To John Jay
Head Qrs West point Sept. 14. 1779
I have the honor to inclose your Excellency a copy of a Letter from Lt Colo. Taylor stationed at Elizabeth Town to Mr Beatty, respecting the sailing of three Regiments from New York.1 After writing this, he sent me a verbal message that he had received positive intelligence of their being destined for the West Indies. I believe there must be a mistake in the name of the Ship, as the Ardent was not to my knowledge, upon this coast. Tis said the embarkation continues. I think our friends to the Southward ought to have notice of these movements.2 I have the Honor to be with perfect respect Your Excellency’s Most Obedt sert
LS, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DNA:PCC, item 152; Df, DLC:GW; copy, DNA:PCC, item 169; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Congress read this letter on 20 Sept. and referred it to a committee appointed to correspond with Maj. Gen. Benjamin Lincoln (JCC, description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends 15:1086).
1. The enclosed copy of a letter from Lt. Col. John Taylor to Commissary Gen. of Prisoners John Beatty, dated 12 Sept., reads: “Colonel Taylor returns his Compliments to Colo. Beatty—begs of him to inform His Excellency General Washington, that three Regiments have sailed from N. York yesterday morning—One British the 44th it’s number complete, filled up by Recruits and drafts from other Regiments, and two Hessian Regiments, their destination unknown, some say to W. Indies, and some to Georgia, and Others to Canada. N.B. The above Fleet convoyed by the Ardent of 64 Guns” (DNA:PCC, item 152).
2. Hessian major Carl Leopold Baurmeister wrote that “On the 8th of this month [September] the 44th, von Lossberg’s, and von Knyphausen’s Regiments embarked and immediately sailed out of the harbor … on their voyage to Quebec” (Baurmeister, Revolution in America, description begins Carl Leopold Baurmeister. Revolution in America: Confidential Letters and Journals, 1776–1784, of Adjutant General Major Baurmeister of the Hessian Forces. Translated and annotated by Bernhard A. Uhlendorf. New Brunswick, N.J., 1957. description ends 301). The convoy, which left Sandy Hook, N.J., on 10 or 11 Sept., was escorted by the 50-gun ship Renown, commanded by acting captain George Dawson (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 202; 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 436).