George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Heath, 6 May 1781

Westpoint, May 6. 1781.

Dear General,

The enclosed news-paper came to hand the last evening; although of an elder date than the one I last sent, may be one which your Excellency has not seen.

The officer on the lines writes me—that it was reported, a small fleet with troops on board, sailed lately from New York—and that in the course of a week, another fleet was to sail.

The enclosed letter from General Clinton came to hand this morning. I apprehend he has written your Excellency by the same conveyance, but have thought it might not be amiss to communicate the enclosed. I have the honor to be With the greatest respect, your Excellency’s Most obedient servant

W. Heath

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


Albany May 1st 1781

Dear Sir,

I have been favored with your’s of the 17th inst. The Neglect of this Department in all most every Instance has given me more Uneasiness than I can describe. The Troops have suffered beyond Measure for Want of Provision—The Spirit of Desertion has taken Place, and unless a speedy Supply is received, every Post in the Department must eventually be abandoned.

I have considered Spencer in the Light of a Prisoner of War, and given every Indulgance that circumstances would justify.

The Detachment I had sent out, did not answer my Expectations so fully as I could wish; yet several British Deserters & Prisoners of War were taken, a number of whom I send down to the Commissary of Prisoners, not having it in my Power to maintain them.

The Enemy have done a little Mischief on the Frontier during the last Week, their Numbers were not known: three Ships have arrived at Crown Point, and surely I am not in a Situation to oppose an Incursion into the Country.

I thank you for the Attention you have been pleased to show my Son: I hope he may not forfeit your Esteem.

If any thing new should turn up I beg you to forward it to me, as I appear to be almost forgotten. I have the Honor to be Dear Sir with great Esteem Your most hube Servt

James Clinton

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