George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General William Heath, 20 October 1779

To Major General William Heath

Head Quarters [West Point] 20th October 1779

Dear Sir

I am always willing to encourage a spirit of enterprize when any thing can be effected without a probability of much loss or danger. If any Officer is willing to undertake the matter you mention, I have no objection. Much will depend upon the fidelity of the party, for if one deserts he endangers and perhaps defeats the whole.1 The intelligence given by the Horseman comports with that of the Deserter who came in this day. I am Dear Sir Yr most obt Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, MHi: Heath Papers; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Heath did not undertake this operation; the British evacuated their fortifications at Verplanck Point, N.Y., on 21 October.

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