigilent look-out on the Sound, & give the earliest intelligence of any Movement which may be made by the Enemys shipping in that quarter.2 I am Sir with great esteem & regard Your Most Obedt Hbl. Servt

G. Washington

Df, in David Humphreys’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

2Howe replied to GW the next day from “Highlands” in New York: “I recd your Excellency’s Favor of the 27th Inst: this Afternoon, & immediately issued Orders for the Troops to get themselves in Readiness to march agreeabl to your Directions—Not a Moment shall be lost, & you Sir shall be informed precisely when we can move. I go to Morrow early to Fish Kill to see the Militia, & to meet Governor Clinton, & on my Return shall be able to give a more particular Account—Major Deval offering to Head Quarte⟨rs⟩ I just drop you this Line to let you know I had been honored with yours” (LS, DLC:GW).

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