George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General John Nixon, 2 September 1778

From Brigadier General John Nixon

Camp White Plains 2d Sept. 1778
2d Sept. 1778

May it Please your Excellency

The Movements of the Enemy to the Eastward Renders their Designs very Dubious. as Such: our Necessary Operations to Counter act their Designs must be very uncertain, unless we could acquire With Some Degree of Certainty their Determination. Should we find that Boston: or any part of Connecticut Should be their main Object: In that Case—a reinforcement from this army to be imediatly Detach’d to the Eastward: in My Opinion, would be highly requisite after Properly Securing the Several Passes On the North river.

Considering the Situation of the Enemy, at & Near New york: Surrounded by waters; of which they have The entire Command; being Strongly fortified by Land; In the most advantageous manner, and the Difficulty or An attack with any Probable Success, Influences my mind to be utterly averse to Such an attempt at Present. the reasons against it, Given by the Honle Majr Genl McDougle the Last Evening—in my opinion are very Obvious.

If upon further intelligence from the Eastward, it Should be Judged Expedient to Detach part of this army to Their assistance—the greatest Difficulty in Supplying them with Provisions there, Consists—in my opinion, in the transporting the article of flower from Hence, as all other Necessary articles may be procured in that Quarter.

Upon the whole I Submit My Judgment to your Excellencys Superior Wisdom.

Jno. Nixon B.G.

ALS, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. This is Nixon’s reply to the questions posed by GW at a council of war on the evening of 1 September.

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