To Brigadier General Anthony Wayne
Head Qrs [West Point] Octob. 17: 1779
By intelligence I have just received from Elizabeth Town Colo. Webster left N. York on the 13th with three Regiments—and came up the River. The ostensible reason is to relieve the Troops at Stony & Verplanks points; but as they may have it possibly in view to attempt some thing—I have thought it necessary to communicate the intelligence to you by a Return Express. that you may be on your guard—in case you should be their Object.1 No farther accounts yet from the southward.2 I am Dr sir with great regard & respect Yr Most Obedt sert.
Df, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.
On this date GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman wrote to Israel Putnam from headquarters: “His Excellency has just recd advice that three British Regt left New York the 13th said to be to releive the Garrisons of Stoney and Verplanks points: But untill it can be ascertained whether this is really a relief or a reinforcement His Excellency desires you to recommend vigilance to your Guard Boats and pickets.
“The inclosed is from a Mate who was taken yesterday with 12 seamen near the mouth of Croton—Be pleased to direct the master of one of your Boats to deliver it to the enemys most advanced Boat and inform them, that if the things which the Mate writes for are sent up, they will be received and forwarded” (DLC:GW). The enclosure has not been identified.
1. The British sent no expedition up the Hudson at this time, but they had recently embarked several regiments at New York as a potential relief force in case of an American attack on Stony Point, N.Y. (see Wayne to GW, 5 Oct., n.2).
2. GW was awaiting the arrival of the French fleet under the command of Vice Admiral d’Estaing (see Planning for an Allied Attack on New York, c.3–7 Oct.).