George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Benedict Arnold, 11 September 1780

From Major General Benedict Arnold

Dobbs’s Ferry [NY.] Sepr 11th 1780

Dear Sir,

Yesterday I had the honor to receive your Excellencys Letter of the 7th, and am very happy to hear such favorable Accounts from the Southward, I hope our affairs in that quarter will soon wear a more pleasing aspect than ever.1

Colonel Sheldon Complains to me that his Horses are much worn down, and the Inhabitants of Wt Chester complain that the Country is not sufficiently guarded against the Enemy, I have therefore sent Colonel Hay fifty Men from Wt Point as more eligible than taking them from the lines.2

Mr Stephens informs me that there is One hundred Hogsheads Rum at Springfield, But that Teams Cannot be procured to bring it on.3

I came here this morning in order to establish Signals to be observed in Case the Enemy came up the River, to give some directions respecting the Guard Boats, and to have a Beacon fixed upon the Mountain abt 5 Miles So. of Kings ferry, which will be Necessary to Alarm the Country, the One fixed there formerly has been destroyed.4

There are some Cannon at Wt Point which are of little service except for Signal Guns. I propose sending two of them to Colonel Gouvion for that purpose if agreable to your Excellency.5

A Supply of Cattle for some days had Arived at Wt Point before I left it, I am informed that Considerable Numbers have been Crossed at King’s ferry, I am in hopes the Army will be better supplied in future.6 I have the honor to be with the highest respect & Esteem Your Excellencys most Obedt & very Hble Svt

B. Arnold

ALS, DLC:GW; Df, DLC:GW. Arnold addressed the ALS to GW at Hackensack, New Jersey.

1Arnold apparently means GW’s letter to him dated 9 Sept., found at Arnold to GW, 8 Sept., n.3.

2Arnold sent New Hampshire levies (see Richard Varick to Udny Hay, 10 Sept., DLC:GW; see also Elisha Sheldon to Arnold, 6 Sept., DLC:GW, and George Clinton to Arnold, 9 Sept., in 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 , 6:187–88).

3See Nathaniel Stevens to Arnold, 10 Sept. (DLC:GW).

4The mountain was at Verdrietege Hook, N.Y. (see Arnold to James Livingston, 12 Sept., DLC:GW).

5Lieutenant Colonel Gouvion was at Dobbs Ferry (see General Orders, 12 Aug.). For correspondence related to the signal guns, see Varick to John Lamb; Lamb to Arnold; and Arnold to Lamb, all 13 Sept. (DLC:GW).

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