Transcription: Letter: Philemon Dickinson
to George Washington, December 24, 1776
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Yardley's Farm 24th Dec 1776
I have this moment dispatched a proper Person over the river to make the following inquires/ & to return tomorrow morning at which time a Home will be provided for him, to wait upon your Excellency, with such information as he may obtain. Viz: what guards are posted upon the different roads leading to Trenton, the number on the Mill Bridge, where the cannon lay, what number; to ascertain the numbers of the Enemy in Trenton, & whether any reinforcements have lately arrived, or any (?);) only a (..?) and such intelligence as he can profitably procure.
By a Person just returned from Jersey, I am informed that a certain Major Combes whom your Excellency lately (? relieved) went immediately to Amboy, has since returned & now acts as Commissary to Genl Howe at Pennytown, where he is giving out a large quantity of Continental Pork, to the Poor & protected Inhabitants of that State; The Person who gives this Information, made application for some Pork, but was refused, because he had not taken Protection.
I am also informed that the number of the Enemy now in Trenton, amounts to 2,000 men, all Hessians, caught a few British (?...?) _______I have order'd a Capt & 21 men to Genl Steven's Quarters, agreeable to Genl Green's request , there to wait your Excellency's Order. _The (?) Capt Mott with few others now wait upon my Lord Sterling, to give him some Information about certain (?...?) agreeable to his Lordships requests; - Capt Mott is a man that my be relied upon in every respect. ______I am extremely sorry for the occasion of my absence at present, have been detained till near (?...?) the above orders, hope to meet with my mother in Philadelphia & to return immediately.
I have the honor to be
A Man from Jersey this morning came in, who camped at McConkey's Ferry, he says; the Hessians shot one of our People there this morning that they heard Wagons going all night & he imagined the Enemy have had notion of the boats being brought down to McConkeys, & conjectured (?) wagons or carriages carried up field pieces. _ a party of Hessians were seen this morning very early at Howells Ferry opposite to (?..?) is unusual. (?..?) have had some information at best it appears to him (?..?) informed (?..?).
John Mott of New Jersey in the Revolution