George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General William Heath, 2 November 1778

From Major General William Heath

Head Quarters Boston 2d Novr 1778

Dear General

Finding it impracticable for the Troops of the Convention to begin their march the Day after to morrow, as was intended, I am this moment obliged to defer it until Saturday morning when I hope every thing will be in readiness.1

Inclosed is a request made by Brigadier General Hamilton.2 I have consented to the Officers, Sick &c. mentioned in the Letter, remaining here until your Excellency’s pleasure is signified.

At the earnest request of Brigr Genl Bailey of the Grants, I have ordered him 50 Blankets and a few Kittles for an Enterprise which he informs me could not be carried on without.3 I have the honor to be with the greatest respect Your Excellency’s Most Obedt hume Servt

W. Heath

LS, DLC:GW; ADfS, MHi: Heath Papers.

1“Saturday morning” was 7 November. For the decision to march the Saratoga Convention prisoners from Massachusetts to Virginia, see Heath to GW, 26 Oct., n.2.

2A copy of the enclosed letter from Gen. James Hamilton to Heath, dated 31 Oct. at Cambridge, Mass., reads: “I beg leave to inform you that there are a few sick Officers as also some married Officers who are desirous if permission can be granted them for that purpose of going in the Flag of truce Vessel by sea to Virginia under any Condition of Parole it may be judged proper to require of them. Should an Objection arise to the request of those Officers that a p[r]evious application is necessary to be made to General Washington, or to the American Congress to obtain Liberty for so doing I am to hope you will be so good to suffer such Officers under the above description as wish it to remain here untill an answer can be had from General Washington or the American Congress on the subject.

“There are a number of sick and wounded men who are unable to march; I have to request that they be permitted to remain in the hospital at Cambridge under charge of an Officer and Surgeons mate untill directions are given for their going by sea or otherwise as will be thought most proper by you or the American Congress.

“The number of Officers sick and married will amount to five or Six.

“The number of men sick and wounded unable to march is not yet ascertained—I have likewise to request that the Hospital stores may be allowed to be shipped on board the Cartel and to go under the Care of an Hospital mate with a Conductor and the Matron of the Hospital” (DNA:PCC, item 152).

3Brig. Gen. Jacob Bayley’s letter to Heath requesting these supplies, dated 21 Oct. 1778, and Heath’s reply of 29 Oct., are in MHi:Heath Papers. Bayley was gathering supplies for a prospective expedition against Canada; see GW to Bayley, 26 Sept. and 3 October.

Index Entries