Head Quarters 5th March 1783
I have been honored with your Excellency’s Letter of the 24th of febry.
Circumstanced as our affairs are, it is impracticable for me, to comply with your request, for a Body of Continental Troops to be stationed at Stamford: some Aid, however, may be given to your State Troops, by the Countenance & Increase of our marching parties, who are patroling on the Lines, & may extend as far as the Sound. I will give orders for this purpose; & will direct the Officers on that Command, to hold Communication with Colo. Canfield, or other Commandg Officer of the State Troops; who may afford them all the necessary Assistance—in their power, as Circumstances may require.
On this occasion, I cannot omit to mention to your Excellency, that I am informed of a very unwarrantable Trade & Intercourse with the Enemy, from the Western Shores of your State; particularly in transportg across the Sound, great Quantities of provisions; meat & Bread—in open Day, without Interruption—and, that, as I am told, almost under the Eye of the Officers & Troops Stationed in that Quarter—in which Business, it is to be feared, your Commissioned Boats & Vessels, are not exempted from bearing a part—Are there no practicable means of preventing these shamefull Abuses? or is the Measure tolerated by the State?
The frequent Indulgences given, as I am informed, to Flags, to pass in the Sound, to and from N. York, in a great measure serve, not only to frustrate those beneficial Effects I expected to experience from fixing on Dobbs Ferry as the only place of intercourse of that kind with the Enemy; but are, I fancy, prostituted to the vile purposes of extendg that illicit Trade, & Communication with them, which, in my Opinion, it should be the Care of the States to prevent, by every possible means. I have the Honor to be with high Regard & Esteem Your Excellency’s Most Obedient and most huml. Servant