Pokeepsie 1st December 1782.
I this Day accidentally received the Information which your Excellency will find inclosed—It is imperfect as to some Points; but as it may be depended upon as far as it mentions Matters positively I thought it might not be improper to transmit it specially as the Persons whom I have sent to the Island may possibly be prevented from returning as early as could be wished ’tho by the last Accounts one of them had arived safely & was in a fair Way of accomplishing his Business. I am Sir with the highest Esteem & Regard your Excellencys Most Obedt Servt
DLC: Papers of George Washington.
c.1 December 1782
A gentleman in whom the Governor places the fullest Confidence gives the following Information respecting the Enemy’s Force on Long Island.
Colo. Thompson’s Horse stationed at Huntington; billetted on the Inhabitants—Does not know their strength—The Inhabitants of that Vicinity are called upon to assist in making a Redoubt for their Defence on the Hill at or near the Burial Place—He is not informed what Progress is made in this Work or whether it as yet begun.
Colo. De Wurmbs’ Regt Jaeger lay on the North Side West of Oyster Bay. The Colos. Quarters is at Westbury.
The Regiment of Hesse Hanau is at [Cow] Neck they arrved there lately & it is thought were sent to protect the Inhabitants agt the Depredations & Roberies of the Crews of the Whale Boats—He believes they are to continue thro all Winter from the Quantities of Fuel and Forage providing for them & from Common Reports respecting their Intentions—This Corps are chiefly New Recruits—are billetted on the Inhabitants is about 470 strong—and as well as De Wurmbs Regiment seem strongly inclined to Desertion could they meet with Opportunities to get off the Island—This Regiment is also under De Wurmbs Command—Their Provission comes from Flushing but whether there are any Troops stationed there or at Jamaica the Informant does not know but is inclinable to believe there may be.
The 17th Regiment British Dragoons he is informed & believes is to be stationed at Hampsted, Forrages & Fuel are collecting for them at that Place by the Agents for the Purpose—They [take] one half of all the Hay both Fresh & Salt from the Inhabitants in that Quarter About 20 only of this Corps had however arrived at Hampsted & these were mostly Officers Servants but this whole Regt was daily expected.
The Informant some short Time before he left the Island (Tuesday last) heard that the greater Part of the British Troops were on the West End of Long Island down towards the Narrows That they were to embark from thence on Board the Fleet & were orderd there for that Purpose; but this he had too vague a manner to be relied upon.