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As I did not hear from you this morning, and being prepared to embark, I concluded you were still on this side, and therefore embarked, and landed about fifteen hundred men about two miles above Bristol. After a considerable number were landed, I had information from the Paymaster of Colonel Hitchcock's brigade, that you had crossed over from Trenton. This defeated the scheme of joining your army. We were much embarrassed which way to proceed. I thought it most prudent to retreat; but Colonel Reed was of opinion that we might safely proceed to Burlington, and recommended it warmly, lest it should have a bad effect on the militia, who were twice disappointed. The landing in open day light must have alarmed the enemy, and we might have been cut off by all their force collected to this place. We had intelligence, immediately afterward, that the enemy had left the Black Horse and Mount Holley. Upon this we determined to proceed to Burlington.
Colonel Reed and two other officers went on, from one point to another, till they came to Bordentown, where they found the coast clear. Colonel Reed and Colonel Coxe are now there, and we shall march, at four to-morrow morning, for that place. This information has induced me to proceed, though not quite conformable to your orders, which I received on the march this afternoon. If you should think proper to cross over, it may be easily effected at the place where we passed. A pursuit would keep up the panic.
They went off with great precipitation, and pressed all the wagons in their reach. I am told many of them are gone to South Amboy. If we can drive them from West Jersey, the success will raise an army by next spring, and establish the credit of the Continental money to support it. I shall write to-morrow, I hope, from Trenton. I am, Sir,
Your most obedient, very humble servant,
P. S. I have two six-pounders, brass, and two three-pounders, iron.
- John Cadwalader
- Correspondence of the American Revolution; Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, Volume I., Jared Sparks, 1853