George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Israel Putnam, 4 August 1777

From Major General Israel Putnam

Peeks Kill [N.Y.] August 4th 1777
ten o Clock A.M.

Dear General

I Recd yours of the 1st Inst. last evening & your favour of the 2nd this moment,1 In consequence of the Intellgience & Directions therein given Expresses were early this morning Sent to Govr Trumbull Genl Woolcut & Silliman urging in the Strongest manner the necessity of Speedily reinforcing this Post by the Militia2—like Expresses have been Sent to Govr Clinton & to the Cols: of the Militia of this State—The Two Brigades that last Crossed the River I expect will recross it this Day—I have ordered Some redoubts to be Thrown up in the most advantageous places—also Abbaties to be formed to obstruct their march—& am taking every precaution for the Security of this Important post & its dependencies—Govr Trumbull has wrote me that Col. Eno has a Regt at Fairfield raised till the 1st of Jany next for the Defence of that state—which he has ordered G. Silliman to send on3—also has ordered the whole Militia of that State to be in readiness to March at a moments warning & directed G. Selliman to Send on any number you or I shall please to Call for. With much esteem & respect I am your Excellency’s Obedient humble Servant

Israel Putnam


1GW’s letter to Putnam of 2 Aug. 1777 has not been found.

2The express had arrived at Lebanon, Conn., by 6 Aug., when Connecticut governor Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., wrote to Rhode Island governor Nicholas Cooke: “Inclosed is Copy of a Letter from Genl Washington to Genl Putnam—desired to be forwarded to The Eastern States—That they may be on their Guard—Altho’ it is not doubted the design is for the North River—We have given Orders for three Thousand of our Militia to March to Peek’s Kill, to secure the important pass a The Highlands—Many of them are marched. It is said The Enemy’s Fleets were returned to N. York—but of this I have no authentick Intelligence. Please to forward this Copy of Genl Washington’s Letter to the other Eastern States per Express” (R-Ar).

3Connecticut governor Jonathan Trumbull, Sr.’s letter to Putnam has not been identified, but Brig. Gen. Gold Selleck Silliman had written to Trumbull from Fairfield, Conn., on 2 Aug. to inform him that Col. Roger Enos’s regiment had reached that post (see Trumbull Papers description begins The Trumbull Papers. 4 vols. Boston, 1885-1902. In Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 5th ser., vols. 9–10; 7th ser., vols. 2–3. description ends , pt. 3, pp. 98–102).

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