Letter from General Washington


A Letter from General Washington, received by Major Lawrence, was read, and is as follows:

"Long-Island, August 28, 1776.

"SIR: I was just now honoured with your favour of this date, with General Woodhull' s letter, and should esteem myself happy were it in my power to afford the assistance required; but the enemy having landed a considerable part of their force here, and at the same time may have reserved some to attack New-York, it is the opinion not only of myself, but of all my General Officers I have had an opportunity of consulting with, that the men we have are not more than competent to the defence of these lines, and the several posts which must be defended. This reason, and this only, prevents my complying with your request.

"I shall beg leave to mention, in confidence, that a few days ago, upon the enemy' s first landing here, I wrote to Governour Trumbull, recommending him to throw over a body of One thousand men on the Island, to annoy the enemy in, their rear, if the state of the Colony would admit of it. Whether it will be done, I cannot determine. That Colony having furnished a large proportion of men, I was, and still am doubtful whether it could be done. If it could, I am satisfied it will, from the zeal and readiness they have ever shown to give every possible succour. I am hopeful they will be in a condition to do it, and, if they are, those troops I doubt not will be ready and willing to give General Woodhull any assistance he may want. But cannot the


Militia effect what he wished to do? They, I believe, must be depended on in the present instance for relief.

"I have the honour to be, in great haste, sir, your most obedient servant,


"The Hon˙ Abraham Yates."