General Washington to the President of Congress



Trenton, December 4th, 1776.

SIR: Since I have had the honour of addressing you yesterday, I received a letter from General Lee. On the 30th ultimo he was at Peekskill, and expected to pass the river with his division two days after. From this intelligence you will readily conclude that he will not be able to afford us any aid for several days. The report of General St˙ Clair' s having joined him with three or four regiments, I believe to be altogether premature, as he mentions nothing of it. It has arisen, I am informed, from the return of some of the Jersey and Pennsylvania troops from Ticonderoga, whose time of service is expired. They have reached Pluckemin,


where I have wrote to have ' em halted and kept together, if they can be prevailed on, till further orders.

The enclosed is a copy of a letter which came to hand last night from Major Clark , to which I beg leave to refer you for the intelligence it contains. The number of the enemy said to be embarked is supposed to be rather exaggerated. That there has been an embarkation is not to be doubted, it being confirmed through various channels. By Colonel Griffin, who went from Brunswick on Sunday morning with a Captain Sims to pass him by our guards, and who was detained by Lord Cornwallis till Monday evening on account of his situation, the amount of General Clinton' s force, from what he could collect from the officers, was about six thousand; as to their destination, he could not obtain the least information. By him I also learn, the enemy were in Brunswick, and that some of their advanced parties had proceeded two miles on this side. The heavy rain that has fallen has probably checked their progress, and may prevent their further movement for some time.

I have the honour to be, with the greatest esteem, sir, your most obedient servant,