George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Elias Dayton, 25 June 1781

c.25 June 1781


On the morning of the 21st a body of the enemy, said to amount to fifteen or twenty hundred men landed at shoal harbour near Middletown point and on the evening of the same day, which was the latest intelligence I have had, they had taken a position within four miles of Monmouth court-house. By the accounts from New York of their having carried with them tents, baggage &c. I am inclined to believe that it is their intention to establish a post in that country in order to annoy and harass the inhabitants and to collect cattle of all kinds. Should this prove to be the case, I would wish to know as early as possible whether your Excellency would approve of my collecting the Brigade and marching them to that quarter.

I have received your Excellency’s letter of the 14th Instant and shall pay particular attention to the directions it contains, respecting Mr Adams’s tryal.

The present appearances in New York seem rather to indicate a defence than an evacuation. I have received nothing very particular or material from there, since my last letter to your Excellency of the 15th.

I have the honor to be with the highest respect your Excellencys most Hbl. servant

Elias Dayton

P.S. I am just informed of Colo. Hazen’s promotion and that by a resolve of Congress passed at the request of General Washington, he may command the troops of this state. I wish such an innovation may not be attended with disagreable consequences—I have submitted to be commanded by Generals Guest and Morgan, who were Captains, when I was a Colonel. If your Excellency is of opinion that this innovation will contribute to the good of the service I shall be silent, wishing rather to alleviate than increase the troubles of my General.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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