George Washington Papers

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

From Brigadier General John Paterson

[White Plains] Septr 2d 1778


The great inconvenience of transporting Flower for the Army and Navy to Rhodes Island, and the uncertainty of Genl Clintons intending any thing more than raising the Seige in moving that Way, with the probability of his bringing his Troops from thence & collecting of them at New York, are in my Opinion sufficient Reasons against moving at present, at least until his Intentions may be known, an Attack on New York appears to me to be attended with so many difficulties and such hazard that it ought not to be attemted except a fair Opportunity should offer for a Coup de Maine.

I must therefore give it as my Opinion to wait where we are at present disciplining the Troops until the Operations of the Enemy shall point out to us our Duty. I am Sir with respect your Excellys most Obt humble Servant

Jno. Paterson

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

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