George Washington Papers

IX. George Washington to Major Samuel Darby, 22 November 1780

To Major Samuel Darby

Hd Qrs Novr 22d 80


You have been directed to do everything necessary for putting the boats under your care in perfect order, muffling the oars &c. and the Quarter Master General has been desired to furnish you with all the necessary means.1

You will be pleased to distribute your boats into four2 equal divisions, as nearly as may be, both with respect to number and size, numbering the whole 1. 2. 3. &c. each of these divisions you will place under the particular command of one of your subalterns, the whole under your general direction—You will make a previous distribution of the hands to each boat that every officer and man may know his place to prevent confusion.

On thursday twelve OClock you are to begin to move the boats,3 through the Notch below the mountain to the first farm Houses,4 where they are to halt till friday—On friday at 12 OClock5 they are to recommence their march to Aquakanunk bridge, by the left hand road leading by Henry Garritsons6 where they are to halt and the horses to be refreshed.7 The place I would have the Boats stopped at is in the feild where a former encampment was about two or three Hundred yards this side the Bridge and Church.8

You are yourself upon your arrival at Acquaqunack9 to make the same inquiries for which you have been directed to send an officer, respecting the navigation down the Passaic—the state of the tide—the interruptions windings &c. in the river—that you may be fully acquainted with every circumstance of that kind necessary for your government.

In all your movements I shall depend upon an absolute precision, and the greatest dispatch practicable, when you receive your final orders—for on this hangs10 the most important consequences.

I need not recommend secrecy respecting your orders; Your own prudence will direct you—I am Sir Yr Most Obed. hum. st

P.S. You will acknowledge the Rec[eip]t of the above11 should there be any part of it which you do not clearly understand be pleased to come up to me.

Df, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman wrote the postscript on the draft, which was addressed to Darby as “Commandant of the Boats.”

1See Documents I and XIV.

2Hamilton first wrote “three” on the draft. Tilghman struck out that word and wrote “four” above the line.

3Thursday was 23 November.

4Tilghman inserted the previous five words above the line on the draft.

5Tilghman wrote the time in a space Hamilton had left on the draft.

6Tilghman inserted the previous nine words above the line on the draft.

Henry Garritse (1720–1805) was an active and prosperous patriot who lived at Aquakinunk, New Jersey.

7Hamilton wrote and struck out “and where you will receive further orders” at this point on the draft.

8Tilghman wrote this sentence along the left margin on the draft.

9Tilghman inserted the previous five words above the line on the draft.

10Hamilton initially wrote “turns” on the draft. He then struck out that word and wrote “hangs” above the line.

11See Document X.

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