George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Lord Stirling Alexander, 13 December 1781

Fish Kill Decemr 13th 1781

Dear Sir

I am honor’d with your Excellency letter of the 30th Ulto. am happy to find that the Military Operations to the Northward under my direction have your Excellency’s Approbation. I have Just received a letter from General Schuyler of which I send you an Extract, the Intelligence it Contains is such as I expected to receive. I should think it would be worth while to destroy the Armed Vessels, or perhaps to do something more. I shall I believe be obliged to go as far as prince town for a few day’s, a line from your Excellency will bring me to your quarters. I tremble at touching so tender a Subject, but the real Affection and Esteem I had for Mr Custis will not suffer me to indulge a Silence that might be mistaken for want of Attention to his Afflicted freinds. I hope Mrs Washington as well as yourself will possess that resignation to the decrees of heaven which true Religion and sound philosophy will teach us to exercise on such Melancholy Occasions. With Sincere Esteem & Regard I have the honor to be Your Excellency’s Most Humble Servant


DLC: Papers of George Washington.


Extract of a Letter from General Schuyler to Major General Lord Stirling

Albany Decemr 8th 1781

St Leger left chimney Point on or about the 8th Ultimo with his Troops in Batteaux but the Vessels did not sail untill the 19th, or 20th, and I have no doubt but that they are prevented from reaching St Johns as the frost has undoubtedly rendered the Lake impassable from wind mill Point to that place, in 8 or ten days I shall be able to Ascertain this matter and should my conjecture be reallized, I think it would be an object for a small excursion.

Major Ross Arrived at Buck Island with 210 Men only and those in such a shocking condition that the better half, will probably never recover, this Account comes by a serjeant of the Levies who was taken last summer and made his Escape from Buck Island, I have not yet seen him when I do shall Minutely examine him and Advise you of the result.

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