George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General Charles Scott, 11 October 1778

From Brigadier General Charles Scott

Near Bedford [N.Y.] 11th October 1778. 2 oClock


Late last night I recd a letter from Colo. Gist informing me that the enemy wear leaving their Post Near Phillaps’s hous, and that he was told by a Country man from York that he Saw the troops imbarking when he Came away.1 I recd two letters from Colo. Armand one of Yesterdays and the other of this days date which for Your Better Information I enclose them to Your Excellency.2 I have given orders to Colo. Armand to Take post on Some Conveniant Hites in the Neighbourhood of Kings Bridg and not Suffer any person to go On York Island untill my Farther orders. except Such Persons as he may have Occasion to Send for information. I hourly expect a Very Particular Acct of this matter From Capt. Dandridg. a party from Lees Corps Sets Out this moment in order to make what Discoverys they Can. You Shall hear from me again So soon As any thing farther Comes to hand. I am Your Excellencys Obt Servant

Chs Scott


1This letter from Nathaniel Gist to Scott has not been identified. On 10 Oct. the British and Hessian forces in southern Westchester County withdrew to their former positions in the vicinity of King’s Bridge. Hessian major Carl Leopold Baurmeister wrote in his dispatch of 21 Oct. that “not until the 12th did a strong rebel force patrol as far as the Hessian Jäger Corps’s abatis to learn whither we had marched” (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 , 222; see also Ewald, Diary description begins Johann Ewald. Diary of the American War: A Hessian Journal. Translated and edited by Joseph P. Tustin. New Haven and London, 1979. description ends , 151; Krafft, Journal description begins Journal of Lieutenant John Charles Philip von Krafft. 1882. Reprint. New York, 1968. description ends , 65–66; and Burgoyne, Diaries of Two Ansbach Jaegers description begins Bruce E. Burgoyne, ed. and trans. Diaries of two Ansbach Jaegers: Lieutenant Heinrich Carl Philipp von Feilitzsch and Lieutenant Christian Friedrich Bartholomai. Bowie, Md., 1997. description ends , 47).

2Scott enclosed the letters that Armand wrote to him on 10 and 11 Oct., both of which are in DLC:GW. In his letter of 10 Oct., Armand wrote: “my cavalery has take[n] post to Taretown, i have been my self this morning till past the 29 mile stone. one fregate and two smal tinders are ankerd to philyps howse. my infantery is 7 miles behind Taretown being impossible to march her[e], further by this wether. i receive few lines of compliments from one lieut hestian who come most every days in flag. and never in right order. if he come again, for most nothing as he do[,] what it is to be done, give me your orders i pray you. for my part i look upon him as upon one officer who is some time out of his Caractere. and perhaps he may do some mischief. his party or himself who he was in flag, put upon the door of one house in taretown one proclamation from grl clinton. he find me the newses inglish pepers, and ask of me that i return to him by the first opportunity our newses pepers. here is includ’d his bill. you may depend upon the security of this note and the rider.” The 29-mile stone on the Albany Road was about a mile south of Tarrytown and about ten miles north of the Philipse house. For Hessian captain Johann Ewald’s meeting with Armand at Tarrytown on 17 Oct. to deliver a letter concerning the exchange of prisoners, see Ewald, Diary description begins Johann Ewald. Diary of the American War: A Hessian Journal. Translated and edited by Joseph P. Tustin. New Haven and London, 1979. description ends , 152. Ewald says in his diary that he tried but failed to use this occasion to gain intelligence about the American positions.

At 4 a.m. on 11 Oct. Armand wrote Scott: “Yesterday at 9 oclock and half I received one express from Majs [Lee’s?] Cavalry, by which I learned that according to the orders I had given to him, he was going to take post at King bridge, the enemy having evacuated New York and all his post—I will send you one other express to day. Last night I had not one dragoon and my horses were not here—I shall be nearly at King bridge tomorrow at the first order.” For Maj. Henry Lee’s subsequent discovery that Armand’s report of a British evacuation of New York City was “premature,” see Lee to Scott, 12 Oct., in Scott to GW, 12 Oct., n.1.

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