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"I Expect to be stationed in Jersey sometime...

": A Narrative History of Second
New Jersey Regiment, December 1777 to June 1779
Part I, December 1777 to June 1778 (1994, unpublished, copy held in the collections of the
David Library of the American Revolution, Washington Crossing, Pa.), contains seventeen
appendices covering various subjects including studies of the casualties incurred by the New
Jersey Brigade (1777-1779), the uniform clothing of the New Jersey Brigade (1776-1778) and
the use of the nine-month draft during 1778. Also included is a collection of pension
narratives of the common soldiers of the New Jersey Brigade;
Part II, June 1778 to June 1779 (MSS, 2000), covers the period from the onset of the 1778
Monmouth Campaign to the unit’s departure for the 1779 expedition led by Major General
John Sullivan against the Iroquois.

A Narrative History of the Second New Jersey Regiment
December 1777 to June 1779

John U. Rees

The March to Winter Quarters
13 December to 25 December 1777

In mid-December 1777, at the end of a hard campaign, Colonel Israel Shreve's 2nd New Jersey
Regiment, along with the rest of General Washington's army, entered the winter cantonment at
Valley Forge. Throughout the year the 2nd Regiment had served with Washington's main army,
marching back and forth across the Jersey, New York, Delaware, and Pennsylvania, and
participating in the battles of the Short Hills, Brandywine, and Germantown. Shreve himself had
been wounded at Brandywine on 11 September and did not return to command the regiment until
early January 1778. On 20 November he had rejoined the army at Whitemarsh only to be sent on
detached duty with Major General Nathanael Greene's detachment at Haddonfield, New Jersey.
From that place on the 26th he had written to his wife in Reading, Pennsylvania, "In one week I
hope to see you." Thus, for the latter part of the year the 2nd Regiment was commanded by
Lieutenant Colonel David Rhea until the colonel was able to rejoin it in January 1778.1
An officer of the 4th New Jersey Regiment noted the brigade's activities following the
Germantown battle:

we Retiring to P.ki Omy [Perkiomen], from thence to N[orth].W[ales] from thence to the 30
M[ile].S[tone]. on Skipback R[oad]: / the 27.th [actually 22nd] Octob.r Ab.t 1500 men [including
at least part of the Jersey brigade] were Detach.d over S[chuyl]:K[ill]. under Com.dd [of]
M[ajor].G[eneral]. Mc.Dug.l [McDougall] to Attack a Party of Hessians, but they Retiring on our
Approch we Returned to Camp. w[h]ere Continued till the 29.th then March.d to white M[arsh].
where we lay till the 5.th Dec.r Joind by Part of the N[or]th.n Army. P[aterson's]. L[earned's].
G[lover's]. & V[arnum's]. Brgds, the E[nem].y then Advancd to Ch[est].N[u]t. H[ill]. which kept us
Under Arms 3 or 4 days, the E[nem].y Retiring to Q[ua]rtrs. we Movd to Cross [the] S[chuyl].Kl.
but were met by the E[nem].y und[er]. C[omman].d [of] Corn W[allis]. and did not Cross till the
following night and Encamp.t at the Gulf M[il]ls. / ab.t the 11.th [actually the 19th] M[arche].d Ab.t
[5?] Miles and Encampt at V[alley]:F[orge]: 2A

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Even before their arrival at Valley Forge the troops of Washington's army were showing the
effects of arduous service, poor food, and insufficient clothing. On 13 December a surgeon wrote,
"The army which has been surprisingly healthy hitherto, now begins to grow sickly from the
continued fatigues they have suffered." Their encampment at the Gulph, where they had arrived on
the 13th, after spending the night "in the woods," was not an easy one. The commissary system had
broken down and starvation "rioted in its glory." But in spite of renewed hardships the troops
seemed to "show a spirit of alacrity & contentment not to be expected." This contentment, however,
was exceedingly difficult to maintain especially in the face of "Poor food - hard lodging - cold
weather," compounded by the fact that the army's baggage, including tents, was not at the Gulph;
and a fifth of the army was nearly naked, "to the amount of at least 2,000, without shoes, stockings,
or breeches."2

General Orders, 13 December 1777: "Provisions for tomorrow and the next Day are to be drawn
and cooked. A Gill of Whiskey is to be served to each Officer, Soldier and Waggoner." When the
encampment at the Gulph was reached "the Tents are not to be pitched but the Axes in the
Waggons are to be sent for ... that the Men may make fires and hutt themselves for the ensuing
Night." These huts, variously called "booths," "brush huts," and by British troops, "wigwams," were
made of brush and the boughs of trees stacked together, hardly a weatherproof covering.3
The 16th of December was a "cold, rainy day," and, as there was still indecision concerning a
permanent winter encampment, General Washington ordered "the tents to be carried to the
encampment of the troops & pitched immediately." Despite the meager comfort this shelter
afforded there was scant rest for the men. Both foot soldiers and the light horse were constantly on
picket duty. Here at the Gulph desertion reached an alarming scale with American defectors, most
of them foreign born, continually making their way to British held Philadelphia, "sometimes to the
number of fourteen and fifteen in a day." Many more simply went home.4

General orders, 17 December 1777: "The Commr. in Chief with the highest satisfaction expresses
his thanks to the Officers and Soldiers for the fortitude and patience with which they have sustained
the fatigues of the Campaign. Altho' in some Instances we unfortunately failed, upon the whole
Heaven hath smiled upon our Arms, and crowned them with signal success ... we stand not wholy
upon our own Ground, [for] France yields us every Aid we ask, and there are Reasons to believe the
Period is not very distant when she will [declare] War against the British Crown ... The Genl.
wishes it was in his power to conduct the Troops into the best Winter Quarters but where are those
to be found [except in the] interior parts of the Country ..." If, however, the army was to retreat
further into Pennsylvania, already overburdened by refugees, it would "leave a vast Extent of fertile
Country to be dispoiled of and ravaged by the Enemy." To occupy such a post near Philadelphia
would entail hardships for the troops but "with activity and diligence Hutts may be erected that will
be warm and dry." Washington promised that he "himself will share in the Hardships and partake of
every inconvience. tomorrow being set apart by the Honble. Congress for publick Thanksgiving and
praise & Duty calling us Devoutly to Express our grateful acknowledgements to God for the
manyfold blessings he has granted us. the Genl. begs that the army remain in its prest. Quarters and
that the Chaplains perform Divine Service with their several Corps and Brigades and earnestly
exhorts all Officers and Soldiers whosoever is not Indispensable [sic] necessary to attend with

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Reverence of the Day."5

The weather on 18 December was overcast and misty with a cold rain. By declaration of Congress
this was to be the day of general thanksgiving. Some men were lucky enough to feast on roast pig
while others received only "half a gill of rice and a tablespoonful of vinegar."6
Finally on the 19th, a day of "stormy winds and piercing cold" with ice forming on the roads, the
army moved from the Gulph. At 10 o'clock in the morning the army marched west on the old Gulph
Road. For the more than 2,000 men who were barefoot the rutted and frozen road must have been
agony. During the day a fine, light snow began to fall, blown by bitter winds, which only added to
the mens' misery. Given the difficult conditions the last of the men reached the new camp at Valley
Forge by nightfall, less than seven hours after the head of the column had started from Gulph Mills.
Tents were pitched for the night and some brush huts built, but many men, having no blankets, sat
up through the night beside fires to keep from freezing. There was almost nothing to eat and, for
some men, nothing even to drink since they were unfamiliar with the water sources in the area and
night was coming on.7
The next day the ground was covered with snow and the weather was cold. On this, the army's
first full day at Valley Forge, the division commanders and engineers surveyed the ground and
decided on the positions for the men's huts. A prize of twelve Spanish dollars was offered by
General Washington for the first well constructed hut finished in each regiment; by the end of the
day some huts were begun. By nightfall of the 21st the first hut was finished; it would not be until
late in January or early February that the last of the men would leave their tents for more permanent
shelter.8

General Orders
20 December to 25 December 1777

20 December 1777: On the army's first full day at Valley Forge Major General Lord Stirling
"accompanied by the Ingenieurs are to view the Ground attentively and fix upon the proper spott for
hutting ... the Engenieurs after this are to mark the ground out and direct the Field Officers
appointed to Superintend the Building for each Brigade where they are to be placed, the Soldiers in
cutting their fire wood are to Save such parts of each Tree as will do for building, Reserving sixteen
and 18 feet of the Trunk for Logs to Rear their Huts ... The Q:M: Genl. is to collect as soon as
possible all the Tents not now used by the Troops [and] as soon as they are Hutted all the residue of
the Tents & have them wash'd and dried & laid up in store such as are good for the next Campaign
..."
22 December 1777: "Major Genl. Sulivan having obligingly undertaken the Direction of a Bridge to
be built over the Schuylkill is to be excused from the common duties of the Camp. The old and new
Field Officers of the day are to be punctual as to time in their attendance at the mounting of the
Picquets that the Duty may go on Regularly and the men not be detained on the parade. It is
expressly ordered that the Officers and Men who go on Picquet to take their provisions with them
as none will be allowed to come off to get any. As the proper arming of the Officers would add
considerable to the army and the Officers themselves derive great confidence from being armed ...
The General orders every one to provide himself with a half pike or Spear as soon as possible ...

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that these half pikes may be of one length and uniformely made the Brigadiers are to meet at Genl.
Maxwells Quarters tomorrow morning at 10 oClock and direct their size and form. The Quartr.
mastr. Genl. is to provide a number of Pails that every Hutt may have one. Every Soldier found
discharging his Musket without Leave ... is to receive 20 Lashes immediately upon the Spot." After
Orders: "A Captain, Subaltern and twenty men from each brigade, together with the Brigade
Commissaries and their waggons, are to parade forthwith in the road and field near the Bake-house
by Head Quarters, and take instructions from Col. Stewart, Commissary General of Issues."
25 December: "Every Regiment is to draw provision to compleat their rations for tomorrow."9

Major General William Alexander, Lord Stirling’s, Division consisted of the following units:
Conway's Brigade (3rd, 6th, 9th, and 12th Pennsylvania Regiments, and Spencer's and Malcolm's
Additional Regiments) and Maxwell's Brigade (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th New Jersey Regiments).
Colonel Malcolm's Additional Regiment was ordered to join General Thomas Conway's Brigade on
11 October 1777. On 23 December 1777 Malcolm's (formerly Conway's) Brigade of Stirling's
Division listed four regiments out of a total of six having 151 men "Unfitt for duty for want of
shoes." Two of the six made no return, it being "Suppose[d] the order [was] not understood." The
total rank and file for the four regiments who made returns was 415. Maxwell's Brigade listed 60
privates under Colonel Barber, 59 under Colonel Rhea (2nd Jersey), 19 under Colonel Martin, and
28 under Colonel Ogden "unfit for want of shoes," giving a total of 166 out 573 privates in the
Jersey Brigade who needed footwear. The 23 December field return for the 2nd New Jersey showed
that Lieutenant Colonel Rhea had under his command, six captains, thirteen subalterns, twenty-
three sergeants, ten musicians, and one hundred fifty-nine rank & file present, fit for duty. An
additional fifty-nine were noted as being unfit for duty "for want of shoes."9A
On Christmas Day 1777 there was not much cause for celebration. Most of the men were still in
tents and a return made two days before showed 2,898 men unfit for duty because of the lack of
shoes or clothing - almost one man in four. In addition, there was no rum to with which to celebrate
the occasion and a heavy snow fall continued through the night, finally leaving four inches on the
ground. By 30 December another four inches of snow had fallen and the temperatures were colder,
with the Schuylkill River having frozen solid.10

Countering the "depredations of the Enemy"
23 December to 28 December 1777

The Jersey Brigade was not at Valley Forge to pass Christmas, one New Jersey officer writing
that on the "10th [actually 21st or 22nd] Dec.r the Division Sent on Comm.d below Radnor
Returned the last [of] Dec.r ..." On 23 December General William Alexander, Lord Stirling, wrote
from "Genl. [James] Potters Qrs./Radnor/ ... 5 oClock" that "I have arrived here with my division
about an hour ago ..." Lord Stirling's division consisted of Maxwell's New Jersey brigade and
General Thomas Conway's Pennsylvania brigade. It seems that Stirling's entire division, augmented
by a contingent from "Each brigade thro' the line" (a total of fifteen brigades), marched to Radnor.
The men in the added contingents were to consist of "a good partizan Captain, two Sub[altern]s,
three Serjeants, three Corporals and fifty privates [from each brigade], all picked men, fit for
annoying the enemy in light parties." These parties were ordered on the 22nd "to parade

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immediately and to be furnished with a full supply of ammunition of 40 rounds each"; they were to
"take orders from Lord Stirling."1
As early as 10 December Washington had been directed by Congress to "subsist his Army from
such parts of the Country as are in its vicinity and especially from such quarters ... most likely to be
subjected to the ... depredations of the Enemy" and about the 15th of the month directions were sent
to "The Officers Ordered to Remove Provisions from the Country Near the Enemy." These officers
were ordered to gather in "the Stock and Grain of every kind which would be Servicable to [the
enemy], to places of security" and advised that "These duties are important and interesting, and it is
expected will have your pointed attention, as a regular discharge of them will not only contribute to
the more easy support of our own Troops, aid our supplies from the more interior parts of the
Country, but will also distress the Enemy, and prevent that injurious ... intercourse too prevalent
between them and a number of disaffected Inhabitants." It was concerning this matter that the
commander in chief wrote to General James Potter of the Pennsylvania militia: "I think it of the
greatest consequence to have what Hay remains upon the Islands above the mouth of Derby Creek
destroyed ... as we cannot remove it ... [In this way] we shall probably oblige [the enemy] to come
out into the Country to forage, which will perhaps give us an opportunity of cutting off a party. This
mode I leave intirely to Colo. [Daniel] Morgan [of the "Corps of Rangers" and the 11th Virginia
Regiment] and yourself."2
The decision to detach Stirling's division to Potter's aid was induced on the 22nd when "The
Enemy marched out of Philadelphia this morning early with a considerable Body. Their intent is
said to be to forage, but ... they may have something further in view ... They encamp this Evening
near Derby." Captain John Peebles, 42nd Regiment, described the move from the British side.
"Monday, 22 December 1777: The Troops put in Motion ... & crost the Schuylkill by the bridge at
Grays ferry & moved on the Chester road till the front past Darby - the Light Infantry took post on
the heights to the sou[thwar]d. of it & the Grrs. to No[rthwar]d. the rest of the Troops posted all
along the road from the ferry to Darby, while the Waggons are employ'd in carrying forage to Town
... Headqrs. at Swedes Meeting house ... The Object of this Movement being to Collect forage for
the Army ..."2
In a 23 December note Lord Stirling continued, "I find Colonel Morgan went out Early this
Morning (with his own Corps, the fifteen parties detached last Night & part of Genl. Potters
[Pennsylvania] Militia) towards the Enemy ... by what I can Collect the Enemy are Encamped with
their Right at the Sweeds Church, & their left at Darby, which makes a front of about a Mile &
[a] Quarter. They keep Close to their line, no Waggons appear on this side of them; on the Whole I
believe they are busy Carrying off the Hay & forrage from the Neck & the Islands between Derby
Creek & [the] Schuylkill, as their position Covers that part Compleatly. The Troops here (even
Potters included) I find are Intirely without provision, some Grain & Spirits are between this & the
Enemy; I have therefore sent for all my Waggons from Camp to Carry it off. The Militia &c have
been so frequently & so long in this Quarter that everything Else is Consumed ... [Postscript] If
provision (Beef I mean) is in Camp some should be sent." British captain Peebles recorded on this
day, "fine Moderate frosty weather, the Troops continue in the same position, & Waggons in
carrying forage, all quiet in & about Camp -"3
On the 24th Peebles noted "this Morng. the Rebels catched 10 or 12 of our Light Dragoons, who
were out on a scout, & fell in with a Post of the Rebels, who pursued them into a swamp ..." Lord

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Stirling wrote of the incident the same day from "Genl. Potters Quarters [7 O'Clock]": "Yesterday
Afternoon a party of the Enemy's light horse (abt 10 of them) took two of Capt. [Henry] Lee's light
horse [1st Continental Dragoons], one of whom made his Escape, between Darby & Chester; this
one gave Intelligence of this party to Col. Butler who was out with a party in that Quarter, on which
he proceeded towards the White Horse on that Road, & discovering a Vadet [vidette] near the
House, Col Butler diveded His troops so to shut up every Avenue except towards the Meadows.
The Enemy were soon Alarmed, and finding their Retreat Cut off every other Way betook
themselves to the Marsh, and passed Several Ditches, but at last Comeing to a Wider One, only five
... Could Clear it, Among whom were the Officers, ten Riders & Eleven Horse were Taken, two
Horses remain in the Marsh ... I have wrote to Colonel Morgan in order to Consult with him how it
will be best to employ the Troops. On further Inquiry, there is really no beef or pork to be had in
this Neighbourhood, wherefore some should be sent, as to flower I am in hopes we shall make out
to Supply ourselves."4
At 6 P.M. later that same day Stirling again informed Washington of his troops doings. "I found
Col. Morgan with His Corps & Six Companies of the 15 detached parties and the Militia have
posted themselves in the front and on the left flank of the Enemy in sight of them, I therefore sent
off Colonel Malcolm with the Lt Cols. Barber & Harmer with 300 Men to the Vicinity of Marshalls
Mills, which will Cover our forraging parties, and be sufficant to destroy any of theirs which may
Venture out; what is become of the Rest of those 15 parties [one from each brigade in the army] I
know not but had they been formed under three field Officers & put under the direction of Col.
Morgan they Might have been of Use. The light Horse taken Yesterday with several Light Infantry,
Negroes, &c I have orderd to be sent to head Quarters tomorrow Morning. The Arms and boots of
the Light Horse I have Allowed Capt Lee to retain for the Benefit of his Troop till your further
order. The Horses (13 in Number with every thing Else) are to go to Head Quarters in the Morning.
Col. Morgans opinion that the Enemy mean Nothing more than to forage the Neck & Islands I
mentioned in my last, that our forces are well posted, and sufficient to Answer every purpose till
they Adopt other Measures. I am of his opinion, and that with our Whole Army, it would be
imprudent to Attack them in their present position, indeed from what I know of the Ground I think
they have taken a post of defiance; yet I am in hopes of picking up some of their Straglers on their
Right as I hear they behave Carelessly there, we are now well Supplyed with Bread & Meat and
Notwith[stand]ing what I was told yesterday I belive we shall make a very good forraging tomorrow
Morning with all the Waggons of my Division, I wish some more Waggons were sent, I will find
loads for them which may otherwise fall into the hands of the Enemy ... [Postscript] I write in a
Noisy Crowd, therefore Excuse this scrawl."5
Major John Andre described the events which took place while the British Army was at Darby
Creek:
"[December] 25th Major-General Grant, with four Battalions of Infantry, the 17th Light Dragoons,
and eight of the Light Companies, took post on the South side of Derby Creek, covering a quantity
of meadowland from which the forage was taken. On approaching the ground they saw a command
of the Rebels, which soon dispersed, leaving a few killed and wounded on the field. Two or three
were taken on the field. At night General Grant returned to Camp.
26th General Grey marched with six Battalions, and took a position about three miles from Derby
in order to bring away some forage ... In the Evening General Grey returned to Camp.

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Thursday, 25 December 1777: "Xmass. Very pleasant weather for the season ... the Waggons still
busy carryig home forage - this Morng. the Light horse kill'd 3, wounded 2 & took 5 of the Rebels -
some Battalions moved further down on the Chester road to cover the Waggons below Darby Creek
... Xmass not intirely forgot"
Friday, 26 December 1777: "Genl. Gray with 7 or 8 Battns. moved down the Chester road as far as
the 10 Mile stone to cover the foragers, we returned in the Eveng to our Ground near the Blue Bell"

On the 26th at 7 P.M. Stirling wrote from General Potters quarters: "I have just received your
Excellencys letter of this date by Lt. Col. [William Lee] Davidson [of the 5th North Carolina
Regiment]. I have sent the three field [officers] down to Col. Morgan to be the Command[er] of the
three divisions of the 15 detachments according to An Arrangement I made of them this Morning &
according to their Several States. In answer to your Excellency's Querie, I do not see, that any
Attempt can be made with a probility of Success unless it be on those [enemy] troops which are
advanced to Knowles's within a Mile of the White Horse on the Road from Derby to Chester. I
think a body of fifteen Hundred fresh Chosen Men from Camp Might push in about a Mile below
Derby / While the Troops we have here make an Attack on every other part of their line as a feint
and then turn to the Right & briskly Sweep all before them and retreat thro' Ridley & Upper
Providence. I think the Experiment might be tried without danger to our Main Army. The Troops I
have with me are now all except abt 100 Men Stationed from the five Mile Stone on the Lancaster
Road to Near the White Horse at 11 Mile stone on the Chester Road, but the Enemy keep so Close
to their lines, we have no Chance of Catching any of them." Enclosed with this letter was a
memorandum concerning the conditions in the area Stirling's troops occupied: "When I came here
first I was told that the Country was Exhausted Not an Ounce of flower nor a head of Cattle nor a
Sheep to be had, that this Country was Starveing because there was Nothing left. I am now told that
large droves of Cattle & flocks of Sheep go dayly into [the] Enemy by Way of Marcus Hook &
Grubbs Landing and I am Convinced there are Still large Stocks of both in those Quarters but fine
Speeches & Excuses have deceived those who have Commanded here. The people of the Country
even those who pretend to be our best friends hide their Stocks from us, and some of them have this
day told me what I really believe to be the true Cause of it vizt from the Enemy they are sure to get
hard Money for it, on the Contrary when our Certificates are produced to the Commissary of
purchases at Camp, they are treated with the Utmost Contempt. The people are told to Call again &
again. Till tired of Makeing further application & in dispair of payment they go home with a
ditermination to Sell to the Enemy rather than to us, this Evil Might be Cured by ordering the
Commissary & the forrage M[aster] G[eneral] to pay of[f] Certificates at first Sight & lay aside that
Imperious behaviour which all the World Concerned with our Army Complain of. As a further
encouragement to the people of this Quarter It would be expedient immediately to send a D[eputy]
Commissary of purchases with Money in his pocket to be Stationed at a proper place in this
Neighbourhood to receive & pay for all the produce the people bring in wether provision or forrage,
this will Cut off all their pretences & Excuses & then If a Sufficiency of Waggons be sent, I will
engage to Glean the Country Compleatly. The Excuses for going into Philadelphia with provisions
are innumerable but I stop them all & give their provisions to our Troops."6

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A final account concerning the British foraging expedition was written on December 28th from
Radnor at noon and enclosed a note from Lieutenant Colonel Francis Barber of the same date which
gave notice of the enemy’s departure. "My Lord By [nos.?] Deserted from the Enemy [they]
apparently moved for Phila. at 10 oClo. last night - [The Parties which I] sent out before Day have
not yet returned - By their [staying] I suppose they have marched to Darbee or farther ... I am sorry
your Lordship can not be made certain of the Enemy's Departure, our own Parties being not yet
returned."7
In his letter Stirling noted that, "I received your Excellency['s] letter of Yesterday's date. The
enclosed Note I received about an hour ago from Colonel Barber the same Intelligence is
Confirmed by another Come in to another Quarter. I have sent out what light [horse?] were here for
further Confirmation of it, and have ordered the Troops in Case it be true immediately to Search
every house within their late lines for Straglers of which I do not doubt they will find Many who
Shelter themselves from the Stormy weather. There are several Substantial people who have been
dealing largely with the Enemy for provisions about Chester, Marcus Hook, &c, I propose getting
them taken tomorrow ... an Example or two of these principals will have a better Effect than the
punishment of fifty of the small pedlars; these have dealt by wholesale. Our Men are almost worn
out, but they bear it patiently & I wish I could Indulge them with some whiskey but there is not a
drop here."8
Shortly after this Lord Stirling's detachment returned to the Valley Forge camp to finish their huts
and settle in to the routine of a winter cantonment.9

Major John Andre described events while the British Army was at Darby Creek:
"[December] 25th Major-General Grant, with four Battalions of Infantry, the 17th Light Dragoons,
and eight of the Light Companies, took post on the South side of Derby Creek, covering a quantity of
meadowland from which the forage was taken. On approaching the ground they saw a command of
the Rebels, which soon dispersed, leaving a few killed and wounded on the field. Two or three were
taken on the field. At night General Grant returned to Camp.
26th General Grey marched with six Battalions, and took a position about three miles from Derby in
order to bring away some forage ... In the Evening General Grey returned to Camp.
27th The remainder of the forage within our compass was brought in, and in the evening the Corps
on the South side of Derby Creek were withdrawn across the bridges, and the 17th and 42nd
Regiments were brought across Cobb's Creek. The Light Infantry were posted between Derby and
Cobb's Creek. It snowed very hard.
28th At about 8 in the morning the Army marched towards Philadelphia. The Light Infantry took
post above the bridge at Grey's until it was taken up, whilst the rest of the Army marched to Middle
Ferry, where they halted until the Light Infantry came up, when the whole crossed the Schuylkill ... A
party of the Rebels which was approaching, in hopes of firing upon the rear of the Column, was
decoyed nearer than they were aware, by a Dragoon who personated a Rebel horseman; twenty-nine
of them were taken. It snowed and was very cold the whole day.
29th Very hard frost.
30th The Army came into Winter Quarters in Philadelphia."
For 28 December Captain Montresor noted: "...Sunday, Wind N. East, weather soft with 4 inches of
Snow. The troops with the Com. in Chief returned to this city after a very successful Foraging Party,
200 Tons of Hay & taking this day 2 officers and 37 men of the rebels advanced guard."

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A British account from the 42nd Regiment left a more detailed narrative from the point of view of a
company officer:

Thursday, 25 December 1777: "Xmass. Very pleasant weather for the season ... the Waggons still
busy carryig home forage - this Morng. the Light horse kill'd 3, wounded 2 & took 5 of the Rebels -
some Battalions moved further down on the Chester road to cover the Waggons below Darby Creek
... Xmass not intirely forgot"
Friday, 26 December 1777: "Genl. Gray with 7 or 8 Battns. moved down the Chester road as far as
the 10 Mile stone to cover the foragers, we returned in the Eveng to our Ground near the Blue Bell"
Saturday, 27 December 1777: "a good deal of rain last night but not cold, the day moderate & fair -
in the Eveng got orders to change our ground in order to shorten the line. We moved just across the
Creek at the Blue Bell and went down into the wood, but for want of Waggons or by some mistake we
did not get to our ground till near 10 OClock at night, when it was exceeding cold, with a sharp NW
wind & not a bit of shelter for the men / orders to be ready to move in the Morng"
Sunday, 28 December 1777: "it snow'd all last night & was very cold, - the Troops march'd in the
Morng. & after seeing all the Waggons over the Pontoon Bridge at Grays ferry the Bridge was taken
up, & the troops with their Guns came by the Bridge at Middle ferry & return'd to their respective
old ground at the lines [of redoubts above Philadelphia] - it snow'd all day & it was Eveng. before we
got home - a small party of Rebels [was] taken to day / Thus ended the long foraging party which
continued a Week, in which time it is suppos'd was carried into Town between 3 & 400 ton of Hay
every day, which makes above 2000 ton ..."
Monday, 29 December 1777: "cold NW [wind] & very keen frost ..." Willcox, Major Andre's Journal,
72-73; Scull, Journals of Captain John Montresor, 480; Papers of Lt., later, Cpt., John Peebles of the
42d. Foot ("The Black Watch"), 1776-1782; incl. 13 notebooks comprising his war journal, book #4,
pp. 40-44, Scottish Record Office, Edinburgh; Cunninghame of Thorntoun Papers (GD 21)

The Valley Forge Camp in the Waning Days of 1777

General Orders
25 December to 31 December 1777

25 December 1777: "Each Brigade is to detach an active careful Subaltern and 12 Men who with an
Assistant Comissary are to go to such places as the Comissary Genl. ... shall direct for the purpose
of collecting Flour, Grain, Cattle, or Pork for the army, Such men are to be ... able of Body & Know
how to Thrash [thresh] ... the men are to take their Arms Blankets and necessaries with them and to
parade tomorrow Morng. at 9 o'Clock at the black Bull [tavern]. 3 Baggage Waggons for each
Brigade are to be unloaded and ... go with the Detachment, A Gill of Whiskey or Rum a man to be
Issued to all the non Comissd. Officers and Soldiers. [Much of the wheat to be found in the
neighbourhood had probably been requisitioned already. On December 20 the Quartermaster
General had been ordered to "use his utmost exertion to procure large Quantities of Straw Either for
Covering the Huts ... or for beds for the soldiers, He is to assure the farmers that unless they get
their Grain thresh'd out Immediately the Straw will be taken with the Grain on it and paid for as

9
Straw only ..."] Complaint hath been made of divers Soldiers some on horse back [who] have been
a plundering the Inhabitants, this probably arises at least in part from the Rolls not being Regularly
called and absentees Duly noticed. The Genl. therefore Requires that this be constantly done in
future and if any Soldier is Caught Riding on a Waggon or other Horse in or out of Camp [he] is to
be severly punished."
26 December 1777: "It is with in expressable Grief and Indignation that the General has received
Information of the Cruel outrages and Robberies Lately committed by Soldiers on the other side [of
the] Schuylkill ..." In consequence of this "The Genl. Positively orders 1st. that no Officer under the
[rank] of a Field Officer or Officer Commandg. a Regt. give passes to non Comissioned officers or
Soldiers ... 2nd. that no non Comissd. Officer or Soldier have with him any arms unless on duty 3d.
that every Non Commissioned Officer or Soldier caught without the Limits of the Camp not having
such passes or with his Arms shall be confin'd and severely punish'd 4th that the Roll of each
Company be called frequently ... at different times between the hours of 8 and 10 o'Clock all the
Mens Quarters to be visited by such Officers as the Brigadier ... shall appoint, and all absentees are
to be exemplary punished 5th that as some of [the] Villains [were] complained of [having] been
found mounted on Waggon horses, Every Waggon Mastr. and Conductor of Waggons are to found
Constantly near his Charge" and keep a strict accounting of the men, horses and wagons. In addition
measures were to be taken to prevent the loss of the clothing and equipment of sick soldiers since
"it appears ... that many men who go into the Hospitals well clad are in a manner maked when they
get well and cannot return to the Regiment till new Cloathed." In order "that the arms and
accoutrements of such sick may not be Lost or damaged they [are] ... to be delivered to the
Regimental Qr. Masters ... and never carried with the sick to the Hospital."
27 December: "The Troops are to draw provision for tomorrow."
28 December: "All the Troops are to draw and Cook Provision for tomorrow."
29 December: "The Commander in Chief earnestly exhorts the Officers of every rank to use their
utmost Exertions to have their Hutts compleated as soon as possible, that the Troops may get
comfortably Lodged, he also directs a Gill of Spirits to be served this afternoon to each non
Commissd. Officer or Soldier ..."
31 December: "Frequent Complaints having been made by the Inhabitants of their Forrage being
taken without leaving them a reasonable share for the subsistence of their families, and that they are
often insulted and abused ... [special measures were ordered to avoid the former, while the latter]
will be punished with the utmost severity."1

On 31 December 1777 the American army at Valley Forge did their best to welcome in the new
year. One man was able to write; "We got some Spirits and finish'd the Year with a good Drink &
thankfull hearts in our new Hutt ..."2

10
"I fancy we may ... Content ourselves in these Wigwams ..."
1 January to 19 March 1778

"4.th Jan.y 78 began to build Hutts finishd ab.t the 15.th and Moved in them, where
Continued Till the 18.th Feb.y"
Revolutionary war diary, Fellows Papers, box 2, Department of Rare Books and Special
Collections, Rush Rhees Library, University of Rochester.

As the new year of 1778 dawned at least some of the men were still living in tents while the huts
which would be their shelter from the cold and damp weather were under construction. As of 29
December about nine hundred huts were under construction, with each hut supplying quarters for
one of the following: 12 enlisted men; the commissioned officers for two companies; the field
officers of a regiment (colonel, lieutenant colonel and major); a brigade staff; or one general officer.
By the 20th of January 1778 a substantial number of dwellings were finished but it was not until
February 8th that General Washington reported that "most of the men are now in tolerable good
Hutts." Ensign George Ewing of the 3rd New Jersey described the new living quarters of Maxwell's
Brigade: "... we built huts in the following manner / the huts are built in three lines / each line four
deep five yards asunder / the huts eighteen by sixteen feet long six feet to the eves built of loggs and
covered with staves / the chimney in the east end the door in the South side / the Officers huts in the
rear of the mens / twelve men in each hut and two cores of Officers in a hut." He also notes that it
was "About the tenth of [January that] ... We got into our huts." Captain William Gifford of the
same regiment wrote on 24 January that "our men are in huts 16 by 18 covered with Oak Shingles,
and are now pretty Comfortable - Since we have got to live in 'em, we lay in tents untill the 20
instant, an instance of the kind hardly known in any Country whatever, but what can't brave
Americans endure ..."1
Captain Gifford also described the encampment and some of the living conditions:

I shou'd have wrote you before had it not been for our Expectations of going to Jersey to Winter
Quarters, but I fancy we may give up our Notions of Jersey & Content ourselves in these Wigwams
this Winter - We are encamped about Twenty Miles from Philada. at a place called the Valley Forge
along the Schuylkill. The Army is Divided into Two lines front & Rear, besides Corps de Reserve,
and possess very Commanding & defensible ground, we are fortifying the Camp as fast as possible,
tho' we are under no apprehension of a visit from the Enemy, (Tho' such a report is current in
Camp) but I am very sensible they know better things, if they shou'd come I trust in God we shall be
able to give them a warm reception, perhaps a total defeat, We have a large Army in every respect
fit ... for Action, Tho' some are very bare for Clothes, I wish with all my heart our State wou'd make
better Provision for our Brigade, respecting Clothing & other necessaries than they do, if they had
any Idea of the hardships we have & do undergo, they Certainly wou'd do more ... than they do. I
assure you Sir we have had a very severe Campaign of it, since we came in this State ... if you have
a safe opportunity send me Waistcoat breeches & stockings [take] great care of the Linen as that
article is very dear and hard to be purchased ...2

11
Ensign John Shreve, the colonel's son, recalled a typical patrol that occurred at about this time.

I was sent with a scout of 26 men on a very cold night; the ground had been very muddy, and
having frozen suddenly, was very rough, there was not a pair of shoes in the detachment, blankets
were cut up and put around the feet of some of the men, but soon were worn out so that their feet
came to the ground, and they could be tracked by the blood. We came to a farmhouse about 10 or
11 o'clock about 15 minutes after an English scout had left the house; the men of the house were
away, the women said if we stayed the English, they were afraid, would return and kill us. I told her
we came to meet them if they were out, and we were not afraid of them. I let the men lay in the
fresh straw in the barnyard near an hour to rest themselves. I told the woman I wanted her to give
the men some bread and milk that the English had left.
She with reluctance gave each of them some. She would not tell where the men of the house
were. I expect they were gone to the city with provisions to market. She appeared to me to be in the
British interest, as no one called or known to be a Whig would stay and live so near the British
army, as the Tories, who were worse than the English, would butcher them. We followed the road
from this farmhouse to the river, then up the river road to our encampment at Valley Forge, where
we arrived a little after daylight.
My father had now recovered sufficiently [from the wound he received at Brandywine] to join his
regiment.2A

2A. John Shreve, "Personal Narrative of the Services of Lieut. John Shreve of the New Jersey Line
of the Continental Army", Magazine of American History, vol. 3, part 2 (1879), 564-578.

Ensign Ewing noted some of his activities at the end of January: "29th This day I was on fatigue
building a brest work to defend the Middle line of the Camp ... / 31st Rains very fast the whole day
/ This morning we drew a Gallon of spirits to each Mess of Officers in the Brigade ..."3
Even after the regiments were settled into the routine of their winter encampment all was not
quiet in the Jersey Brigade. There were resignations among the officers and some dissatisfaction in
the officer corps with their brigadier general, William Maxwell. Finally the field officers of the
regiments decided to take matters into their own hands where "Scotch Willie" Maxwell was
concerned.4
In a letter to the Continental Congress dated March 8th the officers wrote that it was "With the
greatest satisfaction we learn that proper measures are adopted for sifting the officers of the army:
as it will certainly render it more useful to its country, and honourable to its profession." The
officers felt confident that there would be a general purge from positions of command of any man
who was shown to be unsuitable for the post. They therefore took upon themselves "the
disagreeable task of giving the character of our Brigadier-General." Being "sensible of the
impropriety of such a measure" they felt, however, that there was no other way that Congress could
be informed of Maxwell's shortcomings. General Washington could not be expected "to be
minutely acquainted with the character of every officer. He must be informed from capital events,
or accidental intelligence. Our Major-General [Stirling] cannot judge ... His Lordship never having
seen him in the field of action, the theatre on which Genius is displayed, and the great criterion of
an officer and soldier."
In these men's minds they were the best judges, "we; who have served with him from his first
entering the army, and have been witnesses to his conduct on every occasion." They went on to

12
declare that "without partiality or the least personal pique, we are obliged to represent the character
of Brigadier-General Maxwell, in the following manner[;] That, from a natural incapacity of genius,
he is and ever will be unable to discharge the duties of his exalted Station with advantage to his
country, and reputation to its arms. That [from] this want of industry and application of his slender
abilities, he remains totally ignorant of military discipline, and unacquainted not only with his own
duty, but that of the officers, whom he is appointed to command. He is destitute of address, and
without fortitude: so that the officers of his Corps, let their abilities be what they may, can never
promise either honour to themselves, or service to their country."5
It is interesting to note that William Maxwell rarely commanded his own brigade in battle during
the 1777 campaign. At the Battle of the Short Hills he was in charge of Thomas Conway's Brigade,
that general "not knowing the Ground" and was separated from Lord Stirling and the Jersey Brigade
during the action. From August 30 to September 25, 1777 he was detached from his brigade to
command the light corps of the army, which he did at Cooch's Bridge and the Battle of Brandywine.
He returned to the Jersey Brigade and commanded it at the Battle of Germantown but evidently was
not observed by Lord Stirling. It seems that this single action, in conjunction with his management
of the brigade when not in battle, was sufficient to instill the lack of confidence his officers felt in
his ability. The aforesaid testimonial was signed by a good number of the field officers of the Jersey
Brigade including; Israel Shreve, Colonel 2nd Regt; Matthias Ogden, Colonel 1st Regt.; David
Brearley, Lieutenant Colonel 4th Regt.; Francis Barber, Lieutenant Colonel 3rd Regt.; Richard
Howell, Major 2nd Regt.; Joseph Bloomfield, Major 3rd Regt. and John Conway, Major 4th Regt..
The letter did not have the desired effect, however, since General Maxwell would not relinquish
command until 1780 and then only by his voluntary resignation.5A
In the month of January Israel Shreve once again left the regiment. He wrote his wife from camp
on 19 January that "tomorrow morning I shall set out for Jersey once more on Command for
Cloathing for our Brigade I shall stay but a few Days there." In the same note he related that
"General [Charles] Lee has arived this day from his Long Exile." It was not until March 15th that
the Colonel next wrote to his wife, again from "Camp Valey forge": " ...As to my Comeing home I
Cannot, untill General Maxwell Returns, which I Expect will be between now and the first of April
... I had positive orders to Go on Command to Jersey, to Collect Cloathing, which was much more
fateagueing than being at Camp, [but] I now have the Command of the Jersey Brigade. It is
Expected Maxwell will not be our General next Campaign, when I stand fair for promotion ..."6
Four days later, on 19 March, Washington wrote to the Colonel to march "immediately with all
the Men of your Regiment that are in Camp and fit for duty to the State of New Jersey and there
take such a post as will be most convenient, either to give protection to the inhabitants upon the
Delaware or to the Salt Works upon the Coast." The commander-in-chief had just received
intelligence that the British had sent "a Body of Troops, said to be four Regiments, down the
Delaware" and feared for the safety of the "Forage and Cattle in Salem, Cumberland and Cape May
Counties" and the salt works on the sea coast. If it was found that the enemy troops had not landed
in Jersey then Shreve's men were to be employed "in collecting Cattle from Salem and Cumberland
Counties" which would be turned over to the Commissary of Purchases. Particular orders were
given concerning the march in that the regiment was "to go as light as possible and leave some
careful Officer to take care of the Baggage left in Camp."7
This move into New Jersey by a detachment of New Jersey troops had been recommended by

13
General Maxwell as early as 9 December 1777. In a letter to Washington he had written,

The Enemy having returned inglorious and the season far advanced makes it necessary that the
Troops should be fixed to some place for the Winter. I have now thought proper to mention to Your
Excellency, a subject that I once touched on before, which was, that it was absolutely necessary to
relieve the Jersey Militia from their constant duty, by Continental Troops to enable them to fill up
their full quotas for the Continental service and it would give life and spirit to the Militia when
called on more pressing occasions. I would likewise beg leave to mention some of the difficulties
the Jersey State Laboured under in filling up her quota last winter. Viz that almost every State was
recruiting her Troops, the Artillery many of the light Horse, the 16 [additional] Regiments,
Artificers, and Waggoner, &ca.. Besides this her Troops was sent into the field by Companys or
less as they could be raised, and the Seat of War in their State. Notwithstanding all these
inconveniences I do presume to say, that the Jersey State had its quota as near compleat as some of
the first States in the Continent and I think I may venture to say that if they are not harrassed this
winter, they will compleat their quota, and Cloath them well. The necessaty of sending some
Continental Troops to the Jerseys, I darsay appears to Your Excellency verry reasonable, but
whether it shall be her own Troops or that of another State is the question. I must allow that for any
other duty save that of recruiting and Cloathing I would prefer the Troops of another State in
General but for those most necessary articles of recruiting Cloathing and recovering the sick, I must
give the preferance to their Troops, and if there was a little indulgence in it, I do not think Your
Excellency will think the Jersey State undeserving. I submit the affair to Your Excellencys better
judgment ...8

Ensign Shreve noted, "After we received a partial supply of clothing, my father was ordered to
take his regiment across the River Delaware and make a stand at Haddonfield, about seven miles
from Philadelphia, to watch the enemy and prevent them getting any supplies from that side of the
river ..."8A
Another, more immediate, reason for sending troops to New Jersey was an action that took place
on 18 March at Quintan's Bridge, New Jersey. A force of British and Loyalists lured 200 militia
under Colonel Elijah Hand, 1st Battalion Cumberland County, into an ambush in which the
Americans were defeated and forced to flee. The increasing enemy activity in south Jersey had to be
dealt with.9

8A. John Shreve, "Personal Narrative of the Services of Lieut. John Shreve of the New Jersey Line
of the Continental Army", Magazine of American History, vol. 3, part 2 (1879), 564-578.

14
Valley Forge in the First Months of 1778
General Orders
1 January to 19 March 1778

1 January 1778: "As this day begins the New Year the General orders a Gill of Spirits to be
delivered" to the men. These same orders laid out measures to facilitate the making of clothes for
the army. The regimental commanders were to return "the number of taylors in their Rejiments ...
and no new Cloathing to be made for the use of any Regt. but by a pattern which will be furnished
them."
2 January: "The Commander in Chief [desires] to prevent unnecessary application for Furloughs
[by the officer corps] ... and in determining this they will consider how expedient it is that Officers
remain in Camp when strong necessity does not their absence, to Improve themselves and their
Corps in a sistem of discipline as may be prescribed and which ... a fix'd Camp will afford them
opportunity to practice. All the Cartridges in the Men's hands are to be collected Immediately and
delivered to the Regimental [Quartermasters], except those which are regularly placed in their
Cartridge Boxes which Boxes are to be compleatly filled."
3 January: The Continental Congress, in approval of the "patience, fidelity, [and] Zeal in the Cause
of their Country, Directs one month extraordinary pay to be given to each" officer and soldier. In
addition the "Congress are exerting themselves to remedy the inconvenience which the army has
experienced from the defects of the Commissary and Cloathier's Departments." Finally the "Second
[Maxwell's New Jersey] Brigade of Lord Sterling's Division have permission to discharge their
Arms tomorrow morning at Roll Call." This was probably done merely to clear muskets which
were still loaded after the expedition to Darby Creek.
4 January: "As fast as the men go into Hutts the tents are [to be] immediately return'd to the
[Quartermaster] Genl .... The Commissaries are without delay to provide Soap to be Issued to the
Troops. Soft soap is to be procured if hard soap cannot be obtained."
6 January: "The Quarter M[aster] Genl. is without delay to send for the Iron Ovens ... and deliver
one to each Brigade [for the baking of bread] ... The General on riding through the Encampment
[observed] that many Hutts were Cover'd with Tents" and ordered the practice stopped and the tents
turned in.
8 January: "The Commander in Chief is informed that gaming is again creeping into the Army" and
therefore "declares that this Vice in either Officer or Soldier shall not ... escape exemplary punishmt
and ... forbids Cards and Dice under any pretence whatever." Being also "informed many men are
rendered unfit for duty by the Itch, He orders ... the Regimental Surgeons to ... [move] the men who
are affected with this disorder ... [into] Hutts [and] have them anointed for it."
9 January 1778: "Officers Commanding the Brigades of each Division are to fix on some suitable
place near their ... Brigades where Hospitals may be errected one for the Sick in each Brigade, and
as soon as the men can possibly be sparred from hutting they are to erect those Hospitals ..."
10 January: "All the Tin Cannisters that have been issued to the Troops are to be return'd forthwith
to the Commissary of Military Stores ..."
12 January: "The Brigade Commissaries are to fix upon a place for Collecting all the dirty Tallow
and saving the Ashes for the purpose of making soft soap for the use of the Army, also for
imploying proper persons to boile the Oyle out of the Cattles feet and preserve it for the use of the

15
Army."
15 January: "The works mark'd out by the Ingenieurs for the defence of the Camp are to be
executed with all possible dispatch ..." The various division commanders, in conjunction with
General Duportail, are to decide "on the proper means and number of men necessary to execute the
works in the different Wings and Second Line ..."
17 January: "The ... Officers Commanding Brigades ... will as soon as possible critically examine
into the state and Condition of the arms in the respective Brigades, and get those out of repair put in
order as soon as possible and consult upon the most speedy method of procuring a sufficient
number of proper sized Bayonets to supply the deficiencies. The General desires that they will
likewise agree upon the most proper and speedy means to have all the Officers in their Brigades
furnished with half pikes agreeable to General orders Issued December 22d."
18 January: "... those Brigades which are furnished with Armourers and tools [are to] have their
Bayonets made in their Brigades and those [who] cannot [will] ... purchase Bayonets from the
Country Artificers ... the Q.M. Genl. be directed to have Aspontons [espontoons] or pikes to be
made for the Officers. The staff 6 1/2 feet long and 1 1/2 Inch in Diameter ... and that the Iron part
be one foot long."
21 January: "All Officers and Regimental Surgeons, when any of their Core [sic] are proper
subjects for the Hospital are therefore Immediately to apply to the Chief Surgeon of the Flying
Hospital present in Camp and take his direction where to send the Sick ... The Director Genl. of
Hospls. is as soon as possible to furnish the R. Mental Surgeons with Medecine Chests supplyed
with such Medicine as are necessary for the Sick in Camp."
24 January: "Three Days Provisions to be Issued to the Troops on Mondays and Thursdays till
further orders. The Taylors of each Regt. to be excused other Duty and to be employ'd in making up
the Cloaths for their respective Regts."
26 January: "Brigade sutlers are recommended to be appointed to each brigade and are authorized
to sell the following articles; peach brandy; whiskey, apple brandy, cider, strong beer, common
beer, vinegar, leaf tobacco, pigtail tobacco and hard soap." The prices for these items were
stipulated in the orders and "no other Articles rated for the publick Market shall be sold" by the
sutlers.
27 January 1778: "Paper to be Issued by the QM: Genl. tomorrow in the following proportion; Two
Quires to each ... Officer Commanding Brigades, one to each Briga. Major and one to each Regt..
Ammunition to be drawn immediately to Complete the Troops to Forty rounds p man which is to
be deposited Into the hands of the Brigade Qr. Master to be ready when call'd for."
28 January: It was observed that "there has been an extraordinary and unaccountable Waste of
Ammunition in many of the Brigades." In consequence of this "an Officer in each Corps [will]
Carefully examine their mens Ammunition every day at roll call in the morning and severely punish
any soldier who shall carelessly waste a single Cartridge."
29 January: "... an orderly Officer [from each brigade will] every day inspect the Hutts to See
whether cleanliness is observed in the Soldiers Quarters and proper means taken to keep the roofs
wheather proof. The Commissaries in future to Issue [a] quart of Salt to every 100 lb fresh Beef."
1 February: "The Brigade Quarter Mastrs. are to call on the Assistant Q:M: Genl. Office tomorrow
morning at 10 o'Clock for their proportion of 320 Camp Kettles."
8 February: "The Comissary Genl. proposes that instead of the ration heretofore Issued there should

16
be Issued a pound and a half of flouer, one lb of Beef or 3/4 Salt pork and a certain Quantity of
Spirits ... In future the Reveille to Beat at day Break, the Troop at 8 in the morning, the retreat at
Sun Set & Tattoo at 9 in the Evening to render the duty uniform ... Tomorrow being the Day
appointed for opening the Market at the Stone Chimney Pickett, the Army is desired to take notice
of the same. Marckets will be held at the same place every monday and Thursday; on the East side
of the Schuilkill Near the North Bridge every Tuesday and Friday; near the Adjudt. Genls. Office
Every Wednesday and Saturday ..." Printed hand bills listing the fixed prices of "several Articles"
were distributed and the "Officers Commanding Brigades ... are desired to See that the same may be
read at the hd. of each regt. in the Brigade and Endeavour to Convince the Officers & Soldiers of
the necessity and expediency of observing the same."
10 February: "The Regimental Paymasters who have not yet received the pay of their Respective
Regiments for the month of Novr. last to Call on the Paymaster Genl.tomorrow morning and
receive the Same ... The Commissary Genl. will Issue a Jill of rum or whiskey P[er] man for the
troops tomorrow."
15 February: "As ... the troops are now in want of Straw, the Commander in Chief ... desires the ...
Officers Commanding Brigades each to send out a sufficient party properly Officered to procure
Straw, and impress Waggons to hall it to camp."
22 February: "The Commissary Genl. is if possible to keep the Camp well supplied with Rice for
the use of the Sick, If Rice cannot be had, Indian Meal must be provided in its place."
23 February 1778: "Officers Commanding Brigades to meet tomorrow morning 10 o'Clock at Genl.
Sullivan's Quarters to make a just distribution of the Cloathing in the Cloathiers Genl. department
now in Camp, and near at hand on its way to it, in proportion to the real necessities of the men ...
the Board in their Distribution are to have a particular regard to the ... Corps not attached to any
particular State, having ... no chance for other supplies."
25 February: "The ... Officers Commanding Brigades have [received] a distribution of the
Cloathing. The Commanding Offrs. of Regts. and Corps may have their respective proportions by
applying to the Commissary of Cloathing."
10 March: "The month Extraordinary pay and [also that] for the month [of] Decr. may be received
at the Pay Master Genls."
13 March: "The Commander in Chief being informed that ... the Carcases of Dead Horses lay in, or
near the Camp, and that ye Offal near many of ye Commissaries Stalls, still lay unburied, that much
of the Filth and nastiness, is spread amongst ye Hutts, which will soon be reduc'd to a state of
putrefaction and caus a Sickly Camp ... The Commanding Officers of Regiments & Corps, will
Immediately order their Qr. Masters to see their Respective Encampments cleans'd, their old Valts
[latrines] fill'd and new ones Dug, all filth & Nastiness buried, and fresh earth thrown into the
Vaults twice every Day." One Virginia brigade went so far as to order the posting of "three
Sentinels with orders to Fire on any man who shall be found easing himself elsewhere than in ye
Valts."
15 March: "The Markets which have been held heretofore on the other side of the Schuylkill, is to
be held in future on the west side near the Bridge."
17 March: "One hundred Chosen men are to be annexed to the Guard of the Commander in chief
for the purpose of forming a Corps to be Instructed in the maneuvres necessary to be introduced in
the Army, and serve as a model for the Execution of them - As the Genls. guard is compos'd

17
entirely of Virginians, the 100 Draughts are to be taken from the Troops of the other States."
18 March: "Inoculation for the small pox having been haply [i.e., by luck or luckily] performed in
all the Subjects in Camp it is necessary to guard against the fatal effects of that disorder taken in the
Natural way. The Commr. in chief therefore Injoins all Officers Commg. Regts. upon the Arrival of
Recruits or the return of Absent Soldiers to make an immediate and strict Enquiry whether they
have had the small Pox, & order such as have not to be inoculated by the Regl. Surgeon ..."
19 March: "The Commander in chief directs that the officers will be very attentive to ye Water
which their men Drink - The little springs about Camp, from which they have been accustom'd to
supply themselves during ye Winter, will, in their present State, become extreemly Impure, and
pernicious, in ye approaching warm season - As it is a matter so essential, It is expected that ye
officers will ... take measures to provide good Water for their men, by having ye Springs open'd &
clean'd, and well sunk in proper places, with Barrels to preserve them, taking care to have them
frequently emptied and cleans'd, to prevent any accumulation of Filth."

"I Expect to be stationed in Jersey sometime ..."
22 March to 1 April 1778

Even as Shreve's men were marching to take up new quarters in their home state the enemy
gained another success against the Americans in Jersey. On 21 March they surprised a gathering of
"rebels" in Judge Hancock's house at Hancock's Bridge. In the resulting attack the entire force in the
house was bayoneted and killed, a total of approximately 25 Americans in addition to the judge and
his brother, both avid Loyalists. After this defeat Colonel Elijah Hand of the Jersey militia wrote
from Roadstown on the 23rd, "That conceiving ourselves unable to make a stand where we were
posted, and in danger of being surrounded, we therefore retreated to this place, and will
immediately rally such of the Militia as are now scattered and return ..." Having been informed
"that the Jersey Brigade has been four days on their march to our Assistance, & that the East Jersey
Militia are likewise on their way down, you are ... to inform the commanding officer of our
Situation."1
The 2nd Regiment marched in separate detachments from Valley Forge. On 22 March Colonel
Shreve wrote from Burlington, New Jersey: "This Evening I Arrived with about 130 of my Regt.
with orders to join the Militia ... The Remainder of my Regt. will follow in a few Days. I Shall here
from the Governor tomorrow and then Expect to march with all Expedition" to take up new
quarters at Haddonfield.2
On the 23rd of March Governor Livingston wrote to Shreve, who was still at Burlington:

In answer to yours of this day's date, I think it would at present be best to march with all Expedition
to Haddonfield to join the Militia under Colo. [Joseph] Ellis [2nd Battalion, Gloucester County
militia] - The Enemy are at present at Salem to the number, I suppose, of 1100 – a considerable
Body of our Militia are ordered from Hunterdon and Sussex, and Capt. [Joseph] Clun with his
Artillery will I hope march this afternoon ... Colo. Ellis had been directed to order two classes from
the Militia of Burlington Gloucester Salem and Cumberland [counties] so that in a few days you
will I hope have a respectable Body to frighten away the Enemy.

Colonel Shreve was notified that, besides Ellis's militia, directions had been given "for the party

18
stationed at the Saltworks, which Col. [David] Forman is raising, to join and act with you, till
further orders."3
More than ever before the presence of Shreve's regiment was sorely needed. Colonel Joseph Ellis
of the New Jersey Militia had written on 22 March to New Jersey governor William Livingston:

I received yours of the 21st. Instant & hope the Militia of Hunterdon & Sussex will turn out well, as
there cannot be greater Occasion for them than at present. I have repeatedly call'd on the Col[one]ls
at Burlington but without Effect: not a single man of them appears, nor do I hear there is any motion
of the kind among them. We can get but very few from Salem or Cumberland as they plead the
Necessity of guarding their own Coast which I think not unreasonable. Gloucester of late is little
better, they being discouraged at the Weakness of the Post in part, & partly for want of their Pay,
which with some Companys is several months in Arrear. Col[onel]: [Bodo] Otto's Battalion [of
Gloucester County] have chiefly revolted to the Enemy & have made Prisoners of a Number of their
Officers, those who have eskaped dare not stay at their Homes; Col[onel]: [Richard] Somer's
Battalion [of Gloucester County] upon the last call for two Classes have not sent twenty men. The
Market to Philadelphia is now open nor is it in my Power to stop it with about fifty men which is all
I have at present. I hope the Arrival of a few continental Troops will change the face of Affairs &
encourage the Militia to turn out. The few East Jersey Militia that came from Middlesex &
Monmouth Countys some time ago - one Company's Time was near expired at their Arrival & the
rest deserted in a few days. On the Enemy's first embarking to go down the River I received
intelligence of their design which was to forage in Salem & Cumberland County's and sent Express
immediately. They have since landed at Salem and are ravaging that part of the Country, of the
particulars of which I expect you will be informed of by Express gone thro' here yesterday. I think it
not safe for Capt[ain] [Joseph] Cluns Artillery [New Jersey State Troops] to come here 'till we are
reinforced by some Infantry to support them. The Militia from above should come properly
equipped as we have not Arms or Ammunition sufficient to supply them. I would just beg leave to
remark that without some standing force we have little to expect from the Militia who being alone
not sufficient to prevent the incursions of the Enemy, each one naturally consults his own Safety by
not being found in Arms, which will I hope be remedied on Col[one]l Shreeves arrival.4

The 2nd New Jersey arrived at Haddonfield on March 25th or 26th. William Livingston informed
Washington on the 23rd that "Collo. Shreve is this night at Burlington [and] I have advised him to
proceed to morrow to Gloucester upon his addressing me upon the subject of his Movements. I
hope he will soon be joined by our Militia from those parts. Nor do I believe the Enemy at Salem is
so numerous as was at first represented."5 Colonel Shreve wrote from that place on the 26th:

I Expect to be stationed in Jersey sometime / the enemy is at Salem. [They] Have killed one Quaker
preacher and several other Quakers [Shreve himself was a Quaker] and other inhabitants / Salem is
thirty Miles from this place, the tories is got to such a height about Manty [Mantua] Creek and
Woodberry that no Whig Can pass safe, Jonathan Chew [of the West Jersey Volunteers] is a
Captain of tories, Capt. [John] Cummings [2nd New Jersey] is Gone Down with a party after Chew,
who was with his Company Last Evening at Biddle Reves / If he is taken he will swing shortly.6

It seems that from the time of the 2nd Regiments arrival in New Jersey the men were kept quite
busy skirmishing with the enemy, suppressing the local loyalists and gathering forage. While in
Haddonfield the regiment would have been "put into the houses for quarters" just as Private Joseph

19
Martin of the Connecticut Line had been when in the same town in October of 1777. Later when
they were moved to Mount Holly the arrangement would have been the same. It was probably for
this reason that Lieutenant Colonel David Rhea, then with the main army, wrote: "Your situation at
Hattonfield for sometime I almost begrudg'd as Colol Brearly's letter Described & the Fourth Regt.
regreted much your leaving them behind" at Valley Forge. Compared with the huts at the
Pennsylvania camp these accommodations must have been welcome indeed.7
From Haddonfield on 28 March Colonel Shreve wrote Washington,

The Governor desired me to join Colo. Ellis and wait at this Post untill we Could Collect a body of
militia, we have now one hundred & seventy foot, twenty horse & Thirty five Artillery with two
Iron three pounders, besides my own Regiment - the last accounts from Salem by three deserters
and several other Persons were that four Regiments Commanded by Colo. [Charles] Mawhood [17th
Regiment of Foot], Consisting of between one Thousand and twelve hundred were at that Place; the
Militia to the number of three hundred were at Roads Town thirteen miles below Salem, all the
Country on the River between that Post and this Place, forty five miles, is open to the Ravage of the
Enemy - the tories to the number of one hundred and fifty are in arms fortifying at Billingsport with
the assistance of some marines; a great number of Disaffected Inhabitants are trading with the
Enemy. yesterday, Sixty tories and marines Commanded by one [Lieutenant Colonel David] Cox[e]
[West Jersey Volunteers], went to Sweedsborough, took Lieut.[Bateman] Lloyd of the fourth Regt.
Jersey with two Recruits, Plundered the house of Capt. Brown in a shocking manner striped
his wife and several Children, Carried off or Distroyed everything in the house. several other
houses shared the same fate. every civil and military Officer is forced to fly from home many have
been taken by The tories and Carried off to the City [Philadelphia]. three Days ago, three of the
Militia took a Covered Waggon and three horses with Baggage and Stores belonging to Daniel
Cozen's, a Tory Capt. [of the West Jersey Volunteers]; yesterday Col. Ellis [New Jersey militia]
with a small Party of horse took a Certain David Chew [of Gloucester County] one of the Tory
gang, he Acknowledges he has bore Arms against the States (his brother is a Capt: At Billingsport),
they also took some Marketing going to the Enemy but the Owner fled; Capt. Cumming [2nd Jersey
Regt.] has just Returned with fifteen men from a Scout, took a Waggon and two horses at a
Landing; no person will own the Waggon. I have ordered these things sold for the use of the
Captors - this Country is in a Miserable Situation the Inhabitants [are] afraid of every person they
see, If marketing is found in any house the whole familey, even little Children will deny the owners,
nor pretend to know any thing about it. If your Excellency Could spare part or all the [Jersey]
Brigade it would Enable us to Quell the tories And Collect a Considerable Quantity of provisions
which otherwise I fear will fall into the hands of the Enemy as it is Collected in Places near the
River for that Purpose, the Enemy have already Collected a Great Quantity of provisions and
Forage in Salem County, we shall do every thing in our power to pertect the Virtuas Inhabitants
and suppress the tories, we have a Negro man Confined as a Spy as I believe it will appear he went
to Philada. to give Intilligence of my Crossing the Delaware.
I desire your Excellency's directions Conserning the trial of this spy and those of the Inhabitants
taken in Arms against the States, as some Examples seem highly necessary in this Place; but I am
too Prolix [i.e. wordy] & have only to say that a General Defection prevails in many places, that
from the situation of Haddonfield it must be in our possession. At least it be the Case with the lower
Counties that the force here is small for the purpose, Scarcely enough to prevent surprise when
large scouts are out. I would wish to march to Cumberland as many things are there to be had if the
Enemy were terrified from thence which I hope to Effect when the militia come in to secure this

20
post by a junction with me. Make me Respectable in Numbers.
[Postscript] As the tories have fallen in with our Parties I hope I shall stop their trade of Catching
officers for whom they get Reward according to the Rank of the prisoners. Ammunition is wanted
for the Militia, they are not furnished for common duty. They cannot be supplied from the State,
therefore I shall find a Waggon to recieve it from the Stores in Camp & beg your Excels. Order to
obtain it.

In another version of this letter, probably a first draft of the one actually sent, Colonel Shreve wrote
"I am Determined assoon as some more Militia Arives to try to Dislodge the tories at Billingsport
And join the Militia at Cumberland in order to harass the Enemy at Salem ..."8
Israel Shreve next wrote General Washington on 1 April:

Early this morning I was informed by the Best Intillegence ... from the City, that the Enemy Are
prepareing to Go up the River, with intent as we Suppose to Ravage the uper part of Burlington
County & perhaps Distroy the Remains of our fleet ... I have ordered all the stores from
Mountholly, Burlington &c, to be moved off. As soon as the Enemy sails I shall march upward to
prevent smal parties from making Excursions in to the Country - though I am weak, have not more
than two hundred horse, foot & Artillery Altogether.
The Enemy have Left Salem [and] Got up to the City yesterday Afternoon. They Did not
Advance far into the country But Carried off all provisions and forage as far as they went.
The Militia below Are Dispersed and Gone home Except a few. The tories with a Number of
Marines Are fortifying Billingsport, their numbers increasing Every Day, Commiting the Greatest
Outrages where Ever they Go, the Whigs are Obliged to fly or fall into the hands of those Mercyless
Wretches.9

In reply to Shreve's request for reinforcements Washington wrote on April 4th that he could spare
no more Continental troops and that "I can give you no other directions than to watch the motions
of the Enemy and to cover the country as well as you can if they make an incursion ... If the
situation of the Tories at Billingsport is such that you can make a stroke at them and rout them it
will be very desirable and may answer many valuable purposes, but I would not have you attempt it
at any great Risque." He also notes that although not "able to spare any ready made Cartridges just
at this time I have sent over an equivalent in loose powder and Ball."10
For the time being Colonel Shreve had to protect southern Jersey with the few men of his own
regiment and whatever militia chose to do their duty.

21
Endnotes

The March to Winter Quarters: 13 December to 25 December 1777

1. In the appendix of this work see sources for "A Brief Historical Itinerary of the 2nd New Jersey
Regiment 1775 to 1783." Israel Shreve to Mary Shreve (his wife), 20 November 1777; Shreve to
wife, 26 November 1777, Israel Shreve Papers, Buxton Collection, Prescott Memorial Library,
Louisiana Tech University (hereafter cited as Shreve Papers, Buxton.) In 1786 Colonel Shreve
wrote Congress "At the Battle of Brandywine, [Captain] Stout was killed, I [Israel Shreve] was
badly wounded so as not to be able to do duty untill Jan. 1778. During my absence from the Regt.
[Captains] Dillon, Maxwell, and Yard resigned and were gone so that six of the nine Captains [of
the regiment] were quite out of my power." Israel Shreve to Committee of Congress, Burlington
City, N.J., 30 December 1786, Revolutionary War Rolls, National Archives Microfilm
Publications, Record Group 93, M246 (Washington, D.C., 1980), reel 57, section 23 (hereafter
cited as Rev War Rolls).

2A. Revolutionary war diary by anonymous New Jersey officer, Fellows Papers, box 2, Department
of Rare Books and Special Collections, Rush Rhees Library, University of Rochester.
2. John F. Reed, Campaign to Valley Forge, July 1, 1777-December 19, 1777 (Philadelphia:
Pioneer Press, 1965), 391, 392 (hereafter cited as Reed, Campaign to Valley Forge). George Ewing,
The Military Journal of George Ewing (1754-1824) a Soldier of Valley Forge (privately printed by
Thomas Ewing, Yonkers, N.Y., 1928), 24; George Ewing was an ensign in the 3rd New Jersey
Regiment as of 5 June 1777 (hereafter cited as Ewing, Military Journal).
3. Valley Forge Orderly Book of General George Weedon ... in the Campaign of 1777-8 (New
York: Arno Press, 1971), 155 (hereafter cited as Weedon, Valley Forge Orderly Book). When
caught without tents the soldiers of Washington's Army often constructed temporary shelters for
themselves. Jeremiah Greenman, a soldier in a Rhode Island regiment, wrote on 26 November 1777
that the troops were "Continuing in ye woods near haddonfield ... we built buth [a booth] to lay in
very cold." Four days later Greenman "... at night came to wite ma[r]sh ware we built up housan of
branchis & leavs to keep ye rain off but not much good." (These booths or "housan" have been
described as "a temporary dwelling covered with boughs, canvas, or other slight material.") Xavier
Della Gatta's painting of the "Battle of Paoli" clearly shows the American troops living in such
shelters made of brush and stacked in a conical shape. Robert C. Bray and Paul E. Bushnell, eds.,
Diary of a Common Soldier in the American Revolution: An Annotated Edition of the Military
Journal of Jeremiah Greenman, (DeKalb, Il., 1978), 87-88, 98, note 131; Washington to Thomas
Blanch, 24 August 1780, John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington from the
Original Manuscript Sources 1745-1799, 19 (Washington, D.C., GPO, 1937), 433-434; Richard M.
Ketchum, ed., The American Heritage Book of the American Revolution (New York, 1958), 225,
painting of "Battle of Paoli" by Xavier Della Gatta, 1782, from the collections of the Valley Forge
Historical Society. This rendering shows clearly a representation of brush huts or booths in the
American camp. For more information on Continental Army brush shelters see John U. Rees, "We
... got ourselves cleverly settled for the night ...": Soldiers' Shelter on Campaign During the War for
Independence, Part V, "'We built up housan of branchis & leavs ...': Continental Army Brush

22
Shelters, 1776-1782," unpublished, TMs.
4. Reed, Campaign to Valley Forge, 392-393.
5. Valley Forge Orderly Book, 158-160.
6. John B.B. Trussell, Jr., Birthplace of an Army: A Study of the Valley Forge Encampment
(Harrisburg: Penna. Museum and Historical Commission, 1983), 15 (hereafter cited as Trussell,
Birthplace of an Army). Reed, Campaign to Valley Forge, 394-395.
7. Trussell, Birthplace of an Army, 15. Reed, Campaign to Valley Forge, 395.
8. Trussell, Birthplace of an Army, 17-20.
9. Weedon, Valley Forge Orderly Book, 160-167. General orders, 22 December 1777, John C.
Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources
1745-1799, 10 (Washington, D.C., GPO, 1933), 192 (hereafter cited as Fitzpatrick, WGW).
9A. "Field Return of the Brigade comdd by Col. Malcom" (formerly Conway's Brigade), and "A
Return of the Brigade Belonging to Lord Stirlings Division Dec 23d 1777" (return of Maxwell's
New Jersey Brigade), Rev War Rolls, reel 136, item nos. 136, 137. Regimental returns, 20 May
1777, and General orders, 11 October 1777, John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George
Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources 1745-1799 (Washington, D.C., 1933), 8 (1933),
171; 9 (1933), 353 (hereafter cited as Fitzpatrick, WGW).
10. Trussell, Birthplace of an Army, 18.

Countering the "depredations of the Enemy"
23 December to 28 December 1777

1. William Alexander, Lord Stirling, to Washington, 23 December 1777, George Washington
Papers, Presidential Papers Microfilm, (Washington, D.C., 1961), series 4, reel 46 (hereafter cited
as Washington Papers). The regimental officers of Stirling's Division are listed in the following
books and papers: Israel Shreve Journal, 23 November 1776 to 14 August 1777, Shreve Papers,
Buxton; listing of New Jersey Brigade field officers is appended to journal's end. Fred Anderson
Berg, Encyclopedia of Continental Army Units: Battalions, Regiments and Independent Corps
(Harrisburg: Stackpole Books, 1972) 63, 98. Sixth Pennsylvania Regiment Order Book (1 January
1778 to 10 August 1779), and Lt. Col. Josiah Harmar Letter Book (20 January 1778 to 31
December 1778), William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Samuel S.
Smith, The Battle of Brandywine (Monmouth Beach, N.J, Philip Freneau Press, 1976), 31; the order
of battle given in Smith's book states that at Brandywine the New Jersey Brigade consisted of only
the 1st and 3rd Regiments. This is untrue as is shown by the journal of Ebenezer Elmer and
"Personal Narrative of the Services of Lieut. John Shreve"; John Shreve was Colonel Israel Shreve's
son. Israel Shreve was wounded at the Brandywine battle. For citations see "A Brief Historical
Itinerary of the 2nd New Jersey Regiment, 1775-1783," Appendix A of this work. Trussell,
Birthplace of an Army, 127-129. By December 1777 Malcolm's Additional Regiment had been
added to Conway's Brigade. Revolutionary War Rolls, National Archives Microfilm Publications,
Record Group 93, M246 (Washington, D.C., 1980), reel 57, section 21-1, field and staff muster
rolls, January 1778 to February 1783 (hereafter cited as Rev War Rolls). General orders, 22
December 1777, Fitzpatrick, WGW, 10 (1933), 192. A "General Return of the Continental Troops ...
incamped at the Valley Forge Dec. 22, 1777" contains no entries for Maxwell's or Conway's

23
brigades. It does note however that "Lord Stirling's division marched yesterday and no return given
in except field returns." This renders it more likely that Stirling's entire division had marched to
Darby Creek. A further indication that at least a large part of the division was there is that most of
the field officers mentioned in the ensuing letters are from Stirling's division, as follows; Colonel
William Malcolm (commander of the brigade which was formerly Thomas Conway's) , Malcolm's
Additional Regiment; Colonel Richard Butler, 9th Pennsylvania Regiment; Lieutenant Colonel
Josiah Harmar, 6th Pennsylvania Regiment and Lieutenant Colonel Francis Barber, 3rd New Jersey
Regiment. Revolutionary War Rolls, reel 137, no. 49; Fred Anderson Berg, Encyclopedia of
Continental Army Units: Battalions, Regiments and Independent Corps (Harrisburg, 1972).
2. Washington to his officers (circular letter), 15 December 1777; Washington to James Potter, 21
December 1777; Washington to William Smallwood, 22 December 22, 1777, ibid., 10, 162-163,
182-183. British Captain John Montresor wrote that on the "22d. [December 1777] Sir William
Howe moved out from Philadelphia with 7000 men across the Schuykill over the 2 floating bridges
and so to Darby leaving Lt. General Kniphuysen in command at Philadelphia." John Andre also
noted that the army "hutted to an extent of three miles from Derby to Grey's Ferry. The waggons
were employed in the rear in collecting forage, which was conveyed to the Philadelphia side of the
Schuylkill." G.D. Scull, ed., "Journals of Captain John Montresor," Collections of the New-York
Historical Society, volume XIV (1881) (New York, 1882) 480 (hereafter cited as Scull, "Montresor
Journal); C. DeW. Willcox, Ed., Major Andre's Journal - Operations of the British Army ... June
1777 to November, 1778 ... (Tarrytown, 1930, reprinted 1968), 72-73 (hereafter cited as Willcox,
Andre's Journal).
3. William Alexander to Washington, 23 December 1777, Washington Papers, series 4, roll 46.
4. William Alexander to Washington, 24 December 1777, Washington Papers, series 4, roll 46.
5. William Alexander to Washington, 26 December 1777, Washington Papers, series 4, roll 46.
Hugh F. Rankin, The North Carolina Continentals (Chapel Hill, Univ. of North Carolina Press,
1971), 120. A 26 March 1778 "General Return of Waggons with the Army" stated that Stirling's
Division had at its disposal 16 baggage wagons, 4 commissary wagons, 64 wagon horses and 2
riding horses. (Note: The source of this return has been lost).
6. William Alexander to Washington, 28 December 1777, Washington Papers, series 4, roll 46.
7. Francis Barber to William Alexander, 28 December 1778, enclosed in Alexander to Washington,
28 December 1778, ibid., series 4, roll 46.
8. William Alexander to Washington, 28 December 1778, ibid., series 4, roll 46.
9. Major John Andre described the events which took place while the British Army was at Darby
Creek:
"[December] 25th Major-General Grant, with four Battalions of Infantry, the 17th Light Dragoons,
and eight of the Light Companies, took post on the South side of Derby Creek, covering a quantity
of meadowland from which the forage was taken. On approaching the ground they saw a command
of the Rebels, which soon dispersed, leaving a few killed and wounded on the field. Two or three
were taken on the field. At night General Grant returned to Camp.
26th General Grey marched with six Battalions, and took a position about three miles from Derby
in order to bring away some forage ... In the Evening General Grey returned to Camp.
27th The remainder of the forage within our compass was brought in, and in the evening the Corps
on the South side of Derby Creek were withdrawn across the bridges, and the 17th and 42nd

24
Regiments were brought across Cobb's Creek. The Light Infantry were posted between Derby and
Cobb's Creek. It snowed very hard.
28th At about 8 in the morning the Army marched towards Philadelphia. The Light Infantry took
post above the bridge at Grey's until it was taken up, whilst the rest of the Army marched to Middle
Ferry, where they halted until the Light Infantry came up, when the whole crossed the Schuylkill ...
A party of the Rebels which was approaching, in hopes of firing upon the rear of the Column, was
decoyed nearer than they were aware, by a Dragoon who personated a Rebel horseman; twenty-nine
of them were taken. It snowed and was very cold the whole day.
29th Very hard frost.
30th The Army came into Winter Quarters in Philadelphia."
For 28 December Captain Montresor noted: "...Sunday, Wind N. East, weather soft with 4 inches
of Snow. The troops with the Com. in Chief returned to this city after a very successful Foraging
Party, 200 Tons of Hay & taking this day 2 officers and 37 men of the rebels advanced guard."
A British account from the 42nd Regiment left a more detailed narrative from the point of view of
a company officer:
Sunday, 21 December 1777: "... preparing for a forageing party. Orders - The following Corps are
to hold themselves in readiness to march by the left on the shortest notice in the followg Order - 1st.
& 2d. Light Infantry - British Grenadrs - Hessian do. Half of the Corps of Yagers Mounted &
dismounted - 3d. Brigade 17th. 42d. & 44th. with 4 six po[unde]rs. - 4th. Brigade 33d. 46th. &
64th. with 2 6 pors. 5th Brigade 7th. 26th. & 63d. with 4 3 pors. Two Battns. of Anspach with yr.
Guns, - 2d. Brigade 5th. & 27th. with 2 6 pors. - 1st. Brigade 28th. & 49th. with 2 6 pors. - 1st
Battn. Guards with their Guns Grenr. & Light Infantry Compys. - 4 light 12 pors. from the Park at
the head of the 3d. Brigade - 2 howitzers at the head of the Guards - 17th. Dragoons at the head of
the British Grrs. - 16th. Dragoons in the rear of the Guards to take with them their Carrabines &
swords only an Offr. & 12 from each regt. Dragoons to be left here - Each Corps to take with them
the whole of their Waggons, two of which may be loaded with Baggage, ye others empty ... The
Genl. Offrs, that march with the Army are Major Genls. Grant & Gray & Brigr. Genl. Leslie, His
Excelly Genl. Kniphausen to take the Command of the lines & Garrison with Major Genl. Sterne &
Brigr. Mathew - After Orders ... The Troops under Orders of March are to be in readiness to move
tomorrow Morng. at day break, the Corps that remain behind are also to send all their Waggons
except one pr. Battn or Corps - all the ... Waggons to be drawn up on ... the road leading to Grays
ferry ..."
Monday, 22 December 1777: The Troops put in Motion ... & crost the Schuylkill by the bridge at
Grays ferry & moved on the Chester road till the front past Darby - the Light Infantry took post on
the heights to the sou[thwar]d. of it & the Grrs. to No[rthwar]d. the rest of the Troops posted all
along the road from the ferry to Darby, while the Waggons are employ'd in carrying forage to Town
- Orders - Headqrs. at Swedes Meeting house / the line to be in readiness to turn out at the shortest
notice ... The Object of this Movement being to Collect forage for the Army ..."
Tuesday, 23 December 1777: "fine Moderate frosty weather, the Troops continue in the same
position, & Waggons in carrying forage, all quiet in & about Camp -"
Wednesday, 24 December 1777: "this Morng. the Rebels catched 10 or 12 of our Light Dragoons,
who were out on a scout, & fell in with a Post of the Rebels, who pursued them into a swamp ..."
Thursday, 25 December 1777: "Xmass. Very pleasant weather for the season ... the Waggons still

25
busy carryig home forage - this Morng. the Light horse kill'd 3, wounded 2 & took 5 of the Rebels -
some Battalions moved further down on the Chester road to cover the Waggons below Darby Creek
... Xmass not intirely forgot"
Friday, 26 December 1777: "Genl. Gray with 7 or 8 Battns. moved down the Chester road as far as
the 10 Mile stone to cover the foragers, we returned in the Eveng to our Ground near the Blue Bell"
Saturday, 27 December 1777: "a good deal of rain last night but not cold, the day moderate & fair -
in the Eveng got orders to change our ground in order to shorten the line. We moved just across the
Creek at the Blue Bell and went down into the wood, but for want of Waggons or by some mistake
we did not get to our ground till near 10 OClock at night, when it was exceeding cold, with a sharp
NW wind & not a bit of shelter for the men / orders to be ready to move in the Morng"
Sunday, 28 December 1777: "it snow'd all last night & was very cold, - the Troops march'd in the
Morng. & after seeing all the Waggons over the Pontoon Bridge at Grays ferry the Bridge was taken
up, & the troops with their Guns came by the Bridge at Middle ferry & return'd to their respective
old ground at the lines [of redoubts above Philadelphia] - it snow'd all day & it was Eveng. before
we got home - a small party of Rebels [was] taken to day / Thus ended the long foraging party
which continued a Week, in which time it is suppos'd was carried into Town between 3 & 400 ton
of Hay every day, which makes above 2000 ton ..."
Monday, 29 December 1777: "cold NW [wind] & very keen frost ..." Willcox, Major Andre's
Journal, 72-73; Scull, Journals of Captain John Montresor, 480; Papers of Lt., later, Cpt., John
Peebles of the 42d. Foot ("The Black Watch"), 1776-1782; incl. 13 notebooks comprising his war
journal, book #4, pp. 40-44, Scottish Record Office, Edinburgh; Cunninghame of Thorntoun Papers
(GD 21)

The Valley Forge Camp in the Waning Days of 1777
Daily Concerns and General Orders:
25 December to 31 December 1777

1. Weedon, Valley Forge Orderly Book, 166-174.
2. Trussell, Birthplace of an Army, 18.

"I fancy we may ... Content ourselves in these Wigwams ...":
1 January to 19 March 1778

1. Trussell, Birthplace of an Army, 19-20. Ewing, Military Journal, 25-26. William Gifford to
Benjamin Holme, 24 January 1778, Revolutionary War Documents, New Jersey Historical Society.
Jacqueline Thibaut, "In the True Rustic Order: Material Aspects of the Valley Forge Encampment,
1777-1778," Valley Forge Historical Research Report, vol. III (Valley Forge, 1980), 24-35. 2.
William Gifford to Benjamin Holme, 24 January 1778, Revolutionary War Documents, New Jersey
Historical Society.
3. Ewing, Military Journal, 25-26.
4. Captain William Gifford wrote on 12 January 1778 that "Colonels Ogden and Martin with a
number of Other inferior officers of this Brigade have Resigned." As noted before, in the 2nd New
Jersey alone Captains Dillon, Maxwell and Yard had resigned in December of 1777. William

26
Gifford, 3rd New Jersey Regiment, to Benjamin Holme, New Jersey Historical Society.
5. Testimonial of the officers of the four New Jersey regiments, 8 March 1778, The Papers of the
Continental Congress 1774-1789, National Archives Microfilm Publications M247 (Washington,
DC, 1958), reel 51, 177-178 (hereafter cited as Papers of Congress, Natl. Archives).
5A. John U. Rees, ed., "'We ... wheeled to the Right to form the Line of Battle': Colonel Israel
Shreve's Journal of 1777," The Brigade Dispatch, XXII, 1 (Spring 1992), 10.; General orders, 20
August 1777, and Washington to Lord Stirling, 25 September 1777, Fitzpatrick, WGW, vol. 9
(1933), 149, 266.
6. Israel Shreve to Mary Shreve, 19 January 1778, Shreve Papers, Buxton, Israel Shreve to Mary
Shreve, 15 March 1778, Israel Shreve Papers, Alexander Library, Rutgers University (hereafter
cited as Shreve Papers, Rutgers); Rutgers also holds copies of the Israel Shreve Papers the
University of Houston collections.
7. Washington to Israel Shreve, 19 March 1778, Fitzpatrick, WGW, 11 (1934), 109-110. Tench
Tilghman to Alexander Scammell, Thursday, (12 or 19?) March 1778, Shreve Papers, Rutgers.
8. William Maxwell to Washington, from Whitemarsh, 9 December 1777; see also 1 December
1777 letter, Washington Papers, series 4, reel 45.
9. Mark M. Boatner, Encyclopedia of the American Revolution (New York: David McKay Co.,
Inc., 1966), 910-911 (hereafter cited as Boatner, Encyclopedia of the American Revolution).

Valley Forge in the First Months of 1778
Daily Concerns and General Orders: 1 January to 19 March 1778

Weedon, Valley Forge Orderly Book, 180-264.

"I Expect to be stationed in Jersey sometime...":
22 March to 1 April 1778

1. Howard H. Peckham, The Toll of Independence: Engagements & Battle Casualties of the
American Revolution (Chicago and London: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1974), 49. Boatner,
Encyclopedia of the American Revolution, 484. Elijah Hand to Fenton, 23 March 1778, Shreve
Papers, Rutgers (copy from Univ. of Houston collection).
2. Israel Shreve to Samuel Dick, colonel, Salem County Militia, 22 March 1778, Shreve Papers,
Rutgers.
3. William Livingston to Israel Shreve, 23 March 1778, Shreve Papers, Rutgers (copy from Univ.
of Houston collection).
4. Joseph Ellis, colonel Gloucester County militia, to William Livingston, from Haddonfield, 23
March 1778, Larry R. Gerlach, ed., New Jersey in the American Revolution, 1763-1783; A
Documentary History (Trenton: New Jersey Historical Commission, 1975)page 339-340. Joseph
Ellis to William Livingston, 22 March 1778 (the same document as the previous one cited in
Gerlach), Washington Papers, series 4, reel 48.
5. William Livingston to Washington, 23 March 1778, Washington Papers, series 4, reel 48.
6. William Y. Thompson, Israel Shreve: Revolutionary War Officer (Ruston, La.: McGinty
Trust Fund Publications, 1979), 37-38. Israel Shreve to Mary Shreve, 26 March 1778, Shreve

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Papers, Buxton.
7. Joseph Plumb Martin, Private Yankee Doodle: A Narrative of Some of the Adventures, Dangers
and Sufferings of a Revolutionary Soldier (New York, N.Y., 1962), 82. David Rhea to Israel
Shreve, 17 April 1778, Shreve Papers, Rutgers (copies from Univ. of Houston collection).
8. Israel Shreve to George Washington, 28 March 1778, Washington Papers, series 4, reel 48; the
two bracketed inserts ("his brother is a Capt: At Billingsport" and "with fifteen men") have been
taken from Rutgers transcription no. 202 (see citation below). Israel Shreve to Washington, 28
March 1778, from Haddonfield, Shreve Papers, Buxton.
9. Israel Shreve letter, undated, probably a draft of the 28 March 1778 letter to Washington, Shreve
Papers, Rutgers, transcription no. 202. Israel Shreve to George Washington, 1 April 1778, Shreve
Papers, Rutgers.
10. Washington to Israel Shreve, 4 April 1778, Fitzpatrick, WGW, 11 (1934), 209-210.

Mr. Karl S. Kabelac, Manuscripts Librarian, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections,
Rush Rhees Library, University of Rochester, kindly gave permission to publish the manuscript.
My thanks to Mr. Bob McDonald for bringing it to my attention and partnering in the transcription.
Revolutionary war diary, Fellows Papers, box 2, Department of Rare Books and Special
Collections, Rush Rhees Library, University of Rochester.

"having March.d from Middlebrook to Ash Swamp, where we lay till the 26.th June [1777] when
About 8 or 10,000 of the Enemy March.d out toward Short Hills, without any Troops to Oppose
them Except Genr.l Conways Brigade, | Genr.l Maxwells, on Intelligence of their Movement, was
Ordered to Attack them, Having March.d About two Miles, met with them, Post.d on the Heights &
the Greater Part of them Ambushcaded, their Number Unknown, till we had March.d Almost in the
Center of their Ambuscade, when we began a Heavy Fire, but Our inconsiderable Number and
Many Posts to Occupy Occasioned two Regts of the Brigade to be Detached with the Artillery to
another Post, where we Renew.d the Fire with great warmth but their Superiorites of Nos. Rushing
in upon us, in a Short time Oblig.d us to Retreat wth the loss of two Officers killed and About 60
Men kill.d & taken, the Division was again Collected in Abo.t 3 hours at Westfield, & [in] About
an hour Marched to [blank] between the Mount.ns the Enemy Advanc.g to W[est] F[iel].d where
[we] lay till the 1.st July, then March.d to W[est]:Field (the Enemy returning to A[m]boy) | the 2.d
went w.th Major [Thomas] Morrel [4th New Jersey] & Capt. And.rson [probably John Anderson,
4th Jersey Regiment] to see the Place of Action [of] 26.th June found the Grave of Lieut. [James]
Sproul [4th New Jersey] and Places of the death of Several m[ore] | the 4.th March.d to Morris Tn.o
and Encampt where we lay Some days. the 7.th was on Evidence in Tryall of some A[rtillery].
Of[ficer]. for the Loss of 2 Pieces [on] 26.th June | the 8.th July Rec.d Marching Orders | the 11.th
began our March in the Morning and March.d Abo.t 15 Miles and Encampt near Pompton w.th the
Grand Army, where we were Detained by bad Weather till the 15.th then March to RamaPaw and
Encamp.t that Evening being ab.t 11 M[i]les. the Next Morning March.d [8?] Miles to the Clove |
18.th Reviewed by Ld Sterl[in]g | 19.th Lt. Brakanrig [Samuel Brackenridge, 4th New Jersey]

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Restord to the Reg.t w.th Consent of the Officers. Refer to Letter B: | 20.th March.d with L.d
Ster[lin]g.s Division leaving baggage at P[eek]s Kill 24 Miles, where we lay some days. a Spy
Named Dan.l Corrain was hang.d [on the] 23.d | 24.th Receivd marching Orders | 25.th
F[riday].M[orning]. Embarked in Flatt bottomd boats at P[eeks].kill and Soon Landed at kings
Ferry and March.d to Cakaat. [Kakeat] | 26.th March.d at 3 in the Morning, thro Paramus and
Encampt that Night Near Pask. [Passaic] Falls dist.t 20 M[iles]. | 27.th S[unday]. March.d to
E[lizabeth].Tn.o 20 M[iles]. where we lay till Abo.t 1 O.Clock the 28th then March.d Abo.t 10
Mi[les]. and Encamp.t where we lay at Ash Swamp [on] 25th June, (the Enemy the Most of this
time at Sea) | the 29.th March.d to the [Forks?] of Raringt.n [Raritan River] and Encampt at 3 in the
Morning | 30th March.d Nigh Coryauls [Coryells Ferry] on the Delaware dist.d Ab.t 12 M[iles].
myself very Unwell | the 31.st Orderd on our March A[t] 10 OCk, Crossed the Delaware and
Encampt at the great Springs Ab.t 3 M[iles]. from the Ferey [Ingham Spring is still to be seen
beside Route 202, 2 miles south of New Hope, Pennsylvania] | July [actually August] the 1.st
March.d Ab.t 18 Miles & Encamp.t Nigh the [Crooked] billet | 2.d [August] March.d thro J.Tn.o
[Germantown] and Encamped at S[chuyl]:K[ill]: Falls | 3.d Rec.d Intelligence of the Fleett off the
Capes [of the Delaware Bay], the 4.th Disappeared, 6.th Rec.d M[archin].g Ord.rs | 7th Marchd to
Sandy Run, 8th. S[aturday; actually Friday]. | 9th Mar[ch].d to the X Roads [Crossroads, present-
day Hartsville, Pennsylvania] and Encamp.t | the 10.th & 11.th Continued | 12.th myself got Liberty
to go to Jersey on Comm.d After D[es]erters | 13.th Set out in the Morning w.th Capt. Wool
[possibly Isaiah Wool, 2nd Continental Artillery], being Provided with Horses, Arriv.d that day at
AllenTno. [Allentown, New Jersey] | 14.th Arriv.d home where Continued till 27.th then Set out
w.th Capt. Wool to Join then the Reg.t | 28.th Allens Tn.o | 29th C[oopers].F[erry]. | 30.th Joined
the Reg.t at Brandywine, | Septem[ber] 2.d the 1.st & 3.d Jersey Reg.ts Joined the 2.d & 4.th our
Light troops Under Command [of] G[eneral]. Maxwell below White Clay Creek [in Delaware]
Annoying the En[em].y who landed at the head of Elk. Abo.t the 5.th we Decamp.t and marched to
Red Clay Creek, Near New Port where we lay, (fortified) till the 8.th the Enemy Advancing went
out with a Scout of About 120 Men Under Com.d [of] M[ajor]: [Joseph] Bloomf[iel].d [3rd New
Jersey; Bloomfield wrote of taking out "Capts. Conway & Hollinshead, Gifford & Forman & 130
Men properly officered from the Jersey Brigade & 24 Cavalry;" John Conway, 1st New Jersey,
wounded at Germantown, apptd. major 4th N.J. 29 October 1777; John Hollinshead, 2nd New
Jersey; William Gifford, 3rd New Jersey, later wounded at Monmouth, captured at Elizabethtown
25 January 1780; Jonathan Forman, 4th New Jersey, probable author of this diary] | Our Army that
Night Decamping March.d to birmingham, took Possesion of the heights on the North Side [of]
B[ran]d.y Wine, the Ene.y on the South Side. [The] Scout Arriv.d at the Brigade [on the] 9.th in the
Evening. 10.th Packt up All Bagg[ag]e. | 11.th the En[em].y Advanced About 9 O.C[lock]. A.M.
And Attactt our Light Troops. Abo.t 1 O.C[lock]. P.M. they filed of[f] to the left, which
Occasioned Our Moving to the Rig[h]t w.th Genr.ls Sullivan, L.d Sterling & Stephens Divisions
but they having Crossed the Brandywine ford before Our Arrival, Advanced and Soon began a
Warm Action, which lasted Some time but thro some Means Our Right wing giving ground, let
them in on our flanks [ -- -- -- ] till they were Almost at Bayonet P[oin].ts but we were forc.d to
Retreat in Disorder, the En[em].yClosely Pursuing (but not without Opposition from Some troops)
till Dark, Our Army Collected the Next Morning (with the loss of About 1,200 K[illed] & T[aken],
the E[nem].y['s loss] S.d to be Abo.t 1900 K. & W.) at Chester. from thence Cross.d the Scuylkill

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and Encampt at the Falls. the Next day Marchd and Crosd the S[chuyl].kill ab.t 3 M[iles]. from the
Falls, Proceeded on the Lancaster Road 2 D[itto] | the 16th Sep.t Drawn up in line for battle Near
the White Horse [Tavern] on Advantagious Ground, Out Parties Skirmishing but a heavy Rain
Preventd [a] Genr.l Action Commencing, the Ene.y & Our Troops both Retiring, we lay that Night
in the heaviest and most Pertua [perpetual] Rain I Ever knew without Covering but the
H[eaven's].C[anop].y and boughs of Trees, the 17.th began Our March. Proc.dd to R[eading].
Furnace from thence we were Marchig up & Down the Sch[uyl]K[il]l. on the N[orth]S[ide]. to
Prevent the Enemy Crosing till toward the 20.th then Fallg down on Schkl Road, within Ab.t 16
M[iles]. [of] Ph[ila]d[el]p[hia] the En[em].y hav.g Poss[ess]ion -- having the J[ersey]. & the
P[ennsylvania].M[ilitia]. Joind us | the 3.d Octo.r March.d in the Night w.th the Whole Army in
Diffrent Colums to Surprize the E[nem].y at G[erman]Tno. Ab.t D[ay].Brk the 4.th the Front
L[ight].I[nfantry]. Division began the Attack being ["Con[wa]y.s" or "Cant.re"] Colum. Surprisd
and Routed the En[em].y Driv[in]g them from their baggage leaving Every thing behind, but a
heavy Fogg Join.d w.th the Smoak and some little blunders Preven[te].d their Total Defeat, we
Retiring to P.ki Omy [Perkiomen], from thence to N[orth].W[ales] from thence to the 30
M[ile].S[tone]. on Skipback R[oad]: | the 27.th [actually 22nd] Octob.r Ab.t 1500 men were
Detach.d over S[chuyl]:K[ill]. under Com.dd [of] M[ajor].G[eneral]. Mc.Dug.l [McDougall] to
Attack a Party of Hessians, but they Retiring on our Approch we Returned to Camp. w[h]ere
Continued till the 29.th then March.d to white M[arsh]. where we lay till the 5.th Dec.r Joind by
Part of the N[or]th.n Army. P[aterson's]. L[earned's]. G[lover's]. & V[arnum's]. Brgds, the E[nem].y
then Advancd to Ch[est].N[u]t. H[ill]. which kept us Under Arms 3 or 4 days, the E[nem].y
Retiring to Q[ua]rtrs. we Movd to Cross [the] S[chuyl].Kl. but were met by the E[nem].y und[er].
C[omman].d [of] Corn W[allis]. and did not Cross till the following night and Encamp.t at the Gulf
M[il]ls. | ab.t the 11.th [actually the 19th] M[arche].d Ab.t [5?] Miles and Encampt at
V[alley]:F[orge]: | 10th [actually 21st or 22nd] Dec.r the Division Sent on Comm.d below Radnor
Returned the last [of] Dec.r | 4.th Jan.y 78 began to build Hutts finishd ab.t the 15.th and Moved in
them, where Continued Till the 18.th Feb.y

Ab.t the 23.d May the 3 & 4 Reg[imen].t J[ersey].B[rigade]. Ordered to Jersey, [the] 1. & 2.d [New
Jersey regiments] being Allready there the E[nemy]. crossing from P[hiladelphia]: to J[ersey]:, the 3
& 4.th [regiments] Arriv.d in 4d[ays]. at [Mount] Holly from Cr[ossin].g myself then being
Deta[che].t on C[ommand]. with 1 O[fficer]. & 18 Men at the B. [perhaps bridge, possibly
Sullivan's bridge across the Schuylkill at Valley Forge] did not M[arch]. till 3d[ays]. A[fter] and
J[oine].d in 3 [days] att [Mount] H[olly]: where Continued Quiet | the 6.th June being Alarm.d in
the Night M[arch].d A[bou].t 8 M[iles]. to B[lack]H[orse]. but Returned to [Mount] H[olly]. the
Same Day. 7.th 8.th 9.th Quiet | 10.th on Duty Rec.d Intelligenc of L.d C[orn]:W[allis's]: Return,
Au.th[orized?]: Commiss[ione]rs. of the An.y [enemy, army?] | 11.th Nothing. 12.th [muster?]

Revolutionary war diary, Fellows Papers, box 2, Department of Rare Books and Special
Collections, Rush Rhees Library, University of Rochester.

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