George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the Officer Commanding the New Jersey Brigade, 7 February 1781

To the Officer Commanding the New Jersey Brigade

Head Quarters New Windsor Febry 7th 1781


After posting a Captains Command at the entrance of Smiths Clove—and another at Pompton or Ringwood as you shall judge most expedient to protect the Country, secure the stores & cover the Communication—You will march the remainder of the Jersey Troops to Morris Town, & dispose of them in the Huts, lately occupied by the Pennsylvanians. The Garrison of the Block-House at Dobbs Ferry will be relieved1 by the Troops under Majr Gen. Heath, & join their respective Regts.2

I should think it adviseable for the two Commands, which are to be left in the vicinity of your present Cantonment, to be entire Companies of about 40 Men each under their own Officers—to be relieved once a fortnight or as often as You think proper. I prefer this, on several accounts, to Detachment.

Notwithstanding Your Troops at Morris Town these Commands will be so far distant from the Enemy, very great vigilence will be necessary to prevent the possibility of a surprise, And to detect and apprehend such Emissaries from the Enemy. Or disaffected Persons, as may be induced from the situation to lurk about the Posts or attempt any thing inimical in those parts of the Country. I am Sir.

Df, in David Humphreys’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The draft is addressed to the “Commandg Officr of Jersey Troops.” GW had placed Lt. Col. Francis Barber in temporary command of the New Jersey brigade (see his letter to Barber of this date, found at Barber to GW, 6 Feb., n.5). He replied to GW on 12 February.

1Humphreys wrote “relieived” for this word on the draft.

2See GW to William Heath, this date, found at Heath to GW, 10 Feb., n.1.

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