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Letter from General Mercer to General Washington



Elizabethtown, July 19, 1776.

SIR: After making such preparations as our circumstances would admit of, I marched, about eight o' clock yesterday evening, to the mouth of Thompson' s Creek, with the Continental troops under the command of Major Knowlton; the Rifle battalions were to follow. The wind and tide being against them, the boats could not be so soon brought to us as we expected. In the mean time the weather became too tempestuous to venture over the Sound in scows. We remained on the shore, in hopes of calmer weather, till near eleven o' clock, but finding no probability of getting over in time to reach the enemy' s quarters before day, were under the necessity of relinquishing the enterprise. It cannot be renewed till we have more forces here; nor would it be prudent to attempt any surprise for some days, as our motions are probably communicated to the enemy.

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