Letter from General Washington


A Letter from General Washington was received and read, to wit:

"New-York, September 1, 1776.

"SIR: I was yesterday honoured with your favour of that date, and should have answered it by the return of the person who brought, it had I not been engaged then in a multiplicity of business, which occasioned me to forget it till he was gone.

"In respect to the cattle on this Island, I shall desire the Commissary to purchase as many of them from the inhabitants as he can conveniently, and will afford every assistance the situation of affairs will admit of to have the remainder secured; but as to those on Long-Island, it is impossible for me to take any measures or give any assistance to prevent their falling into the enemy' s hands. I am persuaded the number of Rangers you mention, were they to exert themselves, might be of service, and annoy the foraging parties of the enemy not a little; but, sir, I cannot spare any men for that purpose. Though our force is called in from the outposts, and collected upon this Island, yet it will not be more than competent to the defence of the several kinds necessary to be maintained; nor is it perhaps so great by any means as common estimation and report make it.

"I am extremely obliged by your opinion on the defensible state of the grounds above King' s Bridge, though they had not escaped my observation. Their importance I am fully sensible of; and, as far as the critical situation of things will allow, their defence shall be attended to, to prevent, if possible, the enemy from possessing them.

"I have the honour to be, very respectfully, sir, your most obedient servant,


"P˙ S˙ As the posts at King' s Bridge are of such great importance, I think it will be well and extremely necessary to be favoured with your friendly exertions, in affording every aid in your power for their defence. Cannot some more Militia be prevailed on to give their assistance, and in whom you can confide? I will not enlarge, being fully assured you will do all you can."