George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Heath, 20 March 1782

Head quarters, Highlands, March 20th 1782.

Dear General,

I have obtained from colonel Varick copy of a paper respecting challenges of members of courts-martial, but it is not conclusive—and colonel Varick informs me, that after searching and researching, he cannot yet find any other. By the paper he has sent me, it appears a council of general officers were convened at Middle Brook the first of June 1779, when your Excellency was present and stated to the council, that general Arnold had made preremptory challenges to several members appointed on the court martial for his trial, and requested the opinion of the council thereon—that at the instant, intelligence was received of the advance of the enemy to Kingsbridge and White-plains, and a fleet up the river as far as Teller’s point, on which the matter was defered without decision at that time; so that no light can be derived from the papers yet obtained.

On the night of the 14th instant, lieutenant Harris of captain Vermillie’s company of militia having obtained intelligence, that a party of Delancys corps were out at a house near Mile-Square. He had the address to surprise the whole party consisting of twelve, to kill one, take and bring off four, prisoners.

All accounts agree, that the enemy are strengthening some of their works at New York, cutting a canal, &c. A deserter yesterday from Staten Island, informs me, the troops there are employed in making a number of fascines of nine feet length, about ten inches thick, bound in eight places. I have the honor to be, With the greatest respect, Your Excellency’s Most obedient servant

W. Heath

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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