George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General William Heath, 14 July 1779

To Major General William Heath

New Windsor July 14th 1779

Dr Sir,

I have received your favor of the 12th dated at Amewalk and on account of the pressing situation of affairs, have written to Col. Lamb at Fish kill, to send to your care 25,000 Cartridges1—which you will distribute among the Militia if there is really a necessity for it. I cannot send more. The respective States in general, as I have been informed have good supplies of Military stores of their own—& the Militia must be furnished by them. If large or frequent drafts are made upon our stock—we shall want ourselves.

I inclose you a letter from his Excellency the President of Congress,2 which came to hand last night. I am Dr Sir With great regard Yr Most, Obet servt

Go: Washington

P.S. I am much at a loss to know where Genl Clinton and the main body of his forces are. It is a matter of importance that I should be advised of their situation and movements. You will endeavour to have a good watch kept—and will acquaint me with them in your correspondencies. The Militia should be cautioned to make good use of their amunition—Firing at a great distance answers no purpose, which it is said by some accounts was too much the case at Norwalk.3

LS, in Richard Kidder Meade’s writing, MHi: Heath Papers; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1See GW to John Lamb, this date.

2The enclosure presumably was a letter of 8 July from John Jay to Heath responding to Heath’s queries on his appointment to the Board of War (see MHi: Heath Papers). For Heath’s appointment and eventual declination, see Heath to GW, 1 July, n.4.

3For the British attack on Norwalk, Conn., see Samuel Holden Parsons to GW, 11 July.

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