George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General Charles Scott, 8 September 1778

From Brigadier General Charles Scott

[Westchester County, N.Y.] 8th Sept. 1778


I am unhappy to inform You that the Enemy had returnd before our partie was able to Reach them, Be assurd that every exertion was made To intercept them, the attention of our partie was so Taken up with the two Columns on Wards & Volentons Roads that it was impossable to git intelligence of That partie sooner than we did, they had passed by East Chester near two Hour before our partie got There, they had with them Five of Colo. Sheldons And about Twenty Continental Horses the inhabitance Say that they had som horsmen Prisoners about 4 or 5. their partie Consisted of about one Hundred Horse and the Same number of foot They passed up through the fields without Touching On any Road. But returnd Boldly along the road Through East Chester.1 I am Your Excellencys obt Servt

Chs Scott


1GW’s aide-de-camp Alexander Hamilton wrote Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates on this date: “His Excellency desires me to inform you that having received information of the enemy’s being out advanced this side of Wards House, He thought it prudent to put the troops quietly under arms and has sent orders to the several Brigades for this purpose” (NHi: Gates Papers). Sgt. Maj. Benjamin Gilbert of the 5th Massachusetts Regiment recorded in his diary for 8 Sept.: “In the morning the Reglars Came out of York in four Collums and Allarmd the whole Camp. Colo. Greatons Regt Sat off to meet them and a Regt. from Each Bgd but they went Back into York again” (Symmes, Gilbert Diary description begins Rebecca D. Symmes, ed. A Citizen-Soldier in the American Revolution: The Diary of Benjamin Gilbert in Massachusetts and New York. Cooperstown, N.Y., 1980. description ends , 36; see also “Vaughan Journal,” description begins Virginia Steele Wood, ed. “The Journal of Private Zebulon Vaughan, Revolutionary Soldier, 1777–1780.” Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine 113 (1979): 101–14, 256–57, 320–31, 478–85, 487. description ends 110; Baldwin, Revolutionary Journal description begins Thomas Williams Baldwin, ed. The Revolutionary Journal of Col. Jeduthan Baldwin, 1775–1778. 1906. Reprint. New York, 1971. description ends , 134). The Hessian staff officer Carl Leopold Baurmeister recorded in his dispatch of 13 Sept. that “Colonel Simcoe, chief of the Queen’s Rangers, and Emmerich’s and Lord Cathcart’s light troops patrolled from late in the night of the 7th to the 8th of this month. Simcoe went to Mamaroneck and New Rochelle and on his return passed close to the left wing of the enemy light infantry under General Scott in the vicinity of Valentine’s Hill, where he captured one corporal, five dragoons, and a commissary. General Scott’s report so stirred the entire camp at White Plains that the men took down their tents and packed their baggage, and Washington reinforced all outposts with artillery” (Baurmeister, Revolution in America description begins Carl Leopold Baurmeister. Revolution in America: Confidential Letters and Journals, 1776–1784, of Adjutant General Major Baurmeister of the Hessian Forces. Translated and annotated by Bernhard A. Uhlendorf. New Brunswick, N.J., 1957. description ends , 212). The New-York Gazette: and the Weekly Mercury, 14 Sept., reported that the troops captured “two Commissaries of Forage, with 6 Light Dragoons, and sundry Horses.”

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