George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Israel Putnam, 30 September 1778

From Major General Israel Putnam

Highlands [N.Y.] 30th septr 1778. 8 oClock. P:M:

Dear Sir

I am this moment favor’d with your Excellencys Letter of this day.

General Woodford has cross’d the River, and fallen down to Clarks-Town, and by our latest from there, the Enemy are about retiring. A small party of them have been as far up as Clarks-Town but tarried a verry short time. General Winds with his militia has, I am inform’d been at Hackinsack, and I believe the Enemy have drawn in their out Posts to the Liberty Pole, if not wholly left the Jerseys.1

I sent an officer with a party of men from the Fort yesterday, to the Clove to take possession of it if the Enemy had not, and if they had, to make report to me immediately—As I have not heard any thing from him, I amagine the report of the Enemys being there, is without foundation.2

With your Excellencys Letter of yesterday, I Receiv’d information, that the Enemy was about to retire, or rather that they was not advancing, on that account, I thought it would be more pleasing to your Excellency, to continue the Troops here, but have them in constant readiness to push to the Fort without a moments delay. The Horses being all out of Camp, I orderd a Vessel down to receive the Baggage of the Troops, if it should be necessary for them to Cross—In this situation things remain at present.

I wrote your Excellency Yesterday, about Noon, and am surprised the Letter has not reach’d you.

In that I mentiond, sending two Boats down the River for information; they return’d last night and give an account of only one Ship and two or three small Vessels in the River. I am with great respect Dr Sir Your Most Obedt Servt

Israel Putnam

p.s. I wrote to Genl Woodford this morning, desiring him to give me a particular acct of the situation of the Enemy.3 When that arrives, I will forward it immediately to your Excellency.


1Lieutenant General Cornwallis’s foraging party did not leave New Jersey until 15 October.

2For Putnam’s sending of Maj. Albert Pawling of Col. William Malcom’s Additional Continental Regiment on this service, see Putnam to GW, 29 September.

3This letter has not been identified.

Index Entries