George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major Alexander Clough, 26 August 1778

From Major Alexander Clough

[New Jersey]
wedensday night 10 oClock [26 August 1778]


I had the honour to recive your letter at ten last night,1 at two this morning I marcht for Bergan, to collect what intelligance I could. The Gentlemen mentiond in my instructions have not made any preparation to leave the town—the waggons are on long Iseland which prevents my informent giveing a perticular Acct of them. in a few days I Expect to be more fully inform’d—On Sunday morning a detachment from the corps of Artillery with twelve field peaces march to join Genl Tryon, who is driveing cattle from the east end of Long Iseland, the Cheaf part of thayr heavy Artillery, & Ordinnances stores, are put on board transports laying at red hook, likewise a large quantity of forage. the whole of the transports are wooded, and watter’d, for six months. the above acct is conferm’d by three sailers who deserted from them last night I have not been able to learn that any regementall baggage has been put on board—The Greens are orderd to hold them selves in readiness to embark on the shortest notice, it is suposed for the west Indeas. Lord Howe saild yesterday morning from the Hook, it is said for rode Iseland, in the afternoon a heavy fireing was heard to the southward of Staten Iseland. the day before two frigates where chace’t in to the Hook by a part of the french fleet. nothing has been heard of Adml Byron. two of the cork fleet are come in, and thirty are taken by the french.2 there are no troops arive’d naither is there any expected—It is generly belived in New york the army will stay till other proposeles are made by the commisoners then to Embark with all Expedtion—the Gentleman who gives me this intelligance is a person of varacity and posest of A Gentell fortune which makes me rely more on his information then on that of many others. I am your Exellencys Most Obt

A. Clough

ALS, DLC:GW. Tench Tilghman wrote “26 Augt 1778” below Clough’s dateline, and Tilghman’s docket for the letter conveyed the same information.

2The “ship Sibelis, with the Cork fleet under her convoy,” arrived off Sandy Hook on 25 Aug. (Rivington’s Royal Gazette, 26 Aug.; see also Whinyates, Services of Francis Downman description begins F. A. Whinyates, ed. The Services of Lieut.-Colonel Francis Downman, R.A., in France, North America, and the West Indies, between the Years 1758 and 1784. Woolwich, England, 1898. description ends , 78; Kemble Papers description begins [Stephen Kemble]. The Kemble Papers. 2 vols. New York, 1884-85. In Collections of the New-York Historical Society, vols. 16–17. description ends , 1:161; and Ritchie, “New York Diary,” description begins Carson I. A. Ritchie, ed. “A New York Diary [British army officer’s journal] of the Revolutionary War.” New-York Historical Society Quarterly 50 (1966): 221–80, 401–46. description ends 270).

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