George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General Charles Scott, 30 September 1778

From Brigadier General Charles Scott

North Castle [N.Y.] Sept. 30th 1778


I this moment recd a Second letter from Capt. Leavensworth giving a more particular Acct From the persons who made their Escape from The Enemy. tho it amounts to but little more Than that, I sent Yesterday, I thought it my duty to Send it. the inclosd is his letter.1

Colo. Butler with three Hundred men and Majr Lee with his Corps has been very Near the enemys lines for two days past, I heard From them this morning. they inform me that the Enemy have not Stird out of their incampment Since they went down, the Colo. writes me that The partie that Surprized Colo. Baylor Returnd Yesterday.2 he has not been able to learn what they Did with any Degree of Certainty. I am Your Excellencys Obt Servant

Chs Scott


1In this letter to Scott of 29 Sept. from Horseneck (now Greenwich), Conn., Capt. Eli Leavenworth writes: “I persu’d those Men I mentioned in my letter of the 28th Instt to Norwalk, where I Came up with them. I find four of them to be Americans, two of them very Inteligable, honest fellows, they say they were aboard a prison in the North River Oppersite the B[e]ar Market where the Magazine of Hay is Stored, they Cou’d see there was a great Quantity, not any Hay brought down the N: River or from Jersey, since they were on Board the P[rison] Ship, but Cou’d see some small Vesels which had Hay on board, they further say that great preparation is making to Carry of[f] troops that they Judge were about five hundred transports of one kind and another, beside private property, not in the Service, about fourty Small Sloops & Brigs had their earning on board, and the Chief of them their Water, that they were at work Day and night geting their transports in repare, that several Captains Came on board the Prison Ships to Ship men told them the Spanyard were going to lay Seige to Jamaca, and that ten thounsand men were going there and to Barbadas, they further say that on the 21st Instant, a Signal was hove out from the Admaral’[s] Ships for all the Commanders of Vessels to Come on board—that the 2d mate of Prison Ship told one of them that it was occationed by a Spanish Fleet being of[f] the Co[a]st, that they had retook a french Ship which the English had taken that the 22d the Day the firing was, Lord Howe sail’d for England in the Eagle that he had resinde [resigned] and Adl Byron Commanded—that the same Day those troops which had Imbark’d and fell down landed at Powlers Hook, reinforc’d by twenty flat bottom Boats from Stratton [Staten] Island—that no troops had Sail’d when they left the City they further say its very Sickly on board the fleet that there were three hundred Sick on Staten Island from the Bedford. after they made their Escape to the City they saw in the east River about twenty transports with troops on board and ready to sail, suppos’d they Imbark’d from the City—now for hear says—in the City the talk was the troops were going off—the Marchents hand put their goods in Bails those that Intended to leave the City, that transports were prepar’d for those torries and refugees who ment to go with the fleat, that the people seam’d to be in great Consternation, Philadelphia Refugees were at sandy Hook guarding Horses 20 Boats and 2–20 guns ships went up north River last week—that they did not think themselves the City wou’d be left by all the troops” (DLC:GW). The Bear market, which had been built in 1771, was located on the Hudson River between Vesey and Partition [later Fulton] streets, a short distance north of Paulus Hook ferry landing. The troops that were reported to have landed at Paulus Hook on 22 Sept. apparently were those in Lieutenant General Cornwallis’s foraging party.

2For the British attack on Col. George Baylor’s 3d Continental Light Dragoon Regiment on 28 Sept. near Old Tappan, N.J., see Israel Putnam to GW, 28 Sept., and notes 1 and 2 to that document.

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