George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General Anthony Wayne, 14 October 1779

From Brigadier General Anthony Wayne

Heights of Haverstraw [N.Y.] 14th Octr 1779.

Dear General

The appearance of the number of Vessels in Haverstraw Bay was a little exaggerated1—there is not the least sign of an alteration in the Garrison except that they are employed in erecting a Magazine.

had not your Excellency given a hint that you wished to lull, rathar than alarm the Enemy, I should have been tempted (since the arrival of the Virginia Line) to have asked for the Artillery I mentioned—which I have ground to believe we shou’d have used with effect—or Obliged the Enemy Immediately to move up in force & Relinquish every Other Operation—without injuring us but very little.2

Genl Woodford has taken post near Smiths tavern about three miles On my right & one Mile in the Rear of Kakeate Meeting-house3—our present position gives us perfect Security but against very Superior Numbers, & in that case, we have a safe Retreat.

Colonel Putnam Applied to me last Evening for a field Officer to his Regiment, in place of Major Murfee—he wishes for Lieut. Colo. Vose of Colo. Vose’s Regiment—of whom he spekes highly—and says that he is anxious to join us—at present Colo. Putnam has no field Officer to his Regt but himself—Major Hull being long absent in sick Quarters.

a few Artificers—i.e. wheelsrights & Armourers with their tools are Absolutely necessary to be annexed to this Corps—also a Conductor—we have been without one ever since the Reduction of Stoney Point—an Amunition Waggon for his Stores is much Wanted—will your Excellency please to give the necessary Orders.4

Enclosed is the only Sketch I have of Stoney Point—I have taken a good deal of pains & at some risque to determin the Respective Lines of fire as Delineated on the plan.5

ADf, PHi: Wayne Papers.

1See Wayne to GW, 13 Oct., and n.4 to that document.

2GW had cautioned Wayne in a letter of 10 Oct. against alerting the British at Stony Point, New York. For Wayne’s mention of artillery, which he considered sufficient “to reduce this post [Stony Point],” see Wayne to GW, 9 October. GW recently had ordered Major General Stirling to move his Virginia division, at this time temporarily commanded by Brig. Gen. William Woodford, to a position in close supporting distance of Wayne’s Light Infantry Corps, which was posted near Haverstraw Forge, N.Y. (see Wayne to GW, 28 Sept. and 5 Oct.; GW to Wayne, 29 Sept.; GW to Stirling, 4 and 7 Oct.; and GW to Woodford, 12 Oct.).

3Wayne is referring to Kakiat, N.Y. (see Map 2). For GW’s approval of Woodford’s position, see his letter to Woodford of 12 October.

4See GW to Wayne, 15 Oct., n.2.

5The enclosure has not been identified. As a result of the failure to coordinate a survey of the British fort at Stony Point by Brigadier General Duportail, Wayne had undertaken to conduct the survey himself (see GW to Wayne, 3 Oct., and Wayne to GW, 5 Oct.; see also Wayne to GW, 9 Oct.).

Index Entries