George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major Alexander Clough, 2 September 1778

From Major Alexander Clough

[Hackensack, N.J.] Sept. 2d—78


I had the honour to recive your Exellencys favour yesterday, and shall use the utmost of my endavours to get the most satisfactry intelligance.1 I think we have got it at this post, in such a chanell that we cannot faill, of getting certain information of every thing of moment, that Occurs in New york, if my conduct meets with your approbation, I shall esteem it as more then a sufficient reward for my best services—Two persons who left New york on munday night, informs me that thay are repairing thayr waggons with the greatest delligance. thay are makeing some aditions to the works on Bunkers Hill—he says four of Adml Byrons fleet is come in, he cannot tell of what force thay are, it is reported that the adml is lost—six of the cork fleet is come in, four with provisions, and two with recruits, there are not more then sixty english, the others are Hesiens, the number he cannot exactly tell, but when thay where d⟨mutilated⟩d there was not more then three men to a regt, Mr Eliot, the superintendent says, if this expedition to rode island should fail New york could hold out but a short time for want of provisions if it falls in our hands he is resolve’d to stay let the event be what it may, Byard delance & Mathews says the same2 the worst sour flour is sold for five pounds a hundred—I am your Exellencys most Obt Hbl. servt

A. Clough


1Clough was referring to GW’s letter to him of 31 August.

2Andrew Elliot (d. 1797) had been collector of customs at New York City since 1764 and was chief of the Superintendent Department established by Gen. William Howe in 1777. From 1780 to 1783 he served as lieutenant governor of Loyalist New York, acting as governor from April 1783 to the British evacuation, when he left New York. The other men were probably William Bayard, Oliver De Lancey, and David Mathews.

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