"What is this you have been about to day?"
The New Jersey Brigade at the Battle of Monmouth

John U. Rees
© 2003


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“The whole army moved towards the Delaware …”
Continental Army March from Valley Forge to Englishtown, N.J., 18 to 27 June 1778


Henry Dearborn, lt. colonel, 3rd New Hampshire Regiment
Bernardus Swartout, gentleman volunteer, 2nd New York Regiment
Samuel Adams, surgeon, 3rd Continental Artillery
Joseph Clark, deputy quartermaster, Woodford’s Virginia Brigade
Paul Brigham, captain, 8th Connecticut Regiment
Jeremiah Greenman, sergeant, 2nd Rhode Island Regiment
Ebenezer Wild, sergeant, 1st Massachusetts Regiment

(NOTE: A forward slash ( / ) is used in some documents to delineate sentences where punctuation is missing in the original.)

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Henry Dearborn, lt. colonel, 3rd New Hampshire Regiment

“17 [June] we hear that the Enimy are Crossing the River over into the Jerseys -

18 this four noon we are Assured that the Enimy have Lift Philadelphia & our advanced Parties have taken Possession. Genrl. Lees Division is ordered to march Immediately for Corells ferry. At 3 O Clock we march.”

24th a Detatchment of 1500 Pick’d men was taken to Day from the army to be Commanded by Brigadier Genrl. Scot who are to act as Light Ingantry … Colo. Cilley & I am in one Regt. of the Light Infantry - Genrl. Scot march’d to Day towards the Enimy, who are at Allin Town … we march’d thro Prince Town & Proceeded 3 miles towards allin Town & Incamp’d     we have no Tents or baggage -

25th this morning we march.d within 5 miles of the Enimy - & Halted & Drew Provision. Sent a small Party of Horse to Reconoightir the Enimy. At 12 O Clock we ware Inform.d that the Enimy ware on their way to Monmouth Coart House. Which is Towards Sandy Hoock. Our main army is Near Prince Town, we are now Prepared to Harress the Enimy. Genrl. Scot 1500 men     Genrl. Maxwell    1000 Colo. Morgan 500 - Genrl. Dickerson 1000[New Jersey] Millitia; & 200 Horse. the above Detatchmts are on the Flanks and Rear of the Enimy … at 4 O Clock P:M we marchd to Allin Town & Incamp.d. - the Enimys Rear is 5 miles from us -

26th we march’d Early this Morning after the Enimy. The weather is Extreemly Hot, we are Obliged to march very Modirate … we are Join’d to Day by the Marquis De lefiette with a Detatchment of 1000 men. We advanced within three miles of the Enimy, & Incamp’d. the Enimy are about Monmouth Court House, on good Ground -

27th     we march.d Early this morning within one mile of the Enimy & ware ordered by an Express from Genrl. Washington to Counter March to where we Incamp’d Last night, & from thence to file off to English Town [page 126] (which Lay 7 miles on Our Left as we followed the Enimy) & their Join Genrl. Lee Who was there with 2000 men. the weather Remains Exceeding Hot & water is scarce     we ariv.d at English Town about the middle of the Day & Incamp’d. the Enimy Remain at Monmouth. Genrl. Washington with the Grand army Lays about 5 mile in our Rear. Deserters come in in Large numbers.6

(Note: The Dearborn Diary continues in Appendix F - Jump to there).

Bernardus Swartout, gentleman volunteer, 2nd New York Regiment

“24th June     A detachment was ordered out to act as light infantry to the army, the command was given to Majr General Lee, of which I was one - in the Brigade commanded by Gen. Scott & Regt: under Col. Cilley of New Hampshire - in the afternoon leave the main army and marched till very late at night, the halt in the woods three or four miles west of Princeton.

25th.     The Horn blowed (a substitute for a drum in the [light] Infantry corps) we marched about four miles - halted & put ourselves in a fighting position - the enemy were close by - we moved to Allenstown and halted for the day.

26th.     At the sound of the horn we marched eight miles and halted, owing to a heavy shower of rain which lasted some time - After it abated marched two miles and halted in a wood.

27th.     Early this morning, at the sound of the horn we marched three miles and were ordered back to our old ground, then filed off in a bye road, on the left flank of the enemy - marched within one mile of English Town and made brush huts.5

(Note: The Swartwout Diary continues in Appendix F - Jump to there).

Joseph Clark, deputy quartermaster, Woodford’s Virginia Brigade

“... the army removed from their huts [at Valley Forge] the 10th of June, and encamped [in] front of our old ground in clear fields ... About this time we got word of the arrival of the Commissioners, as they sent despatches to Congress and to Head Quarters, and matters were now seemingly pretty quiet, waiting, as we supposed, the result of a conference, by persons appointed [by Congress], with the Commissioners.

Thursday, June 18th, the enemy moved very early out of the city, and crossed the Delaware at Cooper's Ferry. ... Same day Gen'l Lee was detached with Hunterdon's, Poor's, and Varnum's brigades, and moved at 3 o'clock towards the Delaware. Gen'l Wayne's division and late Conway's brigade moved at 5 o'clock, the same course. Next morning the whole army moved towards the Delaware, and the rear crossed. Monday morning, June 22d, the whole army encamped near the new meeting house, having got word that the enemy were moving toward Trenton, the army marched next morning towards them, and encamped at Hopewell, the enemy having altered their route towards Monmouth. Thursday, 25th, they marched to Kingston; next day [26 June] to Cranberry; next day [27 June] to English Town.”3

Captain Paul Brigham, 8th Connecticut Regiment

“on ye 18th [June 1778] ... G[eneral] Lees Devision marchd 4 or 5 miles and Encamped

on ye 19th ... Came up with the Brigade about 2 o'Clock the whole Devision Pitched Tents Something Rainy Towards night

on ye 20th Struk Tents at 3 o'Clok this morn and marched and Crosses ... the Delaware at Carrels [Ferry] marchd about 3 or 4 miles Piche Tents

on ye 21th Struck Tents at 3 Clock begand our march But Soon had orders to Turn Back and incamped on our old Ground His Excellency Crossed the River yesterday

on 22d the Enemy [at] mount Holly [New Jersey] yesterday Rainy night ...

on 23d marched Early for Princes town [New Jersey] Stopd short about 6 miles the army Took Different Routes. acounts warn that the Enemy Ware Between Trent[on] & Bourden town [New Jersey] our army Lay Still this night

on ye 24th Lay Still this morn and our Baggage Came ... heard that the Enemy had filed of[f] to the Right and ware making their way towards Woodbridge

on the 25th marched and Left Princetown on our Right made a halt at Kingstown the Marqus [Lafayette] and G[eneral] Waine went out with a Detachment - Exceeding hot this Day Lay out all This night marched Early in the morn

on ye 26 Exceeding hot this Day Som Thunder and Rain. By the Best Inteligence the Enemy are makeing their way to the Hook [Sandy Hook] | Woodfords and Varnums Brigades Began their march towards Munmouth marchd 5 or 6 miles Lay out in an [orchard] on Ground Slept Very well with only my Great Coat

on ye 27th Began our march a Little Before Sunrise on this march we suffer much for Water to Drink Came within about 6 miles of the Enimy where we spent the Rest of the Day Exceeding Sharp Thunder and Liting and Som Rain at night ...”4

Surgeon Samuel Adams, 3rd Continental Artillery

“18th Th: fair & very hot - the enemy this morning left Philadelphia, crossed the Delaware into N. Jersey & our Army recd. orders to March ...

19th F: Cloudy some rain - our whole Army marched from their camp at the Valley towards Coryells ferry ...

20th S: very rainey P.M. - the Army encamped at Night near Doyle's Town in Bucks County ...

21st Sabb: Cloudy very hot - part of the Army crossed the Delaware at Coryells Ferry ...

22nd M: Cloudy some rain - the remainder of the Army crossed the Ferry ...

23rd T: Cloudy - the Army marched on to Hopewell left our Tents & heavy baggage in the rear & slept the Night in an Ammunition waggon.

24th W: fair - the Army remained in [?] except a Detachment of light troops sent off under Genl. Scott - I rode over to Prince Town & returned ...

25th Th: fair & hot - the Army Marched on halted at Kingstown from 12 o'clock till sunsett, then marched again halted about 12 at Night at a place called Long Bridge - this day a large detachment sent forward under the command of the Marquis de la Fayette ...

26th F: fair & light showers with thunder - the Army proceeded on to Cranbury - a detachment sent off under Gen'l Lee ...

27th S: fair and excessive hot! - we marched in the morning to Penelopon's Creek. The detachments that had been sent off halted this night at English Town 4 miles in front of the Main Army.”1

(Note: The Adams Diary continues in Appendix F - Jump to there).

Sergeant Jeremiah Greenman, 2nd Rhode Island Regiment

“T 18. [June 1778] ... last night about twelve oClock att the beet of the Genl. struck our tents / marcht about 4 milds & incampt in a large field

F 19. this morn att the beet of the Genl struck our tents / marcht fore or five milds / Stopd a few moments then pushed on as far as Newbriton ware we halted about one oClock & piched our tents in a larg field ware we taried all day.

S 20. this morn the genl beet att two oClock / we Struck our tents / marcht about 7 milds & made a halt at a small town cal'd green town / then pushed on in the rain / Crost the dilliware / pushed on about 5 milds to Amwell ware we piched our tents in a field ...

S 21. this morn att the beet of the Genl struck our tents. march about a mild then was order'd to march back in to the field ware we incampt ware we continued all day. Exspecting Genl. Washington to cros the dilliware. very hott whether. order'd to be in readyness for to march in the morn.

M 22. Continuing in amwell / wraining wether / Genl Washington crost the river with a large Number of troops /

T 23. this morn started from amwell / the hole army marcht toward prince town / marcht about ten milds & stopt [at] hopewill. then the Rijmts marcht off / Left part of our division on the Ground wich was command'd by Genl Lee / then we marcht in to a field ware we fixed our arms, & lay on the the Ground in the field / misty wraining wether.

W 24. this morn thare was a detachtmt of 5 thousan men sent toward the enemy / Continuing in hope will / holding our Selvs in readyness for to march ...

T 25. this morn the Genl. beet / we peraded the Rijt. & slung our packs marcht as far as rockey hill ware made a small halt / then pushed on as far as kingstown ware we made a halt and sent out a large guard. very hot & sultry wether / we have Intiligence of the enemy being about fourteen milds off & the Militia clost [close] after them ... att Sun down marcht into a field ware we grounded our arms & order'd to stay by them ware we stayed about half a Nowr / then marcht 5 milds and halted in a flax field at a place cal'd long Bridge.

F 26. this morn started very early / pushed on 6 milds as far as a small town cal'd Crambury ware we made a halt ware we heard of the enemy being about 18 milds a head & the enemy a pushing on for Sandy hook. hear we stayed three owers & drawed sum provision / our Division was order'd forrid [forward] under the Command of Genl Lee / went about 6 milds & made a halt / Sum very heavy Shower of wrain & Thundr.

S 27. this morn turn'd out from amung the wett grass. from [illeg.] pushed on 6 milds near Englishtown ware we draw'd 40 rounds of Cartireges / then marcht into the wood ware we heard a Number of Cannon fir'd toward the Surthurd of us / then we march'd about half a mild to the left of the army ware we stopt a Nower / then we ware order'd to sling our packs / we marcht half a mild into a Medow almost to the wright whare I took quarts. under a huckel bury buch. for it was very hot indeed / in the Night it wrain'd & cold....”2

(Note: The Greenman Diary continues in Appendix F - Jump to there).

Sergeant Ebenezer Wild, 1st Massachusetts Regiment

“21 June. [1778] About 9 o’clk it ceased raining.  We struck our tents & fell in & were counted off in order to march.  About 11 o’clk we marched off, and made no halt till we got within about a quarter of a mile of the Dilewear [Delaware], where we pitched our tents on an eminence’ and we had orders to be ready to cross the ferry tomorrow morning at 4 o’clk.

22 June.  At 5 o’clk the General was beat. We struck our tents and loaded our baggage.  Between 6 & 7 o’clk we fell in & were counted off in order to march.  About 8 o’clk we marched down to the ferry & crossed.  We marched about a mile and a half in the Jerseys, and made a halt there till about 1 o’clk.  Then we marched about 2 miles further, where we came up with Genl Lee’s Division and encamped in a field.

23 June. This morning at 5 o’clk the General was beat, & we turned out & got ready to march.  About 7 o’clk we marched off, but left all our tents standing & our heavy baggage behind us.  We marched about 10 miles, & halted on the road about 4 hours, & turned into a field to cook provision, & had orders to march at 11 o’clk at night.  Our tents did not come up this night, but what little time we had to sleep we slept in the open field, which was only from 11 o’clk at night till 4 in the morning.   The reason we did not march at 11 o’clk was because we could not get provision till late.

24 June.  This morning at 4 o’clk the General was beat.  We got up, fell in & were counted off in order to march, but we did not.  Our tents came up to us, & we pitched them on the field, where we lay all night.  We had no orders to march this day, but slept very quietly in our tents all day.

25 June.  This morning at 5 o’clk the General was beat throughout the whole army; at 6 o’clk the Troop beat. We fell in & were counted off in order to march.  We left all our tents standing & our heavy baggage behind us.  We marched off, and making several short stops on the road to rest we arrived at Kingstown between 12 & 1 o’clk.  We marched into a large field there and made a halt, it being very hot weather.  Just after we halted we sent out a large detachment, to see if they could make any discovery of the enemy, under the command of the Markis Delefiat [Marquis de Lafayette].  About sundown we moved ahead about a quarter of a mile further, into a field where we expected to take up our lodgings for the night.  But we had not been here above a quarter of an hour before the long roll beat.  We fell in to our arms and marched about 5 miles, and halted in the road all night.

26 June.  At 5 o’clk we fell in to our arms & were counted off in order to march.  About half after --- o’clk we began our march and marched about 5 miles, and halted in the road & drew two days allowance of pork & flour.  We cooked our provision.  Between 4 & 5 o’clk we began our march again, but we had not got but a very short way before it began to rain, which caused us to stop.  It held raining above an hour successively, and was attended with very heavy thunder and sharp lightning.  It being late when it stopped raining, we took our lodgings in the road without anything to cover us, or any thing to lodge on but the wet ground, & we in a very wet condition.

27 June.  This morning at 5 o’clk the General beat.  We got up * fell in to our arms and were counted off in order to march.  We drew a gill of whiskey a man, and about 7 o’clk we began our march, and marched about 4 miles & stopped in the road to rest and get water.  After stopping about a half an hour we marched again about a mile further, and it being excessive hot, we halted again.  I expected we should go further but we stopped here all day.  We had no orders for marching at sundown.  I had the flank guard while we marched this day.  We lay in the open field.  Hard thunder, &c. &c. 7

(Note: The Wild Diary continues in Appendix F - Jump to there).


1. "Samuel Adams's Private Miscellaneous Diary Ann: Dom: 1778. Kept partly in the Town of Dorchester and partly in his Excellency General Washington's Camp at Valley Forge, White Plains, Fredericksburgh, &c ...," Samuel Adams Diaries, Manuscript Division, New York Public Library.

2. 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), 120-124.

3. "Diary of Joseph Clark, Attached to the Continental Army," May 1777 to November 1778, Proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society, vol. 7 (1854), 105-107.

4. Edward A. Hoyt, ed., "A Revolutionary Diary of Captain Paul Brigham November 19, 1777-September 4, 1778," Vermont History, vol. 34 (1966), 25-30.

5. Diary of Bernardus Swartout, 2nd New York Regiment, 10 November 1777-9 June 1783, Bernardus Swartout Papers, New-York Historical Society, 4-6.

6. Lloyd A. Brown and Howard H. Peckham, eds., Revolutionary War Journals of Henry Dearborn, 1775-1783 (Chicago: The Caxton Club, 1939; reprinted Bowie, Md.: Heritage Books, Inc., 1994), 123-129.

7. Ebenezer Wild, "Journal of Ebenezer Wild," Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 2nd series, vol. VI (Boston, Ma., 1891), 108-111.

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Appendix C