George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General William Heath, 17 July 1779

From Major General William Heath

Ridgfield [Conn.]
July 17th 1779 11 oClock A.M.

Dear General

I am Just honored with your two favors of yesterday which came to hand within an hour of each other as Soon as the advance Pickets can be Called in the Division will begin their March for Pecks kill.

I most heartily Congratulate your Excellency on the Success of the American arms in the reduction of Stony Point—with so little loss, hope this is an Omen of future Success, I have Sent Expresses for Glovers Brigade at New Haven1 and the Detachments of Parsons at Sta[m]ford2 to follow the Division with all Possible dispatch. I have the honor to be with the greatest respect your Excellencys most Obedient Servt

W. Heath

ADfS, MHi: Heath Papers.

1Heath wrote Brig. Gen. John Glover on this date: “I have received orders from his Excellency the Commander in Cheif to march Immediately for Pecks kill and to order your Brigade to the Same place.

“You will therefore move on with all possible Expedition by the best and most direct rout to Pecks kill, not a moment is to be lost” (MHi: Heath Papers). Glover replied to Heath in a letter written at “East Haven, 9 miles east of N: Haven,” on 18 July, 9:00 A.M.: “Yours of yesterday is this moment receiv’d—I shall march the Brigade (by Fairfield & Ridgefield) immediately, and make all possible dispatch for Peeks Kill” (MHi: Heath Papers; see also Glover to GW, 21 July).

2Heath wrote Brig. Gen. Samuel Holden Parsons on this date: “I have this moment received Orders to march for Pecks kill Meigs’s Regt with the Field piece will march with all Possible Dispatch to Joyn the Division which will move immediately as Genl Wolcott is at Sta[m]ford I think you had best Come on yourself as Soon as may be my Dear Sir not a moment is to be lost” (MHi: Heath Papers; see also Heath to Oliver Wolcott, Sr., this date, MHi: Heath Papers). Heath again wrote Parsons on this date in a letter that in part reads: “I am a little surprised to find that the Troops are not yet on the march to Joyn the Division when I flattered myself they were nigh at hand, there were Sufficient reasons for their being ordered up. It is not two hours Since I received his Excellencys orders to move with the Division towards Pecks kill, They will in less than an Hour be on their march, altho Some of the Pickets were advanced Miles from Camp. If the Troops do not march immediately and with Expedition his Excellency expectations will be disapointed, and the Division but a handfull, I have therefore only to repeat that the Troops must march without a moments loss of Time, as your Troops are Light they can march with great Expedition” (MHi: Heath Papers). Parsons replied to Heath from Horseneck, Conn., in a letter dated 17 July, but almost certainly written on 18 July, explaining his delay and concluding: “I beleive we shall be at Westpoint as soon as the other part of the Division” (MHi: Heath Papers).

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