George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General William Heath, 20 July 1779

From Major General William Heath

Mandevilles [Dutchess County, N.Y.]
July 20. 1779 6 oClo. P.M.

Dear General

The enclosed intelligence was Sent me a few minutes Since by General Nixon.1

The Dragoon who brought it, informs me that he went on the ground where the Enemy encamped, that from the appearance of Bush hutts &. the Enemys force was considerable. Where their next manœuvre will be time must discover. I have the honor to be With the greatest respect Your Excellencys Most obedt Servt

W. Heath

⟨I ha⟩ve directed the ⟨adva⟩nce partys to keep a ⟨good⟩ look out, & observe if ⟨possi⟩ble what passes at ⟨Ver⟩planks point.

LS (torn), DLC:GW; ADfS, MHi: Heath Papers. Mutilated portions of the postscript have been supplied in angle brackets from Heath’s draft manuscript.

Also on this date, probably at an earlier hour, Heath wrote GW a letter from Mandeville’s that reads: “I Send on Two deserters from the [British] Legion who came off the night before last.

“And One who came off some days Since The late deserted from our army and went on Board a Privateer was taken by the Enemy Inlisted into their Service and has now deserted, he is a pritty Sly fellow” (ADfS, MHi: Heath Papers).

1One enclosure, a letter from Brig. Gen. John Nixon to Heath, written at Continental Village, N.Y., this date, reads: “I have Intelligence that the Enemy marched about Eight oClock this morning from their Encampment below Croton New Bridge down the Road towards Tarry Town—and that all the Shipping below Kings Ferry are on their way down the River.

“I removed my Brigade last Night to the Village on Account of the Rain, having no Tents to Cover them, and shall still remain here (if agreeable to your Honor) till my Teams (which I have sent for) arrive to bring on my Tents &c.

“I have a Party of Infantry gone down to make further discovery: Immediately upon their return I shall transmit to your Honor whatever Intelligence they may Bring” (DLC:GW).

A probable second enclosure was a report of this date, 10:00 A.M., from Capt. David Hopkins to Heath: “The enemy marched this morning from their camp near New bridge Down the post road towards Tarry Town, I was on the ground they left—the fleet that lay below Kings ferry are under way—I do not understand the move they may go down about four Miles below where they incamped and turn of[f] to the left in a Road that leads to pines bridge . . . . they Marched about two houres ago—excuse this small paper I can get no other” (DLC:GW).

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