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1781, March Date, Thursday, Aug. 24, day 69

Greetings friends, from Homestead Headquarters.......

It has been days of work, march, work, march, work, march..... When last I had the time to write to you, we were just leaving camp, in Philipsburg, NY, some days ago. The Americans went one way...and we, with the French, went in another direction, to New Castle. We gather it is to form a strike against the British here in New York.

We have spent the last two days camped near Verplank, along the North River. The march has been steady going, after the first day of very heavy rains. The Troop is in high spirits, as we move along. the talk among the men is high spirited, awaiing the word for some action against the British.

Some more word has been coming down out of Officer Country, not official of course, but it seems that word had gone back to Newport, to Admiral de Barras, to set sail from Newport, and to go to the Chesapeake to join up with Admiral de Grasse, there. Looks like the French are pretty serious about getting Corny (Gen. Cornwallis) down there. We hope that is as it shall be, so that they can then come back to New York and help us with the action here. With the combined French fleet, and the combined Amewrican/French army, it sems we would be a fair match against Gn. Clinton here.

But a more interesting piece of news is that the map makers have been sent south, by General Washington. None of us has any idea why... south? My goodness, what must that mean? I would think we need the map makers here, and the engineers, to help with the New York seige. Seems they left some days ago, but we are just now hearing about it, again, of course, unofficially. While the 'word' does semto travel through the Army, it is never 'official', all rumors at best. But the rumors, as any soldier can tell you, are usually accurate, we just can't seem to make head nor tails of all that we are hearing, we are just moving about New York. There is no doubt the the Brits know exactly what we are up to. they would have to be asleep, or dear, to miss the fact that the entire combined army is on the move. I suspect they are still quite confident of their defenses. For sure we have yet to be able to breach their line, anywhere. The Americans have started to cross the North River, some days ago, on the 20th., landing at Stony Point, the place of that famous, American, night time bayonet attack, some years ago. T'was that Mad Anthony Wayne leading that attack , in revenge for the similar British, under 'no flint' Grey, in Pennsylvania. The Americans are still crossing over, and have been for some days now.

We heard that yesterday, on the 23rd August, both Washington and Rochambeau visited the fortress at West Pint. We thinks that perhaps it will become the new headquarters in the action about the Town of New York. We have started to cross the great river, mostly in two large ferry boats, and a fine and small, varied fleet of flat boats and sailing craft......but once across, then what?

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