“Marched at Day Break and fell in With the Rebels”

Anonymous British diary,
13 April 1777 to 26 September 1777

Transcribed by John U. Rees
© 2002

Notes for the Reader

April 13th. [1777] at Bunbrook [Boundbrook, New Jersey] Our Arnmy fell in With some of the Rebels and a fire soon Ensuied / kiled [100?] and took 74 prisoners with three Brass Guns one six
p[ounde]r. 2 three dito a Large quantity of Armanition and other War Like Stores

May th 10 [The Rebels] Actacted the 42 Rediment [regiment] Which soon Drove them back With a Considrabel Lost Which We se them Car[ry]ing of[f] in Wagings / [at] the same time the Second Brag[ad]e wass Ordered to ther Assistance but Could not Come With[in] Reach Only With their Canon / Our Lost wass 9 kild   21 Wounded / the same day [they] Actacted our Heasan Cheasuars [chasseurs] but Wass soon put to the Usial Rought [rout] after two houers Engagement and no Other part of our Troops Could Come to Our Assistance / the[y] Advanced again but soon Our Artilery began to play on both side [of] the Rebels and the Chessaurs advanced / We put them to A Total Rought Leaving behind them several Dead and Wounded. We had one man kiled.

th 23 [May] A Bridg Wass finished Which Reached from the End of Quine [Queen] Street [in New] Brunswick to the Other side [of] the Water Having 21 Arches.

th 26 [May] the first Battalion of Light Infintre [and] 2 Troops of Light Droogens [dragoons] Wass Rackinnting [i.e. reconnoitering] Near Bunbrook [and] fell in With a party of the Rebels Which Suckseded them in Number and oblged them to Retreat till shuch time as the gards Come up and ther guns then they soon tuck to the Woods / as Usal ther Lost We have Not know / We had one man sligtly Wounded and our brave General Grant Lost his horse by a Canon Shott from Under him. We have bening [been] Very Much Trubled for thess three Night past.

June the 13: at Night Our Granidears Light Inferity and the folloing Regims. 5th.. 33th.. 37th.. 42th.. 49th.. 52th.. [and] three Batalion of Heasians Marched from Brunswick to Mill Stone or Summerset Whear [they fell] in With a party of the Rebels Whear a [firing?] began all Round us but the greates part on the Left...On the 14 [June] a party Came on the Cheshars [Chasseurs] and as We hear by a Dragoon that Left them they Intended to Give us fear field [fearul] but as Soon as they Saw our Line and recived a fewe Shot they Rerculed [recoiled] to the Wood and fired Some time by Whiche they Wounded there [i.e. three] of the Cheshuars / the 19d. [June] our Army Retreated to Brunswick With our Boats and Stores / We had 9. Men kiled and 15. Wounded  7. taken Prisner

th 20d. [June] We had Orders to Send all Our Stores Provisions & Boats to Amboy With an Escot of 2d Regmts

th 22d [June] We had Orders to hould in Rediness to Mar[c]h the Next Mournind from Brunswick to Amboy / all the Army got into the Line of ma[r]ch at ten Oclock and as soon as We Left it the Rebels Advancd and fired some shoot [shot] but to No Purpose but on ther farther Advancing Our Light Infentre Made at them and drove them into the Woods and a Smirt fire began on bouth Sides / On our Infintry Advancing the[y] Saw 26 of the Rebels Lay dead on the ground. We had one kild 15. Wounded - - -

th 22d. [June] two Regts. the 27d & 23d. [and] three Batilons of Hesens [Hessians] Emba[r]ked in the flat Bots from Amboy to Straten Iland and to Encamp till farther Orders - -

the 26 [June] the Army Marched from Amboy to Whitefield [Westfield, New Jersey] and Part to Brunswick but near Whitefield fell in With A Party of the Rebels in a thick Wood / a Smirt fire insued By the Hessians and gards [Guards] Light Compn. Which put the [Rebels to] Retreat Leaving three Brass three po[u]n[de]r. [cannon] 100 Men kiled [and] 50 prisnrs / [at] the same time 26 [deserters] Joind us With ther arms

the 27 [June] We Retreted to Wood Bridg[e] on A Advantious Post With an intent to Drawe the Enemy of[f] the Mountins but to no purpose th 28 [June] Marched to Amboy

July 2th. [1777] Crosed over the River to Sratten Island / 3th. [July] March'd to Wards Cols ferry / th 4 [July] Arived / th 6 [July] Embarked the Cannon and Artilery Stors / th 7.8.9. [July] all the Army Embarcked in the Deferant Transports / Lay in the Stream till the 22 [of July] then fell Down to [Sandy] Hook th 23 Sate Sail for Sea - - -

Augst. 15d. [1777] Ancord at the Mouth of the River Chisipeck / 16d [August] ancord in the Bay / 17d. 18d 19d and 20d [August] Sailed up the Bay / 21d [August] Saw [Endlyries?] on Our Larbord side / 21d. 22d [August] Sailed up to the head of the Bay / Lay at Ancor that Night / 23d [August] early in the Morning Our flying Army Consisting [of] 2d Battalions of Light Infintery 2d Granadears 1d Gards and the Heasens Cheuras [Chasseurs] Embarcked from ther Ships In the flat Bottes and sailed up the River Under Convoy of the Roebuck and Midgelance [Vigilance?] and some Armd Vesels and Landed Without Uppeshion on Meriland In Verginey / the Boddy of the Army and the Heavy Stores Landed the Same day 27d [August] the Army Marched 12 Miles at Elktown Without aney Oppesion Sepr - - th 3 [1777] Our Army Consisting of the Light Infentry gradiers Conoal [Colonel] Morises Raingers and Heaseans Cheeuars Marched at Day Break and fell in With the Rebels At A Very strong pass at Iron hill and they Soon Retreated of[f] to the Woods Leaving ther dead and Wounded on the ground / they had Sixty kild Which was in the Woods Some days befoare they Were found by Information of Some Disarters / 2d [i.e. two] Light Companys of the 2d. Battalion Advanced three Miles of[f] from the picquett and Returnd the same Night With Oppesion / On the 7 [September] the Army [proceeded] through New Ark and two Small towns / Our March Consisted [of] 9. Miles that day the 8d. [September] formed the Line of march and sent the Baggi[g]e on Coverd by a Strond guard and the Army took posshion of the high Land and Lay on ther Arms all Night and Marched the Next Morning 5 Miles on to princes Square / We have mat With Littel Ussult [insult] this thre days March - - - -

Septmber the 11 the Army Marched from Iron hills to the hights of BrandyWine / the Army Marched in tow Coloms the Right Commanded by Genarel Niphousen the Left By Genarel howe / the Right had Several Attacts on ther March but the Left had but a fewe Shot fired / the Army In Genarl had A Very fortigen [fatiguing] march from Day Light till three OClock the Army being then Arived at Brandy Wine Crick / they Formd the Line Genl. Ny[p]hausen the Right Genl. Earl Cornwalls the Left Genl. Sr. Willm. Askin [Erskine] the Flying Army on the Left of the gra[n]d army. the Bregader Genarls Commanding ther Differnt Bregads in Station - - Soon after the Line Wass formed the Army Moved on to Wards the Hights on Which [the] Enemy Wass posted on. the first Line attacked Instantly [upon] Which the Enemy Advance Line gave Way / our army Still gained ground all tho they had great Advantig of Ground and ther Canon keep a Constant fire on us. Yet We Near Wass da[u]nted / they All Gave Way Leving 15 pices of Brass Canon 2 Iron dito - - 70 Waggons of Arminishon Bagish [baggage] and Provishons / 150 With Horses Complated At 4 Each for gun and Waggon But Night Came on and Brave Howe not knowing the Cuntery Wass Obliged to halt / that night the 12 [of September] Orders Wass Given for to Revew the ground to Beruie the dead and the Surgens to attend the Wounded. the Enemy had 502 dead in the field We had 39 beried the Next Morning. the Wounded In not as yet Asserted. We took 400 Prisners that Night and the Next day ... the 13 [September] Marched to Chester and on the Roade fell in With Several Out houses and Barns full of Wounded men Who tould us that If we keep on that Night We Should have put a total End to the Rebelion for ther genarel offisers was in Very Bad Spirits for the houl Depandance Wass on that Ground that they Wass posted on the 11 of Septr - - But finding the pass fortified at Chester on the 15 [of September] Ma[r]ched thro Hearstown Whear we found A furnes for Casting Canon Shut and Shills. Our March this day is on the Lancaster Road .. Whear we had but a fewe Shot Exchanged / the 17 [September] Marched to A Small town Caled the Vulev [?] 21 Miles from Philailpha. / the 18 [September] 1 Light [Battalion and] 2 Battalions of Grandr.. 1 dito Gards Marched to Scool Cull [River at Valley Forge] Whear they found A Large Store of flour Containing 6300 Barrils Shot Shils and Camp Equpage / Shot and Shils uncartin Camp kettals 640 Axes and Tomyhuks 7500 [and] A Large furnis for Casting Canon and Shot - -

th 20 [September] At Night the 2 Light Infentry th. 40 and 42 Regt. under the Command of Genl. Gray wass orderd to Supprise Genl. Weans Bregede that Wass Intended to Cut of[f] the Rear of our Army / they went to the Enemys Advance post at 12 OClock and past ther Sent[in]als into the Encampment Whear they Left but 200 out of 1200 that Wass on the March on the 23[?] goin to Join ther Army / they wass all kild With Sword and Banighe[bayonet] / We Joined the army In the Morning With 50 prisners all slightly Wounded Macking ther Escape in the woods / as We Returnd we had 2 kiled and 4 Wounded on On this Expedetion -

the 21 [September] the Army Joind at Scool Cull River - the 22 [September] the 2 Light Infentry on a Recnghting [reconnoitering] part[y] found A Powder Mill A Magzien and Some Armers Shops and Storehouses Which they Burnt and Distroid all that Came to hand With Stores of Provisions and Furage - -

Early in the Morning on the 23 the Army Crost the Scool Cull River and Marched on fir 12 Miles Without Aney Oppeshion and at the 15 Mile Run from Philal[del]pha they thought us to pass the River Whear they Made a Battry With 2/12 p[ounde]r. Iron and 4 Moar on three Differnt hills to Cover the Foard / the[y] Distroid the[m] that day / the next day we found Several Waggins of Armunetion they Wass in such hast[e] to Re[t]reat that they [did] Not take it With them - -

the 25th [September] We Marched to Jerman town and Beggertown the Graniders Marched On to Wards Philadelpha on the River Side and Lay 2 Miles from town that Night the 26 [September] Early In the Morning the Delawer Frigatt of 30 guns Attempt[ed] to pass In Order to Distroy the town but being Obsarved the Royal Artillery took three Meden [i.e. medium] 12 p[ounde]r. to the River Side and threy [i.e. threw] A fewe Shots throu her Which Ca[u]sed her to Strick. She Wass Borded by the 17th Graniders Company Which found 12 Men kild and 6 Wounded 305 Prisners of War / She fired Severl Shots to the town but to no Purpose for they fell all Short of the town - - -

She hath Sence bean Mand [manned] by Order of genl. Howe for A Pr[i]vater In the Britis Nave[y]. the Same day the Troops Took Poshion of the City Without the firing [of] a gun …

Source: British Account Ledger, at the end of which is appended "A Memmorandum List for 1777" (British diary, anonymous author), George Washington Papers, Presidential Papers Microfilm (Washington, D.C., 1961), series 6C, vol. I, reel 118. Photo images of the Account Ledger and Diary are available online; the diary starts at image 57.