General George Washington's Letter to Colonel Elias Dayton

Reed 04-07 [1].jpg
Reed 04-07 [2].jpg


General George Washington's Letter to Colonel Elias Dayton


Enemy Fleet near the Capes of Delaware


This letter from General George Washington to Colonel Elias Dayton describes the enemy fleet movement in the capes of Delaware. General Washington orders Colonel Dayton's and Colonel Ogden's brigades to halt their movements and await further orders depending on the enemy's fleet. It continues by telling Colonel Dayton to refresh his men and weapons for a possible engagement.


General George Washington


3 August 1777


John F. Reed Collection Valley Forge NHP


Box 1, Folder 23, 04-07


Philadelphia August 3 1777

The conduct of the Enemy is distressing, and difficult to be understood. – Since my last, directing you to proceed to Peepskill, their Fleet, or a pretty considerable part of it, has appeared off the Capes of Delaware, as we were yesterday advised by express. – In the State of incertainty about their real object & designs, I think it advisable, that you should halt your own and Colo Ogden’s Regiments where this Letter reaches you, and there remain till further orders from me, unless you should receive authentic intelligence of the Fleets coming within Sandy Hook or going further to the Eastward, in which case, you will proceed immediately to Peepskill with all the expedition you can. – You will hold yourself and every thing in readiness to march on the most sudden emergency.
If the Fleet make their appearance in Delaware I shall inform you by express, and how you are to act. – without this, you will not advance to this place. – While you halt, you will take every measure for refreshing your Men and rendering them as comfortable as you can. Bathing themselves moderately and washing their cloathes are of infinite service. Wherever you may march to, the first object after your arrival should be to clean your Arms & to have ‘em put immediately in the best possible fin.
I am Dr Sir
Yr Hble Servt
Go Washington