December 10, 1776

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The Congress prepares and publishes an address to the American people.  It is a plea for military support against the advancing British army.  “What a pity it is then that the rich and populous city of Philadelphia should fall into the enemy’s hands.”

General Washington is uncertain whether General Charles Cornwallis will cross the Delaware above here or below from Trenton.  He also writes to General Charles Lee at Chatham, New Jersey, once again requesting that he join him to save Philadelphia:  “I last night received your favor by Colo. Humpton & were it not for the weak and feeble state of the force I have, I should highly approve of your hanging on the Rear of the Enemy and establishing the Post you mention; But when my situation is directly opposite to what you suppose it to be, and when Genl Howe is pressing forward with the whole of his Army except the Troops that were lately embarked & a few besides left at N. York, to possess himself of Philadelphia, I cannot but request and entreat you & this too by the advice of all the Genl Officers with me, to march and join me with your whole force with all possible expedition. The utmost exertions that can be made, will not be more than sufficient to save Philadelphia, without the aid of your force, I think there is but little if any prospect of doing it. I refer you to the Route Majr Hoops would inform you of. The Enemy are now extended along the Delaware at Several places. By a prisoner who was taken last night, I am told that at Penny Town there are two Battallions of Infantry—3 of Grenadiers, The Hessian Grenadiers, 42d of Highlanders & 2 Others—Their object doubtless is to pass the river above us or to prevent your joining me. I mention this that you may avail yourself of the information. do come on, your arrival may be happy & if it can be effected without delay may be the means of preservg a City whose loss must prove of the most fatal consequence to the Cause of America. I am &c.

pray exert your influence & bring with you All the Jersey Militia you possibly can, Let them not suppose their State is lost or in any danger because the Enemy are pushing thro it. if you think Genl Sinclair or Genl Maxwell would be of Service to command em I would send either.”

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.

 

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November 27, 1776

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General Washington writes General Charles Lee in Westchester urging Lee to join him in New Jersey.  “I confess I expected you would have been sooner in motion.  The force here when joined by yours, will not be adequate to any great opposition, at present it is weak, and it has been more owing to the badness of the weather that the enemy’s progress has been checked, than any resistance we could make.  They are now pushing this way.”

Lee, perhaps in a reflection of Washington’s diminished power base after the losses in New York, seems not to feel inclined to follow Washington’s “suggestion” at this point.

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 those interested in the Civil War, come see our Gettysburg Tour.  Or, for the true history buffs, contact us about taking part in our American History Vacation Packages.

November 25, 1776

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British Colonel Guy Johnson, Indian Superintendent in New York, reports to Lord Germain in England that the Indians have kept their promises to him of last year and that he had sent an officer in disguise to the Six Nations.

In New York, William Franklin writes in a letter to his wife in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, regarding their son going to Paris with his father, Benjamin, “if the old gentleman has taken the boy with him, I hope it is only to put him in some foreign university, which he seemed anxious to do when he spoke to me last about his education.”  William and Benjamin are at odds, since William has chosen to support the British in the conflict.

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 those interested in the Civil War, come see our Gettysburg Tour.  Or, for the true history buffs, contact us about taking part in our American History Vacation Packages.

November 16, 1776

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General Washington began the day at Fort Lee with Generals Greene and Putnam, trying to get reinforcements to Fort Washington.

The Battle of Fort Washington takes place.  American troops were under Colonel Robert Macaw; he had 2,967 troops, 53 killed in action, 96 wounded n action, and a disastrous 2818 captured!  British General William Howe has 8,000 troops, 78 killed in action, 374 wounded in action, Hessians have 272 wounded in action and 58 killed in action.

The blame will fall on Greene and Washington for allowing so many troops to reman and to be captured.

While the British were attacking Fort Washington, Lord Hugh Perry and a column of men drove the American pickets from Harlem Cove.  Once accomplished, the British launched an attack on old Harlem Heights.

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 those interested in the Civil War, come see our Gettysburg Tour.  Or, for the true history buffs, contact us about taking part in our American History Vacation Packages.

 

 

 

 

November 15, 1776

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On this night the British working party constructed batteries to cover the crossing of the Harlem River and the attack on Fort Washington.

Salt is in such short supply that Congress ordered half the public supply distributed in Philadelphia.

Nathaniel Greene writes the following to George Washington from Fort Lee:   “Inclosd you have a letter from Col. Magaw—the contents will require your Excellencys Attention[.] I have directed Col. Magaw to defend the place until he hears from me[.] I have order’d General Hands Brigade to hasten on—I shall go to the Island soon.”

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 those interested in the Civil War, come see our Gettysburg Tour.  Or, for the true history buffs, contact us about taking part in our American History Vacation Packages.

 

November 13, 1776

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George Washington, having crossed the Hudson, arrives at Fort Lee to gauge the situation.  He learns that the New Jersey Militia are not coming out.  Although Washington is inclined to abandon both of the twin forts – Fort Lee and Fort Washington – at his council of war, General Greene and Colonel Robert Magaw, urged the attempt to retain both forts.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Trumbull responds to Washington’s letter regarding his concern over the dissolution of his army:  “Your’s of the 7th advising of the Approaching Dissolution of a large part of our Army is truly Alarming,2 and that season drawing near am Sensible will be most Critical and that every Method possible ought to be taken in Order in some good measure to Supply the deficiency which must happen by their Dismission, for which purpose as well as for a reconsideration of the matters referred to in yours of the 10th has Induced me to call the Assembly of this State to meet at Hartford on Tuesday Next; the reasons you have therein given of the great Inconvenience which may happen by adding to the wages of the Soldiery to be raised in this State beyond the Incouragements given by Congress are indeed Obvious, & which effectually opperated to prevent our Assembly taking such a Step untill the Comtee of the Massachusetts passed New Haven for the Army and there gave out to sundry of our members that—that State had given the additional Incouragement of 20/ pr month and that New Hampshire undoubtedly had done the same[.] That being the case we were Induced to resume the Subject and make the same Addition—Being Sensible it would be Impossible to raise our Quota on terms inferior to those given by our Neighbouring States. tho we are apprehensive that it will be attended with much greater difficulty to Receed from the additional Incouragements than if they had never been given.  The earliest Notice shall be given you of the Resolutions of our Assembly—Hope our Army may be Established on a firm & United footing.”

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 those interested in the Civil War, come see our Gettysburg Tour.  Or, for the true history buffs, contact us about taking part in our American History Vacation Packages.

 

October 30, 1776

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The Congress recognizes the difficulty of recruitment for the Continental Navy, because of the more profitable service on privateers.  It approves the sharing of one half the prize money from vessels captured by naval ships after November 1, 1776.

George Washington’s General Orders:  “The frequent, indeed constant complaints of the men, for want of provisions upon any Move, which is necessary for them to make, induces the General once more to desire, the commanding Officers of Regts and Corps, to see that they are never without three day’s provisions ready dress’d by them.All Detachments and Parties are to parade, wherever ordered, with their Packs and Provisions, that they may be ready for any service they are ordered upon.It is strictly enjoined upon all officers, to disengage themselves of heavy and cumbrous baggage, as the difficulty of procuring Teams, for transportation of necessary baggage, and stores, which necessarily occasions all heavy Boxes, Chests &c. to be thrown away.  The General insists upon having the Rolls regularly called, that the officers may account for, and know where, the men are, who are always to be ready to turn out upon any Alarm; when Waiters are always to appear under Arms. Upon any Alarm, the Drums are to beat through the whole lines, To Arms, as quick as possible, and continue beating ’till the whole line is formed.  The Out-Guard to examine all persons riding into Camp without Arms, and turn any back who are not known, or cannot give sufficient reasons for their coming into camp.”

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 or listen to our Washington podcasts.   For those interested in the Civil War, come see our Gettysburg Tour.  Or, for the true history buffs, contact us about taking part in our American History Vacation Packages.