George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Alexander McDougall, 31 March 1779

From Major General Alexander McDougall

Head Quarters Pecks Kill [N.Y.] March 31st 1779.


I am honored with your Favors of the 25th and 28th Instant. You may rest assured, no Man shall have any Intelligence, or intimation from me, which may be injurious to the Service; however zealous his profession of Attachment may be. But the Connection of Mr —— is such, and his Conduct in the dark Hour, was so unequivocal, that it wou’d be uncharitable and unjust to harbour any Suspicion against him. Besides, it was at my Instance, and with reluctance, he and Others undertook the disagreeable Task.1

One Hundred Men of Brigadier Poors, came here the 26th, Since which, have not heard any more of them in motion, which induces me to beleive, their march thither is Countermanded.2

The Second Carolina Regiment, marched and arrived as soon, as the Weather and other Circumstances wou’d permit.3 All the Troops, Cantoned on Long-Island, have gradually moved to the East-End, in Detachments, and General Clinton secretly left New-York, but none of the Troops have moved from the latter place. The privateers a few Days since, were all in Motion to the Eastward. It is now clear, the Enemy’s Object is to the Eastward; and I think New-London is his first. The Fleet is said to be in the Vicinity of that Harbour.4 I have the Honor to be Your Excellency’s Most Obedient and Most Humble Servant

Alexr McDougall


1McDougall is defending his employment of Elijah Hunter as a double agent (see McDougall to GW, 21 and 22 March).

2For McDougall’s request that the Continental brigade commanded by Brig. Gen. Enoch Poor be sent to the Hudson Highlands, see his letter to GW of 25 January; see also GW to Israel Putnam, 6, 16, and 17 March; Putnam to GW, 22 March; and McDougall’s first letter to GW of 15 April (DLC:GW).

3For the movement of troops from Col. John Patten’s 2d North Carolina Regiment to reinforce McDougall’s command, see GW to Thomas Clark, 14 and 16 March.

4For intelligence of Gen. Henry Clinton’s movements preparatory to a British attack on New London, Conn., subsequently abandoned because of weather, see Israel Putnam to GW, 22 March; and William Maxwell to GW, 25 March, and n.2 to that document, and 28 March, and n.1 to that document; see also GW to Putnam, 27 March and 1 April.

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