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General Washington to the President of Congress



Brunswick, December 1st, 1776.

SIR: I yesterday had the honour of writing, and to advise of our arrival here. I am now to inform you that the enemy are still advancing, and that their vanguard had proceeded as far as Bonum, a small town about four miles this side of Woodbridge, according to my last intelligence. As to their number, reports are various; some say they were joined yesterday by a considerable reinforcement from Staten-Island. How far this fact may be true, I cannot determine; but from every information before, they were between six and seven thousand strong. I have for some time past supposed Philadelphia to be the object of their movements, and have every reason to believe my opinion well founded, the advices of sundry persons who have had an opportunity of mixing and conversing with them on the march agreeing that such is the report.

I have wrote to Governour Livingston upon the subject, requesting his utmost exertions to forward on every succour in his power. The same, I trust, will be attended to in Pennsylvania. Without a sufficient number of men and arms, their progress cannot be checked. At present our force is totally inadequate to any attempt.

Several officers belonging to the enemy, who were prisoners, have obtained permission to return. I have not yet sent in the names of those belonging to us, that are to be exchanged for ' em. By a Virginia paper, I perceive that Captain Morgan and Lieutenant Heath, who were taken prisoners at Quebeck, and now on parole, are promoted in the late arrangement of officers in that State, the former lo a regiment, the latter lo a majority. It would be well if they were released; but being Virginians, and not knowing that any gentlemen who were taken at the same time are so circumstanced, I have declined claiming their return


without the opinion of Congress, lest I should incur the charge of partiality.

I have sent forward Colonel Hampton to collect proper boats and craft at the ferry for transporting our troops, and it will be of infinite importance to have every other craft besides what he takes for the above purpose secured on the west side of Delaware, otherwise they may fall into the enemy' s hands and facilitate their views.

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


P˙ S. Half after one o' clock, P˙ M. — The enemy are fast advancing. Some of ' em are now in sight. All the men of the Jersey Flying-Camp, under General Howe, being applied to, have refused to continue longer in service.