George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Nathanael Greene, 3 August 1780

To Major General Nathanael Greene

Peeks Kill August 3d 1780

Dr Sir

I shall adopt the order you recommend.1

Tomorrow if we are all ready to ma[r]ch we will begin to cross the River for Dobbs’s ferry. You will therefore discontinue your preparations for the object that brought us here as it has ceased, further than as they may promote the views of the campaign. Endeavour to have every thing in your department ready to day to move the Troops. I am &c.


Df, in Richard Kidder Meade’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1See Greene to GW, this date, and the general orders of this date.

GW also placed a notice in the newspapers. The undated draft of the notice reads: “Certain intelligence having been received that Sir Henry Clinton had embarked the principal part of his force, and had proceeded to Huntington bay on his way to Rhode Island to make a combined attack upon the fleet and army of our allies now there His Excellency General Washington marched from his camp at Prackness the 29 of July and crossed the North River the 31st; where a junction was formed with the troops under the command of Major General Howe. His Excellency had resolved in case the enemy should continue their course to Rhode Island to march immediately to New York and attack it—All the necessary preparations were made for this purpose, when intelligence arrived that the enemy had put back the 31st Ulto. It is to be regretted that they did not go on with their intended expedition, as our allies were well prepared to receive them and they could have met with nothing but disgrace and defeat in that quarter; while in this we had every reason to expect from the number and spirit of our troops the most decisive and glorious success. Sir Henry no doubt relinquished his project in consequence of this movement of our army; and it must be confessed that he abandonned it with much more prudence than he undertook it The object for which the army crossed the river having ceased, the whole recrossed the 4th instant and are marching towards Dobbes ferry, in prosecution of the original plan formed for the campaign” (Df, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW; GW’s secretary Robert Hanson Harrison docketed the draft: “For Mr Loudon Printer Augt 5th 1780”).

Samuel Loudon, Sr., published the The New-York Packet, and the American Advertiser at Fishkill, New York. The notice, however, apparently first appeared in The New-Jersey Journal (Chatham) for 9 Aug.; that and other printings of the notice in early and mid-August bore a dateline of “CHATHAM, August 9” (see, for instance, The Pennsylvania Packet or the General Advertiser [Philadelphia] for 15 Aug. and The New-Jersey Gazette [Trenton] for 16 Aug.). By 8 Aug., GW’s headquarters was at Orangetown, N.Y., about twenty-seven miles northeast of Chatham (see the general orders of that date).

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