George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major Alexander Clough, 31 August 1778

To Major Alexander Clough

Head Quarters White plains 31st Augt 1778


It is of the utmost importance that we should ascertain whether General Clinton and Lord Cornwallis are both gone to the Eastward and what Corps embarked in the sound and at the Hook. I would have you make use of every endeavour to gain intelligence upon the above points, and also of what the enemy are doing since they sent off their detatchment. If there is any person upon whom you think you can depend, you may send him over and promise him a handsome reward if he brings such intelligence as is really material and interesting. I have so many reports brought me by ignorant unobserving people that they serve to perplex more than inform. Whatever accounts you get, be pleased to forward them to me; by comparing them with others from different quarters they sometimes confirm intelligence. I am &c.

P.S. desire the person to make particular enquiry whether the Grenadiers and Light Infantry are gone. Keep a scout at fort Lee to observe what ships are in the North River.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The LS was offered for sale in January 1918 as “a badly damaged letter” (The Collector, vol. 31, no. 3, p. 28).

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