George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General Charles Scott, 14 November 1778

From Brigadier General Charles Scott

Camp Near Bedford [N.Y.] Novr 14th 1778


I mentiond in my letter of Yesterday the Enemy being out as fare as Claps Tavern—when they found themselves disappointed in Attempting to Surprize the Hors Guard they immedeatly returnd on their way back they fell in with Colo. Thomas of the Militia and a Small party with him they killed a Subbalton and two or three privats and Took the Colo. Prisoner with Several others, the Particulars I have not been able to get. they took Mr Wards house in their way back and after Striping it of the Best plank, they Set fier to both it and the Barn and consumed them.1

all the intilligence that I have been able To get for Some time past is from Capts. Walls and Williams a Copy of whos letters Your Excelly Has inclosd.2

If the Weather proves good, I Shall leave this post this afternoon and Wait on Your Excellency Tomorrow. I am Your Excellencys Obt Servant

Chs Scott


1For details of the capture of Col. Thomas Thomas and the destruction of Stephen Ward’s house, Tuckahoe, by a party of Loyalists under the command of Lt. Col. John Simcoe, see Simcoe, Operations of the Queen’s Rangers description begins John Graves Simcoe. Simcoe’s Military Journal: A History of the Operations of a Partisan Corps, Called the Queen’s Rangers, Commanded by Lieut. Col. J. G. Simcoe, during the War of the American Revolution . . .. 1844. Reprint. New York, 1968. description ends , 92–93, and Ward to John Jay, 6 Dec. 1778 (DNA:PCC, item 78). See also Thomas to GW, 6 Aug. 1776, source note; and William Heath to GW, 19 Jan. 1777, n.2.

2The enclosed copy of a letter from Captain George Walls to Scott, dated 12 Nov. at Bergen, N.J., reads: “I was on sunday last opposite Fort Independence, I saw three small encampments near that place, & a number of Huts building at Spruce hill—One Regt encamps near Fort Washington and two near the North river some distance below the Fort—Monday at one O’Clock I saw a small encampment near New-York & two on Long Island—twenty Sail of Transports & five men of war in the North River—Tuesday night 10 O’Clock took James Stringer at Bergen who had left York that night; He says that on thursday & friday last he saw five regiments embark & that the Hessians have been crossing several days from York to Long Island—Stringer also says that he heard Colo. Barton say that the second division that was to sail would consist of twelve thousand men & that a small Garrison was to be left at the upper Forts, and two Brittish Regiments in the City.

“I have heard since and am Certain that Pawles hook has been reinforc’d with the 64th Regt which prevents me from doing any thing in that Quarter—I have sent by the party three Prisoners—viz. Jas. Stringer for dealing with the enemy Lawrence Byron & Denis Gibbons for attempting to go to the enemy” (DLC:GW).

Scott also enclosed an extract of a letter to him from Capt. Daniel Williams, dated 12 Nov. at “Young’s House” near Kingsbridge, N.Y.: “I can inform you by good Authority that on monday last, the Streets in New York were much throng’d with Hessian Troops marching towards the Ferry stairs at the East river who it was said were to Embark; That a certain Doctor whose name I have mentioned before applied to Colo. Emmerick for Liberty to visit a patient an Inhabitant near the Lines. He Was denied by Colo. Emmerick who told him he dare not grant his request at present, but told him Colo. Worm would march in a few days and that he would then permit him to visit his patient.

“I expect a man out soon who will bring some particular accounts, which I shall endeavor to forward as soon as possible” (DLC:GW).

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