George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Benjamin Tallmadge, 7 November 1780

Bedford Novr 7th 1780


Enclosed are two Letters on private intelligence. I expect in a day or two to have a more perfect account of the situation of the Enemy, & their late Embarkation. I have had no certain Accounts from New York, via Kingsbridge, since my Return from Head Quarters. I have however recd a second hand report, that the Troops said to have lately embarked at N.Y. have actually sailed, & that it consisted nearly of the Corps mentioned in Col. Jameson’s Letter to Your Excellency. There are Reports from the same authority, that another Detachment of Recruits, supposed to be about 2000 men, with some of the Cork fleet, have arrived within a few Days, at N.York—this is but Report—C—’s next Letter will be more particular.

With Respect to the information contained in Lt Brewster’s letter, I would observe, that the Place at which the hay is said to be collected is about nine miles from the Sound, & southeast from Setauket, alias Brookhaven—the Detachment of Refugees, mentioned in C—’s letter, to be posted at Mr Smith’s house, is about 8 miles beyond Corum, where the hay lies, & the same Course further on—They are about 40 in number. If your Excellency wishes to have the hay destroyed, or the Corps taken, I don’t doubt of its practicability, & with abut 40 or 50 of our dismounted Dragoons, I would undertake it. I have the Honor to be, with Great Regard, your Excellency’s most Obedt. Servt

Benja. Tallmadge

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


5 November 1780


Unfortunately at this time I cannot favour you with any News from New York that is certain or Meterial—Contrary to my expectations Austin Roe was preventd from visiting New York by an unforeseen accident. Disappointing you ever give me pain but is Some releafe When Consious have done all that I Could—We have a report from New York that their long expectd Cork Fleet (Which is their Sole dependence) is Taken. I do assure you I think thers Some truth in it—The Garrison at Loyds Neck Consists of Coll. Ludloes Regmt a Smaller Number of the Jersey Volunteirs and Some of Wentworth Volunteers the Whole doth not amount to more than 200 Men, The Works remain the Same as When Sent you the draught. This have taken panes to obtain from the best authority and as Such I think you may depend on—and think you may attack them to advantage Thers about 150 Refugees built a block House on Jesse Arthurs farme, and are Said to be Strongly Posted, and much on their Guard I think theirs better prospects to attack L. Neck. Thers about 40 Refugees at William Smith farme at South They have formed a Stockiade almost round his House. They can be taken at any time The Woods are so near that you may cover yourselves and Watch them a Whole day undiscoverd—I am Sorry to observe That your Commissiond Whale boats make more a Point to Serve themselves than our Country or to hurt the Enemy, Their Cruzes are Chiefly to this Island Well freighted with articles that are much Wanted here for which they Barter for Goods and returne and their voige voyage is up Capt. Barlo[w] Capt. Walker an Englishman from N. Haven Capt. Thomps[on] a Shoe Maker from East Haven. Was here Last Week With Shoes Cheape Leather [Buike] Candles Tallow and many other articles, At the East end of this Island are handed over drovs of Sheep, Chease [   ] and all kinds of Produce for Which they receive Goods and Some Cash Robert Latham at Sag Harbour Should be anihilated for being a factor, and the support and Storekeeper for Such an infernal Trade as well as Some others I have certain assurance of obtaning Some Intelligence from New York this Week There fore have directd Caleb Brewster to Come again on the [10] Instant When hope to heare from you I till then remain your [   ]

Saml Culper


Fairfield Novr 6th 1780

Dear Sir

I proceeded from this place on the 3d & Returned this Afternoon, the time Appointed to go over again is on the 10th Instant.

There is three Hundred Tons of Hay at Coram Collected from South Hold: Southhampton & East:Hampton, & Staked at Coram, which is Expected soon to be Carried away by the Enemy, at New York. Should be Glad if you would Inform me as Quick is possible—whether you would have me go & Destroy it or not—I Can do it without Interfering with my other Business—Tis Reported in New York that the Cork Fleet is taken, & Generally believed there Am sir in Haste [   ] Every Red Mark & [Fr]endship Your Most Obedient Humble Servant

Caleb Brewster

Index Entries