George Washington Papers

From George Washington to George Clinton, 8 September 1779

To George Clinton

Head Quarters West Point 8th Sepr 1779

Dear Sir

I have the pleasure to inform you, that the junction between Generals Sullivan and Clinton having been formed at Tioga, the whole Army moved the 26th Augt. On the 29th the advanced party of Riflemen announced the Enemy at a place called the Newtown, and that they were advantageously posted and intrenched. General Sullivan, having reconnoitered them—made his dispositions, and attacked them in front and flank at the same time. Their lines (which he says were more judiciously constructed than could have been expected) were quickly carried, and the enemy fled with the greatest precipitation, leaving eleven Warriors dead upon the feild—a number of Arms—packs, Blankets and all their Baggage. A Negro and a White were taken prisoners, from them, General Sullivan learned, that the force of the Enemy had consisted of five Companies of Whites and Warriors from seven Indian Natio⟨ns,⟩ under the command of the two Butlers, Brant and McDonald, and that they had been eight days waiting at that place. The feilds of Corn⟨,⟩ Beans and Vegetables were very extensive, and were all destroyed. Our loss was 3 Killed and 39 Wounded. among the latter, Major Titco⟨mb,⟩ Capt. Clause and Mr McAulay of General Poor’s Brigade. Mr McAulay since dead.1 I imagine the inclosed, which came with my dispatches, will give your Excellency an Account of the above Affair.2

I expect the Count la Luzerne, the new Minister of France, will be here in a few days, on his way to Philada—Should your Excellency chuse to pay him a Visit, I will inform you of his arrival by Express.3 I have the honor to be with the sincerest Respect and Esteem Yr Excellency’s Most obt Sevt

Go: Washington

LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, PPRF; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC: GW. The text in angle brackets is taken from the draft.

1For Maj. Gen. John Sullivan’s full account of his battle with a force of British, Loyalists, and Indians at Newtown, N.Y., see Sullivan to GW, 30 August.

2The enclosure has not been identified, but Clinton indicated in his 14 Sept. reply that GW had enclosed dispatches from Brig. Gen. James Clinton reporting on the battle. The same day as Sullivan’s 30 Aug. dispatch to GW, both James Clinton and Lt. Col. Francis Barber had sent letters to George Clinton from Newtown describing the battle; James Clinton sent his letter by express.

3For the itinerary of La Luzerne and his party on their journey from Boston to Philadelphia, which included a visit with GW at West Point, see GW to Howe, 18 Aug., n.1. For La Luzerne’s visit with GW at West Point, see Substance of a Conference with La Luzerne, 16 Sept., and the notes to that document.

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