George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Israel Putnam, 29 September 1778

To Major General Israel Putnam

Head Quarters Fredericksburg 29th Septr 1778.

Dear sir.

I received your letter of the 27th Inst. with that of yesterdays date.

His Lordship Gen. Stirling who is perfectly well acqd with the Jerseys & its Militia1 has been dispa[t]ched there this morning, in order to condense the regular troops under Gen. Maxwel, with those who have marched from your division and the Militia wch are Assembling2 to a useful point, where they can affoard cover to the country, protection to our stores at Morris Town and elsewhere, as well as to keep open, as far as possible, the communication by which we derive our supplies.3

The shew of boats on both sides of the river; with the appearance of the shipping, make it absolutely necessary for us to provide against any attempts which they may have in view on our defences on the North River. You will therefore immediately throw over to the garrison at west point, the two Brigades which remain with you4—Perhaps you may find it expedient to send your baggage either towards Fish kill—or to some little5 distance up the Hudson, but the tents of the brigades must go along with the men—Genl Smallwood with the first Maryland Brigade is now at Fish kill Town if there is the least appearance of an Attempt6 on the Highlands you will call him in to your assistance. I am &c.

G. W——n

Df, in James McHenry’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. For the parts of the text that GW added to the draft manuscript in his writing, see notes 1, 2, 5, and 6.

1On the draft manuscript GW inserted the phrase “who is perfectly well acqd with the Jerseys & its Militia.”

2On the draft manuscript GW inserted the phrase “and the Militia wch are Assembling.”

3See GW’s letter and instructions to Stirling and Stirling’s reply to GW, all dated 28 September.

4GW is referring to Brig. Gen. Peter Muhlenberg’s and Brig. Gen. Charles Scott’s brigades.

5On the draft manuscript GW inserted the words “either towards Fishkill—or” and “little.”

6On the draft manuscript GW wrote the first part of this sentence beginning with the words “Genl Smallwood” and ending with the word “Attempt.”

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