George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lieutenant Colonel John Jameson, 31 October 1780

From Lieutenant Colonel John Jameson

Bedford New Purchase [N.Y.] Octr 31st 1780


I have just received information that Sir Henry Clinton was to embark last Thursday1 The Troops that have embarked are as follows Two Battalions of Guards The light Infantry a Corps of Infantry from the new raised Regiments Hessian Grenadiers2 forty second Regiment & Fannings Regiment also forty Men from Robinsons Regiment for Sir Henrys life Guards. Seven Sail of the line are to go as a Convoy. I expect to hear with certainty tomorrow the number of Troops Convoy &c. If it differs from the above will write you immediately3 I am with esteem Your Excellencys most Obedt Servt

John Jameson


1The previous Thursday was 26 October.

2Hessian captain Johann Ewald wrote in his diary that on 18 Oct. “the European provisions fleet arrived, which had 2,300 recruits on board. Among them were 900 Hessians, of which 146 were assigned to the Jäger Corps” (Ewald, Diary description begins Johann Ewald. Diary of the American War: A Hessian Journal. Translated and edited by Joseph P. Tustin. New Haven and London, 1979. description ends , 250). Hessian major Carl Leopold Baurmeister correctly stated the fleet’s arrival on 15 Oct. in his report from New York dated 29 Oct., and he noted: “Since the transports were overcrowded, many more men died than usual, and even more had to be sent to the hospitals. … The recruits already allotted and now in active service are in good condition.

Generals von Bose and von Knoblauch are ready to sail for Charleston and will take with them the recruits, field requisites, accouterments, and baggage—all this under the direction of Lieutenant Colonel von Schuler. The English regiments have the same orders. …

“Thirty-two tranports, furnished with sixty days’ provisions, are ready to sail” (Baurmeister, Revolution in America description begins Carl Leopold Baurmeister. Revolution in America: Confidential Letters and Journals, 1776–1784, of Adjutant General Major Baurmeister of the Hessian Forces. Translated and annotated by Bernhard A. Uhlendorf. New Brunswick, N.J., 1957. description ends , 386–87).

3No other letter has been found from Jameson to GW related to this somewhat erroneous intelligence.

Jameson wrote Heath from the same place on this date with the same intelligence, but he also enclosed “a Proclamation of that infamous fellow Arnold which contains more Vanity Impudence and Rascallity than I really expected any Man on the Continent possess’d” (MHi: Heath Papers). In his reply to Jameson, written from headquarters at West Point on 1 Nov., Heath called “Tra[i]tor Arnolds” proclamation “Infamous and ridiculous” (MHi: Heath Papers; see also Lafayette to GW, 28 Oct., and n.3).

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