George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Robert Howe, 17 July 1779

From Major General Robert Howe

Peekskill, [N.Y.] Saturday [July] 17th 1779


I joined the Division at the Continental Village the last Evening, and arrived at this Post at five this Morning. I now only halt for the Return of a Reconnoitring party, sent out last Night, and shall immediately proceed to execute your Excellency’s Orders.1

The Field pieces you suppose to have been taken on with the Brigades are not with them. General Nixon informs me there are not any attached to his Brigade; those of General Patterson I think to send for.

Colonel Putnam informs me that peekskill would be a very precarious Situation, as the Enemy by more than one Road, and by a March of a few Hours, might post themselves in our Rear and cut off the Retreat—and that without Horsemen to act as Videttes we could not receive Information in time to prevent it2—If, therefore, there should be occasion to take post in this Neighbourhood, I shall endeavour to fix upon a Situation not liable to this Inconvenience.

Least any Difficulty should arise as to the pieces, I should be much obliged to you, Sir, to send such Orders as may hasten them to me.3 I am, Sir, with the greatest Respect Your Excellency’s Most obt humble Servt

Robert Howe

P.S. The Field pieces attached to these Brigades I am just informed are all at Fishkill.


1See GW to Howe, 16 July and this date (two letters).

2Col. Rufus Putnam and Howe were together in camp after 10:00 P.M. on 16 July (see GW to Howe, 16 July, n.3).

3For GW’s effort to procure artillery for Howe, which proved unsuccessful, see GW to the Officer Commanding Artillery at Chester, N.Y., 16 July; William Heath to GW, 19 July (third letter); and GW to Heath, same date.

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