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From George Washington to Colonel Moses Hazen, 24 January 1780

To Colonel Moses Hazen

Morris Town Jany 24th 1780

Dr Sir,

Your letter of yesterday came duly to hand. I am aware of the difficulties there would be in the way of surprising the enemy, and I approve the caution you discover. Nothing (as I before intimated1) will at present warrant the attempt, but a moral certainty that they are much off their guard, whic⟨h⟩ by your information does not appear to be the case.

If there is only a subalterns party at Dungan’s it is not an object for a movement of your whole detachment: were the success certain it would not recompense the fatigue of the men, nor would it have a good air to go upon the Island a second time for so trifling a consideration. If a small party could with safety be sent to take off the guard it would not be amiss.

I would recommend to you not to repose much confidence in Hatfield, from what I have learnt he is a suspicious character and will probably endeavour to serve the enemy more effectually than us.2

I am sorry a better opportunity does not seem to present itself, as I am persuaded you would make a good use of it. I am &.

Df, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1See GW to Hazen, 21 Jan. (first letter).

2GW had also warned Brig. Gen. William Irvine, Hazen’s predecessor as commander of the brigade on the front lines, that Morris Hatfield was not to be trusted (see GW to Irvine, 1 Jan., and GW’s first letter to Irvine of 9 Jan.).

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