Minutes of Council of General Officers held at Neshamini Camp
In Bucks County 21st Aug. 1777
At a council of General Officers held at Neshamini Camp in Bucks the 21st of August 1777.
His Excellency, the Commander in Chief, George Washington
Major General Nathaniel Greene
Major General William Alexander (Lord Stirling)
Major General Adam Stephen
Major General Marquis de Fayette
Brigadier General William Maxwell
Brigadier General Henry Knox
Brigadier General Anthony Wayne
Brigadier General Peter Muhlenburgh
Brigadier General George Weedon
Brigadier General William Woodford
Brigadier General Charles Scott
Brigadier General Thomas Conway
The Commander in Chief informed the Council that the British Fleet left the Capes of the Delaware on the 31st of July, and have not been seen, from any information he has since the 7th instant, when they were off Sinapuxon and steering to the southward, and propounded the following questions for the opinion of the Council.
1….. What is the most probable place of their destination, whether eastward or southward & to what part?
Answer: The southward, & that Charles Town, from the view of all circumstances is the most probable object of their attention.
2…. If it should be thought, from a consideration of all circumstances that the fleet has gone far to the southward, will it be advisable for this Army, taking into view, the length of distance & unhealthy of that climate at this season, to march that way, or will there be a probability of their arriving there in time, should it be attempted, to give any effectual opposition to the enemy, or to prevent their accomplishing their purposes.
Answer: It will not be advisable for the Army to march to the Southward, as they could not possibly arrive at Charles Town in time to afford any succor.
3…. If it should not be advisable in such case for the Army to march to the southward, how shall it be employed? Shall it remain where it now is, or move toward Hudson River to act as the situation of affairs shall seem to require?
Answer: The Army should move immediately to the North River.
The signatures of the thirteen generals, who were present, were placed at the bottom of these minutes.