George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to Brigadier General Alexander McDougall, 1 August 1777

To Brigadier General Alexander McDougall

Chester on Delaware [Pa.] Augt 1: 1777.
10 Oclock P.M.

Dr Sir

By an Express this moment arrived from Cape May, The Enemy’s Fleet1 left Yesterday Morning at Eight OClock—put to Sea and were out of Sight Three Hours when the Express came away. I do not know whether you are coming on with the Two Brigades ordered from peeks Kill to reinforce this Army—If you are, I beg that you will leave the Brigades under the direction of the next commanding Officer to return to peeks Kill with it and repair thither yourself2 with all expedition. You will use every exertion in your power to call in the Militia as soon as possible & to prevent the Enemy from effecting a Coup De Main against that post and its dependencies—Genl Sullivan is ordered to return and Other reinforcements will follow immediately.3 I am Dr Sir with great respect & esteem Yr Most Obed. st.

Df, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1At this point on the draft Harrison wrote and then struck the words “consisting of a Hundred & ninety Sail.”

2At this point on the draft Harrison wrote and then struck the word “personally.”

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