George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General William Heath, 29 July 1779

From Major General William Heath

Mandavilles [Dutchess County, N.Y.]
July 29th 1779

Dear Gene⟨r⟩al

I have the honor to forward to be disposed of as your Excellency may direct John Wardell master of the Bellona armed Transport Thos Robinson Serjt 64 Regt Thos Wilgis Corporal of d[itt]o—Jno. Chapman & Henry Henderson Seamen taken by Capt. Hopkins of the Light Dragoons at Phillips burgh1 yesterday morning.

The works on this Side shall be pushed as fast as is in my Power but will not be done so Soon as they might be. General Parsons informed me the last evening, that from a differance of Judgement in the Engineers who Super[int]end them The works are much retarded—The first that Came had his Plan, the next disapproves it and the works must be taken down and altered, the Third differs from him and another alteration must be made not one Quarter of the Fatigue men that are daily Sent are Allowed to work.2 It is the province of the Engineers to direct the works and they must have their way.3 I hope no Imputation of negligence or delay will be attributed to the Troops.4 I have the honor to be with the greatest respect your Excellencys most obedient Servt

W. Heath

ADfS, MHi: Heath Papers.

1Philipsburg was another name for Philipse Manor in present-day Yonkers, New York.

2At this place on his draft manuscript, Heath wrote and then struck out a sentence, which reads: “General Parsons requested that I would give absolute orders.”

3At this place on his draft manuscript, Heath wrote and then struck out words that read: “or all is wrong, The men must work so fast and no faster.”

4For GW’s efforts to coordinate and expedite the construction of the West Point fortifications, see the general orders for 28–30 July.

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