George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Israel Putnam, 24 September 1778

From Major General Israel Putnam

Pickskill, the 24 of Sept. 1778

Dear ginrol

Larst night I recived a Leator from Collo. Spencor informing me that the Enimy had Landed at the English Nabor whod and ware on thar march to hackensack1 I immedat Called the ginrol ofesors togather to consult what was beast to be don it was concluded to Exammin the mens gons and Cartriges && and to have them ready for a march at the shortest notis when it shuld be thought beast or on reciveng your ordors I waited som tim for further Intelleganc but hearing non I rod down to Kings fary and on my way met 4 men with thar horses loded with bagig going back into the contry which said thay Cam from within 2 milds of tarytown who said the Enimy had Com out of New york in 3 larg colloms won by the way of maranack and won by taritown2 and won had gon into the jarsys: Just as I had got to the farry I meat won Capt. Jonston with a leator from Collo. hay which informed me that the Enemy had got as far as Sorolingbour Church and was incamped thare and it was said thay war waiteng for a wind to bring up the ships:3 the Enimy are Colecting all the catel Sheep & hogs thay can in this setuation shuld be glad of your Exelancys ordor’s what to do—I am sir with the gratest Estem your humbel Sarvant.


1Col. Oliver Spencer’s letter to Putnam has not been identified. For the launching of this British foraging expedition into northern New Jersey that lasted from 22 Sept. to 15 Oct., see George Baylor to GW, 23 Sept., and note 1 to that document.

2For the recent British and Hessian advance into southern Westchester County, see Charles Scott to GW, 23 Sept., and note 9 to that document.

3Schraalenburgh (Schralenburg) Church was in the small village of Schraalenburgh (now part of Bergenfield, N.J.) about five miles northeast of Hackensack and about four miles west of the Hudson River. The letter, which apparently was written to Putnam by Col. Ann Hawkes Hay of the Orange County, N.Y., militia, has not been identified.

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