George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Major General William Heath, 23 August 1776

From Major General William Heath

Kingsbridge Augst 23rd 1776
half past One oClock P:M.

Dear General

I am so unhappy as not to receive your Letter Untill this moment, having been all this forenoon with the Engineers viewing the Ground & laying out the works, But upon Sight of your Letter I have ordered the Detachment Here to Parade and march for Mount Washington as Soon as Possable, And the Detachment at that place which Consists of near Eight Hundred to march forward agreable to your Excellency’s Direction.1

I hope Soon to hear Good News from Long Island, I have never been afraid of the force of the Enemy, I am more So of their Arts, They must be well watched, They like the Frenchman look one way and Row the other, However I trust that they will not find Americans deficient either in fortitude or Policy—A floating Bridge or number of Boats Seems to be highly necessary for a Communication on Harlem River I submit to your Excellency’s Consideration whether Some of the Fire rafts (as they are Called) might not be Employd to advantage for this Purpose. I have the Honor to be with great respect your Excellencys Hbl. Servt

W. Heath

ALS, DLC:GW; ADfS, MHi: Heath Papers.

1Heath wrote Thomas Mifflin at 2:00 P.M. on this date: “Being out with the Engineers I Did not receive the Enclos’d Untill Just now I have Ordered the Detachment here to Parade Immediately and march as far Down as your Post, you will Immediately march the Detachment at your Post forward as far as you may think Proper agreable to his Excellency’s direction Colo. Nickolls [Isaac Nicoll] who commands the Detachment here will halt at your Post unless there should be an Alarm, when he will follow as fast as possible, if all should be Quiet he is to return before Evening” (MHi: Heath Papers; see also Heath to Nicoll, this date, MHi: Heath Papers).

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