George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General William Heath, 17 November 1780

To Major General William Heath

Head Quarters Passaic Falls 17th Novemr 1780

Dear Sir

I have received your favors of the 15th and 16th instants. When the 1st and 5th New York Regiments were ordered up to Albany, I directed Genl Clinton, if he should receive advice that the enemy had retired, to send them down again. Under this order he accordingly directed their return:1 I had not then fixed, in my mind, the line of Cantonment of which I afterwards informed you. Upon the whole, it seems lucky that they did return, as by the Copy of General Clintons letter to you, there were no means of subsisting them at Albany. You will direct them to be disembarked and disposed of for the present in such a manner as will best answer the general plan of cantonment mentioned in my private letter of the [ ]2 and for the purpo⟨se⟩ of making an addition to the strength of your foraging party.

Capt. Hughes has obtained a Furloug⟨h⟩ upon the recommendation of Major Torrey the commanding Officer of the Regiment, and Lieut. Lewis has obtained his discharge upon producing Vouchers signed by Major Torrey—Capt. White the pay Master of the Regt and the Auditors, that he had settled all his public and Regimental Accounts. They have both gone from Camp to their respective places of abode.3

I fancy the account of Colo. Gansevoorts Regiment coming down is premature. I desired General schuyler to keep it at Saratoga ’till further orders from me.4

Major Ballard of Massachusetts who went up with the Invalids of the Line will apply for leave to go to Pougkepsie on business with the Governor—You will be pleased to grant it.5 I am Dear Sir Your most obt Servt

Go: Washington

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

2The draft, which GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman also wrote, indicates that GW meant his letter to Heath on 12 November.

5For Maj. William Hudson Ballard’s march with invalid troops, see GW to Philip Burr Bradley, 14 Nov., source note.

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