George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to Major General Charles Lee, 12 November 1776

To Major General Charles Lee

Pecks Kills [N.Y.] Novr 12th 1776

Dear Sir

Inclosed you will receive a Copy of Sundry Resolutions of Congress, which came to hand since I left the Plains. They will discover to you their Opinion as to the necessity of taking the most early measures to levy the New Army. The Resolves cannot have any Operation but in the instance of the Rhode-Island Regiments, Commissioners having come from the States of Massachusets & Connecticut and being on the way from Maryland. they will be superseded too if any have arrived from Rhode Island. therefore the Resolutions are under that Condition.1

As It is of the last importance that the recruiting service should be begun, I must request if the Commissrs are not arrived from Rhode Island that you will call upon Colo. Hitchcock who will inform you of the Officers recommended to that State by Genl Greene &c. and give orders to them to begin their Inlistments immediately on the Terms & Conditions allowed by Congress. Such of them as agree to stay and will undertake the Business will be commissioned according to the rank assigned ’em in that recommenda[tion]. I have not got it by me, having sent it away with my Papers before I came from Harlem.

In respect to the Militias, you will try your influence to get them to remain. Perhaps the requisition from Congress for that purpose, may have some effect, though I have but little expectation that It will.2

The Inclosed Letter for Colo. Darby you will please to send in by the first Flag.3

I cannot conclude without reminding you of the Military & Other Stores about your Encampmt and at North Castle and to press the removal of them above Croton Bridge or such other places of Security as you may judge proper. Genl Howe having sent no part of this Force4 to Jersey yet, makes the measure more necessary as he may perhaps turn his views another way and attempt their destruction.

I have directed Colo. Putnam to examine the Passes in the Highlands Eastward of this place & to lay out such Works as may be necessary to secure ’em.5 When you remove your present Encampment6 you will assign such a Number of Men to the Sevl Posts as you shall deem sufficient for their defence.

I hope the Trial of Majr Austin for Burning the Houses will not be forgot. Public Justice requires that it should be brought on as soon as It can.

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

1These resolutions of 4 Nov., a copy of which was enclosed in Hancock’s letter to GW of 5 Nov., empower GW to appoint officers on the new establishment for any state that failed to send commissioners of arrangement to the army (see JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 6:920–21).

2The resolutions of 4 Nov. direct GW “to take such steps as he shall think most proper for continuing the militia now in camp” and to write to the appropriate state governments “requesting their assistance in this business” (ibid.).

3Lee enclosed this unidentified letter in his letter to Gen. William Howe of 26 Nov. (see Lee Papers description begins [Charles Lee]. The Lee Papers. 4 vols. New York, 1872-75. In Collections of the New-York Historical Society, vols. 4–7. description ends , 2:316–17). Col. John Darby commanded the 17th Regiment of Foot.

4The Varick transcript reads “his force.”

6Harrison at this place on the manuscript wrote and then struck out the words “& come this way.”

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