George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General William Heath, 13 October 1776

From Major General William Heath

Kingsbridge Octr 13th 1776

Dear General

I would have wrote your Excellency Earlier this morning, But have waited to have Intelligence from the Two Regiments near frogs Point, which I have but Just Received, a Large number of vessells, Ships, Brigs, Schooners, Sloops Lighters &c. Saild through Hell gate yesterday afternoon, and Came to anchor last night off Frogs Point, where they still remain, during the night, Lanthorns were Lighted and hung out at their Yard Arms which made a very Extraordinary Appearance, There has been no movement this morning, but all Still & Quiet both at Frogs Point, and Morrisania and but few Troops have been Seen at frogs Point[.] whether, this Manœuvre is a Fient or not is yet Uncertain, I Beleive our Readiness to meet them yesterday at the Bridge & Pass over the Marsh has Disopointed them, a Small work has been Thrown up at each of the before mentioned Posts—I shall order a Reinforcement to Support those Posts—every Occurrunce worthy of notice shall be Immediately Transmitted to Your Excellency. I have the Honor to be with great respect your Excellency’s most Huble Servt

W. Heath

ADfS, MHi: Heath Papers.

This letter apparently is a reply to the letter that GW’s aide-de-camp William Grayson wrote to Heath on this date, informing him “that his Excy [GW] (as the enemy did not attempt a landing at Morissania this morning) thinks it would be adviseable to send a stronger force towards the two passes near the Enemy, where our Men were posted yesterday; & also to throw up some works for their cover & defense; He also recommends strongly to your attention, the keeping a good look out at Pell’s point, at the mouth of East Chester creek, & at Hunt’s & Willet’s points, for the sake of gaining intelligence these posts to be considered as look outs only; Should the Enemy make any movement you will immediately communicate it to Head Quarters, You will write to the Genl by return of this messenger, & let him know what has happened since” (MHi: Heath Papers).

Joseph Reed wrote Heath on this date: “It being necessary since the late Movement of the Enemy to form some Plan the General [GW] proposes a Meeting of the General Officers this Day at 12 oClock at or near Kingsbridge” (MHi: Heath Papers). Heath says in his memoirs: “The General Officers of the army were this day [13 Oct.] in council at our General’s [Heath’s] Quarters” (Wilson, Heath’s Memoirs description begins Rufus Rockwell Wilson, ed. Heath’s Memoirs of the American War. 1798. Reprint. New York, 1904. description ends , 81). No minutes have been found for this council of war.

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