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1781, March Date, Sunday, Aug. 26th, Day 71

From Homestead Headquarters

Greetings all, I wish you all the joy of the day. Tis been a tryin' time of late, what with trying to get the entire Army across the North River. It has taken two days, since last I wrote to you, to get the French Army across, and the Americans were at it for about 6 days, so has been said.

As I said earlier, both Generals Washington, and Rochambeau, took a vist to West Point, and we all figure that is where the headquarters will be for the action against the Brits, here in New York. We are sure that Clinton knows what we are about and must be making plans to deal with us, shortly. I suspect he thinks that the British Army and Fleet, can handle any eventuallity here in New York. He knows not that the French Admiral De Grasse has posted his fleet in the Chesapeake.

We were camping in Haverstraw and New Antrim the last couple of days, getting ready for what we know not. The General Rochambeau seems to have takin' lodging at John Suffern's New Antrim tavern.

Tis confusin' when we don't really know here we are going. Perhaps we will just be laying about the Town of New York and start the long awaited seige. But, we still see no siege guns, and Duportail, as I recall, spoke ill of the idea of trying to accomplish a siege here.... we are a bit flumoxed at the moment. Hmmmm, I was wondering, if De Barras took the seige guns from Newport, with him to the Chesapeake..........No, that can't be. Why would the Generals march an Army, in the heat of the summer, that far?? But we see no siege guns here...?? Even I can see that. Of course, we are but the Soldiers, not the decision makers.

But, a bit of real goods news has just come through the Camp. It seems that General Washington ordered the Light Companies into action, yesterday. They moved in a heavy force from Kakiat, NY to Paramus, NJ. We think that perhaps we might be making an attack at Staten Island. The force later on moved to Sandy Hook, seems like a feint to me, as we have no Fleet to connect with there. What can be going on in the mind of the good Generals?

At the same time, the American baggage train was moving from Kakiat, NY to New Antrim, NY, and was being escorted by a Regiment from Rhode Island. We have just found out which American forces are moving with Washington. It seems that there are some 2,500 troops made up of the following.......... two Regiments from the New Jersey Continentals, the First New York Continentals, Colonol Hazen's Regiment of Canadians, the Rhode Island Continentals under the command of Colonel Ulney, Colonel Lambs Regiment of New York Artillary, and finally, Colonel Scammel's Light Troops from New Hampshire....

We have moved on to Pompton today and look forward to moving on to Whippany, NJ on the morrow.....

The troops are restless, still hoping to tangle with the Brits here in New York, but tis now difficult to see just what the Generals have in store for us.... as always, it seems to take so long for word to get about the camps as well as to the far-flung units spotted here and there. We have not heard much from the Virginias in a week or so, now. We know not what transpires there..... of course, we hope that the French Admirals De Barras and De Grasse, along with the Troops of Wayne and Lafayette, can make short work of Corny. (Gen. Cornwallis, of course) But even so, it seems that Corny and his troops, by my count, outnumber all of them, and Clinton out-numbers us here, as well. It seems to be that way everywhere. Out-numbered both here and in the Virginia's, so, what to do....???

Most of our canvas seems to be dry again, and the horse teams are fresh and seemingly well fed. The Army? Well, the Army is anxious, again the not-knowing what shall be next..... perhaps we will know on the morrow. We3 trust the commanders but we still are a-wonderin', what, where, when...???

I Remain,
At Your Service,
Richard Swartwout
For, 'AMtY'
At Homestead Headquarters