TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS Head Quarters, at the Gulph, December 17, 1777

The Commander in Chief with the highest satisfaction expresses his thanks to the officers and soldiers for the fortitude and patience with which they have sustained the fatigues of the Campaign. These are blessings worth contending for at every hazard. But we hazard nothing. The power of America alone, duly exerted, wo~ have nothing to dread from the force of Britain. Yet we stand not wholly upon our ground. France yields us every aid we ask, and there are reasons to believe the period is not very distant, when she will take a more active part, by declaring war against the British Crown. Every motive therefore, irresistably urges us, nay commands us, to a firm and manly perseverance in our opposition to our cruel oppressors, to slight difficulties, endure hardships, and contemn every danger. The General ardently wishes it were now in his power, to conduct the troops into the best winter quarters. But where are these to be found. Should we retire to the interior parts of the State, we should find them crowded with virtuous citizens, who, sacrificing their all, have left Philadelphia, and fled thither for protection. To their distresses humanity forbids us to add. This is not all, it should leave a vast extent of fertile country to be despoiled and ravaged by the enemy, from which they would draw vast supplies, and where many of our firm friends would be exposed to all the miseries of the most insulting and wanton depredation. A train of evils might be enumerated, but these will suffice. These considerations make it indispensibly necessary for the army to take such a position, as will enable it most effectually to prevent distress and to give the most extensive security; and
in that position we must make ourselves the best shelter in our power. With activity and diligence Huts may be erected that will be warm and dry. In these the troops will be compact, more secure against surprises than if in a divided state and at hand to protect the country. These cogent reasons have determined the General to take post in the neighbourhood of this camp; and influenced by them, he persuades himself, that the officers and soldiers, with one heart, and one mind, will resolve to surmount every difficulty, with a fortitude and patience, be coming their profession, and the sacred cause in which they are engaged. He himself will share in the hardship, and partake of every inconvenience.

Tomorrow being the day set apart by the Honorable Congress for public Thanksgiving and Praise; and duty calling us devoutely to express our grateful acknowledgements to God for the manifold blessings he has granted us. The General directs that the army remain in it's present quarters, and that the Chaplains perform divine service with their several Corps and brigades. And earnestly exhorts, all officers and soldiers, whose absence is not indispensibly necessary, to attend with reverence the solemnities of the day.
October 3, 1777

. . .The Commander in Chief has the satisfaction to inform the army, that at the southward, the Continental Frig ate Randolph, lately fell in with a fleet of five sail of the enemy's ships, and took four of them, one of them mounting 2o guns, and another 8, all richly laden. At the northward every thing wears the most favourable aspect, every enterprise has been successful, and in a capital action, the left wing only of General Gates's army maintained it's ground, against the main body of the enemy; commanded by General Burgoyne in person; our troops behaving with the highest spirit and bravery, during the whole engagement; which lasted from one o'clock 'till dark. In short, every circumstance promises success in that quarter, equal to our most sanguine wishes. This surely must animate every man, under the General's immediate comma. This army, the main American Army, will certainly not sufFe~ itself to be out done by their northern Brethren; they will never] endure such disgrace; but with an ambition becoming freemen,contending in the most righteous cause, rival the heroic spin which swelled their bosoms, and which, so nobly exerted, hi" procured them deathless renown. Covet! my Countrymen, and fellow soldiers! Covet! a share of the glory due to heroic deed~ Let it never be said, that in a day of action, you turned your backs on the foe; let the enemy no longer triumph. They brand you with ignominious epithets. Will you patiently endure tha~ reproach? Will you suffer the wounds given to your Coun' to go unrevenged? Will you resign your parents, wives, chil" dren and friends to be the wreeched vassals of a proud, insulting foe? And your own necks to the halter? General Howe promised protection to such as submitted to his power; and a few dastard souls accepted the disgraceful boon. But his promises were deceitful; the submitting and resisting had their properiy alike plundered and destroyed. But even these empty promises have come to an end; the term of Mercy is expired, General Howe has, within a few days proclaimed, all who had not then, submitted, to be beyond the reach of it, and has left us no choice but Conquest or Death. Nothing then remains, but nobly to contend for all that is dear to us. Every motive that can touch the human breast calls us to the most vigorous exertions. Our dearest rights, our dearest friends, and our own lives, honor, glory and even shame, urge us to the fight. And My fellow Soldiers! when an opportunity presents, be firm, be brave; shew yourselves men, and victorys yours.

The Colonels or commanding officers are to see that every regiment be drawn up this afternoon, the rolls called, and these orders distinctly read to them.

Every officer who commands a troop or company, in the several regiments and corps in the continental army, must immediately make out his muster rolls to the first of October, that the whole army may be mustered with the utmost expedition. Such officers, as have heretofore neglected a due attention, to making a regular return of their muster rolls, will be answer. able for any future neglect.