George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General Samuel Holden Parsons, 23 November 1778

From Brigadier General Samuel Holden Parsons

Horseneck [Conn.] 23d Novr 1778

Dear General

the Weather has been so boisterous as has prevented passing the Sound some Days: The inclosd Examination of a Prisoner from Newyork I have sent.1 A Woman from thence the Day before Yesterday says a considerable Body of Troops are relanded in the City, that She Saw them land last Fryday & Says She was informd the Fleet was returnd whither the Storm had Shatterd so that they were obliged to put back or were orderd back she dont know but was told the latter—from every Account it appears evident the Fleet have Sufferd much in a Storm, Two Line of Battle Ships are dismasted & others much injurd, and I think comparing all the Inteligence I have had some Part of the Troops are returnd to the City; perhaps it may be no more than those belonging to the Transports which went ashore near the Hook (if that Fact is true) or the Fleet on the Arrival of Admiral Byron’s Squadron after the Storm may have been remanded. I expect some more Certainty to Night however that may be I shall Join my Brigade toMorrow. I am with the greatest Esteem yr Excellency’s Obedt Servt

Saml H. Parsons

P.S. The inclosd to Genl Miflin appears to contain One Hundred & fifty Dollars all Counterfeit was receivd by a Flag Two Days since.2


1The enclosed intelligence report, dated 22 Nov., reads: “Judah Bears of Cape Cod Says he was taken in the Schooner Fortune Nathan Bacon Commander from Virginia bound to Boston 14 Days since in Long; 69 Lat. 38 by Sloop Harlequin John Stout Commander & bro’t into Newyork from whence he escapd Yesterday Morning in a wood Boat to Frogs Neck. that on his arrival last Tuesday Week they were Set on Shore in the City: that the Day they came in a large Fleet which appeard to be 100 Sail or more were lying at Staten Island, they weighd Anchor that Day & fell Down to the Hook with Troops on Board that 3 or 4 of the Transports went on Shore at the Hook but twas said they were likely to get off with the Loss of their Masts & other Damage; that the Fleet left the Hook last Fryday week bound, as twas said, to Jamaica: that Several Ships, part of a former Fleet returnd into Port the Day after his arrival much damaged Two Men of War, large Ships, were dismasted that the Citizens said they had been ingag’d with a french Fleet: that a large Number of Ships Still remain near the City principally in the East River; that some Ships of War & some Transports have been lately heaving down & repairing: that some of the Transports have their Yards & Topmast Set and are riggd and their Sails bent the others are rigging & repairing; that, he Saw, the Day before Yesterday a large Number of Waggons with Baggage of the Soldiery drive, to the Wharfs & the Baggage Shipd on Board Transports; that some of this Baggage was Chairs, Tables & Kettles Trunks & Boxes. that there was not any appearance of Shiping Goods or Merchandize: that there appeard a considerable Number of British & German Troops in the City. that he came with One Ferris of Frogs Neck who piloted him off. that there was only the Rose Ship of War, & one Armd Schooner between N. York & Frogs Neck” (DLC:GW).

2This enclosure has not been identified.

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