George Washington Papers

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

From Brigadier General Charles Scott

Near Bedford [N.Y.] October 30th 1778


I this moment recd a letter from Majr Lee who has been on the Lines for several days in order To make what Discoverys he Could. his letter Your Excellency has Inclosd togather with two Nuse papers.1 I have Accounts from long Island Last evening. that very Nearly agree with that of majr Lees. but as it was not through the proper Channil from whence I expected it I did not give Credit to it, untill now. I have orderd Gists Corps to continue about ten or twelve miles below my Camp and Shift their Ground frequently to avoid surprize, and be in Readiness to Support Lee whilst he is on the lines. and in case the enemy should Evacuate the Bridg to make what advantage might Turn up.2 I am Your Excellencys Obt Servant

Chs Scott

ALS, DLC:GW. GW apparently received this letter this evening (see GW to Henry Laurens, 31 Oct.).

1The two enclosed newspapers have not been identified. Maj. Henry Lee’s letter to Scott of this date reads: “Altho’ I have been indefatigable in my exertions to strike a blow on some part of the enemy; I find myself baffled by the new system of conduct they have introduced. Neither officer nor soldier is permitted to advance on any occasion beyond their picquets, the inhabitants about Westchester are armed for the purpose of apprehending deserters, and the out-post are drawn in, and established under cover of the fort. No decoy can take effect, they will not pursue; Gen. Kniphausen has ordered the advanced corps to act totally on the defensive. Simcoe, the [British] Legion horse, Wormbs [Wurmb’s] Jagers, and Emmericks chasseurs which corps’s compose the body of troops encamped in the vicinity of the Fort are positively undr orders for Long-island. It is said that Col: [Beverly] Robinson with his battalion of Loyalists [the Loyal American Regiment] is to succeed in command of the posts relinquished by the above troops.

“I have had intelligence from the City by different channels, they all accord in the following heads. 1st One fleet of transports with ten regiments and heavy baggage have fallen down to the watering place. 2d another fleet fully laden are about <fa>lling down. 3d A third fleet <lay>ing at the wharfs, & receiving troops as fast as they can embark.

“Every account pronounce a total evacuation of the city; they wish to garrison it, which circumstance depends cheifly on European events.

“I am persuaded a forward movement of the Light troops supported by a division from the army would very much precipitate Mr Clintons motions.

“The Light corps that are ordered to Long-island will embark from thence. This maneuvre is to deceive the soldiers, and prevent desertion.

“Should Colo. Robison ta<ke> command of the advanced post, it is probable he will be obliged to venture some foraging parties, as he will find the magazines exhausted.

“Flattering myself with something of this sort, I have withdrawn my <illegible> Corps from Cantitoe, and mean to take post on the saw-mill river road in the rear of Col. Gist. This position is secure, & from its vicinity to the enemy will afford us opportunity to correct any of their sallies” (DLC:GW). Cantitoe Corners is part of present-day Bedford, New York. GW enclosed an extract of Lee’s letter in his letter to d’Estaing of 31 Oct., and he quoted part of it in his reply to Scott of that date.

2Scott is referring to King’s Bridge.

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