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Knox, Henry (1750-1806) to William Knox

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.00714 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: New Brunswick, New Jersey Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 3 July 1778 Pagination: 4 p. : docket ; 32.1 x 19.3 cm.

Relates that the British are moving toward Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Reports the details of the Battle of Monmouth, mentioning Generals Charles Lee and George Washington. Writes, "The Corps of Artillery have their full proportion of the Glory of the day. His Excellency the General has done them & me the honor to notice us in General orders in very pointed & flattering terms.- Indeed I was highly delighted with their coolness, bravery, and good Conduct." Estimates the British have lost a thousand men between the Battle of Monmouth and other skirmishes.

Camp Brunswick 3d July 1778
My dear Brother
I wrote you last week from Hopewell Township in this State, informing you of the relative movements of both Armies and the probability of their coming into contact with each other. We made several moves forward from that time while the Enemy inclind more to their right than we expected and took the road to Sandy Hook instead of the suppos'd one to South-Amboy
A body of Jersey Militia amounting to near two thousand had endevor'd to retard them by taking up the bridges, felling trees, and harrasing their flanks and rear. besides these his Excellency General Washington had detach'd several large bodies for the same purpose all of which except Colo Morgan were on the 20th ultimo united under the Command of General Lee who early on that morning advanc'd to Monmouth Court House with the intention of attacking the Covering party, or left flank [struck: or rear]. The army under His Excellency General Washington moving on at the same time to support him, altho it [was some trails] in the rear -
The parties under General Lee [2] Lee instead of finding a Covering party as was expected, found the whole army or the greater part of it, after some manoeuvring, Cannonading & some other circumstances which are not yet sufficiently explaind it was thought proper by Genl Lee to retire untill it met the main army which it effected without much loss at about two miles distance in the [h]ear. The Army was drawn up on advantageous grounds to receive the Enemy who advancd to the attack with Considerable impetuosity and began a brisk Cannonade which was return'd with becoming spirit. This was about half past nine AM and the Cannonade lasted untill about Six in the Evening.
The Action of the Musketing was various and with intermissions untill about six oClock when ours push'd the Enemy off the field. They retreated about one mile and took [strikeout] post on a strong piece of Ground having amorass in front and on both flanks. - To dispossess them of this requird a particular disposition which the [struck: night] darkness of night coming on too soon prevented being executed In [3] In the night they abandoned this post & retreated with great precipitation towards Sandy Hook leaving a considerable number of wounded officers and soldiers in our hands. We buried about three hundred of the Enemy in the field of action among whom was Colo Monckton of the Grenadiers and [struck: among] [inserted: a number] of other officers. Their whole loss may amount to about 11 or 1200 kill'd wounded and taken prisoners on this day. The [struck: day] weather was extremely hot & we had much business on hand.
The Corps of Artillery have their full proportion of the Glory of the day. His Excellency the General has done them & me the honor to notice us in General orders in very pointed & flattering terms. Indeed I was highly delighted with their Coolness, bravery, and good Conduct
The effects of the battle of Monmouth will be great and lasting. It will convince the Enemy and the World that nothing but a good constitution is wanting to make us as good [as] [4] [an Any] whatever.
Besides the kill'd and wounded of the Enemy on the 28th and many little skirmishes, the Enemy have lost a full thousand by desertion since they left Philadelphia. They are now embarking at Sandy Hook and sailing for New York.
I am dear Brother
Yours HKnox
General Knox
Brunswick July 3

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