George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Heath, 7 April 1781

West point April 7-8 1781.

Dear General,

I am honored with yours of this date.

Your Excellency may rest assured that the water shall be well guarded by night—I will take the earliest opportunity to obey your orders respecting Judge Lawrence and Mr Beakman.

I am not a little apprehensive that we shall very soon want provisions—The unhappy misapprehensions of the Deputy Quarter master at Hartford, will, I fear, create so much delay in forwarding the salted meat from Connecticut as will compel us to exhaust our reserves—Very few beef cattle have come in of late. The block house at Dobbs’ ferry, water guard, post at King’s ferry, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island troops, and troops of the lines depend for supplies from this post—And by the enclosed your Excellency will observe that even Fish Kill Landing is obliged to call for aid from this place—And Mr Commissary Stevens’s prospects do not seem to be very promising. I am leaving no measures untried to urge the forwarding of provisions, but think it my duty to lay before your Excellency our situation, as the most probable channel of ensuring relief. I have the honor to be With the highest respect Your Excellency’s Most obedient servant

W. Heath

P.S. 8th—I this moment received the inclosed from Capt. Pray. I have directed one of the officers of the water guards to go down [on] board the flag to New York, with directions to be very critical in his observations of the shipping.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


Fish kill 6th April 1781


Mr Else is intirely destitute of meat, and we have none to spare him from this post, neither have we any assurances of any [   ] comeing on soon, I wish you to consult General Heath, who is well acquainted with our circumstances, and if he thinks it adviseable you will deliver him five or six barrels of beef. I am Sir yours &c.

N. Stevens D.C.G.I.

P.S. Mr Else is out of rum also, Plan to consult the General respecting his having a small supply from you of that article.



Nyack Apl 7th 1781

Dear Sir

The boats at Spiten Devel Creek were moved into the east River last Saturday.

I have nothing more at Present but Expect to have something very particular, on Monday next which will be convey’d to You with all possible dispatch.

There was a heavy Firing of Cannon at New York all day Yesterday. Suppos’d to be Some Shiping come in. I Am with every sentiment of Respect Dear Sir [Y]our most Obedient Humble Servant

Jno. Pray Capt.

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