February 1, 1777

Unknown

General Washington issues orders to try to combat the practice of competition between the units for soldiers, particularly as it encourages some to join as many different units as possible but never to serve:  “The General positively forbids all recruiting Officers whatever, giving a greater bounty for men, or making them any other promises, than what is particularly mentioned in the Resolve of Congress for that service;1 nor does he admit of officers inlisting men out of one State, to serve in another, unless they are of the Additional Battalions, the Congress’s own Regt, or the Train of Artillery, without special Orders issued for that purpose; great inconvenience and injustice arising therefrom, and necessary to be prevented.”

Thomas Walpole writes to Benjamin Franklin to describe feelings from England regarding the war.  “If Lord Chatham was in a state of health capable of comfort I know nothing would give him so much as your testimony of his conduct on the opening of the important crisis to which the two Countrys have been driven, and I will communicate to him your observation as soon as a fit opportunity offers. Lord Camden sends you his best compliments and laments heartily with me that the restoration of peace is at so great a distance as you seem to apprehend.

All those who are friends to both Countrys think they have much reason to complain of the neglect with which they have been treated by America, in not having been made acquainted in some authentick manner with her real views and circumstances at the opening of this unhappy rupture, nor with a true representation of the events which have followed. The want of which advices it is thought has not been less prejudicial to the reputation of America in the eyes of the rest of Europe than in the public opinion here, as the friends of both Countrys have thus been deprived of all means of refuting the tales which have been imposed on the world by the artifice of Administration and which have principally contributed to the delusion of the people of England.  But these considerations are of small importance compared to that of the declaration of Independence extending itself not only to the renunciation of all Allegiance but even to all connection with this Country in preference to any other. This measure so taken reduced the friends to the liberties of America to the single argument of resisting the War against her upon local considerations of a ruinous expence to the Nation in prosecuting a plan of Conquest which in its issue must be considered as very uncertain, and altho’ we should be successfull, would be probably in its consequences prove[d?] more burdensome than profitable. May I add also that Shutting the door so fast against a reconciliation with this Country may make American Alliances with other Powers more difficult or give these at least a considerable advantage in negotiation.  These are the complaints of friends and my reflections upon them, but all I fear too late for any usefull correction or possible remedy, and all a person of my very small importance in these great matters dares to add is that he would think no office too mean, nor any endeavours above his ambition which could tend to put a stop to our dreadfull civil contentions. To expatiate further upon them with you Sir would be as if I doubted of the benevolence of your disposition being equal to your other great talents.”

Join us at Bow Tie Tours for Philadelphia’s Best Historical Walking Tours.  Our “Independence Tour Extraordinaire” includes tickets to Independence Hall, as well as numerous other sites, such as 2nd National Bank, Graff House, Carpenter Hall, and Christ Church.  If you are interested in learning about George Washington, join us for our Valley Forge Tour.  For Civil War buffs, come see Gettysburg.  Or, for the true history buffs, contact us about taking part in our historical vacation packages.

 

 

Advertisements

January 5, 1777

Rev07p522

General Leopold von Heister writes to Lord George Germain describing the defeat at Trenton.

George Washington writes to Congress to describing the Battle of Princeton as well:  “I have the honor to inform you, that since the date of my last from Trenton, I have removed with the Army under my command to this place. The difficulty of crossing the Delaware on account of the ice made our passage over it tedious, and gave the Enemy an opportunity of drawing in their several cantonments and assembling their whole Force at Princeton. Their large Picquets advanced towards Trenton, their great preparations & some intelligence I had received, added to their knowledge, that the first of January brought on a dissolution of the best part of our Army, gave me the strongest reasons to conclude, that an attack upon us was meditating.  Our situation was most critical and our force small. to remove immediately was again destroying every dawn of hope which had begun to revive in the breasts of the Jersey Militia, and to bring those Troops which had first crossed the Delaware, and were laying at Croswix’s under Genl Cadwalader & those under Genl Mifflin at Bordenton (amounting in the whole to about 3600) to Trenton, was to bring them to an exposed place; One or the other however was unavoidable, the latter was preferred & they were ordered to join us at Trenton, which they did by a Night march on the 1st Instt.  On the 2d according to my expectation the Enemy began to advance upon us, and after some skirmishing the Head of their Column reached Trenton about 4 OClock, whilst their rear was as far back as Maidenhead. They attempted to pass Sanpink Creek, which runs through Trenton at different places, but finding the Fords guarded, halted & kindled their Fires—We were drawn up on the other side of the Creek. In this situation we remained till dark, cannonading the Enemy & receiving the fire of their Field peices which did us but little damage.  Having by this time discovered that the Enemy were greatly superior in number and that their design was to surround us, I ordered all our Baggage to be removed silently to Burlington soon after dark, and at twelve OClock after renewing our fires & leaving Guards at the Bridge in Trenton and other passes on the same stream above, marched by a roundabout Road to Princeton, where I knew they could not have much force left and might have Stores. One thing I was certain of, that it would avoid the appearance of a retreat, (which was of course or to run the hazard of the whole Army being cut off) whilst we might by a fortunate stroke withdraw Genl Howe from Trenton and give some reputation to our Arms. happily we succeeded. We found Princeton about Sunrise with only three Regiments6 and three Troops of light Horse in it, two of which were on their march to Trenton—These three Regiments, especially the Two first, made a gallant resistance and in killed wounded and Prisoners must have lost 500 Men, upwards of One hundred of them were left dead in the Feild, and with what I have with me & what were taken in the pursuit & carried across the Delaware, there are near 300 prisoners 14 of which are Officers—all British.  This peice of good fortune is counterballanced by the loss of the brave and worthy Genl Mercer, Cols. Hazlet and Potter, Captn Neal of the Artillery, Captn Fleming who commanded the first Virginia Regiment and four or five other valuable Officers who with about twenty five or thirty privates were slain in the feild—Our whole loss cannot be ascertained, as many who were in pursuit of the Enemy, who were chaced three or four Miles, are not yet come in.  The rear of the Enemy’s Army laying at Maidenhead (not more than five or Six miles from Princeton) was up with us before our pursuit was over, but as I had the precaution to destroy the Bridge over Stoney Brooke (about half a mile from the Feild of action) they were so long retarded there as to give us time to move off in good order for this place. We took Two Brass Feild peices but for want of Horses could not bring them away. We also took some Blankets—Shoes—and a few other trifling Articles—burnt the Hay & destroyed such other things as the shortness of the time would admit of.  My Original plan when I set out from Trenton was to have pushed on to Brunswic, but the harrassed State of our own Troops (many of them having had no rest for two nights & a day) and the danger of loosing the advantage we had gained by aiming at too much induced me by the advice of my Officers to relinquish the attempt, but in my Judgement Six or Eight hundred fresh Troops upon a forced march would have destroyed all their Stores and Magazines—taken as we have since learnt their Military Chest containing 70,000£ and put an end to the War. The Enemy from the best intelligence I have been able to get were so much alarmed at the apprehension of this, that they marched immediately to Brunswick without halting except at the Bridges, (for I also took up those on Millstone on the different routs to Brunswick) and got there

From the best information I have received, Genl Howe has left no men either at Trenton or Princeton. The truth of this I am endeavouring to ascertain that I may regulate my movements accordingly—The Militia are taking spirit and I am told, are coming in fast from this State, but I fear those from Philadelphia will scarcely submit to the hardships of a winter Campaign much longer, especially as they very unluckily sent their Blankets with their Baggage to Burlington—I must do them justice however to add, that they have undergone more fatigue and hardship than I expected Militia (especially Citizens) would have done at this inclement Season. I am just moving to Morris town where I shall endeavour to put them under the best cover I can. hitherto we have been without any and many of our poor Soldiers quite bear foot & ill clad in other respects.”

Join us at Bow Tie Tours for Philadelphia’s Best Historical Walking Tours, including the best tour regarding the crossing of the Delaware and the Battle of Trenton in existence!  Our “Independence Tour Extraordinaire” includes tickets to Independence Hall, as well as numerous other sites, such as 2nd National Bank, Graff House, Carpenter Hall, and Christ Church.  If you are interested in learning about George Washington, join us for our Valley Forge Tour.  If you are REALLY interested in learning about George Washington, join us for our 10-day Washington Tour!  For Civil War buffs, come see Gettysburg.  Or, for the true history buffs, contact us about taking part in our historical vacation packages.

 

 

January 4, 1777

Unknown-4.jpeg

Benjamin Franklin writes to the Committee of Secret Correspondence about his goings on in France:  “I arrived here about two Weeks since, where I found Mr. Deane. Mr. Lee has since join’d us from London. We have had an Audience of the Minister, Count de Vergennes, and were respectfully receiv’d. We left for his Consideration a Sketch of the propos’d Treaty. We are to wait upon him tomorrow with a strong Memorial requesting the Aids mentioned in our Instructions. By his Advice we had an Interview with the Spanish Ambassador, Count d’Aranda, who seems well dispos’d towards us, and will forward Copies of our Memorials to his Court, which will act, he says, in perfect Concert with this. Their Fleets are said to be in fine Order, mann’d and fit for Sea. The Cry of this Nation is for us; but the Court it is thought views an approaching War with Reluctance. The Press continues in England. As soon as we can receive a positive Answer from these Courts we shall dispatch an Express with it.”  Franklin will do what he can to convince the French to enter into a treaty,  but everyone knows that they will be more convinced by victories that Washington can secure on the battlefield then anything Franklin says.

Major General William Heath writes from Peach-Kill New York to George Washington:  “That no time should be lost I have been sending over a Quantity of provisions to Haverstraw, and as soon as the Militia arrive in sufficient numbers shall pass over with them—A Body of the Militia belonging to this State, have Rendezvous’d at North Castle, & Col. Thomas’s Regiment below white plains—A Number of the Disaffected have been taken, & the night before last 37 Recruits who were going to join Rodgers—They were all armed with Pistols, & had Two Musquets in the Company—About 300 it is said are engaged with the Enemy, and are to march down from the upper parts of Dutche’s County in small parties, lying concealed in the day time—We have found out some of their Stages on the Roads, and have a number of parties out to intercept them—We have just taken one Strang, with his Warrant from Rodgers to enlist men, secreted in the inside of his Breeches; we also suppose him to be a Spy—I have ordered a General Court Martial to sit this day, for his Tryal.  I learn from some of the Deserters that Rodgers is alarmed at our Motions on this Side, which are making towards him, and am this moment told that they have drawn in all their parties, that were without Fort Independence & it is said have moved their Cannon from the Fort—The Expedition to that Quarter which has been long meditating by the Convention, is now in a fair way to be attempted; this is to secure Rodgers and Collect Forage—Upon the Request of the Committee I have ordered General Parsons to take the Command, and we are determined to keep the Enemy within narrow Limits.  I have lately been informed that Your Excellency is impowered to raise 12 New Regiments & to appoint the Officers—I beg leave to recommend to your Excellency’s notice Colonel Wm Malcom, late Commander of one of the New York Battalions, whose Conduct I have observed to be such as I think makes it my duty to recommend him.  Some doubts have arisen here with respect to the Arms, that are lost or missing, there are a number ought to be paid for, the Question arises what Sum is to be stopped for them, & where it is to be stopped, in the Hands of the Deputy paymaster or with the paymaster of the Regt. I should be happy to know your Excellency’s Opinion and Direction in this matter and as soon as agreable to your Excellency.”

Join us at Bow Tie Tours for Philadelphia’s Best Historical Walking Tours, including the best tour regarding the crossing of the Delaware and the Battle of Trenton in existence!  Our “Independence Tour Extraordinaire” includes tickets to Independence Hall, as well as numerous other sites, such as 2nd National Bank, Graff House, Carpenter Hall, and Christ Church.  If you are interested in learning about George Washington, join us for our Valley Forge Tour.  If you are very very very interested in learning about George Washington, join us for our 10 day Washington Tour!  For Civil War buffs, come see Gettysburg.  Or, for the true history buffs, contact us about taking part in our historical vacation packages.

 

 

January 2, 1777

Unknown-2

General Cornwallis marches toward Trenton to attack Washington with 6,000 men.  General Washington’s troops are in great danger, backed up against the Delaware River.  Fortunately, Cornwallis decides to wait until the next day to finish up the battle.  Washington deceived Cornwallis by having 400 men dig entrenchments and fires while making a lot of noise during the night while he and the bulk of the army quietly withdrew to safety.

Join us at Bow Tie Tours for Philadelphia’s Best Historical Walking Tours, including the best tour regarding the crossing of the Delaware and the Battle of Trenton in existence!  Our “Independence Tour Extraordinaire” includes tickets to Independence Hall, as well as numerous other sites, such as 2nd National Bank, Graff House, Carpenter Hall, and Christ Church.  If you are interested in learning about George Washington, join us for our Valley Forge Tour.  For Civil War buffs, come see Gettysburg.  Or, for the true history buffs, contact us about taking part in our historical vacation packages.

 

 

December 31, 1776

images

General Washington gives a speech to his troops, hoping to persuade some of them to reenlist for six weeks.  As one sergeant recalled, Washington “told us our services were greatly needed and that we could do more for our country than we ever could at any future date and in the most affectionate manner entreated us to stay.”  When drums rumbled out a roll call for volunteers, nobody at first stepped forward.  One soldier spoke up, told Washington that they had already sacrificed greatly and that they all dreamed of going home.  Pulling up his horse, Washington wheeled about and rode along the line of men.  “My brave fellows,” he said, “you have done all I asked you to do and more than could be reasonably expected.  But your country is at stake, your wives, your houses, and all that you hold dear…If you will consent to stay one month longer, you will render that service to the cause of liberty and to your country which you probably can never do under any other circumstances>’’As the drums resumed beating, the soldiers huddled and conferred among themselves.  One was overheard to say, “I will remain if you will,” while another said, “we cannot go home under such circumstances.”  A small group of men reluctantly stepped forward, followed by others.  Ultimately, two hundred joined in.

Join us at Bow Tie Tours for Philadelphia’s Best Historical Walking Tours, including the best tour regarding the crossing of the Delaware and the Battle of Trenton in existence!  Our “Independence Tour Extraordinaire” includes tickets to Independence Hall, as well as numerous other sites, such as 2nd National Bank, Graff House, Carpenter Hall, and Christ Church.  If you are interested in learning about George Washington, join us for our Valley Forge Tour.  For Civil War buffs, come see Gettysburg.  Or, for the true history buffs, contact us about taking part in our historical vacation packages.

 

 

December 29, 1776

Unknown-4

Congress spent most of this Sunday in a committee of the whole discussing a plan for obtaining foreign assistance.

General Washington writes to Congress about his determination to once again cross the Delaware and enter New Jersey:  “I am just setting out, to attempt a second passage over the Delaware with the Troops that were with me on the morning of the 26th. I am determined to effect it, if possible but know that it will be attended with much fatigue & difficulty on account of the Ice, which will neither allow us to cross on Foot, or give us an easy passage with Boats. Genl Cadwalader crossed from Bristol on the 27th and by his Letter of Yesterday was at Borden Town with about Eighteen Hundred Men. In addition to these, Genl Mifflin sent over Five hundred from Philadelphia on Friday, Three hundred yesterday Evening from Burlington and will follow to day with 7 or 800 more. I have taken every precaution in my power for subsisting of the Troops, & shall without loss of time and as soon as circumstances will admit of, pursue the Enemy in their retreat—try to beat up more of their Quarters and in a word, in every instance, adopt such measures as the exigency of our affairs requires & our situation will justifye. had it not been for the unhappy failure of Genls Ewin and Cadwalader in their attempts to pass on the night of the 25, and if the several concerted attacks could have been made, I have no doubt but that our views would have succeeded to our warmest expectations. What was done, occasioned the Enemy to leave their Several Posts on the Delaware with great precipitation. The peculiar distresses to which the Troops who were with me, were reduced by the severities of Cold, rain, Snow & Storm—the charge of the Prisoners they had taken, and another reason that might be mentioned and the little prospect of receiving succours on account of the Season & situation of the River, would not authorize a further pursuit at that time. Since transmitting the List of Prisoners a few more have been discoverd & taken in Trentown, among ’em a Lieutt Colo. & a Deputy Adjutt Genl, The whole amounting to about a Thousand.  I have been honoured with your Letter of the 23d and Its several Inclosures, to which I shall pay due attention. A Flag goes in this Morning with a Letter to Genl Howe & Another to Genl Lee. For the latter, Rob. Morris Esqr. has transmitted a Bill of Exchange drawn by Two British Officers for 116:9:3 on Major Small for money furnished them in South Carolina, which I trust will be paid. This supply is exclusive of the Sum you have resolved to be sent him and which Mr Morris will procure in time..P.S. I am under great apprehensions about obtaining proper supplies of Provision for our Troops. I fear it will be extremely difficult if not impracticable, As the Enemy from every account, has taken & collected every thing they could find.”

Join us at Bow Tie Tours for Philadelphia’s Best Historical Walking Tours, including the best tour regarding the crossing of the Delaware and the Battle of Trenton in existence!  Our “Independence Tour Extraordinaire” includes tickets to Independence Hall, as well as numerous other sites, such as 2nd National Bank, Graff House, Carpenter Hall, and Christ Church.  If you are interested in learning about George Washington, join us for our Valley Forge Tour.  For Civil War buffs, come see Gettysburg.  Or, for the true history buffs, contact us about taking part in our historical vacation packages.

December 27, 1776

Unknown

The Battle of Trenton, on the 26th, was the first major American victory.  George Washington has 2,400 troops, the Hessians under Colonel Johann Rall has 1,400 troops, of which 22 were killed in action, 92 wounded in action, and 948 prisoners taken.  James Monroe, who will later become the 4th President of the United States, was wounded in battle.

In Philadelphia, spirits rose over the news.  Christopher Marshall noted, “News brought this day of our troops under General Washington’s attacking Trenton yesterday morning, have beat the enemy and drove them out of town.”

General Washington, who is granted 6 more months of dictatorial powers, resolves to raise 16 regiments at-large.

Join us at Bow Tie Tours for Philadelphia’s Best Historical Walking Tours, including the best tour regarding the crossing of the Delaware and the Battle of Trenton in existence!  Our “Independence Tour Extraordinaire” includes tickets to Independence Hall, as well as numerous other sites, such as 2nd National Bank, Graff House, Carpenter Hall, and Christ Church.  If you are interested in learning about George Washington, join us for our Valley Forge Tour.  For Civil War buffs, come see Gettysburg.  Or, for the true history buffs, contact us about taking part in our historical vacation packages.