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The On-Line Institute for Advanced Loyalist Studies

Forshner's Independent Company
Report of Activites

Andrew FURSTNERS Report

On the Night of the 15th Instant I set out with two of my Recruits from Staten Island for the Vulture Sloop of War, but being Low Water could not be landed on the Jersey Shore with any degree of Safety.

In the Evening of the 16th about 7 oClock, we attempted to land at the Warf of South Amboy, but being fired upon (which we returned) we were obliged to return to the Vulture, w[h]ere we tarried untill about 12 oClock that Night and were then landed at a safe place near Chease-quakes (at High Water)--

We immediately proceeded on our Journey to a certain Mr. LOTT about 5 Miles from the Shore, w[h]ere we expected to procure a Guide, but a Command of about 50 Men being posted at his House, the Gentry of which hailed us and fired, which made us retreat and attempt to cross Deep Run Bridge

but upon finding another Centinal here we waded the river above the Bridge, and proceeded to South River Bridge w[h]ere we were again hailed and repulsed,

and then we went on to Johnsons Bridge w[h]ere a Centinal fired upon us again and wounded one of my Recruits in a Finger with a Buckshot, this put us under the necessity of retreating again,

but Day light appearing and we not thinking ourselves safe in that Neighborhood we swamm South River the 17th in the Morning, and travelled through the Woods wett and cold towards Spotswood,

but mistrusting this also to be a dangerous place we left Spotswood to our left and crossed the road some little distance above it w[h]ere we met a Battalion of Militia marching towards Brunswick, who pursued us and took one of my Men prisoner, but the other and myself got into a thick Swamp w[h]ere we lay all Day,

the Night following we proceeded towards Cransberry w[h]ere we came near another Centinal on the Bridge, a little while before Day light, took to the Woods and proceeded the eighteenth seven Miles further to Mr. MORRIS's a Friend to Government;

w[h]ere we were Safe and hired him to go to one Mr. PEARSON near Trentown for Intelligence, who on his return informed me: That the Revolters or rather about one half of them, were discharged, had put their Arms and Ammunition on Board of a Sloop in the Delaware and had been on their march to Philada., but upon reconsideration returned again to Trentown with intent to keep with the rest untill the whole were discharged.

The 19th I sent another Friend (DANCER by Name) to Trentown who informed me that all saving 500 were discharged some had gone into the Country and others to Philadelphia and that none had returned, as the other said,

but as these two differed in their story I resolved to proceed to a place near Trentown myself, w[h]ere I could be better informed and accordingly I went within Six Miles of it, w[h]ere on the 20th I met one of the Revolters who came out of the Town to the House I was at for Whiskey and was told by him and some loyal Inhabitants,

that the revolters were near Two thousand in number,

that all those who made Oath that they were only inlisted for three Years had received their discharge as well as those who had Certificates shewing the Time of their inlistment,

that all those who were discharged had received One Months pay in Congress Bills at the rate of 75 for one, One pair of Shoes, one pair of Overalls, one Shirt and a Hat, and put their Arms on Board of a Sloop and had them sent to Philada. and returned to their respective homes,

that one Williams a Sergeant was there chief Commander, but if any thing was to be transacted it was laid before a Council of all the Sergeants, who meet at Richmonds House in Trentown.

That President Reed quarter'd at Mr. Cores House and his Council sat on Business in a Brickhouse opposite Trentown Ferry on the Pennsylvania Shore, but had returned to Philadelphia--

That the Field Pieces were taken over to the Pennsylvania Side of the Delaware (others say they were put on Board the Sloop with the small Arms).

That those Revolters who keep together had also demanded their discharge which was denied them and that they now ask for a Furlow of 60 Days which is supposed will be granted them;-

That if they here of any of their former Officers being in any House near them, (saving Wayne, Steward and Craig) it makes them very unruly--

That the Revolters are more cruel heretofore and begin to knock down and plunder the People, and the Rebels expect to be under the necessity to raise the Militia on them, before they can bring them to Terms.

That our Friends suppose if a Coup de Main was made from here they would all join us.

That the Privates are very much dissatisfied at the hanging of Ogden and the other and threaten if the[y] knew who gave them over to Reed they would Sacrifice him.

That Wayne and Reed are still with them, and that it was generally reported they were sorry they did not come into our Lines immediately on their Revolt.

In the Night of the 20th We returned to Spotswood w[h]ere We were conveyed by a Guide to a Friends House, who served in the Militia and just came from duty, who upon hearing that we came from New York inform'd us that the Militia lay in every House of that place and had Head Quarters there, that We could not proceed and therefore secreted us in one of his Hay Stacks untill the next evening when the Militia were discharged and returned to their Family's.

The 21st in the Evening We proceeded on our Journey, crossed South River Bridge unmolested, and were not intercepted untill We came to Mr. LOTTs w[h]ere the Command of 50 Rebels remained,

there We passed without being discovered, and arrived on that part of the Shore where We had requested the Vulters Boat to bring us off from, but the Vulture being removed We were necessitated to return to the young Widdow LOTTs w[h]ere We remained untill the 25th in the Night and then discovered an old Canoe in the Rariton with which we crossed to Staten Island.

N.B. Before we left the Rebel Shore we were informed that the Command at Mr. LOTTs had marched from thence to Mr. STILLWELLs at South River Bridge the 23d.

[January 15-25, 1781]

University of Michigan, William L. Clements Library, Sir Henry Clinton Papers, Volume 141, item 3.

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