George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General William Heath, 21 July 1779

From Major General William Heath

Mandevilles [Dutchess County, N.Y.]
July 21. 1779 ½ past 9 oClock P.M.

Dear General

Major General Howe is this moment return’d from the Village and informs me that just before he came away the officer of the Guard acquainted him that five Topsail Vessells had come up to Pecks kill & that he (the General) Saw one himself. the others were behind a Hill. General Nixon had gone out to reconnoitre them. A report has not yet transpired.1 I have order’d the Troops to lay on their Arms, have augmented the guards, and Sent a detachment on to Sugar loaf Hill. I have the honor to be Very respectfully Your Excellencys Most obedt Sert

W. Heath

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

1The anticipated report apparently was a letter from Brig. Gen. John Nixon to Heath, written at Continental Village, N.Y., this date: “Lieut. Clayes (who Commanded the party I sent out Yesterday) proceeded down to Mathews’s house near Colla Bargh, made no discovery of any of the Enemies Troops below Ver Planks Point, excepting those on board the Ships, where he Discover’d the boats shifting the Troops from one Vessel to another—he Informs me that Twenty three sail of Vessels lay at Anchor Yesterday at three oClock P:M: between kings Ferry and Taller’s Point. he discover’d about fifty Tents pitched on Ver Planks Point near Fort De La Fayette; the Troops kept close within their works—none to be seen but Centinels.

“Lieut Clayes discover’d no Troops upon Stony Point.

“I shall use my utmost endeavour to collect and ⟨mutilated⟩ You the Best Intelligence in my power” (DLC:GW).

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