George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lord Stirling, 10 November 1776

From Lord Stirling

Haverstraw [N.Y.] Novr 10th 1776.

My dear General

I got to the landing place yesterday Afternoon with Haslets, Miles’s, & part of Wiedens with our Artillery, the remainder arrived in the Night and are now landing;1 the landing place is very inconvenient as at half-tide the Vessels are obliged to lay at the distance of 5 or 600 yards from the Shore which makes tedious work, with the few boats that are here; besides it is open to any Insult the Enemy is pleased to Commit. About half a Mile farther North, and on the North Side of Stoney point is a Good landing place in deep Water and Easily Secured by placing two pieces of Cannon on the End of the point, it will require about half a Mile of New Road and a Short Cause way and a Small Bridge.2 I hope to be Able to March this Morning, I have ordered a Scouting party to Advance ahead, and an hundred Men to possess a Gap in the Mountain Just above Keases landing which it Commands, thro’ this Gap the Road passes.3 The Next landing is at a place Called Naiak below the mountains of Verdrietiga Hook,4 but they will not I think risque a landing there as the Road is Commanded by a long Chain of Mountains. The Great pass thro’ the Highlands lyes 14 Mile Back from the River, and will best be Supported with Troops from Tappan and on Consulting Genl Green a proper Body of Troops will be sent there, but at present the first Object is to prevent their landing, and therefore I shall hasten on to those places where it is most likely they will Attempt it. I find Genl Green has posted 500 Men with 4 peices of Cannon and One Howitz at Dobbs Ferry & that I belive will be Sufficient to defeat any designs they may have there.5 I am your Excellency’s Most Obt Humble Servant



1Lt. James McMichael of Col. Samuel Miles’s Pennsylvania rifle regiment says in his diary that the riflemen “reached Peekskill at dusk” on 8 Nov. and the following day “we embarked on boats at 10 A.M. and sailed five miles down Hudson’s River to Lamb’s Landing, where we went on shore and marched five miles to camp.” On this date, McMichael says, we “left our encampment at 10 A.M., proceeded thro’ Haverstraw and to Clarkstown and encamped on the plains.” The regiment reached Hackensack on 12 Nov., Elizabeth on 15 Nov., and New Brunswick on 17 Nov. ((“McMichael’s Diary,” description begins William P. McMichael. “Diary of Lieutenant James McMichael, of the Pennsylvania Line, 1776–1778.” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 16 (1892): 129–59. description ends 138–39). In addition to Miles’s Pennsylvania riflemen, Haslet’s Delaware Regiment, and Weedon’s 3d Virginia Regiment, Stirling’s brigade included Col. Isaac Read’s 1st Virginia Regiment and two battalions of Pennsylvania flying camp troops commanded respectively by colonels Henry Haller and James Cunningham.

2The western terminus of King’s Ferry, which at this time was a short distance south of the Stony Point peninsula, was moved subsequently as Stirling and Greene proposed to the north side of the peninsula (see Thomas Machin’s map of the Hudson highlands, January 1778, in Guthorn, American Maps and Map Makers description begins Peter J. Guthorn. American Maps and Map Makers of the Revolution. Monmouth Beach, N.J., 1966. description ends , 26–27, and John Hills, “A Plan of the Surprise of Stoney Point . . . ,” 1 Mar. 1784, in Nebenzahl and Higginbotham, Atlas of the American Revolution description begins Kenneth Nebenzahl and Don Higginbotham. Atlas of the American Revolution. Chicago, 1974. description ends , 131–33; see also Greene to GW, 5, 10 November).

3Long Clove, located about two miles southeast of Haverstraw, is a gap that runs west from Snedeker’s (later Waldberg) Landing on the Hudson River about a mile to the headwaters of the Hackensack River.

4Verdrietege Hook, which extends along the west side of the Hudson for several miles between Upper Nyack and Long Clove, has high sandstone cliffs above which rises Hook Mountain.

5For the march of this force from Perth Amboy, see Greene to GW, this date.

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