George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Israel Putnam, 13 June 1777

From Major General Israel Putnam

Peeks Kill [N.Y.] 13th June 1777.

Dear Genl

I have this Minute your Favour of 12th Inst. I had ordered Genl Parsons with his Brigade to White Plains, they were just paraded for March—and will cross the River Tomorrow on their Way to Middle Brook agreeable to your Orders—The other Divisions will march within three or four Days, what they will consist of you will Learn from the Return herewith sent you.

Accounts from Connecticut are flattering. Genl Parsons acquaints me that the Regimts are on an Average 600 R. & File I have sent urgent Orders for the whole to join the Army, they begin to arrive and are generally on the Move, except those in the small Pox—I have taken much Pains, but have not been able to learn the State of the Troops in the other N. England States—but shall immediately send an Express to Boston for that Purpose—the Troops that come in shall be disposed of as you direct without Loss of Time.

B: Genl Glover is not yet arrived but daily expected. Lt Col. Livingston marched this Day, on an Expedition to Bergen under the Direction of Genl Heard1—I shall dispatch Orders by this Express, that he continue his March to M. Brook.

But 16 of Sheldon’s Horse have arrived and 4 of those rendered unfit for Service by a late Expedition—The Regimt are ordered on, and shall be forwarded as they arrive.

Exclusive the Brigdrs McDougall, Parsons and, Glover, there remain on this Side the River, Nixon, Geo. Clinton and Huntington—to be disposed as you shall direct.

I am not fully satisfied by your Letter, whether I am to bring up the Rear of the Detachments that march to join you, or remain with the Command at these Posts. I remain Sir with the greatest Esteem and Respect your mo. Obt hum: Servt

Israel Putnam


Putnam enclosed Col. James Hamman’s letter to him of this date from Philipse Manor in Westchester County, N.Y., giving intelligence about the movement of British ships in the Hudson River: “I take this Oppurtunity to Inform you that the Shipping from N. York are fell down to Amboy for Particulars respecting that Matter Refer you to the Bearer Mr Dennis Lent an Inhabitant of the Lower part of the Manor and an Undoubted Friend to the American Cause—I have further to Acquaint you that the Row Gally has been Seen going down this day Loaded with provision from Tallers point with Quarters of Beef hanging up to the Shrouds” (DLC:GW). Hamman’s letter contains a note from Putnam to GW in the writing of his aide-de-camp: “Since delivering your Dispatches I have received the above—The Mr Lent mentioned may be relied on.”

1Upon receipt of this letter on 14 June 1777, GW instructed his aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman to write to Heard: “His Excellency commands me to acknowledge the Rect of your favr of Yesterday. If you get certain information that the new Recruits have left Bergen and that no force remains there, the General desires that you will move down to Morris Town with your main Body, leaving a proper guard at Pompton to keep up the communication and another at succasony to take care of the Magazine there. Upon your arrival at Morris Town, give notice to the General who will give you further Orders. He begs you will endeavour to make out a Return of your Numbers and to what time they are engaged, this has been called for several times but has never been furnished. . . . Please to forward Genl Putnams and Mr Cheevers letters immediately” (DLC:GW; see also GW to Putnam and to Ezekiel Cheever, both this date).

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