George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Robert Howe, 20 June 1780

From Major General Robert Howe

Highlands [N.Y.] 20th June 1780

Dear Sir

A confidential Agent in New York whose Letter is dated the 18th Inst:1 confirms the Arrival of Genl Clinton and Admiral Arbuthnot with the Return of a considerable Body of Troops from Charles Town & a Fleet of seventy Sail—He says that many of the Officers had been on Shore, but none of the Troops—That they talk great Things against the Jerseys, & confidently of attacking this Post—the latter He thinks by the Nature of their Preparations to be their principal Aim.2 They look momentarily for a French Fleet—The 80th Regt went from York to Staten Island some Days since—Their Fortifications at Brookline and Curlie’s Hook3 are finish’d—They have so thin’d New-York of Troops, that their Militia mount the Guards—& something important momentarily is expected. A small Party of Clinton’s Brigade came in Yesterday—the whole yet here does not exceed three Hundred. I have not remanded the Militia—our Situation requires them, as they can forward our Works. Rely upon it Sir, my Exertions shall not be wanting, & that my Soul is in a Cause, of which I glory in being a Servant. with every Sentiment of Regard & Respect I am my Dear General your Excellency’s most obedient Servant

Robt Howe

Strange it is I do not hear from——. No Militia yet arrived.


1This letter has not been identified.

2For British operational intentions, see Battle of Springfield, 23–24 June, editorial note.

3The British anchored the eastern end of New York City’s defensive fortifications on the hills just west of Corlear’s Hook (see GW to James Duane, 13 May, n.9).

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