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Letter from General Mercer to General Washington



Perth Amboy, July 24, 1776.

SIR: Enclosed is a return of the troops in this Colony. Two battalions joined yesterday. We are told of numbers being on the way from Philadelphia. In a few days the


harvest will be secured, when General Livingston will have it in his power to call in a considerable body of Militia to take post along the Jersey shore. And these troops may be employed on such other service as you judge proper.

Proper persons are employed to examine and secure all the craft, of which I shall transmit a return as soon as possible.

The returns of the troops are not so accurate as I could wish; the number of rank and file may, however, be supposed tolerably exact, making some allowance for the sick, of which I have been able to procure distinct lists. Of the troops who joined yesterday (the fourth battalion,) twenty of the men had no muskets. They were furnished with pikes about twelve feet long.

The enemy have reinforced their guards on this part of the Island. Three battalions appeared on the point opposite this place yesterday morning, with four pieces of field artillery. Probably this arises from their perceiving our force daily increasing here.

I have the honour to be, sir, your most obedient servant,

To His Excellency General Washington.