George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Heath, 23 December 1780

Garrison West Point Decr 23d 1780

Dear General

The exposed situation of many friendly Inhabitants in and about Bedford, to the excursions of the Enemy, whose fears are much raised since the capture of Colonel Welles, & part of his regiment, and some ravages in the neighbourhood of Bedford; at their earnest request I have thought it best to reinforce the Detachment on the Lines, which has consisted of 150 Rank & File, to 200 properly Officered the Command of which I have given to Lt Colonel Hull: this Detachment I hope will be fully sufficient, with vigilance, & proper precaution, to curb the excursions of the Cowboys, and Refugees, secure our Front, quiet the Inhabitants, and prevent supplies getting to the Enemy—I have also another Object in view; the secureing a quantity of Forrage, which yet remains between Croton River, & Singsing, Pines Bridge & North Castle, which may be now brought off; as the Quarter Master can obtain Teams, without any extra Detachment for the purpose, by only giving a hint to the Commanding Officer to guide his movements, from time to time, so as to cover the place proposed to forrage—and I hope it will be in our power by & by to lessen Colonel Delancys Corps by some means or other.

Lt Colonel Thompson who was taken the last winter on the Lines is lately exchanged & come out of New York—He has requested a Court of enquiry, which has been appointed; inclosed is their report—As Lt Colonel Thompson is to retire on the benefit of half Pay, and is desireous to get to his Family as soon as possible; I request your Excellencys opinion on the Report of the Court as soon as may be convenient. I have the honor to be with the greatest respect Your Excellencys most obedient Servant.

W. Heath

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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