Lot 152

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Nathanael Greene
Springfield, NJ, June 24, 1780
Nathanael Greene ALS to Washington Informing Him of Victory in New Jersey!
An autograph letter signed by Nathanael Greene, addressed to George Washington and informing him of the recent victory in New Jersey, following the Battle of Springfield. 2pp, measuring 7.25" x 9.5",  Springfield, New Jersey, dated  June 24, 1780. Signed "Nath. Greene" and addressed to General Washington. Greene informs him of the British and Hessian retreat, writing that "the whole force of the Enemy...went from Elizabeth Town point..." A postscript and docketing are present on verso. With flattened mail folds and light toning throughout. Darker toning along the right edge. Boldly signed. Letters from  Greene to Washington are incredibly scarce and have fetched over $20,000 at auction.

In full: 
"Dear Sir, I make use of the first moment to acquaint your Excellency that the whole force of the Enemy, which have been in Jersey, went from Elizabeth Town point, between 12 and 1 oClock this morning, whether they crossed to Statten Island, or embarked on board their shipping I am not as yet sufficiently inform'd, although it is reported they have embarked and proceeded up Hackensack River. to the latter I give but little credit, however I shall take immediate measures to ascertain the truth & discover their present position & designs as far as is possible. I shall do myself the honor to state to your Excellency as soon as I have leisure, the proceedings of Yesterday, and in the interim I am with the greatest respect and esteem Your Excellency's Nath Greene [verso] P.S I have order'd Genl Wayne to join the Army under Your Excellencys immediate Command, and bet to receive Your Direction respecting the reminder of the Troops."

At the Battle of Connecticut Farms on June 7, 1780, New Jersey militia interrupted Hessian General Wilhelm von Knyphausen's attempt to attack the main Continental Army at Morristown, New Jersey. Two weeks later, Knyphausen again attempted with 6,000 men to reach Hobart Gap (and the Continental Army just beyond) with a two-pronged attack. One column would advance from Elizabethtown Point and pass through Connecticut Farms and Springfield, while another column would travel north of Springfield. As the British advanced, General Nathanael Greene ordered his men to remove the planking on the bridges over the Rahway River.  The British successfully forced the New Jersey militia out of Connecticut Farms and advanced toward the Galloping Hill Bridge. When the American artillery ran low on wadding, Continental Army chaplain James Caldwell brought forward hymn books by Isaac Watts, shouting, "Give 'em Watts, boys!" When the British failed to take the bridge, they forded the Rahway River and drove the Americans back. Although the British took Springfield, Major Henry Lee and his detachment made a fighting retreat for two miles, where they were reinforced by two Continental regiments and a cannon. An increasing number of New Jersey militia gathering on the slopes of Newark Mountain and on the Short Hills convinced Knyphausen to halt his advance and return to Elizabethtown Point. New Jersey patriot militia harassed the withdrawing British, inflicting several casualties. The Battle of Springfield was one of the last major engagements of the Revolutionary War in the North and effectively ended British attempts to take New Jersey. 

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


  • 7.25" x 9.5"
  • Artist Name:
  • Nathanael Greene
  • Medium:
  • ALS

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April 10, 2024 10:30 AM EDT
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Bid Increments
From: To: Increments:
$0 $99 $10
$100 $299 $20
$300 $499 $25
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $2,999 $200
$3,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 + $5,000