New York 19 Augst 1780
Early in the Beginning of this Week, Sir Henry Clinton out from the City to visit Adml Arbuthnot on his Station in Gardner’s Island Sound, attended by a Number of Officers &c. it is Said for a Certainty that he was to consult with the Admiral abt the [present State of Affairs & to ] a Council of War what will be most expedient to be done at this present Juncture, As a Number of Transports are hauled out of the East River and the North River, Some People imagine there will be a Speedy Movement but no troops have embarked as yet [in], Various Conjectures abt the Matter but this you may depend on that The Barrack Master at New York has Orders to provide immediately Qrs in the City for 1500 Men.
By which it appears they mean to continue in their present Quarters—& we are informed (but assert it not as a fact that the Passage at the Naval[ ] Brigades of [ ]will be distributed on Staten Island in Case there’s the Appearance of an Enemy, & when [ ] Shall commence They are allto repair to their Strong Holds & leave the Inhabitants to Shift for themselves A new Forag Yard is constructed at the Flag Staff, where all the Forage is to be conveyed for the future.
The grand Redoubt at the Flag Staff is now doubly fortified with Abbatis which are distant from each other abt 20 feet between the two Rows is a 24 Pounder pointing towards the Woods & four more without the Works tending also towards the Woods.
The Mercantilears of the City is fully employed in purchasing the Cargo of the East Indiaman, little else is Stirring at this Time more than usual, but by next Saturday we hope to give you Something more Satisfactory. In the mean Time, Subscribe
DLC: Papers of George Washington.