George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General William Heath, 2 November 1780

From Major General William Heath

West point November 2d 1780

Dear General,

I am this moment honored with a letter from his Excellency Governor Clinton, in which are the two following paragraphs. the first of them is expressive of what I apprehended would be the case:

“I shall be happy in rendering you every assistance in my power in the execution of your important command; but believe me Sir, the distresses of this State are Such that unless those who have experienced less of the war, make greater exertions than they have lately done there will be great difficulties in maintaining even your post.

“I find Weisenfels Regiment exceedingly deficient in point of Cloathing for the Climate to which they are destined. I Should have been glad therefore if some other regiment better provided could have been ordered to that duty; especially as I find from this Consideration and because the Troops of this State Conceive it an hardship to be obliged perpetually to Garrison that post, it is become extremely disagreable to them.1 If the direction of this matter does not lie with you, I shall be obliged by your communicating this sentiment to his Excellency the commander in chief.”

I apprehend Governor Clinton has written your Excellency a full State of affairs at the Northward.2 I have the honor to be With the greatest respect Your Excellencys Most obedient servt

W. Heath

LS, DLC:GW; ADfS, MHi: Heath Papers. Heath’s draft omits the paragraphs from New York governor George Clinton’s letter to Heath dated 30 Oct., but the recipient’s copy with remarks on recent military operations along the New York frontier is in MHi: Heath Papers; see also 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 , 6:349–50.

1Col. Frederick Weissenfels’s 4th New York Regiment had been assigned to Fort Schuyler, N.Y. (see GW to William Malcom, 16 Oct., and n.3).

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