From Major General Stirling
[2 Aug. 1779]
Extract of a Letter from Lord Stirling dated 2d August 1779.
[“]I had a Letter from Major Lee this Morning in which he says ‘Sir H. Clinton has decamp’d from Philips’s, the army lays collected near the heights of Harlem, Genl Tryon is return’d, several Genl Officers arriv’d with the Earl Cornwallis, The Ships of War have all stood out at Sea, a report prevails in the city that a French Fleet is on the Coast, It gives great consternation’—from Monmouth I was informed Yesterday that a large fleet had been seen on the Coast.[”]1
Copy (extract), enclosed in GW to the Massachusetts Council, 3 Aug. 1779, M-Ar.
1. The diary entry for 21 July of a British officer stationed in New York City reads: “The Greyhound Frigate, Captain Dixon, arrived from England, having sailed the 4th of June & brought over Lieutenant General Earl Cornwallis & his Suite—Brigadier General Patterson, Lieutenant Colonel Stewart & other Officers” (Ritchie, “New York Diary,” description begins Carson I. A. Ritchie, ed. “A New York Diary [British army officer’s journal] of the Revolutionary War.” New-York Historical Society Quarterly 50 (1966): 221–80, 401–46. description ends 429).
Gen. Henry Clinton had not been at his army’s encampment at Philipse Manor, N.Y., since 26 July when he had left for New York City (Lydenberg, Robertson Diaries, description begins Harry Miller Lydenberg, ed. Archibald Robertson, Lieutenant-General Royal Engineers: His Diaries and Sketches in America, 1762–1780. New York, 1930. description ends 201). On 31 July, British officer Archibald Robertson wrote in his journal: “at Day break all the Army march’d within and near to Kingsbridge, Light Troops with out the Redouts … found the General had gone with Lord Cornwallis to Visit King’s Ferry.” Robertson reported that Clinton returned to New York on 2 Aug. (Lydenberg, Robertson Diaries, description begins Harry Miller Lydenberg, ed. Archibald Robertson, Lieutenant-General Royal Engineers: His Diaries and Sketches in America, 1762–1780. New York, 1930. description ends 201).
British commodore George Collier’s squadron departed Sandy Hook, N.J., on 3 Aug. (see GW to Massachusetts Council, 3 Aug., n.3).