George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General William Heath, 3 January 1781

To Major General William Heath

Head Quarters New Windsor Janry 3d 1781

Dear Sir

I have received your favor of Yesterday; And as I conceive it will be necessary for the security of the Posts below, & to prevent the Enemy from attempting a surprize, to have a Capts. Command for the Water Guard—I would have Capt. Welles continued on that service with his Detachment.

In consequence of Colo. Hays information that there are considerable quantities of Flour on the River, which may be brought down, while it continues open, with less risque in Batteaux than Vessels1—I am to request that you will Order a party properly Officered immediately to take what Boats can be spared from West Point for this service—Or in case Boats cannot be furnished from thence, that the Party have Orders to make use of those at Murderer’s, or Wapping’s Creeks—The critical season, and the importance of having the Flour thrown into the Garrison urge the speedy execution of this business—Application will be made by the Officer, to Col. Hay at Poughkeepsie for further instructions.2 I am Dear Sir With great regard & esteem Your Most Obedt Servt

Go: Washington

P.S. Capt. Chambers is to be ordered to join his Regt immediately.3

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

2For Heath’s orders for the accomplishment of this task, see his reply to GW of 4 Jan., n.1.

3Heath wrote Capt. Matthew Chambers from West Point on 5 Jan.: “It is necessary that you Should Join your Regiment I therefore request you will be pleased to do it as Soon as Possible” (MHi: Heath Papers).

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