Head Quarters Newburgh January 20. 1783
I have the melancholy task before me, of acquainting your Excellency and Congress of the death of Major General Lord Stirling. The remarkable bravery, intelligence, and promptitude of his Lordship to perform his duty as an Officer had endeared him to the whole Army; and now make his loss the more sincerely regretted.
In consequence of the resolution of Congress of the 27th of Novembr, for apprehending Luke Knowlton of Newfane, and Samuel Welles of Brattleborough. I wrote on the 9 of December to Lord Stirling who commanded at the Northward, giving him the necessary advices and instructions, and committing the execution of that business to his Lordships discretion. By the enclosed Report of Captain McComber of the Rhode Island Regiment, the Officer employed on this service, I doubt not Congress will be convinced, that the measures adopted by my Lord, and the conduct of Captain Macomber in consequence thereof, were very judiciously calculated to carry their Resolution into effect notwithstanding they have failed of success—As the real object still remains a secret, the Letter I had directed to be delivered Mr Chittendon, as soon as Knowlton & Welles should be apprehended, has been suppressed; so that, should it be thought requisite to make another effort hereafter, the probability of succeeding in apprehending the persons in question, will not be lessened by the former attempt. I have the honor to be—with much Respect Sir Your Excellency’s Most Obedt and Most humble Servt
P.S. Since writing the foregoing I am honored with your Letter of the 16th and thank you for the important intelligence contained in it.
DNA: Item 152, Letters from George Washington, PCC—Papers of the Continental Congress.