George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General William Heath, 18 July 1779

From Major General William Heath

Bald Hill [N.Y.] July 18. 1779

Dear General

Yesterday at half past 9 oClo: A.M. I recieved your orders to march for Pecks kill,1 at twelve the Division began their march, Marched 15 Miles & Halted. at three this Morning pursued the march reach’d Pecks kill at half past 3 P.M.2 On my arrival I found Genl Howe had sent off his Cannon & his Division was fileing off towards the Highlands the Enemy appear’d to be advancing in force near the new Bridge3 I threw my Division in the rear, sent Pattersons to the gorge4 & Nixon’s Parsons’s & Huntingtons to these heights, not being able to get further with the baggage. Early in the morning I shall send on the Baggage into the highlands & follow with the Troops giving the Enemy an offer of attacking us in rear if they Should choose it. Sir H. Clinton is once more disappointed after marching all day on my flank. fortunately I have form’d a junction. Since I arrived here, have been honor’d with yours of yesterday, enclosing one to General Glover. immediately on the receipt of your Letter Sent off an express to hurry his Brigade on with all possible expidition by the shortest & best route; and directed the Express to take fresh Horses. I shall Critically observe the Motions of the Enemy in the Morning. I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, Your excellencys Most obedt Serv.

W. Heath

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

1Heath is referring to GW’s second letter to him of 16 July.

2At this place on his draft manuscript, Heath first wrote “about five oClock.” He then struck out those words and wrote “at half past 3 P.M.” above the line.

3This new bridge spanned the Croton River a mile east of where it entered the Hudson River and was located roughly eight miles south of Peekskill, New York. For construction of this bridge by the Americans to ease the movement of supplies, see Alexander McDougall to GW, 10 Dec. 1778 and 1 May 1779.

4For this gorge, see Heath to GW, 1 July, and n.2 to that document.

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