Letter from an American officer concerning the Battle of Germantown, Pennsylvania [Extract as printed in the North-Carolina Gazette]
Volume 11, Pages 784-785
EXTRACT OF A LETTER FROM A GENERAL OFFICER.
[North Carolina Gazette October 31, 1777.]
Williamsburg, October 17.
On the 2d of this instant the plan laid for attacking the enemy, by surprise, was put in execution yesterday the 3d, upon the disposition following. We begun our march at six o'clock the evening before, with an intention to begin the attack at 5 next morning. Generals Sullavan's and Wayne's divisions formed the right wing, in order to attack the enemy's left; Generals Green's and Stephen's divisions to form the left wing, and attack the enemy's right; Gen. Conway's brigade to march in front of the troops that composed the right wing, and file off to attack the enemy's left flank; Gen. McDougall to march in front of the troops that composed the left wing, and to file off to attack the enemy's right flank; Generals Nash and Maxwell's Brigades to form a corps of reserve; Generals Smallwood's and Fenner's, with the Militia from Maryland and
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Jersey, to attack the enemy's right wing in flank and rear; General Armstrong's militia of Pennsylvanians to attack the enemy on their left flank & rear. The proper measures, previous to this enterprise, being concerted, we marched at the time mentioned, but having 14 miles to march, did not arrive so soon as we expected, so that it was near 6 in the morning of the 3d before the attack became general. The enemy's whole force was collected. We drove them two miles with considerable loss on their side. Our loss cannot be ascertained as yet; they have made some of our men prisoners. The loss of the enemy is uncertain, but believe they have suffered much, as we passed great numbers of them slain in the field. Our Army arrived here again last night, much fatigued, having marched all night and all day without halting refreshing; and am happy to find they have no objections to another trial, which must take place soon. The enemy were posted at GermanTown, and all their troops from Philadelphia were called up the evening before, which makes me think they got wind of our intentions, notwithstanding the precaution used to prevent it.