George Washington Papers

From George Washington to George Clinton, 30 June 1781

Head Quarters near Peekskill 30th June 1781.

Dear Sir

In fullest confidence I inform you that I intend to make an attempt by surprise upon the enemy’s posts on the North End of York Island on Monday Night. Should we be happy enough to succeed and be able to hold our conquest, the advantages will be greater than can be well imagined: But I cannot flatter myself that the Enemy will permit the latter, unless I am suddenly and considerably reinforced. I shall march down the remainder of this Army, and have hopes that the French Forces will be near at hand by that time—But I shall, notwithstanding, direct the Alarm Guns and Beacons to be fired in case of success, and I have to request that your Excellency will; upon such signals, communicate the meaning of them to the Militia, and put yourself at the head of them and march with the utmost expedition towards Kings bridge, bringing with you three or four days provision at least. In that time I think we shall have so arranged matters as to have little need of the Militia called out upon the Moment.

I have, upon a hope that we shall succeed, ordered Brigr Genl Clinton to send down the regular Troops immediately. Should circumstances make it necessary, I can countermand the order. I have the honor to be with perfect Respect and Esteem yr Excellency’s Most obt Servt

Go: Washington

MH: Dearborn Papers.

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