George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel William Malcom, 16 November 1778

From Colonel William Malcom

Fort Clinton [N.Y.] novr 16 1778


Lt Lawrence has been down the River with a boat, & has Sent a very intelligent person to the City—I Send herewith his intelligence1 and Am with due respect Your Excellencys most Obed. & very Humbe servt

W. Malcom


1The enclosed, undated intelligence report from Lt. Jonathan Lawrence, Jr., reads: “A Great Number of Tents on the Hill near fort Independance, a few tents in Fort Independance, some few tents in the Hollow below Kings Bridge, but saw very few Men, about 100 Men stationd at a small Fort or Redoubt on the Point below, Kings Bridge, no Tents untill Fort Washington, a Block House about One Quarter of a Mile above Fort Washington, but no Cannon mounted in it, and only a smal Guard, no Men in Fort Washington except a small Guard which is daily relievd, a number of Ground Hutts a little way below Fort Washington Containing by accounts recievd different Ways 1500 Men, about 130 Tents near Morris large White House, containing very few Troops only one piece of Cannon Mounted in Fort Washington, Piquet Guards Extended from Fort Washington down to Haerlem Creek, & from the Glass House to Greenwich, some scattering Tents & Marques just above the Glass House, about twenty Sail of Shipping lying off the City; & about forty Sail at Statten Island, about One Hundred & Eighty Men stationd on Powles Hook under the Command of a Major their Piquet Consists of a Sub. & thirty Men which are posted on the Height near Priors Mill in the Day time which are calld in every Evening at Roll Call to the Hook, when the Draw Bridge is taken up, in the Morning the whole Party marches out & Posts their Piquet—the People in General which I have examined who have left the City agree that there is about 5000 Men in the City & on the Island & that they wait only for transports to carry them off. . . . By a Person who I sent to town was Informd that Coffen & Anderson was not yet preparing to leave the Town, being at Fort Lee on the Night of the 12th Inst. I heard a number of Waggons Going from the Bridge towards the City the whole Night which I was Informd had been the case for several Night before” (DLC:GW).

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