George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Major General Israel Putnam, 11 July 1777

From Major General Israel Putnam

Peekskill [N.Y.] 11th July 1777

Dear General

I do myself the Honour to transmit you Copies of the Letters I have just received from the Council of this State, least you should not have received the Intelligence they contain thro’ any other Channel.1

The Intelligence Mrs Sickles gives, agrees with what I hear from other Quarters; that both the Army and Inhabitants at N. York are packing up and putting all on Board Vessels.2 I am Sir with the greatest Respect Your most Obt hum. Servt

Israel Putnam

LS, DLC:GW. The inclusion of an intelligence report dated 12 July 1777 indicates that this letter was not sent before that date.

1Putnam enclosed copies of Maj. Gen. Philip Schuyler’s letter to the New York council of safety of 9 July, in which Schuyler denies that he gave orders for the evacuation of Ticonderoga, and the council of safety’s letter to Putnam of 11 July expressing its support for Schuyler. Both letters are in DLC:GW.

2The enclosed intelligence report, dated 12 July 1777, reads: “Mrs Sarah Sickles came out of N. York on Monday [7 July] last—Capt. Arscue arrived on Saturday [5 July] with five Bishops and three Lords Passengers—were greatly chagrined to find the Army at Staten Island—it was believed in England that they had Possession of Boston and Philada—heard Officers of the Navy say they were to have twenty Days Provision and Pistols on Board by Wednesday—three Transports with Soldiers on Board sailed up the E. River on Monday—reported that an Expedition is desined up the N. & E. River—Merchants are packing up and putting their Goods on Board Transports.

“Thos Nielson of the 57th Brit. Regt deserted 12th Inst. from Powles Hook where that Regimt are stationed—A Picquet of 21 Men kept within the Mill—About forty Sail of Transports left Staten Island and sailed out the Hook the 9th Inst. under Convoy of One Large Ship & 6 Frigates; supposes their Army consists of 19000—heard no News from Canada” (DLC:GW). Sarah Sickles later became the second wife of Jacob Van Voorhees (1742–1828), a private in the New Jersey militia.

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