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General Washington to the Board of War



Head-Quarters, Trenton, 4 December, 1776.

SIR: Yours of the 20th last month was delivered to me by the Brigadier Le Roche de Fermoy, who is now here, but unable to render me that service which, I dare say, from his character, he would was he better acquainted with our language.

I yesterday received a letter from you without a date, mentioning that the prisoners from Yorktown were directed to halt at New-Town for my orders. On hearing they were there, I sent Colonel Moylan to conduct them, and the prisoners from Reading, who arrived nearly at the same time, over towards Brunswick and deliver them in.

I hope you have not sent Captain Price, Lieutenant Peacock, and Major Campbell on to this place, as it is highly improper they should see and know the situation of our Army here and at Princeton. They had better be sent up under the care of some person to New-Town or that neighbourhood, and there wait the arrival of some larger party, who, I imagine, will be soon forwarded from Lancaster, and go in with them.

Lieutenant Symes came over to me at Brunswick from Bethlehem without the least guard or escort, and a Lieutenant of the Seventh Regiment went through our whole Army, and was at last discovered by a mere accident. He had a pass from the Council of Safety, and that was all. Such an irregular mode of suffering prisoners to go in alone must be put a stop to, or the enemy will be as well acquainted with our situation as we are ourselves. If they are left at liberty to choose their own route, they will


always take that through our Army for reasons too obvious to mention.

I am, sir, your most obedient servant,


To Richard Peters, Esq˙, War Office.

P˙ S. I have been obliged to send down a number of our sick to Philadelphia to make room for the troops, and to remove them out of the way. Be pleased to have some care taken to have them properly accommodated. I should think part of the House of Employment might be procured for that purpose. I have ordered down an officer from each regiment, and a Surgeon Mate, if they can be spared. But I hope they will not want the assistance of the visiting physicians of the hospital.