George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Alexander McDougall, 23 June 1779

To Major General Alexander McDougall

45 Minutes past 9 P.M.
Head Quarters [New Windsor] June 23. 79

Dr Sir

Half an hour ago I received your Note at eight P.M.1 In consequence of the intelligence Col. Butler communicates I have directed General Putnam to advance a brigade early in the morning to the Forest of Deane.2

If you receive any further advice, you will be pleased instantly to give me notice of it; and at the same time, send a messenger to General Putnam, that he may be the more certain of receiving the speediest information. I am Dr Sir Your most Obedt. ser.

Go: Washington

I take it for granted you have given notice to the troops on the East side.

LS, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, PWacD; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Only the LS includes the postscript and precise time in the dateline.

1This note from McDougall to GW has not been found.

2GW is referring to a letter from his aide-de-camp Alexander Hamilton to Maj. Gen. Israel Putnam, written at New Windsor on this date, 10:30 P.M.: “His Excellency has just rec’d information from Col. Butler, who is stationed at the landing called Stoney beach, that a party of the Enemy of about 400 Men were on the opposite side of the River apparently with a design to reconnoitre the landing.

“In consequence of this intelligence—he desires you will as soon as possible to morrow morning advance Genl Smallwood with his Brigade to the Forest of Deane, to remain till further orders. You will be pleased to direct proper measures to be taken that they may have a sufficient supply of provisions while there. … P.S. The General requests you to hold the other troops in readiness to march if requisite” (DLC:GW).

The intelligence from Col. Richard Butler came in an unfound letter of this date from that officer to GW (see GW to McDougall, 24 June).

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