George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Robert Howe, 25 January 1781

From Major General Robert Howe

Junes’s [in the] Clove [N.Y.]1 25th January 1781.

Dear Sir

I arrived here with the detatchment of Massachusets Troops after Surmounting great difficulties in crossing the mountain, from the extraordinary depth of the Snow. The men however in high spirits have proceeded on their march to Ringwood.2 Gl Heath has assured me he will hasten on the Conecticut and New hampshire detatchments—the artillery I have not yet heard of, but imagine it is on its way.3 I beg leave to Suggest to your Excellency whether Doctor Cockran or some person from that hospital had Not better be ordered on, as in Case of accidents their presence may be Necessary.

I Shall write to Your Excellency More fully from Ringwood to which place I am posting4—for want of an express I Send this letter to General Heath desiring him to forward it without loss of time, a Safe opportunity to West point having of[f]ered. I am Dear Sir with great respect Your Excellency’s Most Obedient and Most hble servant

Robert Howe


1Howe refers to the tavern of Zebert June in the northern part of Smiths Clove (see General Orders, 6 June 1779, n.2).

2Dr. James Thacher, who accompanied the corps sent to suppress the mutiny in the New Jersey line, wrote in his journal: “We marched on the 23d as far as the forest of Dean, and at night crowded into houses and barns. A body of snow, about two feet deep, without any track, rendered the march extremely difficult. Having no horse, I experienced inexpressible fatigue, and was obliged several times to sit down on the snow. 24th, Marched over the mountains, and reached Carle’s tavern, in Smith’s Clove; halted for two hours, then proceeded thirteen miles, and quartered our men in the scattering houses and barns. 25th, Marched nine miles, and reached Ringwood. General Howe and all the field-officers took lodgings at the house of Mrs. Erskine, the amiable widow of the late respectable geographer of our army. We were entertained with an elegant supper and excellent wine” (Thacher, Military Journal description begins James Thacher. Military Journal of the American Revolution, From the commencement to the disbanding of the American Army; Comprising a detailed account of the principal events and Battles of the Revolution, with their exact dates, And a Biographical Sketch of the most Prominent Generals. Hartford, 1862. description ends , 251).

3For the orders to take command of this corps and march to put down the mutiny, see GW to Howe, 22 January.

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