George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Charles Lee, 24 November 1776

To Major General Charles Lee

New Ark Nov. 24th 1776.

Dr Sir.

I wrote you this morning of the probability, that some of your letters, to me, had fall’n with the mail into the enemy’s hands; My apprehensions on that head, have been since confirmed. By direct intelligence from their camp, I am informed that a letter from you, is confidently said to have come to their hands,1 & that measures are taking to intercept your march; To prevent them from effecting this object, I have judged it proper to acquaint you, of this accident & of their design; at the same time, I must request, that you will take every precaution to come by a safe and secure route; I am told by those who have an intimate knowledge of the Country, that after you leave Haverstraw, the western road by Keakiat will be proper, for you to take;2 But I will not undertake to prescribe any one in particular, only observing that you will by all means, keep between the Enemy and the Mountains.

Before I conclude, I would wish you to leave under the care of Genl Heath, the two twelve pounders, on travelling carriages; they will be safe with him at Peck’s kill. The Brass twenty four, I would have you bring, provided, it can be done, without great inconvenience.

I need not urge the necessity of your gaining intelligence of the enemy’s situation, in the course of your march; I will be silent on that head, nor need I mention the propriety of yr sending frequent expresses, to advise of your approaches. Hoping & trusting that yr arrival will be safe & happy I am Dr Sir Yr Most Obedt Servt


P.S. The Expresses shd come by the western road otherwise they may fall in with the Enemy. Inclosed you will recieve a copy of sundry resolves, of Congress, which you will publish in orders.3

Df, in William Grayson’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1This letter has not been identified.

2Kakiat (Kakiate, Cakeat, Cakiatt) was in Orange (now Rockland) County, N.Y., about seven miles southwest of Haverstraw and about five miles east of the Ramapo Mountains.

3Although this enclosure has not been identified, it seems likely that GW sent Lee an abstract of Congress’s resolutions of 19 Nov. similar to the one that was enclosed in Robert Hanson Harrison’s letter to Heath of this date (see Heath to GW, 26 Nov., and note 2; see also Hancock to GW, 21 Nov., and notes 1, 2, and 3).

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