George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Heath, 10 April 1782

Highlands, April 10. 1782.

Dear General,

The inclosed from captain Pray came to hand a few minutes since with the two New-York papers. The serjeant who was the bearer of the letter acquaints me that after he left captain Pray he was informed that a party of refugees landed early this morning at Haverstraw and took several militia men, and then reimbarked. Probably this manoeuvre is a feint to cover a design somewhere else on the lines. I have written to captain Pray, that if the brig and boats remain at anchor against his post, to move up with his boats at night, and take his station at Kings-ferry; or if he cannot get by them, to haul his boats over the bank where they can be defended. I have detached one hundred men from the 10. Massachusetts regiment under major Knap to Crompond to support the troops at Pine’s bridge, should they be attacked, and one hundred from the 3. Massachusetts brigade to Collybergh under major Trescott to support the troops near Croton bridge, &c. and have sent lieutenant-colonel Hull to take command of the whole. These detachments to return to morrow, if the enemy do not make any further movements.

I had given orders to major Maxwell to return from Stamford with the detachment under his command immediately after the 14. instant. Inclosed is a letter I have received from him this morning, and one from doctor Cogswell. It seems the number of militia who have arrived at Stamford is not so large as was expected and the inhabitants will be very uneasy when the regular troops leave them. I beg leave therefore to submit the matter to your Excellency’s determination. I find by the letters that a lieutenant Hull of the Connecticut coast-guards has been taken by the enemy.

The newspapers sent me from Stamford, are of an old date. I have the honor to be, With the greatest respect, Your Excellency’s Most obedient servant,

W. Heath

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


Stamford 9th Aprl 1782


I enclose to you, a few of the latest New York papers. A report, has prevailed here, some time, that the enemy have evacuated Charles Town, but it still remains a matter of uncertainty. Mr Grant, who is a prisoner, and who left New York yesterday, assures me that it is not evacuated, and that the British are determined to keep it. Lt Hull, of Capt. Fitsh’s company with twelve or fourteen of his men, were taken last night by a party of Hessians, on Long Island. We, in this part of the country, have not enjoyed so much tranquillity for three years past, as we have done, since Majr Maxwell has been in town. We feel ourselves under many obligations to you for it. I am Sir [   ]respect, & esteem your Obedt Huml. Sert

James Cogswell


Stamford April 9th 1782.


I Have been Honoured with yours of the 5th Instant. I Shall march for Camp on the 15th or 16th, unless ordered otherwise (which would be very agreable to the people of Stamford as Collo. Canfield is very weak, being not more than 150 or 160 men).

Lt Hull with about 25 men made a Voyage to Long Island the last Night, but were attacked by a body of Hessians, and Scattered; Lieut. Hull is missing, and about 14, or 15 of his men; one of those Returned is badly wounded but it Seems unceartain whither any were killed or not.

Doctor Coggswell Sends the News pappers and News. I have the Honour to be with the greatest Respect, Your most Obedient, and Humble Servant.

Hugh Maxwell Major

2d M. Regt

P.S. Doctor Coggswell Desires me to mention, that he has given his letter a wrong date, it Should have been this day.

P.S. It is Requested by a Number of the people of this place, that there might be a Flagg of truce Sent over to Long Island, to inquire after Lt Hull and those other men left on the Island last night. Should it be agreable beg you would be pleased to grant Permission. I am with the greatest Respect.



Nyack Apl 9th half after 11. in the evening 1782

Dear General,

At 11. oClock my Guard-boat Fir’d an allarm, Just be low the Block-house, and immediately came up, and inform’d that a Vessell pass’d them. She appears to Lay off against us—A Serjeant has Just came from Lieut. Shaylor who is at Fort Lee, and informs that about Sunset an arm’d Brig, two Very large boats and one something small, came by Spitendvel, the boats were full of men; there appear’d to be 70. or 80. men in each boat, inconsequence of this I have Sent off a boat to the two posts at Kings Ferry, and have fired an allarm at my Quarters, and Sent to the Block House to have an allarm fird likewise. I [   ] thing Expect they intend to land these Troops on the east Side of the river[.] I could not with safty Send a boat to Croton as their boats were up the river Some ways.

I inclose your Honor two English papers of the 8 & 9th Instt. I have the Honor to be with Every Sentiment of respect your Honors most Obedt and Very Humble Sirveant

Jno. Pray. Capt.

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