George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major James Parr, 21 November 1780

To Major James Parr

Hd Qrs Novr 21. 1780


I have received private information that some inhabitants of Bergen County will probably on thursday evening carry into the enemy at Powles Hook a quantity of flour and other provisions.1

As this kind of traffic is very pernicious, I am particularly desirous of detecting some of those who carry it on in the fact that an example may be made of them—You will therefore on thursday afternoon move with your corps as secretly as possible by way of the new bridge to the three pigeons, and there continue scouring the neighbouring roads during the night.2

If you meet with the persons, I have described you will send them immediately with their effects to the Adjutant General; and in any case you will retire on friday to the liberty Pole where you will remain till next day, and then march to camp. You will keep your men together and be vigilant against a surprise.3 I am Sir Your most Obedt servt.

Df, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1The source of this intelligence has not been identified. The next Thursday was 23 November.

2GW directed Parr to take his rifle corps to Three Pidgeons Inn on Bergen Road.

3No reports on this movement have been identified. It is probable that Parr’s command was part of a larger offensive operation (see The Aborted Attack on the Northern Approaches to New York City and the Feint on Staten Island, 9–24 Nov., editorial note).

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