George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Heath, 17 November 1780 to 18 November 1780

West Point Novr 17th-18 1780

Dear General

I am this evening honored with yours of yesterday, will endeavour to have every thing respecting the proposed forage conducted conformable to your directions. I have ordered five of the best Boats we have to be sent down to morrow morning, the Subaltern and twenty five boatmen I think may be depended on.

On monday morning parties will be sent out to empress Teams, beginning at the extreme distances and moving downwards, it is Supposed and intended that they be at North Castle on Wednesday night they will be preceeded and covered by the Troops who are to march in three Columns, one on the Tarry town road, one on the White plains road, and the other on the Bedford road, It is now proposed to forage in Tarry town, Rye, and New Rochel, if the two latter should be thought expedient, which I hope to be informed of tomorrow, each column, will have one light Field piece, the troops will be positively instructed to be at the place where the chain is to be formed at the time mentioned in your Letter. General Stark, the only General officer I have here, will command the men belonging to each Brigade will form a Regt. The Regts will be Commanded by Colonels Shreve, Jackson, and Cilley, Lieut. Colonels Barber, Olney, and Dearborn, Majors Cummings, Wyllys and [          ] not yet determined, and a proper number of Capts. and Subalterns these will be Joined by the Troops on the Lines above croten river, about 100, and by Colol Sheldons Regiment and the Detachment of Infantry with him, about 200 in the whole, the Dragoons divided to the three Columns for videtts &c. a Troop of Militia Light horse, Capt. Delivan[   ] for the Same purpose, I shall also order the Connecticut State Troops at Horse neck (which I observe by my Instructions to be under my command) to advance on the Day mentioned to New Rochel, all the precautions you are pleased to mention will be duly observed. If your Excellency should have Objections to any part of the foregoing, as there will be time to [change] the disposition, I request you would be pleased to signify it.

It is expected, that about 200 Teams will be collected, and it is probable that the covering party will not move off the Ground untill Fryday afternoon, or night.

Colonel Govion went this afternoon for Head Quarters. I have the honor to be with the greatest respect & Esteem your Excellency most Obedient Servant

W. Heath

P.S. 18th the Boats are gone down the river, I cannot learn that the Enemy have any vessels above Dobbs’ Ferry.


DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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