George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel Elisha Sheldon, 27 August 1780

To Colonel Elisha Sheldon

Head Quarters Bergen County 27th Augt 1780


I have been informed that one of our Expresses has lately been taken at Pine’s Bridge and carried into New York—I shall be exceedingly anxious untill I hear whether he was charged with any public dispatches. To guard agt such an accident in future, I think it will be prudent to shift some of our Stages. Instead therefore of going to Stratford by the present Route—I would have you withdraw the Dragoons from Stamford and Greens farms and place them upon the Road from Kings ferry to Ridgfeild and from thence to Stratford—This being higher up will be less exposed—Be pleased to inform the Quarter Master at Kings ferry where you establish the Stage between that place and Ridgfeild, that he may know how to forward the dispatches which are sent to him—You will make the change as speedily as possible.1 I am &.

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

1Sheldon replied to GW from Bedford, N.Y., on 30 Aug.: “I had the honor this day to receive your Excellency’s favour of the 27th Inst., in Answer to which would observe that one of my Dragoons was taken a few Days ago near pines Bridge, on his Return from Stonny Point, but fortunately he had no dispatches; which was the occation of my not writing before; since this happen’d I have altered the course of the Expresses, but on Receipt of your Excellency’s instructions, I have sent an Officer to post the Dragoons which were at Greens Farms, at Wilton, and those which were at stamford are to be removed to salem.

“I would at the same time observe that the Officer who first posted the Expresses could not quarter them untill he promissed to pay the Inhabitants on whom they were billeted to see them rewarded for their Trouble &c. They are so farr from any Public Magazines of Provisions that it was impossible for them to draw their Rations; I must therefore beg your Excellency’s directions in this Matter, as some of the People are already dissatisfied least they should receive no Compensation for their Trouble” (ALS, DLC:GW).

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