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TO JOHN AUGUSTINE WASHINGTON. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. VII (1778-1779) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890). Vol. VII (1778-1779).
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TO JOHN AUGUSTINE WASHINGTON.
Brunswic,in New Jersey, 4 July, 1778.
Your letter of the 20th ulto. came to my hands last night.
Before this will have reached you, the account of the battle of Monmouth will probably get to Virginia; which, from an unfortunate and bad beginning, turned out a glorious and happy day. The enemy evacuated Philadelphia on the 18th instant. At ten o’clock that day I got intelligence of it, and by two o’clock, or soon after, had six brigades on their march for the Jerseys, and followed with the whole army next morning. On the 21st we completed our passage over the Delaware at Coryell’s Ferry, (about thirty-three miles above Philadelphia,) and distant from Valley Forge near forty miles. From this ferry we moved down towards the enemy, and on the 27th got within six miles of them.
General Lee, having the command of the van of the army, consisting of full five thousand chosen men, was ordered to begin the attack next morning, so soon as the enemy began their march; to be supported by me; but, strange to tell! when he came up with the enemy, a retreat commenced; whether by his order, or from other causes, is now the subject of inquiry, and consequently improper to be descanted upon, as he is in arrest, and a court-martial sitting for trial of him. A retreat, however, was the fact, be the causes as they may; and the disorder arising from it would have proved fatal to the army, had not that bountiful Providence, which has never failed us in the hour of distress, enabled me to form a regiment or two (of those that were retreating) in the face of the enemy and under their fire; by which means a stand was made long enough (the place through which the enemy were pursuing being narrow, to form the troops, that were advancing upon an advantageous piece of ground in the rear. Here our affairs took a favorable turn, and, from being pursued, we drove the enemy back over the ground they had followed, and recovered the field of battle, and possessed ourselves of their dead. But as they retreated behind a morass very difficult to pass, and had both flanks secured with thick woods, it was found impracticable with our men, fainting with fatigue, heat, and want of water, to do any thing more that night. In the morning we expected to renew the action; when, behold, the enemy had stole off as silent as the grave in the night, after having sent away their wounded. Getting a night’s march of us, and having but ten miles to a strong post, it was judged inexpedient to follow them any further, but move towards the North River, lest they should have any design upon our posts there.
We buried 245 of their dead on the field of action; they buried several themselves, and many have been since found in the woods, where, during the action, they had drawn them to, and hid them. We have taken five officers and upwards of one hundred prisoners, but the amount of their wounded we have not learnt with any certainty; according to the common proportion of four or five to one, there should be at least a thousand or 1200. Without exaggeration, their trip through the Jerseys, in killed, wounded, prisoners, and deserters, has cost them at least 2000 men of their best troops. We had 60 men killed, 132 wounded, and about 130 missing, some of whom I suppose may yet come in. Among our slain officers is Major Dickinson and Captain Fauntleroy, two very valuable ones.
I observe what you say concerning voluntary enlistments, or rather your scheme for raising two thousand volunteers; and candidly own to you, I have no opinion of it. These measures only tend to burthen the public with a number of officers, without adding one jot to your strength, but greatly to confusion and disorder. If the several States would but fall upon some vigorous measures to fill up their respective regiments, nothing more need be asked of them. But while these are neglected, or in other words ineffectually and feebly attended to, and these succedaniums tried, you never can have an army to be depended upon.
The enemy’s whole force marched through the Jerseys, (that were able) excepting the regiment of Anspach, which, it is said, they were afraid to trust, and therefore sent them round to New York by water, along with the commissioners. I do not learn that they have received much of a reinforcement as yet; nor do I think they have much prospect of any worth speaking of, as I believe they stand very critically with respect to France. As the post waits, I shall only add my love to my sister and the family, and strong assurances of being, with the sincerest regard and love, your most affectionate brother.
Mr. Ballendine’s letter shall be sent to New York by the first flag. I am now moving on towards the North River.