George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lieutenant Caleb Brewster, 27 August 1778

From Lieutenant Caleb Brewster

Norwalk [Conn.] August 27th 1778


When I left Long Island this Morning Governor Tryon was at Millers place with about three hundred Troops1 and the Main body at Brookhaven about nine Miles to the Westward under the Command of Genl Delancey; The whole party consists of a thousand men. The Party under the Command of Tryon are within half a mile of the Sound, those under the Command of Delancey a mile & a half; the Parties arrived there yesterday morning and Pitched their Tents. They have large Droves of Cattle with them and are Collecting on their March all that are fit to Kill; I was so near them that I Saw them Pitch their Camp & also saw the Cattle.

The troops Stationed at Huntington & Loyds Neck have Some of them Marched to the westward, and the remainder are under Marching orders.

The Fleet That lay at Huntington harbour, Come to Sail this morning and are Standing to the Westward, in all Six and Twenty or thirty Sail; The above is the Fleet that was ordered to Rhode Island, but hearing on the Island that some of the French Fleet were coming into the Sound they have put to the Westward.2

On the first of this Week Several Regiments Crossed from Newyork to Brookline Ferry, and Encamped.

There is no Arrival of Admiral Byrons or the Cork Fleet at New york or any other Vessels whatever—Admiral Hows Fleet have arrived at the Hook to the Amount of Twenty Sail, three of which have got up to Town (to witt) The Isis of fifty Guns, The Renown of Sixty four, The Appollo Thirty Six. The Isis and Renown attacked two Seventy fours and are Much Shattered; The Appollo Lost all her Masts and is otherwise Much Damaged. They have taken Many of their Heavy Cannon on board at Newyork. The Transports lie in the road with their Sails Bent, are Wooding and Watering, and it is the opinion of all the Inhabitants of the Citty, that they will soon evacuate the Town. I am with all due respect your Excelencys most obedient and Humble Servt

Caleb Brewster Lieut.

ALS, DLC:GW. In this letter, Brewster was evidently reporting intelligence gathered pursuant to GW’s undated directions for “particular observations to be made by persons going into N—— Y——” (see GW to Maj. Alexander Clough, 25 Aug., n.2).

1Miller Place is on the north coast of Long Island about seven miles east of Setauket (Brookhaven).

2British major John André, who was with the fleet that loaded troops on 27 Aug. at Whitestone, Long Island, for the relief of Rhode Island, noted in his journal for 28 Aug.: “The Rose and Raven with a considerable number of sloops and schooners joined us; their destination was Rhode Island, but in fear of falling in with the French, they had to put into Huntingdon Bay” (André, Journal, 85).

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