George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General William Heath, 14 January 1777

From Major General William Heath

Claps Tavern Kingstreet [Westchester County, N.Y.]
Janry 14th 17771

Dear General,

I have Just received the Honor of yours of the 9th Instant, and have the Pleasure to acquaint your Excellency that I am moving towards New York with all Possible Expedition our Numbers are between Two and Three Thousand, And Hope Soon to give your Excellency Some Particulars which I dare not write at this Time, least the Letter should fall into the Hands of the Enemy—your Excellency may be assured of every Exertion in Our Power.

The Enemy are Alarmed, Two Brass Twelve Pounders Drawn by Eight Horses each were moved up to Fort Washington on Fryday last—A man who left the City on Fryday or Saturday has given us the Intelligence Contained in the Enclosed,2 And by Three young men who left the City on Sunday we are Informed, that on Fryday or Saturday Two or three Ships full of Hessian Soldiers Came up to the City from Staten Island, who had been in the Jersies, and were ordered to the City (as was Said) because they Could not be trusted, I wish this account may be true We want Artillery having but three Peices with us Occasioned by the want of Artillerymen.

As Soon as any thing material Transpires it shall be Transmitted to your Excellency. I have the Honor to be with great respect your Excellencys most Humble Servt

W. Heath

ADfS, MHi: Heath Papers.

1Clap’s Tavern was located in Rye, Westchester County, N.Y., on Kingstreet, a road laid out in 1681 in a fertile area of several miles’ length “running northerly along the high plateau on the west side of the Byram River, overlooking [present day] Port Chester, and a frequent camping ground for troops throughout the Revolutionary War” (Hall, Life and Letters of General Parsons description begins Charles S. Hall. Life and Letters of Samuel Holden Parsons: Major General in the Continental Army and Chief Judge of the Northwestern Territory, 1737-1789. Binghamton, N.Y., 1905. description ends , 82). Gen. Samuel Holden Parsons’s brigade camped on Kingstreet on 8 Jan., and on this date Heath moved there from North Castle, where he had arrived on 13 Jan. just before sunset (see Wilson, Heath’s Memoirs description begins Rufus Rockwell Wilson, ed. Heath’s Memoirs of the American War. 1798. Reprint. New York, 1904. description ends , 118).

2The previous Friday was 10 Jan. 1777. The enclosed intelligence has not been identified.

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