George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Arthur St. Clair, 4 June 1779

From Major General Arthur St. Clair

Pompton [N.J.] June 4th 1779 4 oClock


I have this Moment received the inclosed Letter from Colonell Malcom, which has occasioned me some regret that I did not March last Night as I had purposed.1

I have no Accounts from the River to Day, but there is nothing extraordinary or I should have heard from the Parties,2 and I have seen a Person from the Neighbourhood of Kings Ferry, who says things are in the same Situation as when I wrote your Excellency Yesterday.

General Woodford is arrived and encamped about two Miles short of Us. I have the Honour to be your Excellencys most obedient Servant

Ar. St Clair

Colonel Malcom’s Letter referred to is of the 3 June.


1The enclosure was a letter of 3 June from Col. William Malcom to St. Clair, written at West Point: “We expect to be invested in a few hours—the enemy are advancing in Two ways—by the Continental Village—& the River. each party within 6 miles—I take liberty to give you this notice—Knowing that the Interest of america, is dear to you—The Garrison is not respectable in any view—The bearer Major Boyd can give you full information—I consider it my duty to represent the matter to you. Under a full Conviction that the preservation of the Garrison, (& it is an important object) in a great measure depends on you—if you are as near as by Accounts I suppose You to be” (DLC:GW).

2St. Clair later received, and forwarded to GW, a letter of this date from Brig. Gen. Samuel Holden Parsons, written at “Fort Arnold on West point.” That letter from Parsons to St. Clair reads: “The Enemy imbarkd at Peekskill on Sh⟨ip⟩ Board about Sunset last Night & this Morning the Shiping lies below Ft Montgomery from 9 to 11 Miles ⟨fro⟩m this Post; whither their Design is to pursue their Rout here or return disgracd to New York is Uncertain I imagine the Afternoon will decide i⟨f⟩ we are ready & willing to receive them—I beleive we have a Garrison Sufficient to resist effectually any Sudden Attack; and therefore should they move up to lay Seige to the Fort, I should advise that your Command halt about Ten or Twelve Miles from this Post at such Place as, in Case, the Enemy should attack, you may be able to fall upon their Flank or Rear; if the other Divisions move on a little below you, I think there will be fair Prospects of ruining their Army. but Should you think it necessary to render certain the Defences of this Post which is now only highly probable, you will be able to reach us tomorrow the Road thrô the Clove. . . . since writing the within the Fleet have fallen down to King’s Ferry” (DLC:GW).

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