George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Heath, 27 April 1782

Highlands April 27. 1782.

Dear General,

The inclosed intelligence came to hand the last evening.

By the vigilance of our troops on the lines the practice of driving cattle to the enemy I believe has been for some time almost entirely broken up—But by the enclosed letter from major Oliver of the 22. instant it seems the trade is reviving in another channel. I have always instructed the officers on the lines to pay no regard to the permission of a justice for driving cattle below the lines. What instructions or powers have been given to colonel Canfield to permit inhabitants to drive cattle across the lines on the certificate of a justice of the peace, or whether any, I cannot tell—I think the practice is pregnant with injurious consequences, and beg leave to submit it to your Excellency’s consideration.

On the 6. instant I took the liberty to lay before your Excellency paragraph of a letter of the 6. of February to the contractors, to furnish such reserves of the works as I conceived to be necessary—I believe the reserves at King’s ferry and Dobbs ferry have been completed—What quantity of provisions the contractors have in the magazine at Westpoint I do not know, but the advanced works on that side of the river, and the north and middle redoubts are very deficient in their reserves. I have thought it my duty to represent it to your Excellency. I have the honor to be With the highest respect, Your Excellency’s Most obedient servant

W. Heath

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


Ward House April 22d 1782

Dear Genl

Am al[most] ashamd to send you so old Paper but am unable to send one later, though there might be something in this worth your perusel—Am inform’d by Capt.n [Prichard] that there is almost a constant practice of Driving Cattle across the Lines at or near Stamford by permission from a Justice which they, sometimes, give [Eight doll.] sometimes less, Colo. Canfield countersigning the [permit].

The Cow Boys will drive horses down inspite of my [   ] we may as well [catch] a whirlwind almost as catch those villians. Am Sir—with the highest respect your most Obedt Hume Servt

R. Oliver Major


Bedford April 25 1782

Dear sir

I am informed by a person from Long Island that there has ben considerable of a Movement of the Troops there from the east toward the west land of the Island—the Yaugers and Sum others near to Which Ston ferry—they have ben Colecting a large Number of Horses and Waggons and appear to be greatly in Motion—Very few People of late of the enemys best friends to government are Sufferd to pass within there Lines—More trust then has ben known for a great While.I am dear sir your Most Obedt Servt

Thos Prichard Capt.

Index Entries