George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Heath, 1 February 1781

West point Febry 1st 1781

Dear General

Major General Howe returned yesterday from the Jersies, I expected the Battalion Sent from the Lines under the Command of Colo. Scammell would have returned with the other Troops, but the General informed me that he had nither seen or heard from Colo. Scammell Upon which I immediately Sent off an express to Colo. Scammell with orders for him to return with the Detachment up the receipt of the order, General Howe has Just now received a Letter from him, advising that he did not arrive at Pompton untill the other detachment had come off that he has taken a position below the Jersey lines and posted Guard out the several avenues leading from the Hutts, that it was the opinion of Some of the Jersey officers that his remaining in that position a few Days might have a very good tendency, that the Committee had not yet gone through with the examination of the Inlistments, that probably, their decision would not be conformable to the expectations of Some of the Soldiers, and that desertions might be a Consequent, for these reasons he intended to remain their until he received further orders, I have therefore sent another express with discretionary orders for him to return, or Stay a few Days longer as the appearance of things may require.

I am just informed that the Small Pox is in all places in this vicinity and at the Park of Artillery, as there are Some few of the Troops who have not had it, will it not be adviseable for such as incline, to have it. I have the honor to be with the greatest pride your Excellencys most obedient Servant

W. Heath M. General

M. General

MHi: Heath Papers.

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