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Old correspondence found by Tyreen Reuter
Extract of a letter from Matouchin, April 22, 1783, The Pennsylvania Gazette:
"The night before last a party of sixteen men of Col. Cooke regiment, under the command of Lieut. McCabe, attacked a piquet guard at Bonum town, drove it in, killed one man, and wounded two, who were left on the field; the enemy were soon reinforced, but our party kept up their fire, and maintained their ground until day break, and then made a regular retreat. Last night another party, under the command of Lieut. Lodge, attacked the same piquet (their centries being doubled) and were soon reinforced by a party under Lieut. McCabe; we drove them in a second time, and it is thought with some loss on their side: Our party sustained no damage, we kept the whole force in Bonum town under arms all night with thirty two men."
December 20, 1777
The Pennsylvania Gazette
From the LONDON GAZETTE, August 23.
Whitehall, August 22, 1777.
Copy of a letter from the Hon. Gen. Sir William Howe to Lord George Germaine.
New York, July 5, 1777.
HAVING established a corps sufficient for the defence of Amboy, the army assembled at Brunswick on the 12th of June.
The enemyprincipal force being encamped upon the mountain above Quibbletown, with a corps of 2000 men at Princeton, it was thought advisable to make a movement, in two columns, from Brunswick, on the 14th in the morning, leaving Brigadier General Matthew with 2000 men to guard that post. The first division, under the command of Lord Cornwallis, advanced to Hillsborough, and the second to Middle Bush, under the command of Lieut. Gen. De Heister, with a view of drawing on an action, if the enemy should remove from the mountain towards the Delaware; but on finding their intention to keep a position which it would not have been prudent to attack, I determined without loss of time to pursue the principal objects of the campaign, by withdrawing the army from Jersey; and in consequence of this determination returned to the camp at Brunswick on the 19th, and marched from thence to Amboy on the 22d, intending to cross to State Island, from whence the embarkation was to take place.
Upon quitting the camp at Brunswick, the enemy brought a few troops forward with two or three pieces of cannon, which they fired at the utmost range, without the least execution, or any return from us; they also pushed some battalions into the woods to harrass the rear where Lord Cornwallis commanded, who soon dispersed them, with the loss of only two men killed and thirteen wounded; the enemy having nine killed and about thirty wounded.
The necessary preparations being finished for crossing the troops to State Island, intelligence was received that the enemy has moved down from the mountain, and taken post at Quibbletown, intending, as it was given out, to attack the rear of the army removing from Amboy; that two corps had also advanced to their left, --- one of 3000 men and 8 pieces of cannon, under the command of Lord Stirling, Generals Maxwell and Conway, the last said to be a Captain in the French service, --- the other corps consisted of about 700 men, with only one piece of cannon.
In this situation of the enemy, it was judged adviseable to make a movement that might lead on to an attack, which was done the 26th in the morning in two columns; the right under the command of Lord Cornwallis, with Major Gen. Grant, Brigadiers Mathew and Leslie, and Col. Donop, took the route by Woodbridge towards Scotch Plains: The left column, where I was, with Major Generals Sterne, Vaughan, and Grey, Brigadiers Cleveland and Agnew, marched by Metuchin Meeting house, to join the rear of the right column in the road from thence to Scotch Plains, intending to have taken separate routes about two miles after the junction, in order to have attacked the enemyleft flank at Quibbletown. Four battalions were detached in the morning, with six pieces of cannon, to take post at Bonhamtown.
The right column, having fallen in with the aforementioned corps of 700 men soon after passing Woodbridge, gave the alarm, by the firing that ensued, to their main army at Quibbletown, which retired to the mountain with the utmost precipitation. The small corps was closely pushed by the light troops, and with difficulty got off their piece of cannon.
Lord Cornwallis, soon after he was upon the road leading to Scotch Plains from Metuchin meeting house, came up with the corps commanded by Lord Stirling, who he found advantageously posted in a country much covered with wood, and his artillery well disposed. The Kingtroops, vying with each other upon this occasion, pressed forward to such close action, that the enemy, though inclined to resist, could not long maintain their ground against so great impetuosity, but were dispersed on all sides, leaving behind three pieces of brass ordnance, three captains, and sixty men killed, and upwards of two hundred officers and men wounded and taken.
His Lordship had five men killed, and thirty wounded. Captain Finch, of the light company of the guards, was the only officer who suffered, and to my great concern the wound be received proving mortal, he died the 29th of June as Amboy.
The troops engaged in this action, were the 1st light infantry, 1st British grenadiers, 1st 2d and 3d Hessian grenadiers, 1st battalion of guards, Hessian chaffeurs, and the Queenrangers. I take the liberty of particularising the corps, as Lord Cornwallis, in his report to me, so highly extols their merit and ardour upon this attack. - One piece of cannon was taken by the guards, the other two by Col. Mingerodebattalion of Hessian grenadiers.
The enemy was pursued as far as Westfield, with little effect, the day proving so intensely hot that the soldiers could with difficulty continue their march thither; in the mean time, it gave opportunity for those flying to escape, by sculking in the thick woods, until night favoured their retreat to the mountain.
The army lay that night at Westfield, returned the next day to Raway, and the day following to Amboy. On the 30th, at ten oin the forenoon, the troops began to cross over to Staten Island, and the rear guard, under the command of Lord Cornwallis, passed at two in the afternoon, without the least appearance of an enemy.
The embarkation of the troops is proceeding with the utmost dispatch, and I shall have the honour of sending your Lordship further information, as soon as the troops are landed at the place of their destination.
With the most perfect respect, I have the honour to be your Lordshipmost faithful and most obedient servant,
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Lasted updated 02/02/03 by Jim Halpin.