George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General Anthony Wayne, 26 September 1780

To Brigadier General Anthony Wayne

Robinsons Sepr 26th 1780

Dr Sir

Instead of coming to The Ferry you will march your brigade by Storms and Clement’s to West Point sending your baggage by water. You will, for this purpose, send forward your Qr Mr to Kings ferry to prepare boats, with directions, if there are not a sufficiency there, to come on to West Point for them.1 I am Sir Your most Obedt & huml. ser.

Go: Washington

If there should be two brigades on their march the Officer Commanding will detach one of them in the above manner and halt the other at some convenient place in the rear of Stoney Point abt William’s.

LS, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, MiU-C: Schoff Collection. Hamilton addressed the cover: “Officer Commanding The Detachment on its march to Kings ferry.” The dateline indicates Beverly Robinson’s house.

Wayne replied to GW from Thomas Smith’s “White house” near Haverstraw, N.Y., at 6:00 A.M. on 27 Sept.: “Your letter of yesterday from Robinson’s house, came to hand between 7 & 8 O’Clock in the evening—as the troops were much fatigued for want of sleep—no prospect of any move of the Enemy up the river, & being in a position to command the pass by Storms &ca to West po⟨int⟩ with a road in our rear to file off our Artillery, by Haverstraw forge & under the mountain to Suffrians’, Genl Irvine & myself thought it best to remain in this situation until morning, or until a move of the Enemy should take place, in the latter case to make a rapid move for West point, sending our baggage & Artillery by the rout already mentioned as soon as the former should arrive.

“I forgot to mention to your Excellency that the 1st & 2nd Brigades marched from Tappan at a moments warning leaving our tents Standing, Guards, & Detatchments out—& presed with Velocity to secure this pass, where it would be in our power to dispute the Ground Inch by Inch, or to proceed with rapidity to West point, as Occation might require.

“As the wind is at present strong down the river—neither Baggage or Guards yet Arrived but every moment expected—I shall take post at Williams’s with the first Brigade & Artillery of the 2nd. Genl Irvine will move sl[o]wly on toward Storms’s & wait your further Orders with regard to the Baggage Waggon & horses &ca.

“the wind is too high for boats to move up the river was the baggage even arrived—the troops at present are Emp [l] oyed in cooking for to day & tomorrow, so that no time will be lost until I receive your further Orders” (ALS, DLC: Hamilton Papers; ADf, PHi: Wayne Papers).

Williams’s was a structure, likely a tavern, on the east side of the road between Storm’s to the northwest and Smith’s house to the southeast. Stony Point was under two miles due east.

GW replied to Wayne from Beverly Robinson’s house on the same day: “I have Just received your letter of this Morning. General Irvine with the second Brigade will move on to West Point, and the first brigade remain where it is, ’till further orders, or ’till a movement of the enemy. You will dispose of your baggage as you find most convenient” (LS, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, NjP: De Coppet Collection; GW also signed the cover, which is addressed to Wayne at Williams’s).

1For GW’s previous order to transfer boats from West Point to King’s Ferry, N.Y., see his first letter to Arnold on 2 September.

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