George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Israel Putnam, 22 July 1777

From Major General Israel Putnam

Peekskill [N.Y.] July 22. 1777 8 OClock P.M.

Dear Genl

Inclosed you have the Examination of Capt. Atwood of Cape Cod1—Mr Mead who is the post that passes from hence to the East River, Arrivd here this morning, brings no letters, nor nothing new, Only that since the 25. Sails of transports past Fairfield, their is not the least Appearance of the Enemy in the sound, Our provost guard is full of Robbers tories &c. and more Continually Coming in, four has just made their Apperance taken near Croton River, so that I Expect to be under the necessity of sending to Philedephia for a Reinforcement of Halters. I am Dear Sir Your Hume Sert

Israel Putnam


1The enclosed examination of this date reads: “Sunset John Atwood, of Cape Cod, Capt. of the Schooner dolphin was taken in the West Indies, from thence got to Bermuda & there took his passage in the Sloop Nymph bound to Philadelphia; was taken of the Capes by the dispatch frigate & Carried into New York about a fortnight agoe, & from thence made his Escape last Sunday [20 July] Afternoon. Says, that about Noon on that day the Transports to the Number of abt 100 with Troops on Board, and about 40 or 50. Sloops & Schooners with horses &c. on Board and the Smaller Men of War got under way and Stood down through the Narrows but as the Wind headed them the[y] Come to Anchor about two miles below the Narrows. The large Men of War did not get under way. That soon after he was taken, they fell in with another Man of War & ten Sail of Transports from Scotland & Ireland with about 400. Troops the rest laden with provisions &c.—that about ten days ago at New York they were Alarmed with a report that the Continental Army was Comeing by Kingsbridge, and immediately 14 or 16. large flat Bottomed Boats went down to the fleet and returned full of Soldiers, who were marched towards Kingsbridge, and abt two or three day’s after returned to New York & thence on board the fleet again at Staten Island. That he thinks the Majority of people belived they were bound towards delaware, and that he overheard some Say that they had all Southern pilots on Board. That while he was at Bermuda a Vessel arrived there from Bristol, which brought advice that a french War was daily expected to be declared. That at New York they had recived advice some days before he left it that Ticonderoga was Evacuated” (DLC:GW). British officer Archibald Robertson confirms part of this examination in his diary entry for 20 July 1777, written while onboard the British transport ship Fanny: “At 10 weigh’d Anchor and came to an Anchor at Sandy hook about 3 with the 1st Division. The Large men of war obliged to come to an Anchor in the Narrows for want of Wind” (Lydenberg, Robertson Diaries description begins Harry Miller Lydenberg, ed. Archibald Robertson, Lieutenant-General Royal Engineers: His Diaries and Sketches in America, 1762–1780. New York, 1930. description ends , 140).

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