George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General William Heath, 30 August 1779

From Major General William Heath

Mandavilles [Dutchess County, N.Y.]
Augst 30th 1779

Dear General

Mr Hogeland the Adjutant of Colonel Sheldons Regt has Just acquainted me that on his way from the Regt hither he was informed that a party of men had a few Days Since been down toward New Rochelle and East Chester and driven off from the Inhabitants near one Hundred head of Cattle which they intended to Sell at vendue this Day at Crompond. ⟨mutilated⟩ Hogeland says these men are refugees from Tarrytown and Singsing1 and assert that they have been robbed of their property and driven from their habitations by the Enemy and Tories, that they have a right to make reprisals on such as they know to be disaffected. I cannot learn that they are Commanded by any particular officer, altho I apprehend that this matter properly belongs to the authority of the State, as the plunderers and Plundered are its Inhabitants yet as such practises are pregnant with mischief and will be productive of many ill Consequences, unless under the Controul and direction of authority. I have thought it my Duty to make this representation to your Excellency. I have the honor to be with the greatest respect your Excellencys most obedient Servt

W. Heath

AdfS, MHi: Heath Papers.

GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman replied for GW on 31 Aug. from headquarters with a letter reading in part: “I have it in command from His Excellency to inform you, that he will, by the first opportunity, give notice to Governor Clinton of the irregularity of conduct which you represent. Did His Excellency conceive himself authorised to interfere in the intended sale this day at Crompond, it would be too late to put a stop to it” (MHi: Heath Papers). For GW’s notification to New York governor George Clinton, see GW to Clinton, 31 August. The date of the cattle sale at Crompond, N.Y., has not been determined. For the petition of the inhabitants of Westchester County, N.Y., to Clinton, dated 1 Sept. at “Harisons Precinct,” Westchester County, in which they appealed for relief from the plunderers, see Hastings and Holden, Clinton Papers, description begins Hugh Hastings and J. A. Holden, eds. Public Papers of George Clinton, First Governor of New York, 1777–1795, 1801–1804. 10 vols. 1899–1914. Reprint. New York, 1973. description ends 5:253–54.

1Sing Sing, N.Y., was located along the Albany Road four miles north of Tarrytown.

Index Entries