George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General William Heath, 6 December 1776

From Major General William Heath

Peeks-Kill [N.Y.] Decr 6th 1776

Dear General

I have Just received Intelligence that on the 4th Instant about Sun sit Seventy Sail of ships of war and Transport with Troops on Board Sailed with a fair Wind Down the Sound towards New England, Probably to Rhode Island.1

I have Sent an Express to Governor Trumbull, and to Massachusetts Bay, and have Desired Governor Trumbull to Send an Express to Rhode Island,2 I have at this Post, Three Regiments of General Parsons’s Brigade and Three of General Clintons, and a number of Convalisents Lame and Rag[g]ed left By General Lee, General Clinton is pushing the obstructions in the River, any orders from your Excellency to move the Troops or any Part of them shall be Instantly obeyed, by him who has the Honor to be with the greatest respect your Excellencys most Humble Servt

W. Heath

ALS, DNA:PCC, item 157. GW enclosed this letter with his letter to Hancock of 9 December.

1The fleet carrying Gen. Henry Clinton’s expedition sailed on 1 Dec. from the East River to Throg’s Point, and it remained there until sunset on 4 Dec., when it resumed its voyage to Rhode Island (see Mackenzie, Diary description begins Diary of Frederick Mackenzie Giving a Daily Narrative of His Military Service as an Officer of the Regiment of Royal Welch Fusiliers during the Years 1775–1781 in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York. 2 vols. Cambridge, Mass., 1930. description ends , 1:118–19).

2See Heath to James Bowdoin and to Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., both this date, in MHi: Heath Papers.

Index Entries