George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General Charles Scott, 26 October 1778

From Brigadier General Charles Scott

Camp Near Bedford [N.Y.] October 26th 1778


Your Excellencys favour of Yesterdays date Came to Hand Last evening. I observe Your instructions and attention shall be paid to every Particular.

we have a good many deserters from Simcoes Corps But as they are prevented from going on York Island they Can know but little about what is doing there. they inform me that there are no troops encamped on this side of Kings Bridg but Simcoes & Emricks Corps and five Troops of horse in the whole Horse & foot not more than three Hundred. a guard of one Hundred men is Sent Daily from the British Troops on the other side of the Bridg. but they do not know How many nor what Corps are over there. they all agree that there is two Houses Building about 30 feet in length at a Redoubt No. 6 to the Southward of fort Independance Both these houses are not more than Sufficent to Cover the Guard. the walls of Both Houses are of Stone and very Low pitch. Capt. Walls is this moment returnd from the Other Side of the River. he informs me that there has been no Movement in the fleet Since he went over. his business Hear is to git some Necessarys and know what is to be don with the Horses he took, the other day, which he has Brought to Camp with him. I have Directed that they Be Sold and the Money divided among the Captors which I hope will Meet Your Excellencys Approbation. the Capt. Has left his party to watch the enemys Motions & will Return again this evening himself. the officers of the Eastern troops who are with me, are giting very oneasy at Being left behind when the Regiments to which they belong are Marched (as they say) home. and have Carryed with them all the Stors provided by their States, the Benefit of which they will Loose, whilst those who are gon to good Quarters Will have the whole. Some of the officers Seem determind to Resign if they Cant be Sufferd to Join their Regiments—This Report was made me Late last evening by Colo. Henly who Commands them, who tells me that two of the officers Waited on him Last evening to let him know their intentions I shall keep a Watchfull eye on them and wait Your Excys Instructions. this leaves no sort of doubt with me, that the officers Countenanced the late desertion among those Troops, and I cannot but be fearfull, that Somthing of the Kind, but on a larger Scale is now in Contemplation.

Inclosd is an Acct from a Deserter this moment come in.1 I am Your Excellencys Obt Servant

Chs Scott


1The enclosed intelligence report “By a Deserter from the 7th British Regiment John Whitfield McCulloch,” dated 26 Oct., reads: “He says the 7th Regiment lies on Harlem hights at the 9 Mile Stone from York the Regiment has about 300 men 100 of which are sick—The Hessian Granadiers lie near Harlem only one Battalion of them—The 28th Regiment March’d to Embark about 2 weeks ago, the 45th 52nd & 10th Regiments are reduced and annexed to the Regiments which are gone to the West Indies 2 Battalions of the 71st Regiment of Highlanders marched the 21st Inst. & the 45th & 35th Regts took their ground the same day; those two Regimts are weaker than the 2 Battalions they releaved It is said by the Officers that the 7th Regiment is to lye where they now do & do duty all the winter—He says he heard Capt. [John] Harrison say the 7th Regiment was to be Quartered about by Companies in Barns &c. near Harlem—And that the Guards at Fort Independence would be reduced to 30 men and the other redoubts to 20 men each unless the American Army should disturb them” (DLC:GW). The 28th and 35th regiments were among the ten regiments in Maj. Gen. James Grant’s West Indies expedition that embarked between 25 and 28 Oct. and sailed from Sandy Hook on 3 November. The 71st Regiment embarked for the East Florida expedition, commanded by Lt. Col. Archibald Campbell, on 3 Nov. and sailed from Sandy Hook on 26 November.

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