George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General William Heath, 13 November 1780

From Major General William Heath

West point Novr 13th 1780

Dear General,

Enclosed is a return of Cloathing absolutely wanted for the recruits of the New Jersey line, many of whom are almost naked.1 I should have given an order on the Clothier for the delivery of the Cloathing without troubling your Excellency again on the subject, but find the Coats in the Store at Newborough are not of the Uniform established for the Jersey-line,2 and not knowing but there may be some of their uniform in the Store at Head quarters if there is not the necessities of the Troops are such as lead to request your consent to take the quantity specified on the return from that at Newbourgh.

The chain having began to sink and part of it got upwards of twenty feet under Water—a Number of Men & Boats required to be constantly with it to prevent the whole from sinking, I am determined to take it up tomorrow.3

I have just received a letter from Governor Clinton dated the 9th instant, in which is the following paragraph—“My last intelligence from Albany would rather induce me to believe that the Enemy who appeared in the neighborhood of the Lakes will not venture at present to penetrate the country in force; but my information is not official or so authenticated as to justify halting the Troops on their march to that quarter Colo. Hay can inform you of some very extraordinary conduct of Ethan Allen & others of the Grants.”4 I have the honor to be, With the greatest respect Your Excellencys Most obedient Servant

W. Heath

LS, DLC:GW; ADfS: MHi: Heath Papers. The draft includes only the first three words of the material quoted from New York governor George Clinton’s letter to Heath dated 9 Nov. (see also n.4 below). GW replied to Heath on 16 Nov. (second letter).

1GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman wrote “Cloathing return sent back” on the LS; this return has not been identified.

2For uniform regulations, see Peter Scull to GW, 25 May 1779, n.1.

3For the removal of the defensive chain across the Hudson River, see Heath’s second letter to GW on 15 Nov. 1780, and n.3.

4See George Clinton to GW, 8 Nov., and n.3 to that document.

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