From Brigadier General Charles Scott
Near Bedford [N.Y.] October 25th 1778
Inclosd Your Excellency will receive Some Intelligence from Long Island by Lieut. Pine of Colo. Grayhams Regiment, who has been on the Island To fix a Train for Intelligence.1 also an Acct from A Deserter whom Seems to be a Very intelligent person2 these Accounts came to me last night, but as I hourly Expected Some more particular Accounts from York Other ways, I have Delay’d Sending them off Several Hours, Being oblig’d to forward a letter to genl Green I was determind to wait no longer for an oncertainty.
Majr Lee returnd the Night before Last from the lines, but Has not been able to make any Discoverys of Consequince. he Sets out again tomorrow. I am Your Excellencys Obt Servant
1. The enclosed undated account of the intelligence that Lt. William Pine of Col. Morris Graham’s Dutchess County, N.Y., militia regiment had obtained on Long Island reads: “He understands that all the troops on Long Island are gone down opposite to York and were to embark the 21st Inst.—Some small Parties were left to guard the horses & Cattle, and to hasten the Wood down &c.—It is a current report on Long Island that Halifax is taken—The fleet was expected to sail on the 23rd inst.—There are several horses & cattle pastur’d on the Island from one to four on a farm, According to the ability of the inhabitants—The People of York are at a loss to know whether they mean totally to evacuate the City or to leave a Garrison—The preparations they have made are so ambiguous & seem to answer either purpose, but it is the General Opinion that an evacuation will take place—An Officer from York was heard to say that all the New levys were embark’d and embarking to the Amount of about six thousand and were bound for the West Indies or S. Carolina—He said that General Washington had march’d his Army to Boston, expecting they were going there, but he was damnably mistaken for once As they were going the contrary Way” (DLC:GW). Maj. Gen. James Grant’s West Indies expedition, consisting of ten British regiments totaling about five thousand men, embarked between 25 and 28 Oct. and sailed from Sandy Hook on 3 November.
2. The enclosed account of the intelligence given by an unidentified deserter from the Berks County, Pa., light horse, which is dated 23 Oct., reads: “Simcoe’s & Emericks Corps, two Companies of Refugees commanded by Captains James & Thomas with some Hessians lie at Fort Washington—The 47th Regt of Highlanders march’d the 22nd inst. to York. Other men came on the Ground the same day, but they can’t tell what Corps—He thinks there are not more than two or three thousand men about Fort Washington, this side the Bridge included—Lord Rawdon’s Corps consisting of about three hundred at most lie near the Six mile stone” (DLC:GW).