From Brigadier General Charles Scott
[Westchester County, N.Y.] 29th August 1778.
Inclosed is the intelligence I this moment received from Colls Butler & Parker.1 I am your Excellencys Obedient Servt
Sprague transcript, DLC:GW. Scott wrote and signed a note on the cover of the letter: “pass the Bearer to Head Quarters” (MB).
1. The enclosure, a letter to Scott from colonels Richard Butler and Richard Parker, dated “New Rochelle [N.Y.] ½ past 10 OClock,” reads: “We find the Whole fleet that lay Yesterday off City Island has weighd Anchor & are proceeding in A body toward the East end of Long Island, they movd last Evning & was About two hours in getting the whole underway, the firing that has been heard was their Signals—we have made Inquiry about troops being on board but Can get nothing Certain—one of the Inhabitants here Say that he heard they had Artillery on board—Another that Saw one moss a fisherman that goes to Long Island heard him Say that there was A Number of the Brittish troops there both Horse & foot & that he heard there that they were to go on board this fleet to Rhode Island—they Seem Intent on the voy[a]ge be it to where it will as they ar Now getting underway from opposite Horseneck, Although there is A Strong head wind, we hoped to See Moss ourselves but he is gone Afishing, therefore Shall Wait his Return if he cant be too long; the Man we want to See is out, we wait for him also—it is our Opinion that they must have troops on board & all for Some Expedition by their different Movement, Moss has just Returnd, & Informs us that he Saw at flushing last thursday Sennight A Number of brittish troops both horse & foot that Iron had been brot from York to Shoe horses that he Saw yesterday four Vessells fited to Carry Cavarlry—& on the Sides of Some Vessells Gun-Carriage-wheels hanging & Several flat bottomd boats—which with the boats of the transports was Suffiscient to Embark as many troops as the whole Could Carry in four hours, that A horse guard was Close to the landing place Near where the Shipping lay & the other horses at Grass Near Flushing; (That Col. Hamilton and the long Island Millitia, had marchd toward the East end of the Island, before he had got there) & that there was A good deal of Provissions on board the Transports—We Shall try to Settle matters & Return as Soon as possible—if the wind falls a man will go ⟨over⟩ this Evning—” (DLC:GW).
Later on this date Scott wrote a second letter to GW enclosing “farther Intelligence from Colos. Butler & parker” (DLC:GW). That enclosure, dated from New Rochelle at “1 OClock,” reads: “from Lewis Lecompte, by A woman from on board the Scorpion—Admirals Howe & Gambier with the Ships of war gone by the South passage for Rhode Island—those gone up the Sound She Says have taken the troops from L. Island all on board both Horse & foot with forage &c.
“the Guard Ship from Hampstead harbour, & the Scorpion guard Ship from City Island are Certainly gone in the fleet this womans husband is one of the Pilots—one Baxter & one other Captn with two Brigs are left at the City Island Station—we follow the woman towards Marrawneck for further Inteligence—She also Mentions that they Intend to Attack Genl Washington” (DLC:GW).