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Edited with Notes and Introduction by 

Andrew Burnaby. Travels Through the 
Middle Settlements of North America, 

Reprinted from the last (the third) edition of 1798. 

Small 8vo, cloth, with map. $2.00 net. 

William Heath. Memoirs of the Ameri 
can War. 

Reprinted from edition of 1798. 
Small 8vo, cloth. $2.50 net. 

W.W. Canfield. Legends of the Iroquois. 

Small 8vo, cloth, illustrated. $1.50 net. 


William Moultrie. Memoirs of the Ameri 
can Revolution. 

Freiin von Reidesel. Letters and Journal. 

Thomas J. Dimsdale. Vigilantes of Mon 








J&eto fUrfc 


Copyright, 1904, by 

Printed October, 1904. 

Plimpton Press Norwood Mass. 









INDEX (new) 425 





THE book here reprinted is one of the most 
valuable of the contemporary narratives of 
the Revolution, though one gains from its 
pages the impression that its worthy and patriotic 
author was a soldier better fitted for muster service 
and barrack duty than for active command in the 
field. This impression is strengthened by an inci 
dent to which General Heath makes only partial and 
apologetic reference. 

Washington, then on his retreat through New Jer 
sey, on January 7, 1777, ordered Heath to move from 
his camp in Westchester toward New York, "as if 
with a design upon that city." Heath s forces, 
marching in three divisions, arrived on January 18 
before Fort Independence, whose garrison of nearly 
2,000 Hessians were allowed "twenty minutes in 
which to surrender or to abide the consequences." 
But the garrison did not surrender, and Heath re 
mained for ten days in the neighborhood without 
attempting to enforce his demand. Then a sally 
from the garrison created a panic in one regiment at 
an advanced post, and led a little later to the with 
drawal of the entire army. Heath s abortive demon 
stration caused Washington to write him as follows: 

"This letter . . . is to hint to you, and I do it with 
concern, that your conduct is censured (and by men 
of sense and judgment who have been with you on 
the expedition to Fort Independence) as being 


fraught with too much caution; by which the army 
has been disappointed and in some degree disgraced. 
Your summons, as you did not attempt to fulfil your 
threats, was not only idle but farcical, and will not 
fail of turning the laugh exceedingly upon us/ 

Thereafter and until the close of the war General 
Heath was not again entrusted with any important 
operation in the field. Following his return to pri 
vate life in 1783 he found congenial employment in 
the conduct of his farm in Roxbury. He also served 
as a member of the State convention that ratified the 
Federal constitution, as a State senator in 1791 and 
1792, and in 1793 as probate judge of his county. 
In 1806 he was elected lieutenant-governor of his 
State, but declined the office. At the time of his 
death, January 24, 1814, he was the last surviving 
major-general of the Continental Army. 

General Heath s "Memoirs" were published in 
1798, and have never been reprinted except in a 
limited edition. There is, therefore, excellent reason 
why they should now be reissued in a form which 
places them within the reach of the student of slender 
purse. Heath fails now and then to make clear the 
true meaning of events, and this defect the present 
editor has essayed to remedy in his notes, at the same 
time elucidating references that might otherwise be 
obscure to the average reader. No liberties have 
been taken with the text, but occasional errors in the 
spelling of proper names have been corrected in the 
index, where also an attempt has been made to 
supply all given names omitted by the author. It 
is to be hoped that in its new garb an interesting 
and valuable book will enter upon a new lease of 

life * R. R. W. 









according to act of Congrefe* 




Sold by them; by I. THOMAS, Worcefter ; by THOMAS, ANDREWS & PEN- 

NIMAN, Albany ; by THOMAS, ANDREWS f BUTLER, Baltimore ; 

and by the Bookfellers throughout the Continent. 

AUG. 1798. 

[Facsimile Title Page, First Edition.] 


IT was not the intention to publish the Memoirs during 
the life-time of the writer. They were penned for his 
own review, and the information and satisfaction of his 
own family, as well as posterity: If any should think their 
present publication in any respects relative to himself as 
too ostentatious, candour, it is presumed, will decide that 
there is no alternative, unless the Memoirs are mutilated in 
facts, or denied at present a publication. The pressing im 
portunity of very many is the sole reason of their appear 
ance at this time. 

SUCH of the facts as happened under the observation, 
or within the immediate knowledge of the writer, have 
been impartially narrated: Those which he has been obliged 
to collect from other information, have been as faithfully 
attempted; but their authenticity cannot be equally vouched 
for. There are doubtless many errors. It is the lot of 
man to be fallible. 



NATURE seems to have decreed, that not only 
the minor branches of families, when they arrive at 
a proper age of maturity, shall separate from their 
parents, and become distinct families; but that col 
onies, when they arrive at a certain degree of popu 
lation and affluence, shall separate from the mother 
state, and become independent and sovereign. How 
soever fit and proper this economy of nature may 
be, experience has taught the world that it has been 
the mistaken policy of nations, in almost all ages, to 
oppose such separations, as the period approximates, 
by an impolitic exercise of power, thereby alienating 
the affections of the colonists, and rousing in their 
breasts those innate principles of liberty which na 
ture hath implanted; (but which, had they not been 
awakened by a severity of conduct, would have 
much longer reposed on the bosom of a mother, and 
even have spurned the idea of separation) and have 
also made use of armed force, in the most unnatural 
and cruel manner to hold in subjection those by 
nature in every respect free as themselves. And in 
the prosecution of a war thus enkindled, alliances 
are fought for, and formed, by both parties, even 
with those who before were considered as the enemies 
of each. This has been exemplified in the conduct 
of Great Britain towards her American colonies, 
and by the people of the now United States of 
America in their struggle for freedom, and the es 
tablishment of independence and sovereignty. 


IT is not the intention of the writer to go into a 
detail of the first settlement of this country, or the 
vicissitudes which have attended it, at different pe 
riods; nor of the rise of the late revolution: as these 
have already been attempted by several writers, and 
probably will hereafter be further elucidated by other 

To preserve and perpetuate a daily journal of 
occurrences, through nearly the whole of the late 
American war, is the present object. And although 
the following pages are not decorated with the flow 
ers of Greece or Rome, and for their diction cannot 
claim the patronage of the learned, they contain a 
state of facts in detail, which may not be unpleasing 
to posterity, who will wish, as much as is possible, 
to learn from every remaining vestige, the conduct 
and successes of their ancestors in that revolution 
which laid the foundation of the independence and 
sovereignty of their country. To them, therefore, 
are the following memoirs bequeathed, by him who 
was an eye-witness to many of the facts which are 
related, and who collected the others from the best 
information the then moment and circumstances 
would admit. 

THAT the United States of America, by their 
virtue, their wisdom and their valour, may support 
and maintain the noble achievements of their ances 
tors, and render them still more brilliant, is the 
earnest wish of their devoted, 

Humble Servant, 


ROXBURY, 1798. 

MEMOIRS, &>c. 

from an ancient family in Roxbury, near 
Boston, in Massachusetts, and is of the 
fifth generation of the family who have inherited the 
same real estate, (taken up in a state of nature) 
not large, but fertile, and pleasantly situated.* 

He was born March 2d, (old style) 1737, was 
brought up a farmer, of which profession he is yet pas 
sionately fond. He is of middling stature, light com 
plexion, very corpulent, and bald-headed, which led 
the French officers who served in America, very fre 
quently to compare him to the Marquis of Granby.f 
From his childhood he was remarkably fond of mili 
tary exercises, which passion grew up with him, and 
as he arrived at years of maturity, led him to procure, 
and attentively to study, every military treatise in 
the English language, which was obtainable. This, 
with a strong memory, rendered him fully acquainted 
with the theory of war in all its branches and duties, 
from the private soldier, to the Commander in Chief. 

Through the inactive state of the militia company 
to which he belonged, in the spring of the year 1765, 
he went over to Boston, and entered a member of 
the Ancient and Honourable Artillery Company. 

* See Appendix I. f Chastellux s Travels; 


This immediately recommended him to the notice 
of the Colonel of the first regiment of militia in the 
county of Suffolk, who sent for him, and importuned 
him to take the command of his own company; to 
which Mr. Heath was reluctant, apprehensive that 
his youth, and stepping over those who had a better 
claim, by former office in the company, to the com 
mand of it, might produce an uneasiness. He was, 
however, commissioned by Gov. Barnard; and his 
apprehensions of uneasiness proved to be groundless. 

In the Ancient and Honourable Artillery Company, 
he was chosen, and served, first as Lieutenant, and 
afterwards as Captain. 

In the first regiment of the militia of Suffolk, he 
became the military favourite of Gov. Barnard, who 
publicly declared, that he would not only make him 
Colonel of the regiment, but, if it were in his power, 
a General Officer also. 

As the dispute between Great Britain and her 
American Colonies put on a more serious aspect, our 
Captain did not hesitate, for a moment, to declare 
his sentiments in favour of the rights and liberties of 
his fellow-countrymen. This alarmed Gov. Bar 
nard s apprehensions, but did not alter his open 
conduct towards our Captain; though he privately 
intimated, that if he should promote him, he might 
injure the cause of his royal master. It was after 
wards intimated to our Captain, that if he was not 
advanced to the command of the regiment, he might 
rest assured, that his feelings would never (during 
Gov. Barnard s administration) be hurt by any other 
officers being promoted over him; which was verified, 
Gov. Barnard leaving the province with this regiment 

Capt. Heath, convinced that the cloud was rapidly 
gathering, and would assuredly burst over America, 


in the beginning of the year 1770, commenced his 
addresses to the public, under the signature of A 
Military Countryman, and which were occasionally 
continued until hostilities commenced. In them he 
urged the importance of military discipline, and skill 
in the use of arms, as the only means, under Heaven, 
that could save the country from falling a prey to 
any daring invader. 

Gov. Hutchinson succeeded Gov. Barnard. He 
organized the first regiment in Suffolk; and, as might 
be expected, our Captain had a respite from 

When it was recommended to the people of Mas 
sachusetts, to choose officers themselves to command 
them, our Captain was unanimously chosen to take 
the command of the first company in the town of 
Roxbury, (his old and favourite company;) and on 
the meeting of the Captains and subalterns of the 
first regiment of militia in Suffolk, he was chosen 

The people of Massachusetts, having determined 
to support their rights and liberties at every hazard, 
(finding that such was the sense of the people of 
their sister Colonies) after the dissolution of their 
General Court, elected a Provincial Congress. This 
Congress appointed a Committee of Safety (of whom 
our Colonel was one), vested with executive powers; 
and another committee, called the Committee of Sup 
plies. The latter were to purchase military stores, 
provisions, &c. and deposit them in such places as 
the former should direct. Both committees entered 
on the duties of their respective functions. The 
Provincial Congress voted a sum of money for the 
purpose of procuring military stores and provisions; 
and a quantity of both were collected, and stored in 
the town of Concord. 


The militia, and the corps of minute men, as they 
were called, (the latter composed of the young and 
active) were furnished with officers of their own 
choosing. The greatest attention was exhibited by 
the officers, which was as cheerfully seconded by 
the citizen soldiers, to acquire a knowledge of 
military duty. 

In the month of February, 1775, the Provincial 
Congress passed the following resolutions: 

"In Provincial Congress, Cambridge, February 
gth, 1775 Resolved, That the Hon. Jedidiah 
Prebble, Esq. Hon. Artemas Ward, Esq. Col. Seth 
Pomeroy, Col. John Thomas, and Col. William 
Heath, be, and they hereby are, appointed General 
Officers, whose business and duty it shall be, with 
such and so many of the militia of this province as 
shall be assembled by order of the Committee of 
Safety, effectually to oppose and resist such attempt 
or attempts as shall be made for carrying into execu 
tion an act of the British Parliament, entitled, "An 
Act for the better regulation of the Government of 
the Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England" 
or who shall attempt the carrying into execution, 
by force, another act of the British Parliament, en 
titled, "An Act for the more impartial administra 
tion of justice, in cases of persons questioned for 
any act done by them in the execution of the law, 
or for the suppression of riots and tumults in the 
Province of Massachusetts Bay" - so long as the 
said militia shall be retained by the Committee of 
Safety, and no longer. And the said General Offi 
cers shall, while in the said service, command, lead 
and conduct, in such opposition, in the order in 
which they are above named; any order of any for 
mer Congress varying herefrom, notwithstanding." 


"In Provincial Congress, Cambridge, February 
l$tb, 1775 Resolved, That the Hon. John Wbit- 
comb, Esq. be added to the General Officers. 
A true extract from the minutes, 

(Signed) BENJ. LINCOLN, Sec ry." 

Gen. Prebble declined the service. 

In the month of March following, the Provincial 
Congress appointed a committee to make a minute 
inquiry into the state of the operations of the British 
army. On the 2Oth of the same month, the com 
mittee reported, that the British army then consisted 
of about 2850 men, distributed as follows: On Boston 
common, about 1700; on Fort Hill, 400; on Boston 
neck, 340; in barracks at the Castle, 330; quartered 
in King street, 80; that they were erecting works 
on Boston neck, on both sides of the way, well con 
structed and well executed; the works were in for 
wardness, and then mounted with ten brass and two 
iron cannon; that the old fortification, at the en 
trance of the town, was repaired, and rendered much 
stronger by the addition of timber and earth to the 
parapet; that ten pieces of iron cannon were mounted 
on the old platforms; that a block-house, brought 
from Governor s Island, was erecting on the south 
side of the neck, between the old fortification and 
the new works advanced on the neck. 

On the 1 8th of April, our General had been sitting 
with the Committee of Safety, at Arlington in Cam 
bridge; and on his return home, soon after he left 
the committee, and about sun-setting, he met eight 
or nine British officers on horseback, with their 
swords and pistols, riding up the road towards Lex 
ington. The time of day, and distance from Boston, 
excited suspicion of some design. They indeed were 


out reconnoitring, and getting intelligence, but were 
not molested. 

On the i Qth, at day-break, our General was awoke, 
called from his bed, and informed that a detachment 
of the British army were out; that they had crossed 
from Boston to Phipps s farm, in boats, and had 
gone towards Concord, as was supposed, with intent 
to destroy the public stores. They probably had 
notice that the committees had met the preceding 
day at Wetherby s tavern, at Arlington; for, when 
they came opposite to the house, they halted. Sev 
eral of the gentlemen slept there during the night. 
Among them were Col. Orne, Col. Lee, and Mr. 
Gerry. One of them awoke, and informed the 
others that a body of the British were before the 
house. They immediately made their escape, with 
out time to dress themselves, at the back door, re 
ceiving some injury from obstacles in the way, in 
their undressed state. They made their way into 
the fields. The country was immediately alarmed, 
and the minute men and militia turned out with 
great spirit. Near Lexington meeting-house the 
British found the militia of that town drawn up by 
the road. Towards these they advanced, ordered 
them to disperse, huzzaed, and fired upon them; 
when several were killed and wounded, and the rest 
dispersed. This was the first shedding of blood in 
the American war. 

This company continuing to stand so near to the 
road, after they had certain notice of the advancing 
of the British in force, was but a too much braving of 
danger; for they were sure to meet with insult, or 
injury, which they could not repel. Bravery, when 
called to action, should always take the strong ground 
on the basis of reason. 

The British proceeded on to Concord, where they 


destroyed a part of the stores, while others were saved 
by the vigilance, activity, or policy, of the inhabi 
tants. In the latter, a Capt. Wheeler practised with 
such address, as to save a considerable quantity of 
flour, although exposed to the critical examination of 
a British officer. 

The British had sent a party to the North Bridge, 
while they were destroying the stores in the town. 
A body of militia, who had retreated beyond the 
bridge, and collected in this quarter, now marched 
up resolutely to the bridge. The British officer, 
finding their firmness, ordered his men to fire, which 
they did, and two men of the militia were killed. 
The fire was briskly returned; some were killed and 
wounded of the enemy, and an officer taken prisoner. 
The British party retreated with precipitation to 
their main body, and the whole soon commenced 
their retreat towards Boston; the militia galling them 
on all sides. This detachment, under the command 
of Col. Smith, must have been worn down, and the 
whole of them killed, or taken prisoners, had it not 
been for the reinforcement sent out to them, under 
the command of Lord Percy, with two field-pieces, 
who joined them in the lower part of the town of 

Our General, in the morning, proceeded to the 
Committee of Safety. From the committee, he took 
a cross road to Watertown, the British being in pos 
session of the Lexington road. At Watertown, find 
ing some militia who had not marched, but applied 
for orders, he sent them down to Cambridge, with 
directions to take up the planks, barricade the south 
end of the bridge, and there to take post; that, in 
case the British should, on their return, take that 
road to Boston, their retreat might be impeded. He 
then pushed to join the militia, taking a cross road 


towards Lexington, in which he was joined by Dr. 
Joseph Warren, (afterwards a Major-General) who 
kept with him. 

Our General joined the militia just after Lord 
Percy had joined the British; and having assisted 
in forming a regiment, which had been broken by 
the shot from the British field-pieces, (for the dis 
charge of these, together with the flames and smoke 
of several buildings, to which the British, nearly at 
the same time, had set fire, opened a new and more 
terrific scene;) and the British having again taken up 
their retreat, were closely pursued. On descend 
ing from the high grounds in Arlington, on to the 
plain, the fire was brisk. At this instant, a musket- 
ball came so near to the head of Dr. Warren, as to 
strike the pin out of the hair of his earlock. Soon 
after, the right flank of the British was exposed to 
the fire of a body of militia, which had come from 
Roxbury, Brookline, Dorchester, &c. For a few 
minutes the fire was brisk on both sides; and the 
British had here recourse to their field-pieces again; 
but they were now more familiar than before. Here 
the militia were so close on the rear of the British, 
that Dr. Downer, an active and enterprising man, 
came to single combat with a British soldier, whom 
he killed with his bayonet. 

Not far from this place, several of the militia 
(among whom was Isaac Gardner, Esq. of Brookline, 
a valuable citizen) imprudently posted themselves 
behind some dry casks, at Watson s Corner, and near 
to the road, unsuspicious of the enemy s flank-guard, 
which came behind them, and killed every one of 
them dead on the spot. 

The militia continued to hang on the rear of the 
British, until they reached Bunker s Hill in Charles- 
town; and it had become so dusk, as to render the 


flashes of the muskets very visible. At this instant, 
an officer on horseback came up from the Medford 
road, and inquired the circumstances of the enemy; 
adding, that about 700 men were close behind, on 
their way from Salem to join the militia. Had these 
arrived a few minutes sooner, the left flank of the 
British must have been greatly exposed, and suffered 
considerably; perhaps their retreat would have been 
cut off. As soon as the British gained Bunker s Hill, 
they immediately formed in a line opposite to the 
neck; when our General judged it expedient to order 
the militia, who were now at the common, to halt, 
and give over the pursuit, as any further attempt 
upon the enemy, in that position, would have been 

Our General immediately assembled the officers 
around him, at the foot of Prospect Hill, and ordered 
a guard to be formed, and posted near that place, 
sentinels to be planted down to the neck, and patrols 
to be vigilant in moving during the night; and an 
immediate report to him, in case the enemy made 
any movements. The militia were then ordered to 
march to the town of Cambridge; where, after form 
ing and sending off another guard to the points below 
the town, the whole were ordered to lie on their 

About midnight, there was an alarm that the enemy 
were coming up the river. It proved to be only an 
armed schooner, probably sent to make discovery. 
She got a-ground, and continued so until the next 
tide; and if there had been a single field-piece with 
the militia, she might have been taken. The marsh 
was too deep to approach sufficiently near to do 
any execution with small-arms; and the first 
day s hostilities of the ever memorable American 
war, was, on their part, without a single piece of 


cannon in the field! Gen. WHITCOMB was in this 
day s battle. 

On the morning of the 2Oth, our General ordered 
Capt. John Battle, of Dedham, with his company of 
militia, to pass over the ground which had been the 
scene of action the preceding day, and to bury such 
of the slain as he should find unburied. The grounds 
around Cambridge were immediately reconnoitred, 
and alarm-posts assigned to the several corps; and 
in case the British should come out in superior force, 
and drive the militia from the town, they were or 
dered to rally and form on the high grounds towards 

How to feed the assembled and assembling militia, 
was now the great object. All the eatables in the 
town of Cambridge, which could be spared, were 
collected for breakfast, and the college kitchen and 
utensils procured for cooking. Some carcases of 
beef and pork, prepared for the Boston market on 
the 1 8th, at Little Cambridge, were sent for, and ob 
tained; and a large quantity of ship-bread at Rox- 
bury, said to belong to the British navy, was taken 
for the militia. These were the first provisions which 
were obtained. 

At ii o clock, A.M. our General appointed Mr. 
Joseph Ward, a gentleman of abilities, his Aide-de 
camp and Secretary, (afterwards Muster-Master- 
General of the army) who entered on the duties of 
his new office. This was the first appointment of 
the kind in the American army. Before noon, a let 
ter was received from the Committee of Supplies at 
Concord, expressing their joy at the event of the pre 
ceding day, with assurances that every exertion in 
their power should be put in exercise, to forward 
supplies to the militia in arms. In the afternoon, 
Gen. WARD arrived at Cambridge, who, being senior 


in the order of appointment, took the command 

In the battle on the iQth, the British were said to 
have 65 killed, 180 wounded, and 28 made prisoners; 
in all, 273. Of the militia, 50 were killed, and 34 
wounded; in all, 84. It might have been expected, 
that in a retreat of so many miles, the British loss 
would have been greater; but it is to be remembered, 
that as they kept the road, the fences (a large propor 
tion of which are stone walls) covered their flanks 
almost to the height of their shoulders. It will also 
be observed, that the wounded of the militia did not 
bear the common proportion with the killed, and is 
an evidence that the British did not choose to en 
cumber themselves with prisoners, either wounded 
or not, as the marks left at Watson s Corner, and on 
the height above Arlington meeting-house, evinced; 
Nor was the dashing in of many windows, the firing 
of musket-balls into the houses, in some of which 
there were only women and children, or the soldiers 
leaving their ranks, and going into the houses to 
plunder, (in consequence of which a number lost 
their lives) marks of humanity or discipline.* Their 
whole force on this enterprise, including the rein 
forcement, was from 1500 to 2000 of their best 

Gen. WARD was now the Commander in Chief of 
the assembled army, and exercised the immediate 
command on the Cambridge side; while Gen. 
Thomas had the immediate command on the Rox- 
bury side. A few days after this, the Cambridge 
camp being very numerous, and the Roxbury camp 

* Stedman, in his History of the American War, vol. 1st, p. 1 19, 
says, " Several of Smith s party were scalped by the Americans "; 
than which nothing can be more untrue. Both the wounded and 
the dead were treated with every mark of humanity and decency. 


judged to be too weak, the British having gone over 
from Charlestown to Boston, Gen. Ward ordered our 
General, with three or four regiments, to march from 
Cambridge, and reinforce Gen. Thomas; and he 
continued in the Roxbury camp until after the arrival 
of Gen. WASHINGTON, in the month of July. 

In the month of May, the Provincial Congress 
passed resolutions for raising twenty-four regiments, 
to serve during the remainder of the year. The 
General Officers were each to have a regiment. As 
the new regiments began to recruit, the militia went 
home, and the camps became very weak; that at 
Roxbury did not exceed 1000 men. Had the British 
sallied at that time, there would have been but few 
to oppose them on that side. However, the army 
soon became strong, it being reinforced by the arrival 
of Gen. Putnam from Connecticut, Gen. Sullivan 
from New-Hampshire, and Gen. Greene from Rhode- 
Island, each with a respectable body of troops; and, 
in the month of June, it was determined to take pos 
session of the heights of Charlestown. Preparations 
were made for the purpose; and on the i6th, at night, 
a strong detachment from the American army 
marched on, and broke ground on Breed s Hill, in 
front of Bunker s Hill. The latter ought to have 
been taken possession of at the same time, but it was 
some how omitted. 

By the morning of the i/th, the troops had a re 
doubt and line on its left flank in good forwardness, 
when they were discovered by the British. The 
Lively man-o-war first began to cannonade the Amer 
icans; she was soon seconded by other ships, floating 
batteries, and some heavy cannon on Copp s Hill, on 
the Boston side, which the Americans bore with a 
good degree of firmness, and continued at their work. 
The British army in Boston were greatly alarmed at 

juNE,i 775 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 27 

this near approach, and immediately resolved on an 
attack, before the works could be completed. A 
detachment was formed for the purpose, consisting 
of ten companies of Grenadiers, ten of Light Infan 
try, and the 5th, 38th, 43d, and 52d regiments, and 
a corps of Artillery under the command of Maj. Gen. 
Howe, and Brig. Gen. Pigott. In the afternoon they 
landed on Charlestown Point without opposition, 
where they were afterwards reinforced by the 4yth 
regiment, and first battalion of marines. The reg 
iments in Cambridge camp were ordered down to 
support the detachment at Charlestown, and to oc 
cupy other posts thought to be essential, and con 
tiguous thereto. The British began their attack 
with a severe fire of artillery, and advanced in a slow 
and regular pace. The Americans who had marched 
on to the aid of the detachment, consisting of the 
New-Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut 
troops, hastily formed a line of defence, composed 
of rails and other materials found nearest at hand. 
This line extended down towards the low ground on 
the left, and was nobly defended. The Americans 
reserved their fire until the British came very near, 
when they gave it to great effect; it staggered, and 
even broke them, but they rallied, and returning to 
the charge again and again, drove the Americans 
from the lines on the left of the redoubt, and had 
nearly surrounded it, when the Americans rushed 
out of the redoubt, their ammunition being expended, 
and made their retreat, even through a part of the 
British forces. About this time Maj. Gen. Warren, 
who had been but a few days before commissioned, 
and was then on the hill as a spectator only, was 
killed. A number of the Americans were killed in 
retreating from Breed s Hill, to Bunker Hill, and 
some in passing off over the neck. Perhaps there 


never was a better fought battle than this, all things 
considered; and too much praise can never be be 
stowed on the conduct of Col. William Prescott, who, 
notwithstanding any thing that may have been said, 
was the proper commanding officer, at the redoubt, 
and nobly acted his part as such, during the whole 

Just before the action began, Gen. Putnam came 
to the redoubt, and told Col. Prescott that the en 
trenching tools must be sent off, or they would be 
lost; the Colonel replied, that if he sent any of the 
men away with the tools, not one of them would 
return; to this the General answered, they shall 
every man return. A large party was then sent off 
with the tools, and not one of them returned; in this 
instance the Colonel was the best judge of human 

In the time of action, Col. Prescott observing that 
the brave Gen. Warren was near the works, he im 
mediately stepped up to him, and asked him if he 
had any orders to give him. The General replied 
that he had none, that he exercised no command 
there. "The command" said the General, "is 

While many officers and soldiers gallantly distin 
guished themselves in this action, others were blamed, 
and some were brought to trial by court-martial. 
This was a sore battle to the British, who did not 
forget it, during several campaigns, nor until a tide 
of successes in their favour had removed it from 
their minds. Their whole force on this day, which 
was in action, was supposed to be about 2,000, and 
their whole loss, in killed and wounded, was said to 
be upwards of 1,000, of whom 226 were killed, and 
of these, 19 were commissioned officers, including 
one Lieutenant-Colonel, two Majors, and seven Cap- 

juNE,i 77 5] HEATH S MEMOIRS 29 

tains. Another account stated their killed and 
wounded to be 753 privates, 202 Serjeants and cor 
porals, and 92 commissioned officers; in the whole, 
1047. The loss of the Americans, in killed, wounded 
and prisoners, about 450.* 

At the time the British made their attack, the 
houses in Charlestown were set on fire, and burnt 
most furiously, which increased the horrors of the 
scene. At the same time a furious cannonade and 
throwing of shells took place at the lines on Boston 
neck, against Roxbury, with intent to burn that 
town; but although several shells fell among the 
houses, and some carcasses near them, and balls 
went through some, no other damage was sustained 
than the loss of one man killed by a shot driving a 
stone from a wall against him. 

On the 1 5th, Congress appointed GEORGE WASH 
INGTON Commander in Chief; and on the I7th Ar- 
temas Ward, first Major-General Charles Lee, 
second Major-General Horatio Gates, Adjutant- 
General, with the rank of Brigadier-General; and 
on the 1 9th, Philip Schuyler, third Major-General, 
and Israel Putnam, fourth Major-General; and on 
the 22d, Seth Pomeroy, first Brigadier-General 
Richard Montgomery, second do. David Wooster, 
third do. William Heath, fourth do. Joseph Spen 
cer, fifth do. John Thomas, sixth do. John Sullivan, 
seventh do. Nathaniel Greene, eighth do. and made 
provision for raising an army for the defence of the 
United Colonies. Before these appointments were 
made known at camp, on the 2ist of June, our 
General received from the Provincial Congress, a 
commission of Major-General. Generals Ward, 
Thomas, and Warren, had before received their 
commissions, the latter just before he was slain. 

*See Appendix II. 


Gen. Pomeroy declining an acceptance of the com 
mission from Congress, that Honourable Body, on 
the I Qth of July, resolved that Gen. Thomas be ap 
pointed first Brigadier-General in the army of the 
United Colonies, in the room of Gen. Pomeroy, who 
never acted under the commission sent to him, and 
that Gen. Thomas s commission bear the same date 
that Gen. Pomeroy s did; indeed this was the rank 
to which Gen. Thomas was entitled by former stand 
ing. Congress now also appointed Joseph Trumbull 
to be Commissary-General of stores and provisions, 
for the army, but left the appointment of a Quarter- 
Master-General, and some other officers, to Gen. 
Washington, who appointed the able and very active 
Col. Thomas Mifflin, Quarter-Master-General, who 
did himself much honour, and his country service, in 
this important department. 

Immediately after the battle of Bunker Hill, the 
Americans began to erect works on Prospect Hill, 
a very commanding height above Charlestown com 
mon, and at several other places. Several works 
were also constructed at Roxbury, and the British 
confined to Boston and Charlestown, within the 

The works now going on, both on the Cambridge 
and Roxbury side, were considerable, and there was 
a great want of engineers. Col. Gridley was chief 
engineer, and was aided by his son. But the 
strength of body, activity and genius of the Americans 
capable of constructing with surprising dispatch any 
works in which they were guided, called for many 
instructors in this department. Lieut. Col. Rufus 
Putnam, of Col. David Brewer s regiment, was very 
serviceable in this line, on the Roxbury side; as was 
also Capt. Josiah Waters of Boston, and Capt. Bald 
win of Brookfield, (afterwards Colonel of Artificers) 


and others on the Cambridge side, and Capt. Henry 
Knox, who had been an officer in the Boston Gren 
adier Company, (and who was afterwards at the 
head of the American artillery, to the close of the 
war) occasionally lent his aid. His military genius 
and acquaintance with our General, led him to be 
importunate with Capt. Knox to join the army; nor 
did he need persuasion to join in the cause of his 
country. His removal out of Boston, and the then 
state of his domestic concerns, required some pre 
vious arrangement; as soon as this was effected, he 
joined the army. 

24th. About noon, a heavy cannonade and throw 
ing of shells from the lines on Boston neck into Rox- 
bury but no damage done. Two American soldiers 
attempting to set fire to Brown s barn, on Boston 
neck, were killed by the British. The same evening 
two heavy cannon were brought to the work on the 
hill above Roxbury work-house. 

25th. At night, an attempt was made to burn 
the buildings on Boston neck; a firing took place be 
tween the parties, but the object was not effected. 

26th. A party of British, about day-break, ad 
vanced and fired on the American sentinels near 
the George tavern. The picket turned out the 
British retreated. 

July 1st. A platform in the work above Roxbury 
work-house being laid, a 24 pounder was mounted 
and discharged twice at the British lines; the second 
shot grazed the parapet and struck on the parade, 
and occasioned some confusion: There was more or 
less firing of cannon on both sides, daily: All the 
works were pushed with the utmost diligence. 

2d. About two o clock, P.M. Gen. WASHING 
TON, attended by several officers, arrived at the camp 
in Cambridge. 


On the morning of this day, the British cannon 
aded briskly from their lines on Boston neck against 
Roxbury, and threw some shells; a carcase set fire 
to the house of Mr. Williams, the tinman, which was 
burnt down; by the activity of the troops, the flames 
were prevented from spreading further, although 
they had to work in the face of a constant and heavy 
fire from the enemy. 

5th. Gen. Washington, accompanied by Major- 
Gen. Lee, visited the Roxbury camp, works, &c. 

8th. A little after two o clock in the morning, a 
number of volunteers, under the command of Majors 
Tupper and Crane, attacked the British advance 
guard at Brown s house, on Boston neck, and routed 
them, took a halberd, a musket, and two bayonets, 
and burnt the two houses; the store and barn escaped 
the flames; a scattering fire at the outpost continued 
for some time; a floating battery was brought up 
into the bay, and moored so as to cover the right 
flank of the British works on the neck. 

nth. In the morning, a party of Americans drove 
back the British advance guard, and burnt Brown s 
store. The same night a detachment went on to 
Long Island, and brought off the stock, &c. The 
next day in the forenoon, Col. Greaton with 136 men, 
went on to Long Island, and burnt the barns; the 
flames communicated to the house, and all were 
consumed. An armed schooner, and several barges 
put off after the Americans, and some of the ships 
of war near the island cannonaded them. The 
detachment made their way for the shore, and nar 
rowly escaped being taken. One man on the shore 
who came to the assistance of the detachment, was 
killed: It was supposed that several of the British 
were killed and wounded. The same day six trans- 


ports, appearing to be full of men, arrived in Boston 

1 3th. A heavy cannonade from the British, at 
the American workmen but no damage done. 
Gen. Washington visited the camp. The men were 
employed on the works going on upon the strong 
rocky hill, (Col. Williams s) to the south-west of 
those above Roxbury work-house. This was one 
of the strongest works which were erected. 

I4th. The British fired several cannon, and a. 
Connecticut soldier was killed in the street, near the 
George tavern. The shot entered his body, drove 
it some distance, and lodged in him in a remarkable 

1 8th. Five transport ships arrived in Boston har 
bour. Fresh provisions were very scarce and dear, 
in Boston mutton and veal, 2s. per pound; fresh 
beef and pork a pistareen, salt pork sixpence. 

2Oth. A day of public fasting no fatigue all 
still and quiet. 

2 1 st. Major Vose returned from Nantasket. The 
detachment under his command, brought off 1,000 
bushels of barley, all the hay, &c. went to Light- 
House Island; took away the lamps, oil, some gun 
powder, the boats, &c. and burnt the wooden parts 
of the light-house. An armed schooner and several 
boats, with men, engaged the detachment; of the 
Americans, two were wounded. 

22d. A general order came out for forming the 
army into divisions and brigades. 

25th. Maj. Gen. Ward removed from Cambridge, 
and took the immediate command of the troops 
at Roxbury. 

2Qth. The British formed a bomb battery, at 
Bunker s Hill, and advanced their advance guard. 

3Oth. In the morning, there was a skirmish at 

34 - HEATH S MEMOIRS [AUG. 1775 

Charlestown neck, between the riflemen and some 
British troops. Two of the latter were taken pris 
oners, and several were killed. Of the riflemen, one 
was killed. The same day, the British advanced 
over the neck, and threw up a slight work to cover 
their guard. 

3 1 st. A little before one o clock, A.M. a British 
floating-battery came up the river, within 300 yards 
of Sewall s Point, and fired a number of shot at the 
American works, on both sides of the river. At the 
same time, the British, on Boston neck, sallied 
towards Roxbury; drove in the American sentinels, 
set fire to the George tavern, and returned to their 
works. The same morning, Major Tupper, with 
300 Americans, went to Light-House Island, at 
tacked a British guard of 33 marines, killed a sub 
altern officer and several soldiers, took 23 prisoners, 
several refugees, and burnt all the buildings on the 
island, with the loss of one American soldier. There 
was a firing, during the day, from the British, at 
Charlestown, at intervals. Two Americans were 
killed; an officer, and several British soldiers, were 
supposed to have been killed. The Americans took 
several muskets. 

August 2d. There was a considerable firing be 
tween the advanced parties, and the Americans burnt 
a barn, near Charlestown neck, in which the British 
had some hay. A British officer was wounded, and 
carried within their lines. 

4th. A ship of war came up above the ferry at 
Charlestown, and there took a station. 

6th. In the afternoon, a party of the British, in 
two barges, covered by a floating battery, burnt the 
house on the other side of Penny Ferry. 

nth. One of the ships which had been stationed 
above the ferry, went down. 


I5th. There was a smart cannonade on the Rox- 
bury side. There was more or less firing every day; 
but little damage done. 

iyth. A shot, from the British lines on Boston 
neck, struck among the main guard, at Roxbury, 
and damaged two muskets in a very remarkable man 
ner; but did no other harm. The same day six or 
seven tons of powder arrived from the southward. 

1 8th. Several shells were thrown into Roxbury; 
but did no damage. 

26th. The Americans broke ground on Plowed 
Hill, in front of Bunker s Hill, without molestation. 

27th. There was a brisk cannonade from the 
British on Bunker s Hill, the ship, and floating bat 
teries, at the Americans on Plowed Hill. Adjutant 
Mumford, of Col. Varnum s Rhode-Island regiment, 
and a soldier, belonging to Col. Hitchcock s regiment, 
were killed, and a rifleman lost a leg. 

28th. In the night the camp was alarmed, and 
some of the troops turned out, but nothing ensued. 
The fire continued against Plowed Hill; one Amer 
ican was killed and several wounded. 

29th, 3Oth, and 3ist. The British continued their 
cannonade and bombardment of Plowed Hill. One 
shell fell within the works; but no damage was done. 

September 1st. The preceding night there was an 
excessive hot cannonade and bombardment from 
the British works, on Boston neck, against the works 
at Roxbury. Two Americans were killed, and 
several wounded. 

2d. The British threw up a slight work on Boston 
neck, advanced of their lines, to cover their guard. 
Cannonading and throwing of shells, on this day, 
both against Roxbury and Plowed Hill. Two shells 
fell into the works on the latter, but did no harm. 

5th. A sergeant, belonging to the 64th British 


regiment, and a seaman, were taken prisoners at 
Noddle s Island. The heavy rains, about this time, 
did some damage to the American works. Prepara 
tions were made for sending a detachment to Canada. 

6th. The Americans advanced some works to 
wards Boston neck, without molestation. 

Qth. Two riflemen deserted to the British. A 
number of British soldiers, at different times, had 
come over to the Americans. 

loth. A strong work, at Lamb s Dam, in Rox- 
bury, was completed, and mounted with four 18 
pounders. The same day, a shot from the British 
destroyed three muskets at Roxbury. 

nth. A boat, with six or seven British soldiers, 
was driven on shore at Dorchester. They were taken 
prisoners and sent in. 

I3th. A detachment, under the command of Col. 
Arnold, marched for Canada. They were to take 
a north-eastern route, up Kennebec River, and down 
the river Chaudiere. 

Generals Schuyler and Montgomery were making 
their way into Canada, with a considerable force, by 
way of the lakes. They had advanced as far as 
Fort St. John s; but, finding that this fort would 
make considerable resistance, they fell back. Schuy 
ler returned to Albany, to hold a treaty with the 
Indians; and Montgomery waited for the arrival of 
his artillery, that he might reduce the forts. 

Some time before this, Col. Ethan Allen, of the 
New-Hampshire Grants, (since Vermont) with a 
number of volunteers, took possession of Ticonde- 
roga. The artillery secured by Allen were an ac 
quisition to the Americans; and Col. Knox went up 
the next winter, and selected and brought forward a 
number of pieces to the camp before Boston. The 
garrison of this place, which was commanded by a 


captain, apprehending no danger, were negligent, 
and remiss in duty. Allen was acquainted at the 
place; and now, as is said, requested a part of the 
garrison to aid him, in transporting some goods. 
Nearly half of the garrison were granted him. These 
were plentifully served with liquor; and, in the night, 
Allen entered the fort, and demanded a delivery of 
it. The commandant asking by what authority he 
required him to surrender, Allen replied "I de 
mand it in the name of the great Jehovah and the 
Continental Congress." He also took possession of 
Crown Point; and, before Montgomery was ready to 
proceed against the Forts Chambly and St. John s, 
Allen determined to surprise Montreal. For this 
purpose, he marched across, with a body of militia; 
but he was met, before he got to the town, by what 
force the British could collect there, who attacked 
and defeated Allen, taking him and a number of his 
party prisoners. He was put in irons, and sent in 
a man-of-war to England. His narrative was long 
since published.* 

1 8th. Several seamen deserted from the British 
they brought off three boats. The same day, a 
cannon shot, from the lines on Boston neck, went 
through the guard-house at Roxbury. A splinter 
wounded the captain of the guard. 

2 1 st. The cannonade, which continued more or 
less every day, was more brisk at some workmen, 
between Plowed Hill and Prospect Hill. Two 
Americans were wounded. 

23d. A brisk cannonade and bombardment on 
the works at Roxbury 108 cannon and mortars 
were discharged, but no damage done. 

29th. 500,000 dollars, in Continental bills, were 

* See Appendix III. 

3 8 - HEATH S MEMOIRS [Nov.i 77S 

brought to Head-Quarters, from Philadelphia. Sev 
eral deserters from the British, about this time. 

October 3d and 4th. General Officers in council, 
on the supposed treachery of Dr. Church, who was 
taken into close custody, and afterward kept in 

6th. A brisk cannonade at Roxbury. An Amer 
ican lost an arm. An 18 pound shot went through 
the gate-way, at the British lines, as their guard was 
marching out. 

8th. The British did some mischief at Bristol, in 
Rhode Island. The report of the cannon were 
heard at camp. 

lyth. Two American floating-batteries were 
rowed down the river; several shot were discharged 
towards the British. A 9 pounder burst, and 5 or 
6 men were wounded; one of whom died soon after. 

22d. Intelligence was received, that some Brit 
ish ships had entered the harbour of Casco Bay, and 
burnt a part of the town of Falmouth. 

November 4th. Intelligence was received, that 
the British fort at Chambly, on the lake, had surren 
dered to the Americans. The artillery and military 
stores in this fort were truly an acquisition. The 
privateers fitted out by the Americans about this 
time began to send in a few prizes. 

Qth. At the top of high water, the tide being 
very full, some British light infantry, in boats, came 
over from Boston, and landed on Leechmore s Point. 
The sentinels on the point came off; the alarm was 
given; and several hundred Americans forded over 
the causeway, in the face of the British, the water 
at least two feet deep. The British, seeing the spirit 
of the Americans, although they were very advanta 
geously posted, made a precipitate retreat to their 
boats. Three or four Americans were wounded, one 


mortally. The British ship and floating-batteries 
kept up a brisk fire; but to little purpose. 

nth. The King of England s Proclamation for 
suppressing rebellion (as he called it) made its 
appearance. It was taken on board a vessel from Ire 
land, which was captured by an American cruiser. 
It was reported that the British had received a 

I4th. Intelligence was received of the capitula 
tion of the British garrison of Fort St. John s on the 
lake. Montgomery was now proceeding rapidly into 
Canada. His troops took possession of Montreal 
on the I3th. 

1 6th. Several deserters came in, and two soldiers 
were taken prisoners. 

22d. A strong detachment from the army, un 
der the command of Maj. Gen. Putnam, broke 
ground on Cobble Hill without annoyance. The 
fatigue men worked until near break of day, when 
the whole came off. 

23d. At night, our General, with a detachment 
of similar strength to that of the preceding night, 
were ordered to Cobble Hill, to complete the works. 
A sally from the British was expected, and Col. 
Bridge with his regiment was ordered to the foot of 
the hill, and to patrol towards the bay and neck 
constantly during the night. The picket at Pros 
pect Hill was also ordered to be in readiness to suc 
cour the troops at the works, if they were attacked; 
and Col. Bond s regiment also lay on their arms; 
but the British did not move. Two of the British 
sentinels came off in the night to the detachment; 
the whole came off at day-break; and other troops 
were ordered on the works, in the day time, now in 
good forwardness and defensible. 

25th. An additional ship came up and took sta- 

40 . HEATH S MEMOIRS [DEC. i 775 

tion at the ferry. Upon a few shot being fired, by 
the American advance sentinels, the British drums 
on Bunker s Hill beat to arms, which were followed 
by the Americans. At this time the British were 
erecting several bomb-batteries at Boston to annoy 
the Americans. Col. Enos, who was of Col. Ar 
nold s detachment, from the army destined to cross 
the woods by a north-eastern route into Canada, 
having proceeded a very considerable distance, Ar 
nold s sick returning back, and his own men growing 
sickly, returned with his part of the detachment. 
This lessened the expectation of success to the Amer 
ican army in Canada. 

3Oth. Intelligence was received from Cape Ann, 
that a vessel from England laden with warlike stores, 
had been taken and brought into that place. There 
was on board one 13 inch brass mortar, 2,000 stand 
of arms, 100,000 flints, 32 tons of leaden ball, &c. 
&c. A fortunate capture for the Americans! 

December 2d. The brass 13 inch mortar, and 
sundry military stores, taken in the ordnance prize, 
were brought to camp. 

5th. Intelligence was received, that Col. Arnold 
had made his way safely into Canada.* 

1 2th. A causeway was begun over the marsh to 
Leechmore s Point. Two 18 pounders were brought 
from Roxbury, and mounted at Cobble Hill. 

1 3th. An express arrived from Marblehead, with 
advice that three British men-of-war were standing 
for that harbour. Col. Glover s regiment, with 
Capt. Forster s company of artillery, and a company 
of riflemen, were ordered to march to Marblehead 
with all expedition. 

I4th, 1 5th, and i6th. Approaches were carried 

* See Appendix IV. 


briskly on to Leechmore s Point, and nearly to the 
top of the hill. 

iyth. The morning was foggy. A detachment 
of 300 men, under the direction of Gen. Putnam, 
broke ground on the top of the hill on Leechmore s 
Point, at a distance of not more than half a mile from 
the ship. Between twelve and one o clock, the fog 
cleared away, and the ship began to cannonade the 
Americans, with round and grape shot, and some 
shells were thrown from West Boston. One soldier 
was wounded, and the party driven from the works. 
Several cannon were fired from Cobble Hill, at the 
ship; one shot was supposed to have struck her. 

1 8th. Our General was ordered, with 300 men, 
to prosecute the work begun on Leechmore s Point. 
It was expected that this would have been a bloody 
day, and Dr. Downer, one of the surgeons, was or 
dered down with the detachment, with his instru 
ments, &c. to assist the wounded. Fortunately for 
the detachment, Capt. Smith of the artillery, had, 
in the morning, discharged an 18 pounder from 
Cobble Hill at the ship, which induced her to weigh 
anchor, and run below the ferry-way. 

When our General arrived nearly at the summit 
of the hill, he halted the detachment, and went for 
ward himself, and took a view of the state of the 
works, which in some places were but just begun; 
in others were carried half way up. He then or 
dered the front company to move up the hill, ground 
their arms, and move into a part of the works as 
signed to them and so on through the whole, to 
prevent confusion in entering the works, and thereby 
increasing an object to the British gunners. As soon 
as the men were placed in the w r orks, two sentinels 
w^ere posted to watch the British batteries, with or 
ders, on discovering the discharge of cannon, to call 


out, a shot ! The men in the works were ordered to 
be steady; on the signal of a shot, to settle down and 
remain so, until the shot had struck; or if a shell, 
until it had burst, then to rise and prosecute the 
work no man to step out of his place. In a very 
short time, a shot was cried by the sentinels. It 
proved to be a shell, which fell and burst within a 
few feet of a part of the workmen, throwing the dirt 
among them, and a piece of the shell hitting a sol 
dier s hat. On the second discharge, the men fell 
as before; when, on rising, two or three heavy can 
non-shot struck in the face of the work, the British 
having discharged the cannon in such time after the 
mortar, as that the shot might take effect just as the 
men arose after the bursting of the shell: but in this 
they did not succeed; the men being ordered to keep 
down until both had struck. Finding this decep 
tion to fail, a shell was broke in the air, directly over 
the party, at 60 or 70 feet high. This also had as 
little effect upon the Americans. The fire continued 
until the afternoon, when it ceased : and it was after 
wards learnt that the commanding officer of the 
British artillery, who stood and observed the effect 
of their fire upon the Americans, went to their Gen 
eral, and informed him, that from his own observa 
tion, their fire had no other effect than to inure the 
Americans to danger, and advised its discontinuance. 
In the afternoon, Gen. Washington and several 
other General Officers came on to the Point. To 
wards night, the detachment were ordered to move 
out of the works by companies, as they went in; 
take up their arms, move under the hill, and form 
the detachment; from whence it was marched to 
Cambridge, attended by their surgeon, who had been 
in waiting all the day, but had no occasion to draw 

JAN. i 77 6] HEATH S MEMOIRS 43 

his instruments from their case, or a bandage or 
dressing from his box. 

I Qth. The prosecution of the works on Leech- 
more s Point was continued. The British cannon 
aded and bombarded the new detachment; but to 
no effect. The same took place on the 2Oth. On 
this day, a 13 inch shell was thrown almost up to 
No. 2. It was probably thrown, either at the works 
before mentioned, or at the colleges. It did not 
burst. Nearly five pounds of powder was taken out 
of the shell. 

22d. The British threw one shell, and fired two 
shot, from Bunker s Hill in Charlestown, at the 
works on Leechmore s Point. The cannonade, &c. 
continued, on the 23d and 24th; but to no effect. 

28th. A strong detachment from Winter Hill 
marched in the night to surprise the British out 
posts in Charlestown. They passed on the south 
side of Cobble Hill, and were to cross the cove on 
the ice. When they came to the channel, it was 
found to be open. A soldier slipping down on the 
ice, his piece accidentally went off, which caused an 
alarm, and the detachment returned. 

3 1 st. Intelligence was received, that there had 
been an action at Norfolk in Virginia, between 
Dunmore s army and the Virginians, to the advan 
tage of the latter. Fifty of the regular troops were 
said to have been killed and wounded; among the 
former was Capt. Fordyce, of the I4th British regi 
ment, an active and good officer. The Virginians 
had not a man killed. Dunmore s force was sup 
posed to be about 500. 

^January 1st, 1776, presented a great change in 
the American army. The officers and men of the 
new regiments were joining their respective corps; 
those of the old regiments were going home by hun- 

44 HEATH S MEMOIRS [jA N .i 77 6 

dreds and by thousands. The best arms, such as 
were fit for service, were detained from the soldiers 
who were going home; they were to be paid for; 
but it created much uneasiness. Such a change, in 
the very teeth of an enemy, is a most delicate ma 
noeuvre; but the British did not attempt to take any 
advantage of it. 

8th. It having been thought expedient to deprive 
the British of the houses in Charlestown, below 
Bunker s Hill, a detachment was ordered for the 
purpose. One hundred men from the First Brigade, 
and a like number from Frye s Brigade, with Cap 
tains Williams, Gould and Wyman; Lieutenants 
Foster, Shaw, Patterson and Trafton, and Ensign 
Cheney, the whole under the command of Major 
Knowlton, aided by Brigade-Majors Henly and Ca 
rey. The detachment marched between 8 and 9 
o clock in the evening, and the object was effected 
without the loss of a man. Several British soldiers 
were taken prisoners. The garrison of Bunker Hill 
works commenced a brisk fire down the hill towards 
the houses; but no damage was sustained. There 
had been a number of deserters from the British, 
since those heretofore mentioned. 

1 7th. Intelligence was received, that on the 3 1st 
of December, at three o clock, A. M. Gen. Mont 
gomery made an attempt to carry Quebec by assault. 
Col. Arnold had entered the lower city, and Gen. 
Montgomery was ascending the barriers at the other 
end when he was killed by a musket-ball, as was 
his Aide-de-camp. A number of those who had en 
tered the lower city were killed or taken prisoners, 
and the enterprise defeated. No account of the 
American loss was at this time reported. 

Great address and gallantry were exhibited on this 
expedition. The Americans ascending Kennebec 


river, crossing the height of land, and descending 
into Canada, was an arduous undertaking. Mont 
gomery was fired with a noble ardor. He had been 
successful hitherto, and the reduction of the city of 
Quebec would have been the finishing stroke. With 
this he hoped to close the year. To reduce the city 
by siege, would require a long time, (if not relieved) 
nor had he a train of artillery for the purpose. 
With this day would expire the time of service of 
many of his troops. He therefore resolved to attempt 
to carry the place by assault. Two real attacks were 
to be made on the lower city, at the opposite ends; 
one guided by himself, the other by Arnold; and 
there were to be two false attacks made on the upper 
city, to divide and distract the enemy. Every thing 
was well arranged. Arnold forced his way in, was 
wounded, and carried away his party fighting on. 
Montgomery passed along a very narrow defile, next 
to the bank, to a barrier obstinately defended; and 
here he fell here was an end to his attack. The 
other party fought on; but these being now the only 
enemy to oppose, the British turned their whole force 
to that quarter. They could not well retreat: the 
whole were killed, wounded, or taken prisoners. 
There was here barely a prospect of success, unless 
fortune should prove more favourable to merit than 
she is wont to do. Nothing more could be done on 
the score of gallantry. How far the attempt was a 
prudent one, is another question. It is a military 
maxim, that "fortune may fail us, but a prudent 
conduct never will." At the same time, some of 
the most brilliant victories have been obtained by a 
daring stroke. 

1 8th. Col. Knox, of the artillery, came to camp. 
He brought from Ticonderoga a fine train of artil 
lery, which had been taken from the British, both 

46 . HEATH S MEMOIRS [F E B.i 77 6 

cannon and mortars, and which were ordered to be 
stopped at Framingham. 

22d. Several Indians came to camp from the 
westward. Intelligence was received from Canada, 
that the blockade of Quebec was continued, notwith 
standing the rebuff on the morning of the 3 1st of 

February 1st. A number of, British soldiers from 
Bunker s Hill, went to pulling down the tide-mill at 
Charlestown. A cannon was discharged at them 
from Cobble Hill, which dispersed them for a short 
time, but they returned again. 

5th. Three cows were feeding near the British 
out-post at Charlestown neck. A party of the British 
came out, got above them, drove them to the neck, 
and killed them. This brought on a brisk firing at 
the out-posts, and some cannon were discharged from 
Bunker s Hill. It was supposed that the British had 
one man killed, and one wounded. 

8th. At night, a party of Americans, from Win 
ter Hill, went down and burnt the old tide-mill in 

1 4th. In the morning, a party of British troops 
from the Castle, and another from Boston, crossed 
over to Dorchester neck, with intent to surprise the 
American guard, which they came well nigh effect 
ing, the guard but just escaping them. There was 
but one musket fired, on the side of the Americans. 
An old inhabitant and his son were taken prisoners. 
The British burnt the houses on the point, and then 

I5th. Intelligence was received from Canada 
that some of the British garrison of Quebec, having 
made a sally in order to get fuel, they were driven 
back with the loss of twelve killed and fifteen 


The heights round Boston, except those at Dorches 
ter, having been taken possession of, it was now de 
termined that these also should be occupied; and 
great previous preparation was made for the purpose. 
It was imagined that so near an approach to the 
British would induce them to make a sally, to dis 
lodge the Americans. It was therefore deliberated 
in Council, that, in case the British should come 
forth, a strong detachment of Americans from the 
Cambridge camp, in boats, should proceed down the 
river, and land at the bottom of the common in 
Boston. To this our General made a most pointed 
opposition, alleging, that it would most assuredly 
produce only defeat and disgrace to the American 
army; that the British General must be supposed to 
be a master of his profession; that as such, he would 
first provide for the defence of the town, in every 
part, which was the great deposit of all his stores; 
that when this was done, if his troops would afford 
a redundancy, sufficient for a sally, he might attempt 
it; but it was to be remembered that, at any rate, 
the town would be defended; that it was impossible 
for troops, armed and disciplined as the Americans 
then were, to be pushed down in boats, at least one 
mile and a half, open to the fire of all the British 
batteries on the west side of the town, and to their 
whole park of artillery, which might be drawn to 
the bottom of the common long before the Ameri 
cans could reach it, and be flanked also by the works 
on the neck; that under such a tremendous fire, the 
troops could not effect a landing; and that he would 
never give his vote for it. It was, however, carried, 
that the attempt should be made. 

1 8th. It being Lord s day, after public service, 
a proclamation from the General Assembly of Mass- 


achusetts, for the reformation of manners, was read 
to the first division by the Rev. Mr. Leonard. 

2 1 st. A picket of 60 men was ordered to Leech- 
more s Point; and Col. Sargent s regiment at In- 
man s farm was ordered to be in readiness to sup 
port them, in case they should be attacked by the 
British, as some grounds for suspecting it had been 

23d. Ensign Lyman, of Huntington s regiment, 
with a small party, took a Corporal and two men, 
who were sentinels at Brown s chimneys, on Boston 
neck, without firing a gun. These prisoners re 
ported that the heavy cannon were removed from 
Bunker s Hill and put on board ship. 

25th. Some heavy cannon were mounted on the 
works at Leechmore s Point. The same day the 
British were busily employed in erecting a work a 
little to the north of the powder magazine in Boston. 

29th. The British threw some shells to Leech 
more s Point. 

March ist. Several mortars were sent over to 
Roxbury, and great preparations made to annoy the 
enemy. Bundles of screwed hay were brought from 
Chelsea to be used in the works. 

2d. At night a cannonade and bombardment 
began at the American works on Cobble Hill and 
Leechmore s Point on the Cambridge side, and at 
Lamb s Dam on the Roxbury side, against the Brit 
ish works; and a number of shells were thrown into 
Boston. The British returned the fire, and threw 
out a number of shells, one of which, of 13 inches, 
reached Prospect Hill. One of the American mor 
tars of 13 inches, and two of 10 inches, were burst. 
They were not properly bedded, as the ground was 
hard frozen. 


. There was an almost incessant roar of can 
non and mortars during the night, on both sides. 

The Americans took possession of Dorchester 
heights, and nearly completed their works on both 
the hills by morning. Perhaps there never was so 
much work done in so short a space of time. The 
adjoining orchards were cut down to make the ab- 
attis; and a very curious and novel mode of defence 
was added to these works. The hills on which they 
were erected were steep, and clear of trees and 
bushes. Rows of barrels filled with earth were 
placed round the works. They presented only the 
appearance of strengthening the works; but the real 
design was, in case the enemy made an attack, to have 
rolled them down the hill. They would have de 
scended with such increasing velocity, as must have 
thrown the assailants into the utmost confusion, and 
have killed and wounded great numbers. This pro 
ject was suggested by Mr. William Davis, merchant, 
of Boston, to our General, who immediately commu 
nicated it to the Commander in Chief, who highly 
approved of it, as did all the other officers: But the 
credit of it is justly due to Mr. Davis, and to him 
the writer gives it. As the regiments at Roxbury 
were parading, in the afternoon of this day, to march 
to Dorchester, a shot, from the British lines on Bos 
ton neck, carried away a thigh of Lieut. John Mayo, 
of Learned s regiment: he soon after died. One 
man was killed by a shell at Leechmore s Point, in 
the night. 

5th. The British, it was expected, would attempt 
to dislodge the Americans from Dorchester heights. 
Signals had been prepared at Roxbury meeting 
house to mark the moment. The detachment at 
Cambridge (designed to push into Boston in the 
boats) was paraded, not far from No. 2, where it re- 


mained a good part of the day. But kind Heaven, 
which more than once saved the Americans when 
they would have destroyed themselves, did not allow 
the signals to be made. About 3500 of the British 
troops, it was said, had been sent down to the Castle, 
with the intent to have made an attack on the Ameri 
cans; but, about midnight, the wind blew almost a 
hurricane from the south; many windows were forced 
in, sheds and fences blown down, and some vessels 
drove on shore; and no attempt was made on the 
works. Some were ready to blame our General, for 
the sentiments which he expressed against the going 
into Boston, as was proposed, in the boats, and at 
tributed it to the want of firmness: But the opinion 
of every military man, since that time, whether 
American, French, or British, who have taken a view 
of the land and water which was to have been the 
scene of action, with the concomitant circumstances, 
(as far as we have heard) hath been coincident; and 
those who may in future review them, will for them 
selves determine, whether the independence of spirit 
and sentiments of our General, expressed on the oc 
casion, merited applause or censure: For himself, he 
has been frequently heard to say that he gloried in 

On the night of the yth, Capt. Erving made his 
escape out of Boston. He reported, that the British 
were preparing to leave the town; that they were 
putting their cannon, mortars, shot, shells, &c. on 
board the store-ships; that some of the shot and 
shells sent into the town by the Americans had been 
well directed. 

gth. The Americans at Dorchester neck opened 
a battery to the north-east of Bird s Hill, near the 
water, with the intent to annoy the British shipping. 
This night a strong detachment went down to open 


a work on Nook Hill in Dorchester, still nearer to 
Boston. Some of the men imprudently kindled a 
fire behind the hill previous to the hour for breaking 
of ground. The enemy discovered the light of the 
fire; and there was, during the evening and night, a 
continual roar of cannon and mortars, from the 
Castle and lines on Boston neck, south end of that 
town; as well as from the Americans at Roxbury, 
Cobble Hill, and Leechmore s Point, at Cambridge. 
The second shot from the British at the old fortifica 
tion, south end of the town of Boston, killed 4 Amer 
icans, who were standing around the fire before men 
tioned, at Nook Hill, one of whom was Dr. Dow, of 
Connecticut. Another man was killed at the point 
next to the Castle. This suspended the work for 
the night, during which more than 800 shot were 

loth. The cannonade continued. The British 
were putting their cannon, military stores, and bag 
gage, on board the store-ships and transports. This 
evening two pieces of cannon, and two small mor 
tars, were carried on to Noddle s Island to disturb 
the British shipping; but the enemy being quiet at 
their different works, they were not molested from 
that quarter. 

nth. In the evening there was a brisk cannonade 
from the British, at the south end of Boston, and the 
lines on the neck. 

1 2th. A Mr. Woodward came out of Boston. 
He reported that the British were making the greatest 
preparations to leave the town; that a number of 
gun-carriages, ammunition-wagons, &c. had been 
broken to pieces, and thrown off the wharves; that 
some furniture had been destroyed, and that many 
dry goods had been seized, &c. 

I3th. Six regiments of the American army, viz. 


Greaton s, Stark s, Patterson s, Bond s, Webb s, and 
the rifle regiment, were put under orders to march 
for New York; of these our General was to take the 
command. A detachment of artillery was also or 
dered to march with this brigade. 

On the evening of the I5th, a fire broke out in 
Patterson s barracks at Cambridge, which consumed 
six rooms, destroyed some musket cartridges, &c. 
This day the rifle regiment commenced their march 
for New York. 

iyth. In the morning the British evacuated Bos 
ton, their rear guard with some marks of precipita 
tion. A number of cannon were left spiked and 
two large marine mortars, which they in vain at 
tempted to burst. The garrison at Bunker s Hill 
practised some deception to cover their retreat. They 
fixed some images, representing men, in the places of 
their sentinels, with muskets placed on their shoul 
ders, &c. Their immovable position led to the 
discovery of the deception, and a detachment of the 
Americans marched in and took possession. The 
troops on the Roxbury side moved over the neck 
and took possession of Boston, as did others from 
Cambridge, in boats. On the Americans entering 
the town, the inhabitants discovered joy inexpres 
sible. The town had been much injured in its build 
ings, and some individuals had been plundered. 
Some British stores were left. The British army 
went on board their transports below the Castle. 
A number of American adherents to them, and the 
British cause, went away with the army. 

1 8th. --The brigade destined for New York, 
marched from the vicinity of Boston. 

iQth. The British blew up Castle William, and 
burnt some of the barracks. 

2Oth. The British cannonaded, from the Castle, 


the Americans on Dorchester neck. The same 
morning our General left Roxbury for New York. 
He reached Mendon, from whence on the same 
evening, he observed the light in the air of the fin 
ishing stroke of burning the barracks, &c. at the 
Castle. The British destroyed the gun-carriages, 
and knocked the trunnions off the cannon, and left 
them spiked. The cannon were afterwards drilled 
free, and mounted on a new construction, in stocks, 
placed on carriages, and were thereby rendered 

22d. Our General reached Norwich in Connect 
icut. The troops marched with great expedition; 
but by the badness of the roads, the frost then com 
ing out of the ground, the baggage-wagons moved 
heavily. The transports, destined for the troops, 
were fitting for sea. 

26th. They fell down to New London. 

2yth. The troops were marched to that place, 
where they embarked, and came to sail about noon. 

3Oth. They arrived at Turtle Bay, disembarked, 
and marched into the city at noon. The transports 
fell down to the city wharves, and landed the bag 
gage, &c. Gen. Thompson and Lord Sterling, with 
some New York and New Jersey troops, were in the 
city; and works were constructing, in and around 
the city, on Long Island, and at Horn s Hook; the 
command of the whole devolved on our General. 
The Asia, British man-of-war, then lay off in the 
harbour, with the Lady Gage, of 20 guns; but, on 
the arrival of the brigade, the Asia moved further 
down, just out of shot. Our General put a stop to 
the intercourse between the inhabitants and the 
ships, which had, until then, been kept up. 

April 2d. Major D Hart, of the Jersey troops, 
with 200 men, about midnight, made a descent on 


a small island in the harbour, which the British had 
begun to fortify; burnt a building or two, took two 
muskets, some entrenching tools, and came off. 
The Asia fired several cannon, but did no harm. 

On the evening of the 3d, Maj. Gen. Putnam ar 
rived at New York, to whom the command fell. 
About this time, a vessel arrived from France, with 
a large quantity of gun-powder. 

7th. A barge from one of the ships going near 
Staten Island, was fired upon by the Americans: 
two men were killed, the barge and 8 men taken. 
The British cannonaded the shore for some time, 
and one American was wounded. 

Qth. Intelligence was received, that Commodore 
Hopkins had fallen in with the British frigate Glas 
gow, a bomb brig, and two tenders, and after a 
smart engagement, took the brig and two tenders. 
The Glasgow made off. 

loth. Gen. Sullivan s brigade arrived from the 

1 2th. There were 18 pieces of brass cannon in 
the American park, at New York, which were viewed 
with no small degree of pride and wonder. 

I3th. In the forenoon, Gen. Washington arrived 
in the city, attended by Gen. Gates and several other 

I4th. The British men-of-war were all out of the 
bay. The Asia fell below the Narrows; the Phenix 
and others went out to sea. 

1 5th. Four American regiments, viz. Poor s, Pat 
terson s, Greaton s, and Bond s, were ordered for 
Canada; Gen. Thompson was to command them. 
Gen. Thomas had been, some time before, sent from 
Boston to command in Canada. 

I yth. Gen. Greene s brigade arrived at New 

MAY, i 77 6] HEATH S MEMOIRS 55 

York, as did a part of Spencer s. Mrs. Washington 
arrived the same day in the city. 

2ist. The regiments destined for Canada sailed 
for Albany. 

26th. Six more regiments were ordered for Can 
ada, viz. two from the Pennsylvania line, two from 
the New Jersey, and two from the New Hampshire. 

a/th. Our General, having been inoculated with 
the small-pox, went to Montresor s Island, where he 
went through the operation of that distemper.* 

May 8th. An express arrived from Boston, with 
an account, that a number of British transports had 
arrived at Nantasket Road, with troops on board. 
All the American regiments at New York were or 
dered to hold themselves in readiness, to march at a 
moment s notice. Several soldiers were taken down 
with the small-pox, and some of them died. 

28th. Our General having recovered from the 
small-pox, which had been pretty severe, returned 
to the city, and took the command of his brigade; 
and was the next day General of the day. 

3 1 st. A large ship and two tenders arrived at the 
Narrows. A great number of works were now con 
structing, and in good forwardness. A strong work 
was raised at Paulus Hook, on the Jersey side of the 

June 4th. A French vessel, with West India 
goods, arrived in the harbour. 

yth. Intelligence was received, that two Philadel 
phia privateers had taken two rich Jamaicamen, 
laden with sugars, &c. and some plate on board. 

Qth. Unfavourable news was received from Can 
ada. The small-pox, which was raging in the Amer 
ican army, in that quarter, had carried off Gen. 
Thomas; and that Col. Beadle and Major Sherburne, 

* See Appendix V. 


with the detachments under their command, were 
taken prisoners, at or near a place called The Cedars. 
The army in New York was now growing sickly; 
and there was not a sufficiency of hospital room, or of 

1 4th. Congress gave intimations, that General 
Howe, with the British army under his command, 
might be soon expected at New York. Some per 
sons, suspected of treacherous designs, were seized 
and confined. 

I5th. Some intelligence, more favourable than 
the former, was received from Canada. The Cana 
dians were friendly. Gen. Sullivan, who was now 
in that quarter, having gone from New York with 
the reinforcement heretofore mentioned, was forti 
fying; the enemy were advancing; but Gen. Thomp 
son was sent out to oppose them. This, however, 
proved ineffectual; Thompson was defeated and 
taken prisoner. A number of Scotch troops, with 
Col. Campbell, had been made prisoners, near 
Boston harbour. 

1 8th. The Pennsylvania regiments, commanded 
by Colonels Shee and Magaw, were arriving in the 
city; they had the appearance of fine troops. The 
day before, Gen. Wooster arrived from Canada. 

2Oth. Gen. Gates, who was made a Major-Gen 
eral, was to proceed immediately to Canada, where 
he was to take the command. 

22d. A plot was discovered in the city; it was to 
have burst on the Commander in Chief, and others. 
The Mayor of the city was taken into custody, as 
was a gun-smith; and some of the General s own 
guard, who were foreigners, were said to be in the 
plot. The same day, more particulars were received 
from Boston; that the troops at Boston had driven 

juNE,i 77 6] HEATH S MEMOIRS 57 

the King s ships from the Lower Harbour, and taken 
several transports with Scotch soldiers on board.* 

25th. Two deserters came in from the Liverpool 
man-of-war. They reported, that the fleet from Hal 
ifax, with Gen. Howe s army, were hourly expected 
to arrive at New York. Every exertion was now in 
exercise to complete the works, and to obstruct the 
river. The latter was near Fort Washington, and 
prosecuted by sinking a number of large hulks, and 
frames called chevaux-de-jrise, composed of large and 
long timbers framed together, with points elevated 
to pierce and stop the way of vessels meeting of them. 
These were boxed at the bottom to contain a vast 
weight of stones, which were put into them, and with 
which they sunk. A line of these, and hulks, was 
formed across the river; some of them sunk very well; 
others, rather irregular; and some of the hulks, 
which were strapped together with large timbers, 
separated in going down. A passage was left open 
for vessels to pass through; and the British, as it was 
proved afterwards, found the means of knowing 
where it was, and of passing through it. 

27th. Intelligence was received, that Gen. Bur- 
goyne had arrived in Canada, with a strong rein 
forcement. The militia were called in, to reinforce 
the army at New York. 

28th. One Thomas Hickey, a private soldier in 
the General s guard, was executed. He was found 
guilty of mutiny, sedition, and the worst of practices, 
as it was expressed. The same day, the British fleet 
arrived at Sandy Hook. 

29th. The transports were coming in, during the 
whole day. At evening, nearly 100 sail had arrived. 
Col. Durkee s regiment was ordered over to Paulus 
Hook. The General Officers were in council. 

* See Appendix VI. 


3Oth. Mrs. Washington left the city. 

July 2d. Between 10 and II o clock, A. M. four 
British men-of-war, and several tenders, came 
through the Narrows, and anchored near the water 
ing-place on Staten Island. In the afternoon, they 
cannonaded towards the island. A little before sun- 
setting, about 40 sail of transports came up to the 
ships of war. The Americans lay on their arms 
during the night. 

3d. The British troops landed on Staten Island. 
A part of the stock had been taken off. The inhab 
itants, who were about 350 men, were supposed to 
be generally opposed to the revolution. 

Qth. At evening roll-call, the declaration of the 
Congress, declaring the United Colonies free, sover 
eign, and independent States, was published at the 
head of the respective brigades, in camp, and re 
ceived with loud huzzas.* 

1 2th. Two British ships of war, the Phenix and 
Rose, and three tenders, at about 4 o clock, P. M. 
taking the advantage of the tide and a fresh breeze, 
came up from the fleet, and passed the city up the 
Hudson. A brisk cannonade took place from Red 
Hook, Governor s Island, Paulus Hook, and all the 
batteries on the North River side. The ships were 
several times struck by the shot, but received no ma 
terial damage. The ships returned the fire, as they 
passed the batteries; and the encampment of our 
General s brigade, (the right flank of which being 
Col. Shepard s regiment) was on the bank of the 
river. The tents were struck, and dropped on the 
ground, before the ships came a-breast of them. 
Several shot fell on the encampment, and one en 
tered the embrasure of a small redoubt, on the flank 
of the encampment, and struck in the banquette on 

*See Appendix VII. 

juLY,i 77 6] HEATH S MEMOIRS 59 

the opposite side of the redoubt, between the legs of 
two soldiers, but did no damage. Several American 
artillerists were killed and wounded by the bursting 
of some of our own cannon. The ships ran nearly 
up to Tappan Bay, and came to anchor. 

1 4th. A British officer came up with a flag, with 
a letter to Gen. Washington; but the letter not being 
properly addressed, it was not received. The same 
day, a flag was sent by Lord Howe to Amboy, with 
sundry letters, directed to the chief magistrates of 
several of the Colonies, and a declaration, offering 
the King s pardon to such Colonies, towns, or 
boroughs, as should submit to his Majesty s laws, 
&c. Lord and Gen. Howe were Commissioners ap 
pointed to receive submissions. 

1 6th. Another flag came up from Lord Howe, 
with a letter directed to George Washington, Esq. 
&c. &c. &c. which was likewise rejected, for the 
want of a proper direction. 

iyth. In the morning, one or two of the British 
ships sailed out through the Narrows; and it was 
conjectured that a number sailed out during the 
night. The British ships which had sailed up the 
Hudson, had moved higher up. The Connecticut 
light-horse, which had come out to reinforce the 
army, were returning home. 

2Oth. A flag from Gen. Howe, with Adj. Gen. 
Patterson, came up with a message to Gen. Wash 
ington, respecting the recent capitulation in Canada, 
and insinuating that Gen. Howe was desirous, if pos 
sible, to bring about an accommodation. The same 
day, news was received from South Carolina that 
the British, in attempting Sullivan s Island, with 
their ships and a large body of troops, said to be 
from 1300 to 2000, were defeated by the Americans; 
one frigate burnt and blown up, several others dam- 

60 HEATH S MEMOIRS [AUG. i 77 6 

aged, and 172 men killed and wounded. On the 
side of the Americans, 10 were said to be killed, and 
22 wounded. 

2ist. A man, dressed in woman s clothes, was 
taken up, in attempting to get to the British fleet: 
he was committed to prison. The same day, Gen. 
Sullivan arrived from Canada. About noon, a num 
ber of cannon and small-arms were heard towards 

25th. A row-galley or two, arrived from Con 
necticut; and fire-ships, rafts, &c. were preparing 
with great expedition. 

26th. The British ships up the river fell some 
distance lower down. 

27th. A regiment of militia, under the command 
of Col. Holman, arrived from Massachusetts. 

28th. Two row-galleys moved up the Hudson. 

29th. Col. Sargent s regiment of Continental 
troops arrived at Horn s Hook, from Boston, and 
Col. Hutchinson s from the same place. Several 
British ships arrived and joined the fleet. 

3 1 st. Intelligence was received that Dunmore, 
with his fleet, had got nearly 200 miles up Potomac 
River in Virginia; that he had burnt one house, and 
was within about 30 miles of Gen. Washington s seat. 

August 1st. About 30 sail of British ships arrived 
at the Hook. Three or four more row-galleys went 
up the Hudson. In bringing the hulks, cbevaux-de- 
frise, &c. round from the East River, to the Hudson, 
a sloop sunk, not far from the Grand Battery. 

2d. Glover s regiment arrived from the eastward. 

3d. About noon there was a brisk cannonade up 
the Hudson, between the American row-galleys and 
the British ships: the former had two men killed, 
two mortally, and 12 slightly wounded. The British 
loss was not known. 


yth. There were some movements among the 
British fleet; the men-of-war appeared to be formed 
in line. Two deserters came in who reported that 
an attack on the Americans was intended soon. 

8th. A row-galley and two fire-sloops went up 
the river. It was intended to attempt burning the 
British ships in Tappan Bay. The American army 
was now very sickly; four soldiers were buried on 
this day, from our General s brigade only. About, 
and a little after this time, the army was more sickly 
than at any other period. The newspapers at Phil 
adelphia and Boston, rated the army at 70,000 strong 
and in high spirits, and that they would soon clear 
the enemy from America. This was not a little 
mortifying to Gen. Washington, who had the evi 
dence, that the army did not exceed 40,000, officers 
included; and a large portion of these were levies 
and militia, called out for short periods, and unac 
quainted with a camp life. Hence the number of 
sick amounted to near 10,000; nor was it possible to 
find proper hospitals or proper necessaries for them. 
In almost every barn, stable, shed, and even under 
the fences and bushes, were the sick to be seen, whose 
countenances were but an index of the dejection of 
spirit, and the distress they endured. 

Qth. It was learnt that the British were preparing 
for an attack, and were putting their heavy artillery, 
&c. on board ship. 

In reconnoitring the position of New York, long 
before this time, all were agreed, that the upper end 
of the island, and above Kingsbridge, must be se 
cured, or there could be no security to an army on 
the island; but there was some difference in opinion 
as to the place. A commanding height, near Mor 
ris s house, some distance below the bridge, within 
the island, was thought by some, among whom was 

62 HEATH S MEMOIRS [AuG.i 77 6 

Gen. Putnam, a position which, if properly fortified, 
would be almost impregnable. While others, among 
whom was our General, and his brother Gen. Greene, 
who were generally in sentiment, insisted that there 
could be no security on the island, although the post 
before mentioned was made as strong as Gibraltar, 
if the heights above the bridge were left unfortified, 
as the enemy might at any time, in an hour or two, 
possess themselves of those heights above the bridge, 
and completely entrap the army; and each declared 
positively, that he would not rest easy or satisfied, 
until those grounds were taken possession of. Fort 
Washington was begun on the hill first mentioned, 
and the works were pushed as fast as possible; and it 
was determined to erect another fort above the bridge, 
which was also begun, and called Independence. 
Every exertion was now in exercise to complete the 
works in and about the city, some of which were 
strong. Indeed, immense labour had been bestowed 
on the works at the city, on Long Island, at Horn s 
Hook, near Hell Gate, and at Paulus Hook, on 
the Jersey side, opposite the city, on Governor s 
Island, &c. 

nth. Our General received a commission from 
Congress, dated the Qth, appointing him a Major- 
General in the army of the United States of America. 
Generals Spencer, Sullivan and Greene received at 
the same time commissions of the same tenor. 

1 2th. In the afternoon, 30 or 40 British vessels 
came through the Narrows, and joined the fleet. 

1 3th. A number more of ships, some of them 
very large, came in and joined the fleet: the ships up 
the river fell a little lower down. 

I4th. Our General rode to Horn s Hook and 
Kingsbridge. The person who had the direction of 
the fire-vessels requested him to be a spectator on 

AuG.i 77 6] HEATH S MEMOIRS 63 

the bank of the river, of an attempt intended to be 
made on that night, to burn ships. Attended by 
Gen. Clinton, and several other officers, they waited 
on the bank until about midnight; but no attempt on 
the ships was made, and they returned disappointed. 
1 6th. Our General was again requested to be a 
spectator on the bank of the river the approaching 
night, with the most positive assurances that he 
should not be again disappointed: he accordingly 
went, attended as on the preceding time, and took a 
proper position on the bank. The night was pretty 
dark; they soon found that the galleys and fire- vessels 
were silently moving up with the tide. After some 
time, and almost immediately after the sentinels on 
board the British ships had passed the word, "all is 
well," two of the fire-vessels flashed into a blaze; the 
one close on the side of the Phenix, the other grap 
pling one of the tenders. To appearance, the flames 
were against the side of the Phenix; and there was 
much confusion on board. A number of cannon 
were discharged into the fire-vessel in order to sink 
her. A number of seamen ascended, and got out on 
the yard-arm, supposed to clear away some grap- 
plings. The fire-vessel was alongside, as was judged 
near ten minutes, when the Phenix either cut, or 
slipt her cable, let fall her fore-topsail, wore round, 
and stood up the river, being immediately veiled from 
the spectators, by the darkness of the night. The 
tender burnt down to the water s edge, and was 
towed to the shore by the Americans, out of which 
was taken, one iron six-pounder, two three-pounders, 
one two-pounder, ten swivels, a caboose, some gun- 
barrels, cutlasses, grapplings, chains, &c. The 
Rose, and the other two tenders, remained at their 
moorings; but it was said that one of the tenders was 
deserted by her crew, for a time. Several of our 

64 HEATH S MEMOIRS [Au G .i 77 6 

galleys were said to have been inactive; otherwise, a 
very considerable advantage would have been reaped. 
The Americans sustained no loss or injury, saving 
one man, who, in communicating fire to one of the 
vessels, got considerably burnt in the face, hands, &c. 

iyth. The Commander in Chief, having ordered 
our General to take the command of the troops and 
posts, at the north end of the island, and above 
Kingsbridge, within which command fell the Forts 
Washington and Independence, and a number of 
other works, he took the command accordingly. 

1 8th. Very early in the morning, the wind being 
pretty fresh, and it being very rainy, the ships and 
tenders which were up the river, got under sail, and 
ran down, keeping as close under the east bank as 
they could, in passing our works. They were, how 
ever, briskly cannonaded at Fort Washington; and 
the works below; were several times struck, but re 
ceived no material damage. They joined their fleet 
near Staten Island. 

iQth. It was made pretty certain, that the British 
were upon the point of making an attack somewhere. 
By an express, which our General received from 
Gen. Washington, at half past 2 o clock, A. M. of the 
22d, he was pleased to communicate, that, by intel 
ligence which he had received, the enemy had inten 
tions of making attacks on Long Island, up the 
North River, upon Bergen Point, Elizabethtown 
Point, Amboy, &c. Perhaps so many places were 
mentioned in order to divide the force of, and dis 
tract the Americans. On this morning, however, 
they landed, near Gravesend Bay, on Long Island, 
about 8,000 men; Col. Hand, with his rifle corps, 
retreating moderately before them, and destroying 
some wheat which would fall into their hands. The 
British advanced as far as Flatbush, where they 

AuG.i 77 6] HEATH S MEMOIRS 65 

halted. Six American regiments were sent over as a 
reinforcement. Gen. Sullivan had the command on 
the island. 

24th. There were some skirmishes on Long 
Island; but nothing very material. 

25th. A number of the enemy s ships fell down 
towards the Narrows; it was supposed with intent 
to land more troops on Long Island. 

26th. In the morning, a brisk cannonade on 
Long Island, for some time. The British had thrown 
up some works at Flatbush from which they fired 
at the Americans. 

27th. Early in the morning, two ships and a brig 
came to anchor a little above Throg s Point. Our 
General immediately detached Col. Graham with his 
regiment, to prevent their landing to plunder or burn. 
Before he arrived, several barges full of men landed 
on New City Island, and killed a number of cattle. 
Two companies of the regiment, immediately on 
their arrival, ferried over to the island. The enemy 
carried off one man and 14 cattle the remainder of 
the cattle were secured. 

On the same day, there was a most bloody battle 
on Long Island, between the Americans and the 
British. The British, by a long circuitous march in 
the night of the 26th, with a part of their army, 
found the left of the Americans not so well secured 
as it ought to have been; and they had an oppor 
tunity to reach ground which gave them great ad 
vantage, while it equally exposed the Americans in 
the strong grounds towards Flatbush. There was 
here also another circumstance of ground which 
now proved very disadvantageous to the Americans. 
There was a considerable marsh, into which a creek 
ran, and on which there was a mill, known by the 
name of M Gowen s. At the mill there was a pass- 

66 HEATH S MEMOIRS [AuG.i 77 6 

way over; but unluckily, when some of the Ameri 
cans had retreated by this mill, (for they were soon 
routed by the British, who formed an attack almost 
in a semi-circle) it was set on fire. This would have 
been a politic step, had all the Americans on the 
other side, in that quarter, previously passed; but 
those still beyond the creek were now driven to al 
most desperate circumstances: they could not pass 
at the head of the creek; for the British column, 
which made the circuitous movement, were in pos 
session of the ground on the left; consequently, many 
were here killed or taken prisoners, and numbers 
perished in attempting to get over the creek, some 
of them sticking in the mud. Those who escaped 
retreated to the American works. The British sus 
tained a considerable loss in killed and wounded, 
and a subaltern and 23 men were taken prisoners; 
but the American loss was far greater, in killed, 
wounded, and prisoners. Among the latter were 
Gen. Sullivan and Lord Sterling. Several field- 
pieces were also lost. At evening, the British army 
encamped in front of the Americans.* 

On the morning of the 28th, there was a skirmish 
between the Americans and British which termi 
nated rather in favour of the former. The same 
night, the British began to open works, at the dis 
tance of about 600 yards from the American works 
on the left. Gen. Washington wrote to our General 
to send down to the city all the boats that could be 
spared from Kingsbridge and Fort Washington, in 
timating that he might possibly find it necessary, at 
night, to throw over more troops to Long Island. 
This order was immediately complied with, and the 
boats sent down, while the real intention of their 
use was fully understood. 

* See Appendix VIII. 

AUG. i 77 6] HEATH S MEMOIRS 67 

29th. The ships in the East River fell down to 
Hunt s Point. On the same night, the Americans 
evacuated Long Island, bringing off their military 
stores, provisions, &c. Some heavy cannon were 
left. In this retreat from the island, and which was 
well conducted, an instance of discipline and of true 
fortitude was exhibited by the American guards and 
pickets. In order that the British should not get 
knowledge of the withdrawal of the Americans until 
their main body had embarked in the boats and 
pushed off from the shore, which was a matter of 
the highest importance to their safety) the guards 
were ordered to continue at their respective posts, 
with sentinels alert, as if nothing extraordinary was 
taking place, until the troops had embarked: they 
were then to come off, march briskly to the ferry, 
and embark themselves. But, somehow or other, 
the guards came off, and had got well toward the 
landing-place, when they were ordered to face about, 
march back, and re-occupy their former posts; which 
they instantly obeyed and continued at them, until 
called off to cross the ferry. Whoever has seen 
troops in a similar situation, or duly contemplates 
the human heart in such trials, well know how to 
appreciate the conduct of these brave men on this 

3 1 st. In the forenoon, the British appeared at 
Newtown, where they pitched a number of tents. 
Governor s Island was evacuated the preceding night 
by the Americans. It was now evident that the 
next object of the enemy would be to get the city; 
and it was equally so, that they would land some 
where on the island without it. This night, several 
of the regiments of Gen. Mifflin s brigade, of our 
General s division, lay on the hills towards New 
York; and Gen. Clinton s brigade on their arms. 

68 - HEATH S MEMOIRS [SEPT. i 77 6 

The same evening, Hand s, Shee s, Magaw s, Brod- 
head s, and Miles s battalions, joined our General s 
division. Some of these corps had suffered greatly, 
in the action on Long Island. 

September 1st. The British appeared to be en 
camped in several places on Long Island. They had 
run a ship in between Governor s Island and 
Red Hook. 

2d. They ran a ship past the city up the East 
River: she was several times struck by the shot of a 
12 pounder, which was drawn to the river s bank. 
Major Crane, of the artillery, was wounded in the 
foot, by a cannon shot from the ship. It was now a 
question whether to defend the city, or evacuate it, 
and occupy the strong grounds above. Every exer 
tion had been made to render the works both num 
erous and strong; and immense labour and expense 
had been bestowed on them; and it was now deter 
mined that the city should be obstinately defended. 

4th. Gen. Washington came up, and dined at 
our General s quarters. The same day, a detach 
ment of the artillery, with one 24 pounder, three 12 
pounders, three 3 pounders, and a howitzer, joined 
the division. The enemy were plundering cattle on 
Long Island, now fully in their possession. 

^th. Our General ordered a chain of videttes and 
sentinels to be formed at Morrisania, Hunt s and 
Throg s Point, &c. The British were pressing a 
great number of teams on Long Island their Head- 
Quarters were at Bedford. 

yth. The militia on Long Island were ordered to 
muster, to raise recruits for the King. The General 
Officers of the American army were in council, at 
Head-Quarters in New York. The British were now 
erecting a work nearly opposite to ours at Horn s 
Hook, and the distance not great. 


8th. The British opened their battery against 
Horn s Hook Fort. The fire was briskly returned. 
The Americans had one man killed, and two 

gth. In the morning there was a brisk cannonade 
on both sides. At Horn s Hook, the American ar 
tillery was so well plied that the British ceased firing. 
The British were said to be encamped in three divi 
sions; one at Newtown, which was Head-Quarters, 
one at Flushing, and one at Jamaica. 

loth. The British landed a number of troops on 
Montresor s Island. 

nth. The British continued to cannonade and 
bombard our fort at Horn s Hook, and to land more 
troops on Montresor s Island. 

1 2th. The cannonade continued against our fort 
at Horn s Hook, and the British were moving their 
troops towards the East River. This day, Col. Ward s 
regiment of Connecticut troops removed from Bur- 
dett s Ferry, and joined our General s division. The 
General Officers were in council. A former resolu 
tion to defend the city was rescinded, with three 

1 3th. Four British ships, one of which was a two- 
decker, ran by the city up the East River. The 
cannonade and bombardment at Horn s Hook con 
tinued. This evening, Col. Chester, with five regi 
ments, joined our General s division. 

I4th. The British sent three or four ships up the 
North River as far as Greenwich. The cannon and 
stores were removing from New York during the 

I5th. About noon, the British landed at Kipp s 
Bay. They met with but small resistance, and 
pushed towards the city of which they took posses 
sion in the afternoon. They availed themselves of 

7 o" HEATH S MEMOIRS [SEPT. i 77 6 

some cannon and stores; but their booty was not very 
great. Here the Americans, we are sorry to say, did 
not behave well; and here it was, as fame hath said, 
that Gen. Washington threw his hat on the ground, 
and exclaimed, "Are these the men with which I am 
to defend America?" But several things may have 
weight here; the wounds received on Long Island 
were yet bleeding; and the officers, if not the men, 
knew that the city was not to be defended. Maj. 
Chapman was killed, and Brig. Maj. Wyllis was 
taken prisoner. A few others were killed, wounded, 
and taken prisoners. The Americans retreated up the 
island; and some few, who could not get out of the 
city that way, escaped in boats over to Paulus Hook, 
across the river. The house in the fort at Horn s 
Hook was set on fire by a shell, and burnt down. 
The fort was afterwards abandoned. 

1 6th. A little before noon, a smart skirmish hap 
pened on the heights west of Harlem Plain, and 
south of Morris s house, between a party of Hessian 
yagers, British Light-Infantry and Highlanders, and 
the American riflemen and some other troops, which 
ended in favour of the latter. The troops fought 
well on both sides, and gave great proof of their 
marksmanship. The Americans had several officers 
killed and wounded; among the former, Lieut. Col. 
Knowlton, of the Connecticut line, and Capt. Glea- 
son, of Nixon s Massachusetts regiment, two excel 
lent officers; and Maj. Leitch, of one of the southern 
regiments, a brave officer, was among the latter. 
This skirmish might have brought on a general ac 
tion; for both armies were then within supporting 
distance of the troops which were engaged.* 

It now became an object of high importance to 
calculate, if possible, where the British would make 

* See Appendix IX. 


their next attempt; and here the General Officers 
were divided in opinion. A part of them imagined, 
that the British would first endeavour to make them 
selves masters of the whole of New York Island, and 
that, therefore, the reduction of Fort Washington, 
and its dependencies, would be their object. Others 
supposed, that they would make a landing either at 
Morrisania, Hunt s or Throg s Point, which eventu 
ally would produce as certain a reduction of the 
works on the island, with very little loss to the Brit 
ish. It was therefore determined in council, to guard 
against both; and for this purpose, 10,000 men were 
to be retained on the island at and near Fort Wash 
ington. Our General s division was to be aug 
mented to 10,000 men, and a floating bridge was to 
be thrown across Harlem Creek, that these two 
bodies might communicate with and support each 
other as circumstances might require; and Major- 
Gen. Greene was to command the flying camp on 
the Jersey side of the Hudson, which was to consist 
of 5,000. The different arrangements took place 

iyth. The remains of Lieut. Col. Knowlton were 
interred with military honours. The same day, a 
troop of militia light-horse arrived from Connecti 
cut; others, and many of the militia were on their 
way to join the army. 

1 8th. Gen. Parsons s and Scott s brigades, and 
the brigade commanded by Col. Dudley Sargent, 
joined our General s division; and Shee s, Magaw s, 
Haslett s, Atlee s, and Brodhead s battalions were 
ordered away. The British army encamped between 
the American army and the city. 

A picket from our General s division of 450 men, 
constantly mounted by relief at Morrisania; from 
which a chain of sentinels, within half gunshot of 


each other, were planted, from the one side of the 
shore to the other, and near the water passage, be 
tween Morrisania and Montresor s Island, which in 
some places is very narrow. The sentinels on the 
American side were ordered not to presume to fire 
at those of the British unless the latter began; but 
the British were so fond of beginning that there was 
frequently a firing between them. This having been 
the case one day, and a British officer walking along 
the bank, on the Montresor s side, an American 
sentinel, who had been exchanging some shots with 
a British sentinel, seeing the officer, and concluding 
him to be better game, gave him a shot, and wounded 
him. He was carried up to the house on the island. 
An officer, with a flag, soon came down to the creek, 
and called for the American officer of the picket, 
and informed him, that if the American sentinels 
fired any more, the commanding-officer on the island 
would cannonade Col. Morris s house, in which the 
officers of the picket quartered. The American 
officer immediately sent up to our General to know 
what answer should be returned. He was directed 
to inform the British officer, that the American senti 
nels had always been instructed not to fire on senti 
nels^ unless they were first fired upon, and then to 
return the fire; that such would be their conduct; 
as to the cannonading of Col. Morris s house, they 
might act their pleasure. The firing ceased for some 
time; but a raw Scotch sentinel, having been planted, 
one day, he very soon after discharged his piece at an 
American sentinel, nearest to him, which was im 
mediately returned; upon which a British officer 
came down, and called to the American officers, 
observing that he thought there was to be no firing 
between the sentinels. He was answered that their 
own began; upon which he replied, "He shall then 


pay for it." The sentinel was directly after relieved, 
and there was no firing between the sentinels, at that 
place, any more; and they were so civil to each other 
on their posts that one day, at a part of the creek 
where it was practicable, the British sentinel asked 
the American, who was nearly opposite to him, if he 
could give him a chew of tobacco: the latter, having 
in his pocket a piece of a thick twisted roll, sent it 
across the creek to the British sentinel, who, after 
taking off his bite, sent the remainder back again. 

2Oth. The Commander in Chief, Maj. Gen. Put 
nam, and some other officers came up to our Gen 
eral s division, and rode round the camp, which, by 
the return given in on the next day, consisted of 
8,771; but of these there was 1,294 sick present, and 
1,108 sick absent. 

On the morning of the 2 1st, between one and two 
o clock, the light of a great fire was discovered to the 
southward, which proved to be at New York; when 
a considerable part of the city was consumed.* 

22d. Two seamen, belonging to the La Brune, a 
British ship of war which lay near Montresor s 
Island, deserted, and came to our General s quar 
ters; and informed him, upon examination, that the 
British had then but a few men on the island, stating 
the number; that the piece of cannon, which had 
been put on the island, was taken back again on 
board the La Brune; that there were a number of 
officers at the house in which there was a consider 
able quantity of baggage deposited, &c. Our Gen 
eral supposed that these troops might be easily taken; 
and, having called the General Officers of his divi 
sion together, took their opinion, who all coincided 
with him in sentiment. He then communicated his 
intention to the Commander in Chief, who gave it 

* See Appendix X. 


his approbation. Two hundred and forty men were 
destined for this enterprise: the command was given 
to Lieut. Col. Michael Jackson, of the Massachu 
setts line, with Majors Logan and , whose name 

cannot be recollected, of the New York troops. 
They were to embark on board three flat-boats, cov 
ered by a fourth with a detachment of artillery, with 
a light three-pounder, in case it should be found nec 
essary in retreating from the island. The mode of 
attack was settled, and every circumstance secured 
to promise success. They were to fall down Har 
lem Creek with the ebb. The time was so calcu 
lated that the young flood was to be so much made, 
at the break of day, as to cover the flats at the island 
sufficiently for the boats to float. Matters being 
thus settled, our General ordered the two sailors to be 
brought in: he then told them that in consequence 
of their information, an enterprise against the British 
troops on Montresor s Island was to take place that 
night; that he had ordered them to be kept in safe 
custody until the next morning, when, if their decla 
rations respecting the state of the British on the 
island proved to be true, he would give them a pass 
port to the back country, whither they wished to go; 
but, in case their information was false, he would 
order them hanged immediately as spies; that he 
gave them the opportunity, if they had made a wrong 
statement to him, then to correct it. They both 
answered, with perfect composure, that they would 
cheerfully submit to the condition. Major Thomas 
Henly was now one of our General s Aides-de-camp. 
He importuned that he might go with the detach 
ment. He was refused, and told that he had no busi 
ness there; that he could exercise no command. He 
grew quite impatient, returned again to the Gen 
eral s room, and addressed him: "Pray, Sir, consent 

szpx.1776] HEATH S MEMOIRS 75 

to my going with the party let me have the pleas 
ure of introducing the prisoners to you to-morrow." 
All his friends present advised him not to go. The 
General finally consented. The troops, at the hour 
assigned, embarked. Our General informed them 
that he, with others, would be spectators of the 
scene from a certain point near Harlem Creek. 
Notice had been given to the guards and pickets on 
the York Island side not to hail the party as they 
went down. Unfortunately, the lower sentinel had 
not been so instructed. He was nearly opposite to 
the point where our General was to be; and just at 
the instant when he arrived, had challenged the boats, 
and ordered them to come to the shore. From the 
boats they answered, "Lo! we are friends." The 
challenge was repeated. The answer was, "We tell 
you we are friends hold your tongue." A bounce 
into the water was heard; and instantly Maj. Henly 
came wading to the shore, stepped up to our General, 
catched him by the hand, and said, "Sir, will it do ?" 
Our General, holding him by the hand, replied, "I 
see nothing to the contrary;" to which Henly con 
cluded by saying, "Then it shall do." He waded 
back to his boat, and got in. The sentinel called 
again: "If you don t come to the shore, I tell you I ll 
fire." A voice from some one in the boats, was, 
" Pull away !" The boats went on, and the sentinel 
fired his piece. The boats reached the island almost 
at the moment intended, just as the glimmer of the 
dawn was discoverable. The three field-officers were 
in the first boat. Their intention, on the moment of 
landing, was, for the two seconds in command to 
spring, the one to the right, and the other to the left, 
and lead on the troops from the other two boats 
which were to land on each side of the first boat. 
The field-officers landed, and the men from their 


boat. The enemy s guard charged them, but were 
instantly driven back. The men in the other two 
boats, instead of landing, lay upon their oars. The 
British, seeing this, returned warmly to the charge. 
The Americans, finding themselves thus deserted, 
returned to their boats; but not until Lieut. Col. 
Jackson received a musket-ball in his leg, and Maj. 
Henly, as he was getting into the boat, one through 
his heart which put an instant end to his life. The 
boat joined the others, and they all returned, hav 
ing, in the whole, about 14 killed, wounded, and 
missing; Maj. Henly deeply regretted. Had only 
one of the other boats landed her men, the success 
would have been very probable; but the two would 
have insured an execution of the whole plan, in the 
opinion of all concerned. The delinquents in the 
other boats were arrested, and tried by court martial, 
and one of the Captains cashiered. 

On the night of the 23d, the British got possession 
of the works at Paulus Hook. The Americans had 
previously taken off all the cannon and stores. On 
the afternoon of the 24th, the remains of Maj. Henly 
were interred by the side of Lieut. Col. Knowlton, on 
New York Island, with military honours. 

25th. The militia, which had come out from 
the western part of the State of Connecticut, were 

26th. The General Officers were in council with 
a committee of Congress sent to make inquiry into 
the condition of the army, and agree upon the neces 
sary augmentation. 

27th. The Council set again. The same day, 
Maj. Gen. Sullivan, who had for some time been a 
prisoner with the British, came to Head-quarters. 
The American prisoners,which were taken in Canada, 
were sent round by water, and landed at Bergen 

Ocr.i 77 6] HEATH S MEMOIRS 77 

Point, New Jersey, where they were set at liberty. 
Gen. Thompson was among them. 

28th. Seven recruits for Maj. Rogers s corps, 
raising for British service, were taken, going to Long 
Island, and sent in. 

ZQth. There was an unusual movement of boats 
from Long Island to Montresor s Island, and an at 
tack was soon expected. 

3Oth. The moving over of boats to Montresor s 
Island continued. The same day, a frigate went 
through Hell Gate, and came to anchor about 10 
o clock, A. M. near the La Brune. At 12 o clock, 
she came to sail, and stood to the eastward. Just at 
evening another ship came up; and the next morning, 

October ist, was at anchor in the channel, between 
Harlem and Baman s or Eldridge s Island.* 

3d. The Brigadier-Generals of our General s di 
vision were in council, and several new works were 
laid out; among others, a redoubt on the hill above 
Williamsbridge. Our General, in reconnoitring 
his position, accompanied by Col. Hand below the 
camp of the rifle corps, being apprehensive that the 
British might land on Throg s Neck, took a view of 
the causeway between West Chester and the point. 
Upon the creek, which runs between these two, is a 
tide-mill; and a plank bridge at the mill, atthewestend 
of the causeway, (the side of the American army) was 
at this time a range of cord-wood, as advantageously 
situated to cover a party to defend the pass as if 
constructed for the very purpose. After taking a 
full view, our General directed Col. Hand, imme 
diately upon his return to his camp, to fix upon one 
of the best subaltern officers, and 25 picked men of his 
corps, and assign them to this pass, as their alarm- 
post at all times; and, in case the enemy made a 

* See Appendix XI. 


landing on Throg s Neck, to direct this officer imme 
diately to take up the planks of the bridge; to have 
every thing in readiness to set the mill on fire; but 
not to do it unless the fire of the riflemen should 
appear insufficient to check the advance of the 
enemy on to the causeway; to assign another party 
to the head of the creek; to reinforce both, in case 
the enemy landed; and that he should be supported. 
Col. Hand made his arrangements accordingly. 

4th. The brig and tenders in the East River came 
down, and cast anchor near the La Brune frigate; 
and the Roebuck and Phoenix sailed up the North 
River, and joined the other ships which lay at anchor 

^th. There were some movements among the 
British; and a party appeared to be very busy at work, 
a little below Harlem. The same night, the Ameri 
cans left the heights of Bergen. They were upwards 
of 2,000 strong. They retreated as far back as Bur- 
dett s Ferry. 

6th. Orders were given for throwing up a new 
work on Harlem Creek, below the wood at 

yth. Gen. Lincoln came to camp. He had come 
from Massachusetts with a body of militia. This 
was the first of his joining the main army. The 
same day, the British were putting over horses from 
Horn s Hook to Long Island, and fixing their 

9th. Early in the morning, three ships, two of 
40 guns, and one frigate, with two or three tenders, 
stood up the North River. They were briskly can 
nonaded from Fort Washington and Fort Constitu 
tion. They however passed our works and the 
cbevaux-de-jrise; the American galleys, small craft, 
and two large ships standing on before them. The 

OCT. i 77 6] HEATH S MEMOIRS 79 

two ships were run on shore near Philipse s mills, 
and two of the galleys near Dobb s Ferry. The 
enemy took possession of the two galleys, and got 
them off. A boat landed a number of men, who 
plundered a store, stove the casks, and then set the 
store on fire, and left it. The Americans soon ex 
tinguished the fire. 

Our General ordered Col. Sargent, with 500 in 
fantry, 40 light-horse, Capt. Horton of the artillery, 
with two 12 pounders, and Capt. Crafts with a how 
itzer, to march immediately, with all possible expe 
dition to Dobb s Ferry. The enemy took a schooner 
loaded with rum, sugar, wine, &c. and sunk a sloop, 
which had on board the machine, invented by and 
under the direction of a Mr. Bushnell, intended to 
blow up the British ships. This machine was worked 
under water. It conveyed a magazine of powder, 
which was to be fixed under the keel of a ship, then 
freed from the machine, and left w T ith clock-work 
going, which was to produce fire when the machine 
had got out of the way. Mr. Bushnell had great 
confidence of its success, and had made several ex 
periments which seemed to give him countenance; 
but its fate was truly a contrast to its design. 

Our General s division was formed in line, with 
its advance, reserve, flank-guards, and artillery, all 
in order of battle, when they were moved down over 
the different grounds which it was supposed might 
be the scene of action. Some of this ground was 
very broken, and there were many fences. These 
afforded frequent opportunities for the troops to 
break off and form; for the pioneers to open ave 
nues, &c. and for the whole to become acquainted 
with every part of the ground, and the best choice 
of it, if suddenly called to action. 

loth. One of the ships which was run a-ground 

8o- HEATH S MEMOIRS [OCT. 177 6 

was got off by the Americans. Col. Sargent re 
turned, having left 180 men to watch the motions 
of the British up the river. 

nth. There was a considerable movement among 
the British boats below. This afternoon, Gen. 
Washington s pleasure-boat, coming down the river 
with a fresh breeze, and a topsail hoisted, was sup 
posed, by the artillerists at Mount Washington, to be 
one of the British tenders running down. A 12 
pounder was discharged at her, which was so exactly 
pointed as unfortunately to kill three Americans, 
who were much lamented. The same day, several 
of Gen. Lincoln s regiments arrived, two of which 
were posted on the North River. 

1 2th. Early in the morning, 80 or 90 British boats, 
full of men, stood up the Sound, from Montresor s 
Island, Long Island, &c. The troops landed at 
Throg s Neck, and their advance pushed towards the 
causeway and bridge, at West Chester mill. Col. 
Hand s riflemen took up the planks of the bridge, 
as had been directed, and commenced a firing with 
their rifles. The British moved towards the head 
of the creek, but found here also the Americans in 
possession of the pass. Our General immediately 
(as he had assured Col. Hand he would do) ordered 
Col. Prescott, the hero of Bunker Hill, with his reg 
iment, and Capt. Lieut. Bryant of the artillery, with 
a 3 pounder, to reinforce the riflemen at West 
Chester causeway; and Col. Graham of the New 
York line, with his regiment, and Lieut. Jackson of 
the artillery, with a 6 pounder, to reinforce at the 
head of the creek; all of which was promptly done, 
to the check and disappointment of the enemy. The 
British encamped on the neck. The riflemen and 
yagers kept up a scattering popping at each other 
across the marsh; and the Americans on their side, 

OcT.i 77 6] HEATH S MEMOIRS 81 

and the British on the other, threw up a work at 
the end of the causeway. Capt. Bryant, now and 
then, when there was an object, saluted the British 
w T ith a field-piece. 

In the afternoon, 40 or 50 sail of vessels passed up, 
and came to anchor off Throg s Point. The same 
evening, Gen. M Dougall s brigade joined our Gen 
eral s division. 

I3th. The brigade, formerly under the command 
of our General, when he was Brigadier, joined his 
division. The division now became very strong. 
The General Officers of the army were this day in 
council at our General s Quarters. 

I4th. Our General, with the Generals under his 
command, reconnoitred the enemy at Throg s Neck; 
afterwards, the General Officers of the army recon 
noitred the various grounds. The same day, Maj. 
Gen. Lee was ordered to the command of the troops 
above Kingsbridge, now become the largest part of 
the American army. But Gen. Washington had de 
sired him not to exercise the command for a day or 
two, until he could make himself acquainted with the 
post, its circumstances, and arrangements of duty. 
A great number of sloops, boats, &c. were passing 
the Sound eastward, just at dusk probably convey 
ing ammunition, provisions, &c. to the troops at 
Throg s Point. 

I5th. Five sailors came off from the La Brune. 
They informed that there was a large body of the 
British on Throg s Point, and that an attack might be 
soon expected. The scattering fire across the marsh 
continued, and now and then a man was killed. 

1 6th. Two works were discovered on Throg s 
Neck, nearly finished. The General Officers of the 
army rode to reconnoitre the ground at Pell s Neck, 
&c. and it was determined that the position of the 

82 HEATH S MEMOIRS [OcT.i 77 6 

American army should be immediately changed; the 
left flank to be extended more northerly, to prevent 
its being turned by the British. 

iyth. Wadsworth s and Fellows s brigades, came 
to Kingsbridge. The British shipping, &c. con 
tinued moving eastward. 

1 8th. The regiment at West Chester causeway 
had been relieved by another. The officer on com 
mand there, this morning, sent up an express to our 
General informing him that the British were open 
ing an embrasure in their work at the end of the 
causeway, and that he apprehended they intended, 
under a cannonade from this, to attempt to pass. 
Our General ordered one of his aides to gallop his 
horse to the officer commanding the brigade, near 
Valentine s, the nearest to West Chester, and order 
him to form his brigade instantly. Arriving, him 
self, by the time the brigade was formed, he ordered 
the officer to march, with the utmost expedition, 
to the head of the causeway to reinforce the troops 
there; himself moving on with them. When the 
troops had advanced to about half the way between 
the head of the creek, and the post at the head of 
the causeway, another express met him, informing 
him that the whole British army were in motion, and 
seemed to be moving towards the pass at the head 
of the creek. Upon this, the brigade was ordered to 
halt, the whole to prime and load, and the rear reg 
iment to file off by the left, and march briskly to 
reinforce the Americans at the pass at the head of 
the creek. At this instant, Gen. Washington came 
up, and having inquired of our General, the state of 
things, ordered him to return immediately, and have 
his division formed ready for action, and to take 
such a position as might appear best calculated to 
oppose the enemy, should they attempt to land an- 

OCT. i 77 6] HEATH S MEMOIRS 83 

other body of troops on Morrisania, which he 
thought not improbable. Our General immediately 
obeyed the order. 

The wind was now fresh at southwest. The Brit 
ish crossed to the other side of Throg s Neck, em 
barked on board their boats, crossed over the cove, 
landed on Pell s Neck, and moved briskly upwards. 
Three or four of the American regiments advanced 
towards them, and took a good position behind a 
stone fence. When the British had advanced suffi 
ciently near, they gave them a pretty close fire, 
which checked them, and even obliged them to fall 
back; but being immediately supported, they re 
turned vigorously to the charge. The action was 
sharp, for a short time; but the Americans were soon 
obliged to give way to superior force. Shepard s, 
Read s, Baldwin s and Glover s regiments had the 
principal share in this action. The Americans had 
between 30 and 40 men killed and wounded; among 
the latter, Col. Shepard, in the throat, not mortally, 
although the ball came well nigh effecting instant 
death. The loss of the British was not known, but 
must have been considerable. They advanced al 
most to New Rochelle, and halted. The American 
army extended its left.* 

A number of boats went down towards New York. 
It now became necessary immediately to quit the 
position in the neighborhood of Kingsbridge, the 
British being in the rear of the left of our army; 
and it is not a little unaccountable, that they did not 
attempt to stretch themselves to cross to the Hudson, 
which might have been done with great ease. They 
only moved higher up, on the other side of the little 
rivulet Bronx, which was generally fordable. The 
White Plains were fixed upon for the next position 

* See Appendix XII. 

84 HEATH S MEMOIRS [Oci.i 77 6 

of the American army. A strong garrison was to 
be left at Fort Washington, and our General was 
to leave one of his regiments, to garrison Fort 

2ist. At about 4 o clock, P. M. our General s 
division moved from above Kingsbridge, having, be 
sides their light field-pieces, two heavy iron twelve- 
pounders. About 8 o clock in the evening, they 
passed Gen. Lincoln s quarters on Valentine s Hill, 
where the Commander in Chief was to spend the 
night. Our General waited upon him to know if he 
had any particular commands for him. The Com 
mander in Chief only advised to send forward one of 
his regiments, to occupy the road coming from 
Ward s Bridge, nearly to whose farm the British had 
now advanced; lest, apprised of his moving, they 
should annoy his right flank, which, if it had been 
day-light, would have been open to their view: But 
before the column reached this cross road, it was 
learnt that Col. Jonathan Brewer s regiment of ar 
tificers, who were pretty strong, and well armed, 
were to pass the night at the entrance of the road 
leading to the bridge before mentioned. The divi 
sion reached Chaderton s Hill, to the south of White 
Plains, at 4 o clock in the morning of the 22d, hav 
ing marched all night. The instant our General 
ascended the hill, he noticed, to appearance, many 
flashes, resembling the flash of the pan of a musket, 
on the other side of the lot; on which he immediately 
ordered a Captain, with a party, to discover what it 
was; who returned that he could not make discovery 
of any thing. These were indeed the flashes of dis 
charged muskets at some distance; the height of 
ground having decoyed the appearance of the dis 
tance. Lord Sterling, who was before in this vicinity 
with his brigade, had formed an enterprise against 

OCT. , 77 6] HEATH S MEMOIRS 85 

Maj. Rogers s corps. The old Indian hunter in the 
last French war, who had now engaged in the British 
service, with his corps, now lay on the out-post of 
the British army, near Mamaroneck. The enterprise 
was conducted with good address; and if the Amer 
icans had known exactly how Rogers s corps lay they 
would probably have killed or taken the whole. 
As it was, 36 prisoners, 60 muskets, and some other 
articles, were taken. The Major, conformably to 
his former general conduct, escaped with the rest 
of his corps. This was a pretty affair; and if the 
writer could recollect the name of the commanding- 
officer, with pride and pleasure he would insert it. 
He belonged to one of the southern lines of the army; 
and the whole of the party were southern troops.* 

The same day, our General moved his division, 
and took post on the high strong ground to the 
north of the court-house. Gen. Sullivan s division 
reached the Plains in the course of the succeeding 
night. In the position of White Plains, our Gen 
eral s division was on the left of the line. On his 
left was a deep hollow through which ran a small 
brook, which came from a mill-pond a little above. 
On the east side of this hollow was a very command 
ing ground, which would enfilade the division. The 
top of this high ground was covered with wood. 
To this hill he ordered Col. Malcolm, with his reg 
iment of New York troops, and Lieut. Fenno of the 
artillery, with a field-piece, directing them to take 
post in the skirt of the wood at the south brow of 
the hill. The ground, from our General s left to 
the right, descended gradually a very considerable 
distance, and then gradually ascended up to the 
plain, and still on to the right to more commanding 
ground. On this was the American army formed, 

* See Appendix XIII. 

86 . HEATH S MEMOIRS [OCT. i 77 6 

the line running nearly from north-east to south 
west. There were some strong works thrown up on 
the plain, across the road, and still to the right of it. 
Chaderton s Hill was a little advanced of the line, 
and separated from it by the rivulet Bronx. A body 
of the Americans were posted on this hill. Head- 
Quarters were on the plain, near the cross roads. 
Our General s division had only slight works for 

23d. A cannonade was heard towards the Hud 
son. The same evening, Col. Tyler s, Hunting- 
ton s and Throop s regiments, of General Parsons s 
brigade, and of our General s division, moved, and 
took post at the head of King-street, near Rye Pond. 
Gen. Lee s division had not yet got up to the army. 

24th. At 5 o clock, A. M. a firing of small-arms 
was heard to the southward. It was a skirmish 
between 200 men of Gen. Lee s division, and 250 
Hessians 10 of the latter were killed, and two taken 
prisoners. The British continued moving up, but 
with great caution, their rear scarcely advancing, 
when they came to encamp again, much further 
than where the advance had moved from they ad 
vanced in two columns. 

25th. Eight American regiments were ordered to 
be ready to march in the approaching night. Gen. 
Putnam was to command them; and they were in 
tended to make an attack on the enemy s advance, 
if it should appear to be practicable. The same 
morning, one 12 pounder at Dobb s Ferry drove the 
British man-of-war off that place from her station. 

26th. Gen. Lee s division joined the army. In 
ascending some of the hills on the road, this division, 
encumbered with many wagons, was obliged to halt, 
and double the teams, in open view of the British, 
and at no considerable distance, who did not at- 

ocT.i 77 6] HEATH S MEMOIRS 87 

tempt to disturb them; which, had they done, the 
loss of the cannon, wagons, &c. could not have 
been avoided. The troops would have bent their 
march unencumbered towards the Hudson; but the 
wagons, &c. must have been left. Two or three 
British soldiers and a Hessian were taken prisoners, 
and sent in. 

27th. In the forenoon, a heavy cannonade was 
heard towards Fort Washington. Thirteen Hes 
sians and two or three British soldiers were sent in 
on this day. From the American camp to the west- 
south-west, there appeared to be a very commanding 
height, worthy of attention. The Commander in 
Chief ordered the General Officers who were off 
duty to attend him to reconnoitre this ground, on 
this morning. When arrived at the ground, although 
very commanding, it did not appear so much so as 
other grounds to the north, and almost parallel with 
the left of the army, as it was then formed. " Yon 
der," says Major-Gen. Lee, pointing to the grounds 
just mentioned, "is the ground we ought to oc 
cupy. " "Let us then go and view it," replied the 
Commander in Chief. When on the way, a light- 
horseman came up in full gallop, his horse almost 
out of breath, and addressed Gen. Washington 
"The British are on the camp, Sir." The General 
observed "Gentlemen, we have now other business 
than reconnoitring," putting his horse in full gallop 
for the camp, and followed by the other officers. 
When arrived at Head-Quarters, the Adjutant-Gen 
eral [Read,] who had remained at camp, informed 
the Commander in Chief that the guards had been 
all beat in, and the whole American army were now 
at their respective posts in order of battle. The 
Commander in Chief turned round to the officers, 
and only said, "Gentlemen, you will repair to your 

88 HEATH S MEMOIRS [OCT. i 77 6 

respective posts, and do the best you can." Our 
General, on arriving at his own division, found them 
all in the lines; and, from the heights of his post, 
found the first attack was directed against the Amer 
icans on Chaderton s Hill. The little river Bronx, 
which ran between the American right and this hill, 
after running round its north side, turned and ran 
down on the east and south-east. The British ad 
vanced in two columns. At this instant, the can 
nonade was brisk on both sides; directed by the 
British across the hollow and Bronx, against the 
Americans on the hill, and by them returned. Almost 
at the same instant, the right column, composed of 
British troops, preceded by about 20 light-horse in 
full gallop, and brandishing their swords, appeared 
on the road leading to the court-house, and now di 
rectly in the front of our General s division. The 
light-horse leaped the fence of a wheat-field, at the 
foot of the hill, on which Col. Malcolm s regiment 
was posted; of which the light-horse were not aware, 
until a shot from Lieut. Fenno s field-piece gave them 
notice by striking in the midst of them, and a horse 
man pitching from his horse. They then wheeled 
short about, galloped out of the field as fast as they 
came in, rode behind a little hill in the road, and 
faced about; the tops of their caps only being visible 
to our General, where he stood. The column came 
no further up the road, but wheeled to the left by 
platoons, as they came up; and, passing through a 
bar, or gateway, directed their head towards the 
troops on Chaderton s Hill, now engaged. When 
the head of the column had got nearly across the lot, 
their front got out of sight, nor could the extent of 
their rear be now discovered. The sun shone bright, 
their arms glittered, and perhaps troops never were 
shewn to more advantage than these now appeared. 

ocT.i 77 6] HEATH S MEMOIRS 89 

The whole now halted; and for a few minutes the 
men all sat down in the same order in which they 
stood, no one appearing to move out of his place. 
The cannonade continued brisk across the Bronx. 
A part of the left column, composed of British and 
Hessians, forded the river, and marched along under 
the cover of the hill until they had gained sufficient 
ground to the left of the Americans; when, by facing 
to the left their column became a line, parallel with 
the Americans. When they briskly ascended the 
hill, the first column resumed a quick march. As 
the troops, which were advancing to the attack, 
ascended the hill, the cannonade on the side of the 
British ceased; as their own men became exposed 
to their fire, if continued. The fire of small-arms 
was now very heavy, and without any distinction of 
sounds. This led some American officers, who were 
looking on, to observe that the British were worsted, 
as their cannon had ceased firing; but a few minutes 
evinced that the Americans were giving way. They 
moved off the hill in a great body, neither running, 
nor observing the best order. The British ascended 
the hill very slowly; and when arrived at its summit, 
formed and dressed their line, without the least at 
tempt to pursue the Americans. The loss on the 
side of the Americans was inconsiderable; that of 
the British was not then known. The British hav 
ing got possession of rhis hill, it gave them a vast 
advantage of the American lines, almost down to the 

zgth. The British began to throw up some small 
works on the hill, of which they had got possession. 
The Americans were drawing back; and a position 
was to be taken on the high strong grounds, before 
in the rear of a part of the army. The left of our 
General s division was not to move; but the re- 


mainder of his division, and all the other divisions 
of the army were to fall back and form nearly east 
and west. About this time, Col. Lasher, who be 
longed to our General s division, (and who had been 
left with his regiment to garrison Fort Independence, 
near Kingsbridge) sent an express, who passed the 
enemy in the night, to know what he should do, the 
regiment growing weak and sickly. Our General 
applied to the Commander in Chief, to know his 
pleasure, who directed, that the Colonel should give 
notice to Col. Magaw, who commanded at Fort 
Washington, that he might take away the cannon, 
stores, &c. and that Col. Lasher, after destroying the 
barracks, huts, &c. should join the army, which he 
soon effected. This day, 3 prisoners were sent in; 
and the Americans were now throwing up some 
strong works on the high grounds. 

3Oth. The British remained upon the ground they 
had taken. 

3 1 st. The British continued as before, throwing 
up a work, &c. At night, the Americans evacuated 
their works on the plain, near late Head-Quarters, 
setting fire to several barns, and one house, which 
contained forage, and some stores that could not be 

November 1st. In the morning, the British ad 
vanced with a number of field-pieces, to the north of 
the road, near late Head-Quarters, (a heavy col 
umn appearing behind on the hill, ready to move 
forward) and commenced a furious cannonade on 
our General s division, which was nobly returned by 
Capt. Lieut. Bryant and Lieut. Jackson, of the artil 
lery. Our General s first anxiety was for Col. Mal 
colm s regiment on the hill, to the east of the hollow 
on the left, lest the enemy should push a column into 
the hollow, and cut the regiment off from the divi- 

NOV. i 77 6] HEATH S MEMOIRS 91 

sion. He therefore ordered Maj. Keith, one of his 
aides, to gallop over, and order Col. Malcolm to 
come off immediately with Lieut. Fenno s artillery. 
But, upon a more critical view of the ground in the 
hollow, (at the head of which there was a heavy 
stone wall, well situated to cover a body of troops to 
throw a heavy fire directly down it, while an oblique 
fire could be thrown in on both sides) he ordered 
Maj. Pollard, his other aide, to gallop after Keith, 
and countermand the first order, and direct the 
Colonel to remain at his post, and he should be 
supported. A strong regiment was ordered to the 
head of the hollow, to occupy the wall. The can 
nonade was brisk on both sides, through which the 
two aides-de-camp passed in going and returning. 
At this instant, Gen. Washington rode up to the hill. 
His first question to our General, was, "How is 
your division?" He was answered, "They are all 
in order." "Have you," said the Commander in 
Chief, "any troops on the hill over the hollow?" 
He was answered, "Malcolm s regiment is there." 
"If you do not call them off immediately," says the 
General, "you may lose them, if the enemy push a 
column up the hollow." He was answered, that even 
in that case, their retreat should be made safe; that 
a strong regiment was posted at the head of the hol 
low, behind the wall; that this regiment, with the 
oblique fire of the division, would so check the enemy, 
as to allow Malcolm to make a safe retreat. The 
Commander in Chief concluded by saying, "Take 
care that you do not lose them." The artillery of 
the division was so well directed as to throw the 
British artillery-men several times into confusion; 
and finding that they could not here make any im 
pression, drew back (their pieces, the column not 
advancing. The British artillery now made a circui- 

92 HEATH S MEMOIRS [NOV. i 77 6 

tous movement, and came down toward the American 
right. Here, unknown to them, were some 12 
pounders; upon the discharge of which, they made 
off with their field-pieces as fast as their horses could 
draw them. A shot from the American cannon, at 
this place, took off the head of a Hessian artillery 
man. They also left one of the artillery horses dead 
on the field. What other loss they sustained was not 
known. Of our General s division, one man only, 
belonging to Col. Paulding s regiment of New York 
troops, was killed. The British made no other at 
tempt on the Americans, while they remained at 
White Plains. The two armies lay looking at each 
other, and within long cannon-shot. In the night 
time, the British lighted up a vast number of fires, 
the weather growing pretty cold. These fires, some 
on the level ground, some at the foot of the hills, and 
at all distances, to their brows some of which were 
lofty, seemed to the eye to mix with the stars, and to 
be of different magnitudes. The American side, 
doubtless, exhibited to them a similar appearance. 
On this day, our General ordered three redoubts, 
with a line in front, to be thrown up on the summit 
of his post, so constructed, that the whole of them 
could make a defence, and support each other at the 
same time, if attacked. These, to the enemy, in 
whose view they fully were, must have appeared very 
formidable, although they were designed principally 
for defence against small-arms; and perhaps works 
were never raised quicker. There were the stalks of 
a large corn-field at the spot: the pulling these up in 
hills, took up a large lump of earth with each. The 
roots of the stalks and earth on them, placed in the 
face of the works, answered the purpose of sods, or 
fascines. The tops being placed inwards, as the loose 
earth was thrown upon them, became as so many 

Nov.i 77 6] HEATH S MEMOIRS 93 

ties to the work, which was carried up with a dis 
patch scarcely conceivable. 

The British, as they say, had meditated an attack 
on the Americans, which was only prevented by the 
wetness of the night. Be this as it may, our General 
had ordered his division, at evening roll-call, to be 
at their alarm-posts, (which they every morning 
manned, whilst at this place) half an hour sooner than 
usual. He had then no other reason for doing this 
than the near position of the enemy, and the proba 
bility that they would soon make an attack: But the 
Commander in Chief must have made some other 
discovery; for, after our General was in bed, Col. 
Cary, who was one of the aides-de-camp of Gen. 
Washington, came to the door of his marquee, and 
calling to him, informed him that the whole army 
were to be at their alarm-posts the next morning 
half an hour sooner than usual, and that he was to 
govern himself accordingly. Our General replied 
that he had fortunately given such orders to his 
division, at evening roll-call. He therefore neither 
got up himself, nor disturbed any other of his 

3d. The sentinels reported that during the pre 
ceding night they heard the rumbling of carriages 
to the south-eastward; and it was apprehended that 
the British were changing their position. 

5th. The British sentinels were withdrawn from 
their advanced posts. It was apprehended that they 

* Stedman mistakes greatly in his history, where, in vol. I. 
page 216, he asserts, that the Americans " evacuated their lines 
on the morning of the first, and retired across the Croton River, 
to North Castle, setting fire, in their retreat, to all the houses on 
White Plains." The Americans did not quit their strong posi 
tion at the back of White Plains, until the British had retreated 
towards Kingsbridge, as far as Dobb s Ferry, and had there en 
camped, as is fully shewn in these Memoirs. 

94 HEATH S MEMOIRS [Nov.i 77 6 

meant a movement. The American army was im 
mediately ordered under arms. At 2 o clock, P. M. 
the enemy appeared, formed on Chaderton s Hill, 
and on several hills to the westward of it. Several 
reconnoitring parties, who were sent out, reported 
that the enemy were withdrawing. About 12 o clock, 
this night, a party of the Americans wantonly set fire 
to the court-house, Dr. Graham s house, and several 
other private houses, which stood between the two 
armies. This gave great disgust to the whole Amer 
ican army, and drew from the Commander in Chief 
the following paragraph in his orders of the 6th: 
" It is with the utmost astonishment and abhorrence, 
the General is informed that some base and cow 
ardly wretches have, last night, set fire to the court 
house, and other buildings which the enemy left. 
The army may rely upon it that they shall be brought 
to justice, and meet with the punishment they 

The British were moving down towards Dobb s 
Ferry. A detachment from the American army was 
sent out in the morning to harass their rear, but 
could not come up with them. 

7th. Several deserters came in from the enemy: 
they reported that they were removing towards New 
York. The reconnoitring parties discovered them 
encamped near Dobb s Ferry. They were foraging 
grain and hay, and driving in the cattle. Two store- 
ships had run up past Fort Washington. 

8th. The enemy continued encamped at and be 
low Dobb s Ferry. A new disposition of the Amer 
ican army was now to take place. The southern 
troops were to cross over into the Jerseys. Gen. 
Lee, with his own, Spencer s, and Sullivan s divi 
sions, were to remain to secure and bring off the 
stores; and were then to follow into the Jerseys. 

Nov.i 77 6] HEATH S MEMOIRS 95 

Our General was ordered to march with his division 
to Peekskill. 

Qth. The division moved from near White Plains, 
and the same night halted at North Castle. 

loth. In the afternoon, the division reached 
Peekskill. Gen. Washington arrived at the same 
place about sunset. It was this day learnt that 
Gen. Carleton s army in Canada, after pushing the 
Americans, in that quarter, from post to post, until 
they arrived at Ticonderoga, just made their ap 
pearance before that place, and then retired towards 

nth. The Commander in Chief directed our 
General to attend him in taking a view of Fort 
Montgomery, and the other works up the river. 
Lord Sterling, Generals James and George Clinton, 
Gen. Mifflin and others were of the company. They 
went as far up the river as Constitution Island, which 
is opposite to West Point, the latter of which was 
not then taken possession of; but the glance of the 
eye at it, without going on shore, evinced that this 
post was not to be neglected. There was a small 
work and a block-house on Constitution Island. 
Fort Montgomery was in considerable forwardness. 

1 2th. The Commander in Chief directed our 
General to ride early in the morning with him to 
reconnoitre the grounds at the Gorge of the High 
lands; and, on his return, gave him the command 
of the troops and posts in the Highlands, on both 
sides of the river, with written instructions to secure 
and fortify them with all possible expedition, making 
a distribution of his troops to the different posts; 
and, at about 10 o clock, A.M. Gen. Washington 
crossed over the river into the Jerseys. 

I3th. Our General made a disposition of the 
troops under his command to their several destina- 


tions. Col. Huntington s and Tyler s regiments, to 
the west side of the Hudson, to Sidnum s Bridge on 
Ramapo River, to cover the passes into the High 
lands, on that side: Prescott s, Ward s and Wyllis s 
regiments, of Parsons s brigade, (as were the other 
two regiments) to the south entrance of the High 
lands, beyond Robinson s Bridge: Gen. George 
Clinton s brigade, to the heights above Peekskill 
Landing: Gen. Scott s brigade, with the three regi 
ments of Gen. Parsons s brigade: Gen. James Clin 
ton, with the troops under his command, were at 
the forts up the river. The British moved down 
near to Kingsbridge. 

On the i6th, the British made their attack on 
Fort Washington. Gen. Knyphausen, with a heavy 
column of Hessians, advanced by Kingsbridge. 
They were discovered by the Americans, from the 
high grounds north of Fort Washington, as the day 
broke; and cannonaded from the field-pieces placed 
at this advanced post. The Hessian column divided 
into two; the right ascending the strong broken 
ground towards Spuyten Duyvil Creek; the left nearer 
to the road, towards the Gorge. The first obtained 
the ground without much difficulty; but the Ameri 
cans made a most noble opposition against the latter, 
and, for a considerable time, kept them from as 
cending the hill, making a terrible slaughter among 
them; but the great superiority of the assailants, with 
an unabating firmness, finally prevailed: their loss 
was greater here than at any other place. Mean 
while, the British crossed Harlem Creek in two 
different places, charged, and finally routed the 
Americans on that side, and possessed themselves 
of the strong post of Laurel Hill, on the other side of 
the road, from Fort Washington, and not very dis 
tant from it; Lord Percy at the same time advancing, 

Nov.1776] HEATH S MEMOIRS 97 

with the troops under his command on the island, 
towards the fort on that side. The Americans, now 
generally driven from their out-works, retired to the 
fort, which was crowded full. A single shell, now 
dropping among them, must have made dreadful 

Gen. Washington was now a spectator of this dis 
tressing scene, from the high bank at Fort Lee, on 
the opposite side of the Hudson; and having a wish 
to communicate something to Col. Magaw, the com 
manding officer at Fort Washington, Capt. Gooch of 
Boston, a brave and daring man, offered to be the 
bearer of it. He ran down to the river, jumped into 
a small boat, pushed over the river, landed under 
the bank, ran up to the fort, and delivered the mes 
sage came out, ran and jumped over the broken 
ground, dodging the Hessians, some of whom struck 
at him with their pieces, and others attempted to 
thrust him with their bayonets escaping through 
them, he got to his boat, and returned to Fort Lee. 
The British had summoned Col. Magaw to surrender, 
and were preparing their batteries to play on the fort, 
when Col. Magaw thought it best to surrender the 
post, which he did accordingly, between two and 
three thousand men becoming prisoners. The loss 
in killed and wounded, on the American side was 
inconsiderable; but the loss in prisoners was a serious 
blow indeed. The prisoners were marched to New 
York; where, being crowded in prisons and sugar 
houses, (many of them being militia from the Jersey 
flying-camp, who had been sent over to reinforce the 
garrison, and were unused to a soldier s life, much 
less to the poisonous, stagnant air of a crowded 
prison,) they fell sick, and daily died in a most 
shocking manner. It was common, on a morning, 
for the car-men to come and take away the bodies 

98 HEATH S MEMOIRS CNov.i 77 6 

for burial, by loads ! O ye officers of the provost! 

to whatever nation or people you belong, when the 
unfortunate of your fellow-men are thus committed 
to your charge, clothe yourselves with humanity, 
and soothe distress as far as in your power; for by 
this you will secure a better reward than your present 
wages. And you who have the honour to command 
armies, when your victories have filled provosts and 
prisons, think it not beneath you to visit the prisons, 
that with your own eyes you may see the state of 
your prisoners: for such visits, the great CAPTAIN 
OF YOUR SALVATION hath said, shall be considered 
as made to Himself; while it also gives you a name 
among men closely allied to that of the conqueror. 
The truly brave are always humane. 

Elated with the easy reduction of Fort Washing 
ton, the British determined to cross into the Jerseys, 
and attack Gen. Washington on that side. 

On the 1 8th, Lord Cornwallis, with a strong body 
of the British forces, landed at Closter Landing, on 
the Jersey side, above Fort Lee, the garrison of 
which were obliged to leave that post; and some 
cannon, stores and provisions, which could not be 
removed, fell into the hands of the enemy. 

2Oth. Just at evening, an express, which our 
General had sent down to Gen. Washington before 
he had any knowledge of what had happened, re 
turned with a most alarming account of what he had 
seen with his own eyes, viz. that the Americans were 
rapidly retreating, and the British as rapidly pur 
suing. The Adjutant-General [Read] wished to write 
to Gen. Lee; but he had neither pen, ink, nor paper 
with him. The light-horseman had a rough piece 
of wrapping-paper in his pocket, and the Adjutant- 
General had an old pencil. Bringing these two to 
gether, he wrote to Gen. Lee "Dear General, we 

NOV. i 77 6] HEATH S MEMOIRS 99 

are flying before the British. I pray" and the 
pencil broke. He then told the light-horseman to 
carry the paper to Gen. Lee, and tell him that he 
was verbally ordered to add, after / pray, "you to 
push and join us." The light-horseman, when he 
arrived at our General s, was both fatigued and wet. 
He requested that one of his brother horsemen might 
proceed to Gen. Lee; but he was told that no other 
could discharge the duty enjoined on him by the 
Adjutant-General, and that Gen. Lee might wish to 
make many inquiries of him. He was therefore re 
freshed and pushed on. Gen. Lee, instead of moving 
his division, or any part of it, wrote our General, by 
the returning express, the following letter: 

CAMP, Nov. 2ist, 1776. 

"I HAVE just received a recommendation, not a 
positive order, from the General, to move the corps 
under my command to the other side of the river. 
This recommendation was, I imagine, on the pre 
sumption that I had already moved nearer to Peeks- 
kill. There is no possibility of crossing over Dobb s 
Ferry, or at any place lower than King s Ferry, which 
to us would be such an immense round that we 
could never answer any purpose. I must therefore 
desire and request, that you will order 2,000 of your 
corps, under a Brigadier-General, to cross the river 
opposite the General, and wait his further orders. 
As soon as we have finished a necessary job, I will 
replace this number from hence, which job will, I 
believe, be finished to-morrow. 

I am, dear General, yours, 

(Signed) CHARLES LEE. 
Gen. HEATH." 

ioo HEATH S MEMOIRS [NOV. i 77 6 

Upon receiving this letter from Gen. Lee, (for 
our General did not receive the least hint from Gen. 
Washington, to move any part of the troops under 
his command, by the express who brought the order 
to Lee) he took up his instructions from Gen. Wash 
ington, to see if he might dare to make any detach 
ment; upon which he wrote Gen. Lee the following 
answer to his letters: 

PEEKSKILL, Nov. 2ist, 1776. 

10 o clock at night. 

"I AM now to acknowledge the receipt of your 
favours, of this date, the former of which I had an 
swered early in the evening. With respect to the 
latter, upon having recourse to my instructions, I 
find they are such as not to admit of moving any 
part of the troops from the posts assigned to me, un 
less it be by express orders from his Excellency, or 
to support you, in case you are attacked. My in 
structions, among other things, are as follows: 

"Your division, with such troops as are now at 
"Forts Montgomery, Independence and Constitu 
tion, are to be under your command, and remain 
"in this quarter, for the security of the above posts, 
"and the passes through the Highlands, from this 
"place, and the one on the west side of Hudson s 
" River. Unnecessary it is for me to say any thing 
"to evince the importance of securing the land and 
"water communication through these passes, or to 
"prove the indispensable necessity of using every 
"exertion in your power, to have such works erected 
"for the defence of them, as your own judgment, 
"assisted by that of your Brigadiers and Engineer, 
"may shew the expediency of. You will not only 
"keep in view the importance of securing these 

NOV. i 77 6] HEATH S MEMOIRS 101 

"passes, but the necessity of doing it without delay: 
" not only from the probability of the enemy s at- 
" tempting to seize them, but from the advanced 
"season, which will not admit of any spade-work, 
" after the frost (which may daily be expected) sets in. 

"Lose not a moment, therefore, in choosing the 
"grounds on the east and west side of the river, on 
"which your intended works are to be erected. Let 
"your men designed for each post be speedily al 
lotted," &c.- 

" After instructions so positive and pressing, you 
will readily agree that it would be very improper, in 
me, to order any of the troops from posts, to which 
they are so expressly assigned, and from business 
which in his Excellency s view is so very important. 
Add to this, their present disposition is such that to 
collect any thing near the number you mention, would 
occasion as great delay, and cause many of them to 
march nearly as far, as if sent immediately from your 

I am, dear General, with esteem, 
Yours respectfully, 

(Signed) W. HEATH. 

This did not seem to satisfy Gen. Lee, who wrote 
our General the following: 

CAMP, Nov. 23 J, 1776. 

"BY your mode of reasoning, the General s in 
structions are so binding, that not a tittle must be 
broke through, for the salvation of the General and 
the army. I have ordered Glover s brigade to march 
up towards Peekskill, to put the passage of the 
Highlands out of danger; but I intend to take 2,000 
from your division with me into the Jerseys; so I 

102 HEATH S MEMOIRS [Nov. 1776 

must desire that you will have that number in readi 
ness by the day after to-morrow, when I shall be 
with you early in the forenoon; 
And am, Sir, 

Your most obedient servant, 
(Signed) CHARLES LEE. 
Maj. Gen. HEATH." 

To which our General returned the following 

PEEKSKILL, Nov. 24^, 1776. 

" BE my mode of reasoning as it may, I conceive 
it to be my duty to obey my instructions, especially 
those which are positive and poignant, and that to 
deviate from them even in extreme cases, would be 
an error; though perhaps an error on the right side. 
"I can assure you, Sir, that I have the salvation 
of the General and army so much at heart that the 
least recommendation from him, to march my di 
vision, or any part of them, over the river, should 
have been instantly obeyed, without waiting for a 
positive order. 

"My conduct must be approved or censured, as 
I adhere to, or depart from, my orders; and, as it is 
my duty, I shall strictly abide by them, until they 
are countermanded in such manner as will justify 
a deviation from them to him who instructed me, 
and to the world. 

"I shall be happy in being honoured with your 
company to-morrow; 

And am, with respect and esteem, 
Your obedient humble servant, 

(Signed) W. HEATH. 
Gen. LEE." 

NOV. i 77 6] HEATH S MEMOIRS 103 

After the foregoing was sent off, our General re 
flected for a moment, that as circumstances alter 
cases, Gen. Washington being now pressed, and the 
army with him but feeble, he might possibly wish 
for some aid from his division. He therefore sat 
down and wrote him a short letter, stating in what 
manner he had disposed of the troops under his com 
mand, and wishing to know his pleasure whether 
any part of them should join him; enclosing copies 
of the letters he had received from Gen. Lee, and of 
his answers. The express was directed to make the 
utmost dispatch out and returning, which he effected 
on the 26th, (several days before Gen. Lee got up to 
Peekskill) bringing with him the following letter 
from Secretary Harrison: 

NEWARK, Nov. 2^tb 9 1776. 

" I AM directed by his Excellency to acknowledge 
his receipt of your letter of yesterday, and to inform 
you the disposition of the troops, mentioned in your 
former letter, has his approbation. 

" In respect to the troops intended to come to this 
quarter, his Excellency never meant that they should 
be from your division. He has wrote Gen. Lee, 
since, so fully and explicitly upon the subject that 
any misapprehensions he may have been under at 
first, must be now done away. He will most prob 
ably have reached Peekskill before now, with his 
division, and be pushing to join us. No new event 
has taken place. 

I am, Sir, very respectfully, 

Your most obedient servant, 

(Signed) R. H. HARRISON. 
Maj. Gen. HEATH." 

104 HEATH S MEMOIRS [Nov.i 77 6 

2ist. A heavy cannonade was heard towards 

22d. Col. Tupper, who was down near Tappan, 
got up to King s Ferry. He brought off the two 12 
pounders which were at Dobb s Ferry, and a quan 
tity of provisions. The same evening, our General 
ordered the Washington Galley to take station at 
King s Ferry. 

24th. Our General gave orders for Clinton s and 
Scott s brigades to hold themselves in readiness to 
march to the Jersey side. 

25th. Scott s brigade was ordered over to Haver- 
straw, and Col. Tyler s regiment, then at Rama- 
po River, to march down to Tappan, to secure 
and bring off the provisions which were at that place. 

2yth. Capt. Treadwell, of the artillery, with a 
three-pounder, was ordered to move over the river, 
and join Gen. Scott s brigade. It was learnt that 
many of the inhabitants of New Jersey, especially in 
the neighborhood of Hackensack, were swearing al 
legiance to King George, taking letters of protec 
tion, &c. 

28th. Mr. Livingston came from Congress to 
advise with our General on measures to obstruct the 
river. The same day, Capt. Harrod brought off 
from Tappan a considerable quantity of pearl-ash, 
bees-wax, oil, &c. 

2Qth. Two of the regiments of Gen. Clinton s 
brigade were ordered to move to Fort Constitution, 
in order to attempt the forming of obstructions in 
the river near Polipins Island. 

3Oth. Just before dinner, Gen. Sullivan arrived 
at our General s quarters; and in the afternoon Gen. 
Lee arrived. He called at the door; when our Gen 
eral waiting upon him, requested him to alight; he 
asked if he could have a cup of tea, and was an- 

Nov.i 77 6] HEATH S MEMOIRS 105 

swered that he should have a good one. Upon com 
ing into the house, before he sat down, he wished to 
speak in private, which being instantly granted, he 
told our General, that in a military view, or, to use 
his own words exactly, "In point of law, you are 
right; but in point of policy, I think you are wrong. 
I am going into the Jerseys for the salvation of Amer 
ica; I wish to take with me a larger force than I now 
have, and request you to order 2,000 of your men 
to march with me." Our General answered that 
he could not spare that number. He was then asked 
to order 1,000; to which he replied that the business 
might be as well brought to a point at once that 
not a single man should march from the post by bis 
order. Gen. Lee replied, that he would then order 
them himself. He was answered that there was a 
wide difference between the two; that Gen. Lee was 
acknowledged by our General to be his senior; but, 
as he had received positive written instructions from 
him who was superior to both, he would not himself 
break those orders: If Gen. Lee was disposed to 
counteract them, its being done by him could not be 
imputed to any other person; and that he knew the 
Commander in Chief did not intend any of the troops 
should be removed from that post having expressed 
it not only in his instructions, but also in a letter 
just received from him. On the letter being shewn 
to Gen. Lee, he observed, "The Commander in 
Chief is now at a distance, and does not know what 
is necessary here so well as I do" asked if he might 
be favoured with the return-book of the division. 
Major Huntington, the Deputy Adjutant-General, 
was directed to hand it. Gen. Lee ran his eye over 
it, and said, " I will take Prescott s and Wyllis s 
regiments" and turning to Major Huntington, said, 
"You will order those two regiments to march early 


to-morrow morning to join me." Our General, 
turning to the Major, said, "Issue such orders at 
your peril!" and then turning to Gen. Lee, addressed 
him: "Sir, if you come to this post, and mean to issue 
orders here, which will break those positive ones 
which I have received, I pray you to do it completely 
yourself, and through your own Deputy Adjutant- 
General, who is present, and not draw me, or any of 
my family, in as partners in the guilt." Gen. Lee 
replied, "It is right. Col. Scammel, do you issue 
the order;" which he did, and Huntington commu 
nicated it to the regiments, who were now posted at 
the Gorge of the mountains, near Robinson s Bridge, 
afterwards called the Continental Village. Matters 
carried thus far, our General turned to Gen. Lee 
again: "Sir, I have one more request to make, and 
that is, that you will be pleased to give me a certifi 
cate, that you exercise command at this post, and do 
order from it Prescott s and Wyllis s regiments." Lee 
replied, "I do not know that I will comply with 
your request." Gen. Clinton, who was present, 
observed, "Gen. Lee, you cannot refuse a request 
so reasonable." Upon which Gen. Lee wrote as 
follows : 

PEEKSKILL, Dec. ist, 1776. 

"FOR the satisfaction of Gen. Heath, and at his 
request, I do certify, that I am commanding officer, 
at this present writing, in this post, and that I have, 
in that capacity, ordered Prescott s and Wyllis s reg 
iments to march. 

(Signed) CHARLES LEE, Maj. Gen." 

Gen. Lee, stepping out on the piazza, observed to 
an officer, "Gen. Heath is right." Early the next 
morning, the regiments moved from their canton 
ment towards Peekskill ; but before they had 

DEC. i 77 6] HEATH S MEMOIRS 107 

reached it, Gen. Lee, now ready to pass into the 
Jerseys, rode up to our General s door, and calling 
him, observed, "Upon further consideration, I have 
concluded not to take the two regiments with me 
you may order them to return to their former post." 
This conduct of Gen. Lee s appeared not a little 
extraordinary, and one is almost at a loss to account 
for it. He had been a soldier from his youth, had 
a perfect knowledge of service in all its branches, but 
was rather obstinate in his temper, and could scarcely 
brook being crossed in any thing in the line of his 
profession. Gen. Lee took with him into the Jerseys 
some as good troops as any in the service; but many 
of them were so destitute of shoes that the blood 
left on the rugged frozen ground, in many places, 
marked the route they had taken; and a considerable 
number, unable to march, were left at Peekskill. 
The time of service for which Gen. Scott s brigade 
was engaged to serve expired, when the whole, ex 
cept about 50, went home, notwithstanding the gen 
erous encouragement offered them by their State, 
(New York) if they would continue one month 

2d and 3d. Gen. Lee s troops were passing the 
ferry. Gen. Carleton having returned into Canada, 
a number of Gen. Gates s regiments were now mov 
ing to reinforce Gen. Washington their van as far 
as Morristown the enemy as far as Brunswick. 

6th. Intelligence was received, that on the 4th, 
about sunset, 70 sail of ships of war and transports, 
passed in the Sound towards New England. Our 
General immediately sent off expresses to Gen. 
Washington, Gov. Trumbull, Mr. Bowdoin, at Bos 
ton, the Convention of New York, &c. 

7th. Three regiments, viz. Greaton s, Bond s, 
and Porter s, arrived off the landing from Albany, 

io8" HEATH S MEMOIRS [DEC. 1776 

on their way to Gen. Washington. Matters now 
looked serious in Jersey. The British were extend 
ing themselves in all directions, and the inhabitants 
obliged to become passive, if not worse. Gen. Gates 
had ordered the troops, moving from the northward, 
to rendezvous at Goshen. 

8th. Our General wrote Gen. Lee that the 
troops were moving on from the northward, and, as 
Gen. Gates had not yet overtaken them, some of the 
commanding-officers appeared to wish for orders how 
to proceed. Gen. Washington, it was said, was as 
far as Trenton Lee, the preceding night, as far as 
Pompton. A flag schooner came up from New 
York, to obtain leave for some families to go in. 
A Parson Inglis was on board. Orders were given 
to treat the flag with politeness, and at the same 
time with proper precaution; and the business was 
laid before the Convention of the State. 

The same day, Gen. Clinton, with two British 
and two Hessian brigades, with a squadron of ships 
under the command of Sir Peter Parker, took pos 
session of Rhode Island, without the loss of a man; 
the Americans quitting the island without making 
any opposition. Rhode Island was a great acquisi 
tion to the British, for quarters, forage, and a safe 
harbour; but lessened their ability for other more 
important operations in the field. 

On the evening of the Qth, our General received 
orders from the Commander in Chief, to move over 
the Hudson with Parsons s brigade, and to move on 
so as to give protection to the country, and vigour 
to the cause in Jersey. 

loth. A little after noon, Parsons s brigade 
marched down to King s Ferry; the greatest alert 
ness having been discovered by both officers and 
men on the occasion. 

DEC. i 77 6] HEATH S MEMOIRS 109 

nth. About eleven o clock, A. M. our General 
left Peekskill, and proceeded for the Jerseys; on 
crossing King s Ferry, gave orders for the flag to be 
detained from returning until further orders. The 
troops crossed the ferry, and marched as far as Col. 
Hays at Haverstraw. Huntington s and Tyler s 
regiments were ordered to advance from Rama- 
po Bridge to Paramus. Our General received a 
letter from Gen. Lee, in answer to the one he wrote 
on the 8th from Peekskill, as follows: 

CHATHAM, Dec. gth, 1776. 

"I AM very much obliged to you for your wel 
come tidings; and have only to beg, that you will 
direct the regiments you speak of to march without 
loss of time to Morristown. I sent an express to you 
last night, from the General, ordering your division 
over the river, which I confess, for my own part, I 
am heartily sorry for; as I think we shall be strong 
enough without you, and New England, with your 
district, will be too bare of troops. I am in hopes 
here to re-conquer (if I may so express myself) the 
Jerseys. It was really in the hands of the enemy 
before my arrival. 

Adieu, dear Sir, 

(Signed) CHARLES LEE. 
Maj. Gen. HEATH." 

The foregoing letter appears very different from 
the former ones. 

1 2th. Early in the morning, the troops took up 
their line of march from Haverstraw, and before 
sunset reached Tappan. 

1 3th. Sent out a reconnoitring party towards 
Hackensack to get intelligence, &c. This day, Gen. 

1 10 HEATH S MEMOIRS [DEC. 1776 

Lee was taken prisoner, near Chatham, by a party of 
light-horse, commanded by Col. Harcourt. Lee took 
quarters at a small distance from his troops: an in 
habitant gave notice of it to Col. Harcourt, who was 
out reconnoitring near that neighborhood, and who 
had the address to take and carry him off. 

I4th. Our General held up every appearance of 
moving to Paramus, and sent off his baggage under 
escort to that place; and between n and 12 o clock, 
marched briskly for Hackensack, having sent orders 
for Huntington s and Tyler s regiments to move from 
Paramus at the same time. Buskirk s regiment was 
at Hackensack Bridge the preceding day, where they 
did duty, and it was expected they were still at the 
same place. To surprise and take them was the 
object; but it was found that Buskirk s men had 
moved the preceding day to Bergen, in order to 
draw new arms. The town was completely sur 
prised, not having an idea that any but British troops 
were near them. One British soldier and 20 or 30 
of their adherents, were taken, a number of arms, 
&c. and at the wharf, several vessels loaded with 
hay, &c. on the point of sailing for New York. A 
brig had come to sail in the morning, and run some 
distance down the river, and came to anchor. An 
officer with a party was sent down to take her, and 
bring her up; but the wind was so strong ahead that 
it could not be effected. The officer was then di 
rected to destroy the vessel, as she had a large quan 
tity of forage on board, destined for New York; 
but it was said there were some valuable articles on 
board, which might be taken out and brought up in 
the boats. The orders were varied accordingly, 
with directions, that in case the enemy advanced be 
fore the business was completed, to set the brig on 
fire. The boats brought up one load; but on re- 


turning to the brig, they discovered a body of the 
enemy advancing, when the brig was abandoned 
without being set on fire. The enemy immediately 
took possession of her. Among the articles taken 
out, was a large chest of plate. This was conveyed 
to Peekskill, and delivered to the Deputy Quarter- 
Master-General; and when the British afterwards 
destroyed the public stores at that place, the chest of 
plate was removed by the Quarter-Master into Con 
necticut; where afterwards Gen. Parsons, in behalf 
of the officers and soldiers of the division, filed a libel 
in the Maritime Court, and the officer who boarded 
the vessel, filed one in his own behalf. On trial, the 
Court adjudged the plate to the latter, although he 
boarded the vessel in obedience to express orders. 
About 100 barrels of flour, which had been aban 
doned by the Americans, when they retreated before 
Lord Cornwallis, were recovered and sent off; and 
about 100 arms were also secured, with a quantity 
of rum, gin, &c. In the evening, as two or three 
American officers were walking along the street, a 
gentleman, who was an inhabitant, came up to them, 
and expressed his joy on the arrival of the troops, 
(supposing they were British). The officers imme 
diately conducted him to our General, and on en 
tering the room informed him that they came to 
introduce a friend who had joined them in the street, 
and who was able to give some important informa 
tion. Our General expressed a high satisfaction, 
and wished to know what information he could give. 
He replied that he heard there was a large body of 
rebels collecting up above them. He was asked if, 
in case these rebels should advance, any assistance 
could be afforded by the people of the town, and 
whether they could be depended on ? He answered, 
there were a considerable number, and that they 


might be depended on. He was asked whether 
there was not a number in the town who were in 
favour of the rebels ? He answered, that there was; 
but that they had seized and sent off the principal 
ones among them, and that now the others dared not 
shew themselves. The joke was thus going on, when 
Col. Prescott, who stood near him, holding his hat in 
his hand, in which there was a red cockade, (at that 
time a mark of the distinction of rank) the gentle 
man fixed his eye upon it, and his countenance im 
mediately fell. He was then told that those whom 
he termed rebels were now in possession of the place, 
and had now received his information. He was or 
dered into custody. 

1 5th. All the wagons in the vicinity were col 
lected, and the flour and other stores moved off to 
Paramus. Reconnoitring parties were sent out to a 
distance to observe the motions of the enemy. 

1 6th. The effects were generally removed, and 
about noon the reconnoitring parties reported that 
the enemy were advancing on both sides of the place. 
They were soon after discovered by the guard at 
Acquackanuck Bridge. A little before sunset, the 
troops left the town. A strong rear-guard was or 
dered to remain on the high ground back of the 
town, until after dark, to light up a number of fires, 
and then to move on after the troops. Just before 
the division left the town, Gen. George Clinton, 
attended by some light-horse, joined the division. 

I yth. Reconnoitring parties were sent out on all 
the roads. 

1 8th. Intelligence was received, that some of the 
Jersey militia had had a skirmish with a body of 
British troops under Gen. Leslie, near Springfield. 
Both parties retired. Of the militia, several were 
killed and wounded. 

DEC. i 77 6] HEATH S MEMOIRS 113 

The Convention of New York, greatly alarmed at 
the removal of our General with the Continental 
troops, from the important passes of the Highlands, 
sent a request to Gen. Washington, desiring that 
they might be ordered back again. To insure dis 
patch, they offered the express extra pay. The 
Commander in Chief was pleased to grant their re 
quest, and ordered our General to return to Peeks- 
kill, and re-occupy his former positions. 

Our General, having received certain information 
that Buskirk s regiment was at or near Bergen 
Woods, it was determined to strike them. For this 
purpose, on the evening of the iQth, about 8 o clock, 
Gen. Parsons, with 250 Continental troops, and Gen. 
Clinton, with a like number of the militia of New 
York, marched from Paramus church, and a cover 
ing party of 300 men was ordered to Tappan. 

About i o clock, the next morning, the detach 
ment reached Bergen, and completely surprised the 
enemy s guard, making 22 men prisoners. The reg 
iment was alarmed, and a pretty brisk skirmish en 
sued. The enemy were collecting, and it was judged 
best for the detachment to come off, having been so 
far victorious. 

20th. About I o clock, P. M. the detachment re 
turned to Paramus, having, in the short interval of 
time, marched (out and returning) upwards of 40 
miles. They brought back with them, besides their 
prisoners, 16 new fire-locks, 6 horses, and one wag 
on; having sustained the loss of one man. The 
enemy were supposed to have had several killed. 

2 1 st. Orders were given for the troops to be 
ready to march early the next morning. The gen 
tleman who was taken into custody at Hackensack 
chagrined almost to death, had been spending his 
time, like April, in weeping and lowering; and much 

ii4 HEATH S MEMOIRS [DEc.i 77 6 

intercession having been made for his release, our 
General told him, that in case he would faithfully 
perform a piece of secret service allotted to him he 
should be released. This he performed with punct 
uality, and consequently was set at liberty. 

22d. The troops marched from Paramus round 
by the side of Kakaat, to Clarkstown, which they 
reached about sunset. 

23d. The troops took up their line of march, 
crossed the Hudson, and arrived at Peekskill. 

24th. Gave permission for the flag to return to 
New York, having on board the families of Mr. 
Inglis, Moore, &c.* 

25th. It was learnt that a body of Hessian troops 
had not long before moved to the upper end of 
York Island. The militia of the State of New York 
were this day beginning to come in. 

26th. A severe snow-storm. Some of the militia 
from Massachusetts had reached Danbury. 

29th. Intelligence was received from Providence, 
that a most valuable prize, taken by the ship Alfred, 
had arrived safe at Bedford, in Massachusetts. 

3Oth. Col. Chester, of Connecticut, arrived at 
Peekskill, from Gen. Washington s camp, with 
the agreeable news, that on the preceding Thursday 
morning, being the 26th, Gen. Washington, at the 
head of about 3,000 men, crossed the Delaware, and 
attacked the enemy at Trenton, being about 1,600 
Hessians; and in about 35 minutes entirely defeated 
them. One Colonel, 2 Lieutenant-Colonels, 3 Ma 
jors, 4 Captains, 8 Lieutenants, 12 Ensigns, I Judge 
Advocate, 2 Surgeon s Mates, 92 Sergeants, 20 Drum 
mers, 9 Musicians, 25 Officers servants, and 740 
rank and file were taken prisoners, besides the killed 
and wounded. Six pieces of brass cannon, 12 drums, 

* See Appendix XIV. 

jAN.1777-1 HEATH S MEMOIRS 115 

4 standards, 1200 small-arms, 6 wagons, a number 
of swords, caps, &c. were the trophies of victory. 
The same day, Colonel Sparhawk s regiment of 
militia arrived from Massachusetts. 

3 1 st. Information was given that a company of 
60 disaffected inhabitants were on their way to join 
the enemy. Parties were sent out to intercept them. 

I 777- January 1st. By a letter from General 
Washington, it appeared that the enemy were re 
treating towards Amboy. Generals Mifflin and 
Ewing, and Col. Cadwallader had crossed the Dela 
ware, and Gen. Washington was about to follow 
them, and pursue the enemy. 

2d. Several infamous disaffected persons were 
taken and sent in. The same day, Gen. Washington 
being at Trenton, Gen. Howe advanced to attack 
him; a cannonade ensued: Gen. Washington retired 
to the other side of the Mill Creek; and, as soon as it 
was dark, ordering a great number of fires to be 
lighted up, to deceive the enemy, stole a march, and 
at 9 o clock next morning attacked three regiments 
of the enemy, who were posted at Princeton, routed 
them, driving them from two small redoubts. The 
enemy lost, in killed, wounded and taken prisoners 
about 500. The American loss was inconsiderable, 
except in the brave Gen. Mercer, of Virginia, who 
fell in this action, greatly regretted. In this manoeu 
vre and action Gen. Washington exhibited the most 
consummate generalship, and the British were struck 
with consternation. Ambuscade, surprise and strat 
agem are said to constitute the sublime part of the 
art of war, and that he who possesses the greatest 
resource in these will eventually pluck the laurel 
from the brow of his opponent. The stratagems of 
war are almost infinite, but all have the same object, 
namely, to deceive to hold up an appearance of 


something which is not intended, while under this 
mask some important object is secured; and be a 
General never so brave, if he be unskilled in the arts 
and stratagems of war, he is really to be pitied; for 
his bravery will but serve to lead him into those 
wily snares which are laid for him. 

3d. Thirty-seven recruits going to Rogers, taken 
the preceding night, were brought in; and our Gen 
eral ordered out Capt. Graham at 12 o clock at night 
to intercept another gang. 

4th. Gen. Lincoln arrived from Massachusetts; 
he had come on with a body of militia. 

5th It was learnt that on the ist inst. Gen. Put 
nam took a large quantity of baggage, provisions, &c. 
at Bordentown; and on the 3d, Gen. Washington s 
army came up with the rear of the enemy, at or near 
Rocky Hill, when a brisk action ensued, and the 
enemy were defeated, with the loss of between 50 
and 60 killed, and upwards of 100 taken prisoners, 
together with 6 pieces of cannon, and all their bag 
gage: the Americans had 6 men killed. The same 
day, Col. Sparhawk s regiments of militia, from 
Massachusetts, with two field-pieces, marched for 
King s Ferry, on their way to the Jerseys. 

7th. Our General received the following letter 
from Gen. Washington: 

PLUCKEMIN, Jan. $th, 1777. 
" SIR, 

"WE have made a successful attack upon Prince 
ton. General Howe advanced upon Trenton; we 
evacuated the town, and lay at the other side of the 
Mill Creek, until dark; then stole a march and at 
tacked Princeton about 9 o clock in the morning. 
There were three regiments quartered there. The 
killed, wounded, and prisoners taken amounted to 


about 500. The enemy are in great consternation; 
and as the present affords us a favourable opportu 
nity to drive them out of the Jerseys, it has been de 
termined in Council, that you should move down 
towards New York with a considerable force, as if 
you had a design upon the city; that being an object 
of great importance, the enemy will be reduced to the 
necessity of withdrawing a considerable part of their 
force from the Jerseys, if not the whole, to secure the 
city. I shall draw the force on this side the North 
River together at Morristown, where I shall watch 
the motions of the enemy, and avail myself of every 
circumstance. You will retain 4,000 of the militia, 
coming on from the New England Governments for 
the expedition. You will act with great precaution, 
but avail yourself of every favourable opportunity 
of attacking the enemy, when you can do it to 

"Gen. Lincoln must cross the North River, and 
come on with the remainder of the militia to Mor 
ristown. Leave a sufficient guard at the Highlands. 

"You will also have as many boats collected to 
gether, or in such a manner as you may always avail 
yourself of them, if it should be found expedient 
for your troops or any part of them to cross the 
North River, at Dobb s Ferry, or any other of the 

I am, &c. 

Gen. HEATH." 

Preparations for the before mentioned movement 
were immediately put in train. The militia and 
volunteers were coming in. 

8th. Gen. Parsons went down to King-street. 

9th. The remainder of Col. Sparhawk s and Col. 

ii8 HEATH S MEMOIRS [JAN. i 777 

Whitney s regiments passed over the river, to join 
Gen. Washington. 

loth. Col. Frost s regiment marched to North 
Castle, and Gen. Scott s militia to White Plains. 

nth. A number of British officers, taken at 
Princeton, passed Peekskill, on their way to Con 
necticut. The same day it was learnt, that on the 
8th, Gen. Maxwell, with the Jersey militia, and 
some Continental troops, routed the enemy at Eliz- 
abethtown, where he took 50 Highlanders, a 
schooner loaded with baggage, and fell in with 
a party of 30 Waldeckers, whom he also took 

1 2th. Gen. Moulton from Massachusetts, and 
Col. Gilman from New Hampshire, came to camp. 
A number of British prisoners, taken in the Jerseys, 
passed Peekskill, on their way to Connecticut. 

I3th. Our General moved to the southward, and 
reached North Castle just before sunset, where he 
found part of four regiments had arrived, and Gen. 
Scott s militia of New York had moved down to 
Wright s Mills. 

I4th. Our General moved to King-street to Mr. 
Clapp s about 3,000 militia had arrived, and Gen. 
Lincoln s division marched to Tarrytown on this 
day. The Commander in Chief, in another letter 
had intimated that Gen. Lincoln, instead of moving 
on to join him, should stay on the east side of the 
Hudson, and join in the expedition. 

1 5th. The Connecticut volunteers marched from 
King-street to New Rochelle, and Gen. Scott s bri 
gade to Stephen Ward s. Plenty of provisions were 
arriving. A deserter came in from the enemy, and 
gave an account of their situation and numbers. 

i yth. At night the three divisions began to move 
towards Kingsbridge; Gen. Lincoln s, from Tarry- 


town, on the Albany road; Generals Wooster and 
Parsons s, from New Rochelle and East Chester, and 
Gen. Scott s in the centre from below White Plains. 
The several distances and rate of marching were so 
well calculated, that, on the i8th, just before sun 
rise, the three divisions, although so far apart, ar 
rived at the out-posts of the enemy almost at the 
same instant. Gen. Lincoln s on the heights above 
Col. Van Cortland s; Wooster s at Williams s; and 
Scott s on the back of Valentine s. Our General, 
who moved with the centre division, knew that Val 
entine s house was the quarters of one of the guards; 
he did not know but it might be defended; as he 
approached it, he ordered Capt. Lieut. Bryant to 
advance a field-piece to the advance-guard, and if 
there was any opposition from the house, to cannon 
ade it immediately. He then ordered 250 men from 
the head of the column (as it was moving on) to in 
cline to the right, and by a double step to push into 
the hollow, between the house and the fort, to cut off 
the guard who were at the house, in case they should 
run towards the latter. At this instant, two light- 
horsemen who had been sent out by the enemy as 
the day broke to reconnoitre the vicinity, came un 
expectedly at the descent of a hill, plump upon the 
head of Wooster s column. They attempted to turn 
about, but before it could be fully effected, a field- 
piece was discharged at them; one of them was 
pitched from his horse and taken prisoner, the other 
galloped back to the fort, holloing as he passed, 
"The rebels! The rebels!" This set all the out- 
guards and pickets running to the fort, leaving in 
some places their arms, blankets, tools, provisions, 
&c. behind them. Those who fled from Valentine s, 
and the Negro Fort, were fired at as they ran, but 
none were killed: one, who could not run so fast as 


the rest, was taken prisoner. Ten muskets were 
taken at Valentine s house. The guard above Van 
Cortland s was as completely surprised as the others, 
where Gen. Lincoln took about 40 arms, some blan 
kets, &c. &c. The left and centre divisions moved 
into the hollow, between Valentine s house and the 
fort, from whence our General immediately sent a 
summons to the commanding officer of the fort to 
surrender. The Commandant of the fort, and a con 
siderable part of the garrison, being Hessians, the 
summons held out to these generous terms. The 
answer, which was verbal, was a refusal to surrender. 
A detachment with two field-pieces was ordered to 
move to the south of the fort, to a hill above Har 
lem Creek, not far from the New Bridge. When 
the detachment arrived at this place, a battalion of 
Hessians appeared drawn up on the side of the hill 
just within Kingsbridge, and back of Hyatt s tavern. 
Our General ordered the artillery to cannonade them 
immediately. The first shot just cleared the right of 
the battalion, nearly a platoon settling down as the 
shot passed them, which entered the bank close be 
hind them. The second shot passed about the centre 
of the battalion, when to the amount of a grand di 
vision settled down, which was an evidence that they 
would not stand much longer. One of the pieces 
was ordered to be drawn lower down the hill; on 
which the battalion quitted their ground, and 
marched off as fast as they could without running, 
to get behind the redoubt and hill at the bridge, re 
ceiving one shot more as they were turning round 
the point. It was not suspected that the enemy had 
any cannon in the redoubt within the bridge, but 
they now began to cannonade the artillery-men who 
had descended the hill, who had to draw up their 
piece as fast as possible, which they effected without 


any loss, but received three or four shot quite among 
them, before they could reach the top of the hill. 

This success at the outposts flew through the 
country, and was soon magnified to a reduction of 
the fort, and capture of the garrison. It reached 
Gen. Washington long before the official account, 
and he had communicated the report to Congress; 
hence a double disappointment, when the true state 
of facts was received. 

1 9th. The enemy cannonaded from the fort, and 
killed one American, as the guards were relieving at 
the Negro Fort. It was determined to make an at 
tempt to cut off the battalion within Kingsbridge, 
early the next morning, by passing a strong detach 
ment over Spuyten Duyvil Creek on the ice, which, 
however, was not now very strong, but the weather 
was cold. One thousand were detached for the pur 
pose; but the weather having grown warm in the 
night, the ice was judged, by the unanimous opinion 
of all the General Officers on the ground, to be too 
hazardous on the morning of the 2Oth to venture 
the attempt. On this day there was a cannonade on 
both sides, and the enemy on the island side were 
thrown into much confusion. Our General observ 
ing that when the enemy within the island were can 
nonaded across Harlem Creek, they sheltered them 
selves behind the little hill near the bridge, next to 
Spuyten Duyvil Creek, on this afternoon he rode 
round on to Tippit s Hill, which was in its rear, and 
found that a field-piece drawn up on that side would 
leave the enemy no hiding place. 

2ist. A cannonade on both sides. In the after 
noon a field-piece was hauled up to Tippit s Hill, 
and the enemy were cannonaded both in front and 
rear: they were thrown into the utmost confusion: 
some secured themselves in their redoubt, others un- 

122 HEATH S MEMOIRS [jAN.i 777 

der the banks: some lay flat on the ground, and some 
betook themselves to the cellars; so that in a short 
time there was no object for the gunners. The 
weather had now grown very moderate. 

22d. There was a pretty smart skirmish with the 
enemy near the fort. This day our General ordered 
a number of chandeliers, fascines, &c. to be made; 
and having nothing but light field-pieces with him, 
in order to keep up an appearance of a serious design 
on the fort, he sent to North Castle, where was a 
field brass 24-pounder and some howitzers, to bring 
forward the former and one of the latter. 

23d. A smart skirmish took place just before 
dusk, in the broken ground near the south side of 
the fort; an Ensign and one man belonging to the 
New York militia were killed, and five wounded; 
the loss of the enemy unknown, as it was close under 
the fort. 

24th. Excessive stormy. Gen. Lincoln s divi 
sion, who were in huts in the woods, back of Col. 
Van Cortland s, were obliged to quit their ground, 
and move back into houses where they could find 
them; some of them as far as Dobb s Ferry; with the 
loss of a great many cartridges from the badness of 
the boxes. The fall of rain was so great as to cause 
a great fresh in the Bronx, the water running over 
the bridge by Williams s. 

25th. Early in the morning, the enemy made a 
sally towards Delancey s Mills, where they surprised 
and routed the guard, wounding several, but not kill 
ing or taking any of them; and a regiment near that 
place quitted their quarters. Emboldened by this suc 
cess, about 10 o clock, A. M. they made a powerful 
sally towards Valentine s, instantly driving the guards 
and pickets from the Negro Fort and Valentine s 
house; pushing on with great impetuosity, keeping 


up a brisk fire, the balls passing at Williams s house 
sufficiently strong to do execution. The retreating 
guards threw themselves into the old redoubt on the 
north side of the road, to the west of the bridge; on 
which the enemy immediately lined a strong stone 
wall, a few rods distant to the southwest. Two reg 
iments of the militia being at this instant formed in 
the road near Williams s, and the horses in the lim 
bers of the field-pieces, our General ordered Capt. 
Bryant to ford over the bridge with his piece, and 
the militia to follow and cover the artillery. When 
Capt. Bryant had ascended almost to the top of the 
hill, to prevent his horses being shot, he unlimbered, 
and the men took the drag-ropes; but the ascent of 
the hill was such that they were obliged to drag the 
piece almost within pistol-shot, before the ground 
would admit the piece to be so depressed as to bear 
on the enemy. The moment this was effected, a 
round shot opened a breach in the wall, four or five 
feet wide; a second shot in less than a minute opened 
another, when the enemy fled back to the fort with 
the greatest precipitation. Of the Americans, two 
were killed and a number wounded. 

zyth. The brass 24-pounder and howitzer were 
brought up, and ordered to open upon the fort; on 
the third discharge of the former, she sprang her car 
riage; nor were there any live shells for the howitzer, 
there being none at North Castle; nor was a regular 
cannonade or bombardment of the fort ever con 
templated. Every attempt was now made, by feint 
and otherwise, to draw the enemy out of the fort. 
A detachment was sent down to Morrisania to light 
up a great number of fires in the night, to induce the 
enemy to suppose that a body of Americans were 
collecting at that place, with a design to cross on to 
New York Island, at or near Harlem; and to 

i2 4 HEATH S MEMOIRS [JAN. i 777 

heighten this, several large boats were sent for, and 
brought forward on carriages. The British guard 
on Montresor s Island were so much alarmed at 
this, as to set the buildings on fire, and flee to New 
York. A brigade of the British were said to have 
moved towards Fort Washington; and orders had 
been sent to Rhode Island, for a detachment to be 
sent from thence. 

29th. There was the appearance of a severe snow 
storm coming on, when all the General Officers on 
the ground, viz. besides our General, Lincoln, Woos- 
ter, Scott and Ten Broeck, were unanimously of opin 
ion that the troops ought to move back before the 
storm came on, to places where they could be cov 
ered from the inclemency of the weather, as there 
was no artillery to batter the fort, and from first to 
last they were unanimously opposed to any idea of 
an assault or storm of the fort with the militia, and 
the principal object being now to secure and bring 
off or destroy the forage, which could be as well done 
where the troops could have covering, as to harass 
them in the open fields by multiplying guards, or 
their being constantly exposed in the scattered houses 
to be surprised and cut off. For these several rea 
sons, the troops were ordered as soon as it grew dark 
to move back, Gen. Lincoln s division to Dobb s 
Ferry and Tarrytown, Gen. Wooster s to New 
Rochelle, and Gen. Scott s to White Plains; the 
guards to remain at their posts and alert, until the 
troops were all moved off, and then to form rear 
guards on the several roads, following the troops to 
whom they respectively belonged; all of which was 
performed in good order, in a very heavy fall of snow. 

3Oth. The storm cleared up, when 15 ships, I 
brig, 2 schooners, and 2 sloops came to, between 
Hart and City Islands; they were from the eastward 

FEB. i 777 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 125 

and were supposed to have troops on board. The 
troops on this expedition, as it was called, were in a 
very hazardous situation, and had continued in it 
from the morning of the i8th to the evening of the 
2Qth; they were entirely a body of militia, except a 
few artillery-men. So apprehensive of this being a 
critical situation was the Commander in Chief, in 
the year 1780, when Gen. Sir Henry Clinton menaced 
the French army at Rhode Island, and had embarked 
his troops on board transports for the purpose of 
proceeding to that place, and Gen. Washington had 
determined to move down towards Kingsbridge to 
induce Sir Henry to give up his design by menacing 
New York, our General being then at Rhode Island 
with the French army, Gen. Washington wrote him 
on the 3 ist of July from Robinson s House in the 
Highlands among other things, " You know the crit 
ical situation in which this army will be in a position 
below." This was undoubtedly a very just observa 
tion; but if the Commander in Chief, with the whole 
American army in 1780, well armed and highly dis 
ciplined, should so justly judge at the distance of 30 
miles from the spot, what shall we say of those brave 
militia men, who continued in the position itself, for 
more than ten days in the midst of winter. 

Whenever an enterprise is to be attempted in the 
teeth of an enemy, it should be a dash and away. 

3 1 st. A cordon of troops was ordered to be formed 
to extend from Dobb s Ferry to Mamaroneck. 

February 1st. Foraging being now the object, a 
large number of teams were sent out towards Mama 
roneck, and upwards of 80 loads of forage were 
brought off. Twelve more ships, 4 of which were of 40 
guns, came down the Sound the preceding day. 

2d. Col. Humphries, of New York, arrived with 


a regiment of militia from Albany county to con 
tinue in service six weeks. 

3d. There was another grand forage. 

6th. A strong detachment under the command 
of Col. Enos sent toward Fort Independence, to at 
tempt to surprise some of the enemy s out-posts, but 
nothing could be effected. The small-pox was now 
making its appearance in the neighborhood. 

8th. There was a grand forage to the lower parts 
of West Chester county. A row-galley and a sloop 
were coming up the North River. The covering 
party to the forages on this day was nearly 1,000 
strong, and large quantities of forage were brought 

10th. Our General rode to Peekskill, where he 
arrived a little after dark. Gen. Lincoln s troops 
were on their march to join Gen. Washington. Our 
General had obtained leave of the Commander in 
Chief, to make a short visit to New England, under 
an injunction to return very early. 

1 2th. About 10 o clock, he left Peekskill, and 
arrived at his house in Roxbury on the iQth, about 

March I4th. Our General set out from Roxbury, 
on his way back to the army; but before he had got 
to Watertown, an express overtook him with orders 
from Gen. Washington for him to take the command 
of the Eastern Department; Gen. Ward having ap 
plied for leave to resign the command, meaning to 
retire from the service: he therefore turned back, and 
rode into Boston. 

This year, 1777, formed an important era in the 
annals of America. Congress had determined to 
make great exertions to drive the British troops from 
America; for this purpose, they had ordered 88 bat 
talions to be raised in the United States, 15 of which 


fell to the share of Massachusetts. Besides the fore 
going 88 battalions, they also ordered the raising of 
16 others, called the additional battalions; and of 
these, three were raising in Massachusetts, viz. Jack 
son s, Lee s and Henley s; besides Armand s Legion, 
Artificers, &c. The arming, equipping and sending 
on the recruits furnishing the recruiting officers 
with bounty moneys and the forwarding of im 
mense quantities of all kinds of military stores, (for 
Massachusetts might now be called the great maga 
zine of military stores of the Union, partly on account 
of her own resources, managed by the indefatigable 
industry of her Board of War) and the arrivals of 
public stores here and at Portsmouth, called for the 
utmost diligence and exertion of the commanding 
general. The Commander in Chief had given di 
rections for the troops to be forwarded on, with all 
possible dispatch, to Ticonderoga. 

2Oth. Maj. Gen. Ward resigned the command of 
the Eastern Department to our General, who took 
the command accordingly. 

23d. A detachment of British troops, consisting 
as was said of about 500 men, destroyed the Ameri 
can stores at Peekskill; they met with but very little 
opposition: here our General lost a part of his bag 
gage, which was left when he came away for Boston, 
in February. Monsieur De Bore, a French General, 
came to Boston: he had been engaged by our Minis 
ters in France, to enter the American service, &c. 

27th. Our General received orders from the 
Commander in Chief, to make an alteration in the 
destination of the Massachusetts regiments, sending 
eight of the regiments to Peekskill, and seven to 

3 1 st. Our General took a view of the state of the 
works at Dorchester, &c. 


April 3d. Capt. Sumner, of Greaton s regiment, 
marched a detachment of the regiment for Peeks- 

4th. A part of Col. Shepard s regiment marched 
for Peekskill. 

7th. Our General took a view of the barracks at 
Prospect Hill, preparatory to the cutting of the re 
cruits under inoculation with the small-pox. 

9th. About 1 20 men of Patterson s regiment 
marched for Peekskill. 

nth. A part of Nixon s regiment marched for 
Peekskill; on the I2th, 160 men of Bayley s for 
Ticonderoga; and on the I3th, 200 of Wesson s for 
the latter place. The same day, began to inoculate 
the recruits at Prospect Hill. 

I5th. Colonel Jackson s Independent Company 
marched to do duty at Providence; and a company 
of Col. Crane s artillery for the main army. 

1 6th. Two hundred men of Col. Wigglesworth s 
regiment marched for Peekskill. The same even 
ing, our General received orders from Gen. Wash 
ington to send the troops to Peekskill, by the route 
of Kinderhook. The same day, 10 tons of powder 
arrived at Boston, from Portsmouth, N. H. 

A second division of recruits for Bayley s regiment 
marched for Ticonderoga, as did a division from Col. 
Bradford s for the same place. 

2Oth. A large letter-of-marque ship arrived at 
Boston from Nantes in France, with a valuable cargo 
on private account. 

2jd. An express from Portsmouth brought an 
account of the arrival at that place of the French 
ship Amphitrite, having on board 52 brass field- 
pieces, completely mounted, with apparatus; 6,132 
muskets; 120 barrels of powder, and many other 


24th. A second division of Col. Crane s artillery 
marched for the army. 

28th. A division for Wesson s regiment marched 
for Ticonderoga. 

29th. An express arrived from Gov. Trumbull, 
giving an account that the enemy had landed a body 
of men near Fairfield, and that a number of ships 
were standing up Hudson s River. This body of 
the enemy consisted of about 2,000; they landed on 
the 25th at Fairfield, and pushed for Danbury, where 
the Americans had magazines of stores, which the 
British burnt and destroyed. Generals Wooster and 
Arnold were in that part of Connecticut; they as 
sembled the militia of the vicinity, and attacked the 
British on their return; and there were several very 
sharp skirmishes at and near Ridgefield, in one of 
which the brave Gen. Wooster fell; and Gen. Arnold 
having his horse shot down under him, by a soldier 
who was very near him, and who was following up 
his shot with his bayonet charged, Arnold catched 
one of his pistols from the holsters on the slain horse, 
and instantly shot the soldier dead on the spot. The 
loss was considerable on both sides, in killed and 
wounded: the British say theirs did not exceed 172, 
killed, wounded and missing. The loss to the Amer 
icans, in stores, &c. was considerable, and could but 
illy be spared at that time. 

May 5th. Col. Jackson s Independent Company 
returned from doing duty at Providence. 

I4th. Gen. Du Condray, an experienced French 
artillery officer, engaged by our Commissioners in 
France to act at the head of the American artillery, 
arrived at Boston: on viewing, from Beacon Hill, 
the situation of Boston, and the American works 
around the town, he made a laugh at the British 
leaving the town when under no greater danger; 


adding, that the force which they had, might have 
defended the place against an army of 50,000 men. 
A valuable prize, loaded with dry goods, was sent 
into Newburyport. 

2ist. The Continental frigates, and a fleet of pri 
vate ships of war, sailed on a cruise, with a fair wind. 

28th. Intelligence was received, that a detach 
ment of Americans, under the command of Colonel 
Meigs, of Connecticut, had passed the Sound on the 
23d to Long Island, and crossed to Sag Harbour, 
where they destroyed and burnt a number of vessels 
at the wharf, and every thing on shore, and brought 
off 80 or 90 prisoners. This enterprise was con 
ducted with much address and great expedition. 

29th. A prize brig was sent in, laden with salt, 
cordage, &c. She was from Topsham in England. 
No reinforcement for the army in America had sailed 
the last of March. 

June 8th. Two prizes were sent in; one laden 
with coals, the other with dry goods. 

Qth. A 50 gun ship of the enemy, and two frig 
ates were cruising in our bay. 

1 4th. A prize taken by Commodore Manley, laden 
with duck, cordage, &c. and two brigs from Bilboa, 
arrived safe. 

July 1st. Intelligence was received that General 
Howe evacuated Brunswick on the i8th of the pre 
ceding month; he had before advanced as far as 
Somerset Court House, and had thrown up a number 
of works, which he abandoned: the American light 
troops harassed his rear. This day, four of the 
enemy s cruisers came so near in as to be discovered 
from Nantasket. 

4th. The anniversary of the Independence of the 
United States was celebrated with proper demon 
strations of joy. 


6th. An express arrived from Peekskill, with 
intelligence from Gen. Washington, intimating that 
on the morning of the ist inst. the enemy s fleet 
which lay at Amboy sailed down round that town; 
and that the troops who lay encamped opposite to 
the town struck their tents and marched off. The 
enemy were also advancing on the Lake with their 
fleet towards Ticonderoga. A detachment of sol 
diers for Col. M. Jackson s regiment marched for 
the northern army. 

7th. Capt. Cluston arrived from France, with 
powder, arms, &c. for the State; he had also made 
a successful cruise. 

nth. Intelligence was received, that the Amer 
icans evacuated Ticonderoga on the 6th, at night; 
a great many stores, &c. were lost. The British no 
sooner arrived before Ticonderoga, than they were 
discovered on Mount Hope: this steep and rugged 
hill was thought to be inaccessible by the Americans, 
at least with artillery; and therefore, notwithstand 
ing its nearness to the works, and overlooking of 
them in part, it was not taken possession of; but 
they should have recollected what had been said by 
the late King of Prussia, as to such positions that 
"where a goat can go, a man may go; and where a 
man can go, artillery may be drawn up." The Brit 
ish were no sooner seen on this hill, where the wily 
Phillips of the artillery is said to have ascended, than 
they saw an additional reason for quitting the post. 
This was a sore and heavy loss to the Americans; 
but in the issue proved a more certain and earlier 
overthrow of all Burgoyne s army: yet so exaspe 
rated were the people at that time, that had the com 
manding general, St. Clair, been immediately 
brought to trial, he would have stood but a poor 
chance: he was afterwards tried and acquitted with 

i 3 2 HEATH S MEMOIRS [1^,1777 

honour. The British took possession of the works, 
and pushed on rapidly after the Americans, taking 
and destroying every thing that fell in their way. 
Brig. Gen. Frazer, with the light-troops, pursued 
with great ardour, and on the 7th came up with a 
body of the Americans, commanded by the brave 
Col. Francis, of Massachusetts. A warm action en 
sued; the Americans were worsted; the Colonel was 
slain, and many other officers and soldiers killed, 
wounded and taken prisoners. This flew through 
the country like a shock of electricity, and roused 
the people to noble exertions. Gen. St. Clair joined 
Gen. Schuyler, at Fort Edward, after a fatiguing 
retreat. On the loth, a most conspicuous piece of 
gallantry was exhibited at Rhode Island. Maj. Gen. 
Prescott having the command of the British troops 
at that place, Col. Barton of Providence formed a 
resolution to surprise and take him: he accordingly 
proceeded to the island with a party of chosen men 
in two boats with muffled oars, taking with him a 
negro man whose hard head was nearly as efficacious 
as a beetle, to burst a door; and on this night with 
great address evading the British water-guards, 
passed down the west side of the island, and landed 
near a hollow ground, and instantly pushed for the 
house of a Mr. Overing, where the General quar 
tered. The sentinel at the door was seized, the 
house entered, and demand made whether the Gen 
eral was there; and finding that he was, and the 
apartment, the door was burst open, and the General 
and his aide-de-camp seized, and told that they must 
go off instantly. The General asked if he might put 
on his clothes ? The Colonel answered, "Very few 
and very quick, Sir." The Colonel returned to his 
boats, and repassed the water-guards, which the 
General had much confidence would have released 


him; for on passing the last, he observed to the Colo 
nel, "Sir, I did not think it possible you could escape 
the vigilance of the water-guards." This was a bril 
liant affair; and Congress duly rewarded Col. Barton 
for his distinguished address and gallantry. 

1 3th. An express arrived from Gen. Washington, 
with information that the British were preparing 
their transports for the embarkation of their troops 
from Staten Island, were fixing berths for the light- 
horse, &c. but their destination could not be devel 
oped. They had pushed into the Jerseys, as if de 
signing to march to Philadelphia, and then turned 
back, as has been mentioned, from Amboy, and now 
were preparing to embark and we shall anon see 
more of their manoeuvres and deceptions.* 

i6th. A number of Americans, who had left the 
northern army when it retreated, as is generally the 
case on similar occasions, came to Boston; they were 
immediately taken up and confined, to be sent back 
again: the best method in like cases. 

i Qth. At evening an express passed through Bos 
ton, on his way to Philadelphia, with dispatches 
which had been brought to Portsmouth, N. H., by 
a vessel in 42 days passage from France. It was said 
that there was great probability of an immediate war 
between France and England. 

2 1 st. By intelligence from Peekskill it was 
learnt, that on the preceding Wednesday 10 pieces 
of cannon were shipped for Albany; that a division 
of the American army was opposite to Fishkill; and 
that General Washington was moving towards King s 
Ferry with the main army, said to be 20,000 strong, 
with near 800 wagons, and having a number of 
flat-bottomed boats on carriages, &c, 

* See Appendix XV. 

i 3 4 HEATH S MEMOIRS [AUG. i 777 

26th. Count Pulaski, a Polish nobleman, came to 
Boston, and dined at head-quarters. 

August ist. Information was sent from Cape Ann 
that a fleet of vesesls, said to be near 100, had been 
seen from the high lands, standing to the northward. 
This caused some alarm: the guards at the maga 
zines, &c. were doubled. 

4th. Intelligence was received that Gen. Wash 
ington was moving with the main army towards 
Philadelphia, and had detached Gen. Glover with 
his brigade to join the northern army. An account 
was received that there had been a skirmish on Wood 
Creek between a party of the Americans and the 
enemy, to the advantage of the former. 

6th. Intelligence was received that the American 
northern army had fallen back to Saratoga. About 
this time, a party of the enemy landed on Boston 
Neck (so called) in Rhode Island: they were driven 
off without doing much damage. The same day in 
telligence was received, that on the 23d of the pre 
ceding month the British fleet sailed from Sandy 
Hook, and had arrived off the Capes of Delaware. 

8th. Intelligence was received that the British 
fleet sailed out of the Capes of Delaware on the 3ist 
ult. standing to the eastward. This induced Gen. 
Washington to retrograde the main American army 
towards the North River. 

nth. There was a report that the northern army 
had fallen back to Stillwater. One sixth part of 
the militia in a number of the counties of Massachu 
setts were ordered to be detached and marched im 
mediately to reinforce the northern army. 

I4th. Intelligence was received that the British 
fleet had returned again to the Capes of Delaware. 
Col. Johnson and St. Leger were advancing with a 


body of the enemy towards Fort Schuyler, on the 
Mohawk River. 

About this time, a Miss M Crea, said to be a beau 
tiful young lady, and in all the innocence of youth, 
her father warmly engaged on the side of the British, 
and she on the very point of marriage with a British 
officer, on some dispute between two Indians, as to 
which of them she of right belonged as a captive, she 
was most inhumanly massacred! The act was prob 
ably as abhorrent to the British as to the Americans; 
but they ought not to have engaged the savages in 
their cause, as they might well have known their un 
governable temper, and disposition for blood; for 
this was not the only instance. A British officer 
sending his waiter to a spring for some cool water, 
in a few minutes an Indian came in with the scalp 
of the waiter smoking in his hand.* 

St. Leger having gone up the Mohawk to reduce 
Fort Schuyler, Gen. Burgoyne determined to send 
out another strong detachment on his left, towards 
Bennington. The command of this detachment was 
given to Lieut. Col. Baum, a Hessian; and Col. 
Breyman, with another detachment, was ordered to 
cover and support Baum. These were met by the 
brave Gen. Stark, who gave them a complete over 
throw. On the morning of the i6th, 32 officers and 
near 700 men were taken prisoners, with 4 light 
field-pieces, nearly 1,000 arms, a quantity of bag 
gage, &c. The Americans were said to have had 
about 25 men killed: the loss of the enemy in killed 
was judged to be nearly 200. Fort Schuyler was 
closely besieged by St. Leger; and the brave Col. 
Herkimer, with the Tryon county militia, was march 
ing to its relief. St. Leger learning his advance, 
drew off a large part of his besieging troops, to meet 

* See Appendix XVI. 


and give him battle, before he got near the fort: the 
battle was obstinate, and the militia behaved with 
great bravery, but were at length defeated; their 
brave Colonel and many of the militia were slain: it 
was said that the action lasted 5 or 6 hours. Matters 
now appearing more serious in this quarter, Gen. 
Arnold marched with a sufficient detachment to raise 
the siege. As soon as St. Leger learnt his approach, 
he sent off some Indians, as if friends, to meet Arnold, 
and inform him that St. Leger had received a strong 
reinforcement, and advised Arnold to halt and wait 
for a reinforcement himself then abandoned the 
siege with precipitation, leaving his tents standing, 
his baggage, artillery, &c. behind him. Thus were 
both Burgoyne s wings effectually clipped. 

September 1st. Intelligence was received that 
after much manoeuvring, Howe s fleet came to anchor 
in Chesapeake Bay, on the 2ist ult., consisting of near 
200 sail, and it was expected he would soon land his 
troops. The 24th, Gen. Washington s army was on 
full march to meet Howe, and then within 5 miles 
of Philadelphia. A valuable cargo arrived safe from 
Spain; among other articles, a large number of shoes, 
hose, blankets, shirts, cordage, duck, &c. 

2d. Intelligence was received, that Gen. Howe s 
army had landed at the Head of Elk. A detach 
ment from Gen. Sullivan s division a little before this 
time made an excursion on to Staten Island, and 
brought off several hundred prisoners, and a large 
quantity of baggage. The American loss was said 
to be about 60, including officers. 

5th. Four hundred and one prisoners, taken near 
Bennington by Gen. Stark, were escorted to Boston; 
they consisted of British, Brunswick and Canadian 

9th. Capt. Harden arrived at Boston in a Con- 


necticut State ship of 20 guns: he brought in with 
him a Jamaica packet which he took during his 
cruise. It was said the packet had a large sum in 
specie on board; and a Mr. Shirley and family, on 
their passage to England. The last accounts stated 
both Gen. Washington s and the northern army to 
be near the enemy; and important news might be 
momently expected. 

I Qth. Col. Lee s regiment moved into Boston. 

2Oth. The disagreeable news was received that 
on the nth inst. a severe action took place between 
Gen. Washington s and Howe s armies, near the 
Brandywine, which ended rather in favour of the 
latter, who remained masters of the field. The Brit 
ish here, as in several other instances, had recourse 
to stratagem: they held out the appearance of an in 
tention of forcing their way at Chad s Ford, which 
Gen. Knyphausen menaced with a heavy column of 
Hessians; while the British column, by a long cir 
cuitous march, reached the forks of the river, and 
there secured a safe passage. Gen. Washington was 
pretty early apprised of this movement, and imme 
diately took measures for strengthening his right, by 
ordering some troops from his left. After the action 
had become pretty warm on the right, and the British 
had got the advantage, Knyphausen passed Chad s 
Ford; and although the troops who were still on the 
left behaved well, they were by no means sufficient 
to resist the heavy column of Hessians. It is said, 
that after the Hessian Grenadiers had crossed the 
Ford, they halted at the foot of the hill, below the 
Americans, under a warm fire, and with great delib 
eration changed their hats for their heavy brass caps, 
which were carried by a loop on a button at the hip, 
and then ascended the hill, from which the Amer 
icans were obliged to retire. Here the brave Capt. 


Bryant, of the artillery, who had before several times 
distinguished himself under the eye of our General, 
received a musket-ball in the bottom of his belly; 
a brother officer carried him off the field, but he died 
of the wound. Gen. Washington, seconded by his 
officers, did every thing in their power to check the 
British; and a part of the American army took a posi 
tion which probably saved the army from a total 
defeat. Perhaps the American army were, more or 
less, more generally engaged in this action, than in 
any other during the war. The American loss was 
considerable in killed and wounded, and a number 
of pieces of brass field artillery were lost. The 
British also suffered pretty severely in killed and 

The next night, Gen. Gray made, with much se 
crecy, an attack on a body of Americans, under the 
command of Gen. Wayne: the bayonet was chiefly 
made use of, and it proved but too efficacious against 
the Americans, who suffered considerable loss in 
killed and wounded. Gen. Washington retreated 
first to Philadelphia, and then left the city. The 
British army a few days afterwards advanced to 
Germantown, and on the 2yth a detachment of their 
army took possession of Philadelphia. 

23d. Gen. Washington s orders for sending for 
ward Colonels Lee s, Henley s and Jackson s regi 
ments, were received by our General. 

24th. Several prizes were sent in by a privateer 
brig belonging to Col. Sears. 

25th. Intelligence was received that on Friday, 
the I Qth inst., there was a warm and bloody action 
between Gen. Gates s and Burgoyne s advanced 
troops, which lasted until dark. The troops behaved 
with the greatest bravery on both sides. Col. Mor 
gan s light corps, and eleven other American regi- 


ments were more or less engaged. Of the Ameri 
cans, 2 Lieutenant-Colonels, Coburn and Adams, 3 
Captains, 3 Subalterns, and 56 non-commissioned 
officers and privates were killed, and 248 wounded. 
The loss of the enemy was very considerable, and 
much greater than that of the Americans. On the 
1 8th, the day preceding the foregoing battle, Col. 
Brown made an excursion in the enemy s rear to 
Lake George; made 293 of the enemy prisoners; re 
took 100 Americans: he also took near 100 batteaux, 
several large gun-boats, an armed sloop, &c. took 
possession of the French lines (so called) at Ticonde- 
roga, and summoned Fort Independence to 

2yth. Col. Craft s regiment of State artillery 
marched out of Boston, with 4 light field-pieces and 
an eight-inch howitzer, towards Providence, on a 
secret expedition, as it was called. 

29th. Intelligence was received that several val 
uable prizes had been sent into Dartmouth. 

October 2d. Intelligence was received, that on 
the i6th, Gen. Du Condray was drowned in the 
Schuylkill; he rode into the ferry-boat at one end, 
but was not able to command his horse, who went 
out at the other end of the boat, plunging into the 
river. This officer, as before mentioned, was en 
gaged to come to America, to take the command of 
the artillery; but whatever may have been his tal 
ents, the artillery was so well commanded that the 
placing a foreign officer over them in such a manner, 
and whose rank would also have soared above many 
other officers in the line, would most certainly have 
produced a convulsion in the army, had it been per 
sisted in. This circumstance prevented the danger. 
The same day, Col. Lee s regiment marched for the 
main army. 

i 4 o HEATH S MEMOIRS [OCT. i 777 

6th. Col. H. Jackson s regiment encamped on 
Boston common, and the next day about noon, 
marched out of town for the army; the regiment, 
although small, made a good appearance. About 
the same time that the regiment marched out of 
town, upwards of 100 British and Canadian prison 
ers, taken near Lake George, by Col. Brown, marched 

8th. It was learnt that a body of the enemy, said 
to be about 3,000, were moving from New York 
towards Peekskill. Gen. Washington, after he 
left Philadelphia, encamped near a place called Skip- 
pack Creek, about 16 miles from Germantown. 

1 3th. At 3 o clock, A. M. an express arrived from 
Gen. Gates s army, with an account that on Tuesday, 
the yth inst. a smart action took place between the 
right of Gen. Burgoyne s army, and the American 
left, when the enemy were repulsed, drove back to 
their works, and then forced from them. Three 
Field-Officers, 6 Captains, 10 Subalterns, i Quarter- 
Master-General, and 190 privates were taken pris 
oners, besides 300 taken in the hospital 8 pieces 
of brass cannon, 2 twelve and 6 six pounders, 3 am 
munition-wagons, 300 tents, 200 barrels of flour, 
and a large quantity of baggage were trophies of 
victory. One hundred of the enemy lay dead on 
the ground. The American loss, although not ex 
actly known, was said not to be more than 30 killed 
and 100 wounded; among the latter, Generals Ar 
nold and Lincoln, both in the leg, the former but 
slightly; it was problematical whether the latter was 
wounded by a British or American soldier. Gen. 
Frazer, an enterprising officer of the British, was 
mortally wounded, and died of his wounds. 

I5th. Intelligence was received, that a body of 
the British from New York, in about 30 transports, 


had proceeded up the Hudson; they had made sev 
eral landings below and at Peekskill: on Monday 
the 6th inst. they crossed over, and landed on the 
west side of the river, and marched along the hills 
towards Fort Montgomery and its dependencies: this 
fort was tolerably situated on the bank of the Hud 
son, to annoy shipping going up the river; and the 
works were pretty good on that side, but were not 
so, nor fully completed on the back side; and the 
right flank was commanded by higher ground on 
the south, and near the fort, on the other side of 
Pooplop s Creek, the mouth of which was near to 
the south side of the fort; on this higher ground, 
and near to the small deep pond, a strong redoubt, 
called Clinton, was erected; it was equally essential 
that this redoubt should be taken, as a reduction of 
the fort: the British therefore moved against this 
redoubt, while another column, by a more circuitous 
movement, fell in the rear of Fort Montgomery; 
they were met in the defiles, where the skirmishes 
were sharp; but they continued to advance to the 
redoubt, which was nobly defended, and before which 
they sustained very considerable loss, (a number of 
their slain were afterwards drawn out of the pond, 
where they had been thrown for concealment) but 
soon carried it, and afterwards Fort Montgomery. 
The garrison principally made their escape in the 
dusk of the evening; among them were Gov. Clinton, 
and his brother, who was a Brigadier-General also: 
they made their escape in a very hazardous manner, 
and the latter was wounded. After the reduction of 
Fort Montgomery, the Americans evacuated Fort 
Constitution, and the block-house on Constitution 
Island, opposite to West-Point (the latter was not 
yet fortified;) and the two new frigates, Congress and 
Montgomery, which lay in the river, were set on fire 

i 4 2 HEATH S MEMOIRS [OCT. i 777 

by the Americans and burnt. The enemy after 
wards proceeded up the river, and burnt Esopus; 
their object was if possible to form a junction with 
Burgoyne, or open a water communication to Albany; 
and spies passed between them. 

1 6th. Two or three of the enemy s cruisers ap 
peared in the bay, but a few leagues from the Light. 
While the British army lay encamped at German- 
town, Gen. Washington resolved to attack them. 
This was a brave design; and the success of the first 
onset, at about 3 o clock, A. M. of the 4th inst. after 
the Americans had marched all the night, was equal 
to the design; for the British, where the attack was 
first made, were almost instantly pushed from their 
ground, and were falling back panic struck on their 
other troops when Lieut. Col. Musgrove had the 
presence of mind to throw several companies into a 
strong stone house. Houses at all times, and es 
pecially those of stone and brick, under a judicious 
conduct, admit of a good defence; and at this time 
probably proved the means of the Americans losing 
an advantage, which no one can tell how far it might 
have been pushed. When an enemy is routed, and 
panic struck are flying before the assailants, the best, 
if not the only way, is to follow them, if the ground 
will admit of it, close at their heels, taking care not to 
fall into ambuscades. Thus the panic of fear con 
tinues to multiply; but if the pursuers stop, and es 
pecially if those who were flying hear a firing behind 
them, but not upon them, they conclude that their 
own troops in turn have gotten an advantage, or at 
least are holding their pursuers at bay. This im 
mediately recovers them from their panic, they will 
next return to the charge, and will be more likely to 
make an obstinate resistance than before they were 
at first routed; while their return to the charge will 



greatly damp those who before considered themselves 
almost in the grasp of victory. Hence what took 
place at Germantown was no wonder. The fog- 
giness of the morning was unfortunate for the Amer- 

O O 

icans; but the British taking possession of the stone 
house, and defending it, was the most unfortunate 
circumstance. The loss on both sides was consid 
erable; on the side of the Americans, Brig. Gen. Nash 
and on the side of the British, Brig. Gen. Agnew, 
were among the slain: but although this attempt was 
not crowned with victory, it caused the British to 
have a more reverential opinion of Gen. Washington, 
whom they now found dare to attack their whole 
army, even in a chosen position of their own. Per 
haps it was best that the action closed as it did; had 
the Americans made their way far into the long 
street of that town, probably many other houses 
would have been occupied in the same way. The 
burying-yard, with a strong wall, was lined with 
troops by the enemy; and the position in which their 
army lay was calculated for their wings closing in 
to much advantage; at any rate, the battle must 
have been very bloody, and situation and circum 
stances were in favour of the British. After the 
British were in possession of Philadelphia, they had 
much to do in order to get possession of the Dela 
ware, and remove the obstructions which had been 
formed in it. There were also several works to be 
reduced among others, a fort on Mud Island, and 
a pretty strong work at Red Bank. 

22d. Highly important and most interesting in 
telligence was received that on the I7th inst. Gen. 
Burgoyne and his whole army surrendered, under 
Convention. They were to be marched to the neigh 
bourhood of Boston, and from thence sent to Eng 
land. Upon the receipt of this news, the cannon on 

i 4 4 HEATH S MEMOIRS [OCT. i 777 

Fort Hill were discharged, and joy was seated on 
every brow. 

23d. At i o clock P.M. the cannon on Fort Hill, 
and on the heights of Dorchester were discharged, 
and also on board the ships in the harbour. In the 
evening, our General s quarters (the house of the 
late Hon. Mr. Russell) was beautifully illuminated. 
The following is the number of troops which sur 
rendered to Maj. Gen. Gates, and the state of Gen. 
Burgoyne s army after he left Canada: 

(Under the Convention.) 

British, 2,442 

Foreign, 2,198 

Canadians, &c. sent back to Canada, 1,100 

Staff, 12 

Prisoners taken at different times, 400 

Sick and wounded, 528 

Deserters, 300 

Lost at Bennington, 1,220 

Killed since the lyth of September, 600 

Killed and taken at Ticonderoga, 413 

Total, 9>2i3 

The brass ordnance taken were as follows: 2 
24-pounders; 4 12-pounders; 18 6-pounders; 4 
3-pounders; 2 8-inch mortars; 5 howitzers; total, 
35, exclusive of those taken at Bennington. 

Thus were the British totally disappointed in this 
quarter. The troops intended to form a junction 
on the Hudson were as high up as Poughkeepsie; 
and Gen. Burgoyne informed our General after he 
arrived at Boston that on the evening after he had 
proposed to Gen. Gates to surrender, in case he could 


obtain honourable terms, which were to be settled 
the next day, a spy came in to him from the troops 
down the river, stating how far they had got up, and 
what steps were next to be taken; on which he (Gen. 
Burgoyne) assembled his officers more generally than 
usual in councils, and stated to them the circum 
stances and situation of both armies, and whether, 
consistently with fair principles of honour, they could 
break off the negotiation for an honourable Con 
vention, or not; when it was the unanimous opinion 
of every officer present that they could not. But in 
a situation like his, at that moment, danger at hand 
is more powerful on the mind than the hope of relief 
at a distance. The troops who were up the river 
returned down. 

The capture of Gen. Burgoyne and his whole army, 
who were now on their way to Boston, opened a new, 
important, and delicate field for our General. This 
army, in which there were many officers of military 
erudition, and some of refined and courtly manners, 
who had a high opinion of national honour and 
prowess, and who, in consequence of the Convention 
which they had formed, had their spirits by no means 
depressed, as those who are compelled to surrender 
at discretion, were sure to lay a heavy task on his 
shoulders. As soon as he was notified that these 
troops were coming under his direction, he set him 
self in earnest to prepare for their reception. The 
barracks at Prospect and Winter Hills were directed 
to be put instantly in order. The Council was ap 
plied to, to aid in the procurement of quarters from 
the citizens for the officers; nor was this an easy task. 
The families of the citizens generally wanting the 
room in their respective houses, rendered it difficult 
to obtain so many quarters as were necessary for so 
great a number, and extended the limits of the parole 

146 HEATH S MEMOIRS [Nov.i 777 

very considerably. The Council were disposed to 
do every thing in their power, and gave orders ac 
cordingly whenever they were necessary. A heavy 
duty was also falling on the Quarter-Master s de 
partment, as it respected quarters, and also fuel, the 
latter of which had been rendered scarce in the vici 
nity by the American army having been here in 1775; 
and the enemy s cruisers prevented its being brought 
from the eastern country. But the exertions of Col. 
Chase, who was Deputy-Quarter-Master-General, 
and the assistants and conductors in his department, 
and of Col. Davis, who was Deputy-Barrack-Mas 
ter, and who, in the procurement of fuel was 
indefatigable, a comfortable supply was obtained. Be 
fore the arrival of the troops at Cambridge, our Gen 
eral had digested and drafted a parole, and several 
articles for the government of the troops in quarters; 
these he had drawn in as an article in the parole; and 
the honour of the officers in this way was pledged 
for their observance of the articles, which rendered 
the government of them much easier; being thus 
bound to govern themselves with propriety, or in 
fringe their paroles; knowing that many things in 
minutiae would be to settle, which would be tedious 
in an epistolary way. As soon as General Burgoyne 
had arrived at Cambridge, our General sent over one 
of his aide-de-camps to invite Gen. Burgoyne to dine 
with him the next day, bringing with him his two 
Major-Generals, Phillips and Reidesel. An elegant 
dinner was prepared, and many other gentlemen in 
vited, among whom were Generals Glover of Massa 
chusetts, and Whipple of New Hampshire, who were 
at the capture, and had commanded the escort, &c. 
from Saratoga to Cambridge. 

November 8th. Our General sent one of his Aides 
to accompany Gen. Burgoyne and the other officers 

NOV. i 777 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 147 

into Boston, by the way of Roxbury; they arrived 
some time before dinner, as was intended, that busi 
ness might be considered. The parole was shewn to 
them, and the articles for their government in quar 
ters, with which they were well pleased. But here 
a discovery was first made of something which they 
wished to retain while in our country, and which 
our General would never for a moment allow. Gen. 
Phillips, turning to our General, observed, "Sir, you 
well know the disposition of soldiers, and that they 
will more or less in all armies commit some disor 
ders; suppose you should delegate to Gen. Burgoyne 
the power of seeing your orders executed." Our 
General replied that he knew the disposition of sol 
diers, and also the necessity of order and discipline; 
that he was not only willing, but expected that Gen. 
Burgoyne, and every other officer, would exert them 
selves to keep order; that for this purpose among 
themselves, and for internal order and obedience, he 
might command and punish as might appear to be 
necessary; but in no case to attempt capital pun 
ishment. But as to the exercise of his own command, 
and enforcement of his own orders when necessary, 
was a jurisdiction which Gen. Burgoyne must not 
expect to exercise while here. Gen. Burgoyne 
smiled, and Gen. Phillips turned it off by saying, "I 
only meant it for your easement, Sir." 

Before dinner was done, so great was the curiosity 
of the citizens of both sexes, and of all ages and de 
scriptions, to get a peep at Gen. Burgoyne that the 
streets were filled, the doors, windows, the tops of 
the houses and fences crowded. Gen. Burgoyne had 
asked our General if he would indulge him to go out 
of town by the way of Charlestown, which was in 
stantly granted. When he was ready to depart, our 
General told him that he should accompany him to 

148 HEATH S MEMOIRS [NOV. i 777 

the ferry; and a procession was formed, the American 
gentlemen mixing with the British. The streets were 
so crowded that it was difficult getting along; but not 
a word or a gesture that was disrespectful. When 
arrived opposite to the Province House, Gen. Bur- 
goyne turned round to the other Generals, and 
observed, "There is the former residence of the Gov 
ernor; * when some person on the side of the street, 
and in a tone fully to be heard, added, "and on the 
other side is the riding-school ;" alluding to the Old 
South Meeting-House having been put to that use 
in 1775: but the General, who must have heard it, 
made no reply, but soon after observed, "Sir, I am 
astonished at the civility of your people; for were you 
walking the streets of London in my situation, you 
would not escape insult." When arrived at the 
ferry-ways, the crowd were down to the water s edge; 
but when the boat put off, there was not the least 

indecency, or wry countenance discovered. O my 

dear countrymen! how did this your dignified con 
duct at that moment charm my very soul! Such 
conduct flows from a greatness of mind that goes to 
conquer a world. 

Col. Keith was appointed Deputy-Adjutant-Gen 
eral, and Maj. Swasey Town-Major. 

I4th. The Council were still deliberating on the 
subject of quarters, and determined to do every thing 
in their power; but some individuals were refractory. 

igth. Gen. Hancock arrived in town, and was 
saluted by the discharge of the cannon of the Fort, 
Park, &c. 

22d. Intelligence was received of the repulse of 
the enemy, before the redoubt at Red Bank, on the 
22d ult. This redoubt or fort had a garrison by no 
means sufficient properly to man the whole work. 
The commanding officer had therefore wisely les- 


sened it, by running a parapet with a ditch across the 
area of the fort, but had left the work entire in its 
largest extent. A body of chosen troops were sent 
to reduce this work under the command of the Hes 
sian Col. Donop, a brave and good officer. In order 
if possible to get some idea of the work, he sent his 
summons for the fort to surrender by a very capable 
adjutant; but the commandant of the fort took care 
to have him stopped without the work, and where he 
had no opportunity to see more than the ditch and 
parapet on that side. The commanding officer re 
fusing to surrender, an assault was made; the as 
sailants at the head of the column bringing in their 
hands a sufficient number of short fascines to fill the 
ditch where they meant to pass, which was well done, 
and the parapet was mounted; but to their disap 
pointment and surprise, they now found there was 
another ditch and parapet to pass, and in the face 
of a dreadful fire, too, which made great slaughter; 
a number of them, however, advanced into the second 
ditch, and began to remove the frizes on the berme, 
but these were generally killed in the ditch, and such 
as were not killed or wounded obliged to quit the 
outer work. Their loss in killed and wounded was 
great; among the latter, Col. Donop mortally; he 
was taken after the action near the fort, and brought 
in. An ensign had made his way over the second 
ditch, had got on to the frizes, and lay close against 
the base of the parapet until the action was over, 
and then got up and surrendered, observing that he 
thought his position the only safe one; for had 
he attempted to put his head above the parapet he 
knew his brains would have been instantly blown 
out; or if he had attempted to re-cross the ditch, he 
should have been shot in the back. Besides this 
severe check, the British met with considerable op- 

i 5 o HEATH S MEMOIRS [NOV. i 777 

position and loss at other places, before they got full 
and peaceable possession of the river; particularly at 
Mud Island. They lost the Augusta man-of-war, 
and suffered other naval damage. 

Gen. Washington being now considerably rein 
forced with a part of the northern conquering army, 
advanced to White Marsh, about 14 miles from Phil 
adelphia, where he encamped in a strong and well 
chosen position. Gen. Howe, apprehensive that this 
movement indicated a design upon Philadelphia, 
determined to move out, and either invite Gen. Wash 
ington to a general action, or, if he found him vulner 
able, to attack him in his own position. Accord 
ingly, on the evening of the 4th of December, he 
marched with the British army, and on the next 
morning took post on Chestnut Hill, in front of the 
American right. Gen. Washington, knowing the 
goodness of his position, wisely continued in it nor 
dare Gen. Howe attack him. The latter then 
changed his ground to a new position, opposite to 
the American left and centre; but neither dare he 
attack either of these. Several skirmishes took place, 
as is usual in such cases; in one of which Brig. Gen. 
Irwin on the American side was wounded. After 
several days spent in this way, Howe was obliged to 
return, without effecting any thing, to the no small 
injury of his army, who had suffered much from the 
inclemency of the season. Indeed nothing is more 
destructive to an army than winter campaigns. After 
this, Gen. Washington moved the American army to 
Valley Forge, on the Schuylkill, about 16 miles from 
Philadelphia, where he took a position as wisely 
chosen as the other, and where the army erected huts 
for the winter. 

We now return to take up our chain of events. 


23d. A French ship, with dry goods from France, 
by the way of St. Peters, arrived at Boston. 

Gen. Burgoyne had not yet signed the parole; he 
pretended to delay until their quarters were fully 
furnished, although he had every assurance that it 
should be done as fast as circumstances would pos 
sibly admit. On this day, therefore, our General 
wrote him the following letter: 

HEAD-QUARTERS, BOSTON, Nov. 23, 1777. 

"TWO weeks have now elapsed since I had fully 
expected that the officers would have signed their 
paroles. They have, during this time, been enjoying 
in a great measure the liberty of the limits intended 
to be assigned to them, without pledging their hon 
our by parole; which is not only contrary to the es 
tablished custom of nations, but contrary to the 
eleventh article of the Convention. Whatever ob 
jections might at first be made to giving the parole, 
must now be done away, by the fullest evidence that 
proper quarters shall be provided, and which in a 
very considerable degree is already done. I must 
therefore, in the most explicit terms, insist that the 
officers who wish and expect to be permitted on pa 
role, agreeably to the Convention, do sign it to-mor 
row. This is so reasonable, that I expect there will 
be no further hesitancy; and I still assure your Excel 
lency, that no endeavours of mine shall be wanting 
to fulfil the Convention, and to treat the officers with 
politeness and generosity. 
I am, &c. 


To Lieut. Gen. BURGOYNE. " 

25th. Gen. Burgoyne and the other officers of 
the Convention signed their parole. 

152" HEATH S MEMOIRS [Nov. i 777 

Congress before this, viz. on the 8th instant, passed 
the following resolve: 

In Congress, Nov. 8, 1777. 

"Resolved, That Maj. Gen. Heath be directed 
forthwith to cause to be taken down the name and 
rank of every commissioned officer, and the name, 
former place of abode and occupation, size, age, and 
description of every non-commissioned officer and 
private soldier, and all other persons comprehended 
in the Convention made between Lieut. Gen. Bur- 
goyne and Maj. Gen. Gates, on the i6th day of Oc 
tober, 1777, and transmit an authentic copy thereof 
to the Board of War, in order that if any officer or 
soldier, or other person as above mentioned, of the 
said army, shall hereafter be found in arms against 
these States in North America, during the present 
contest, he may be convicted of the offence, and 
suffer the punishment in such case inflicted by the 
law of nations. 

"That Maj. Gen. Heath be directed to take the 
parole in writing of the officers, according to the 
Convention, and transmit authenticated copies of 
such paroles to the Board of War." 

Extract from the Minutes, 
(Signed) CHARLES THOMSON, Sec y.* 

Upon the foregoing being communicated to Gen. 
Burgoyne, and he called upon to have the said de 
scriptive lists made out accordingly, he wrote our 
General the following letter: 

CAMBRIDGE, Nov. 20, 1777. 

"I RECEIVED a paper, dated Head-Quarters, 
Boston, Nov. 2Oth, purporting to be founded upon 
* See Appendix XVII. 


express orders from the Honourable Continental Con 
gress, which paper I return as inadmissible, because 
extending to matters in which the Congress have no 
right of interference. 

"A list of the names and rank of every commis 
sioned officer, and the numbers of the non-commis 
sioned officers and soldiers, may be necessary to you, 
Sir, for the purpose of fulfilling the Convention, in 
quartering officers, and the regular delivery of pro 
visions, fuel, &c. Such lists shall be prepared at 
your request; but before any other lists can be 
granted, I must be assured of the purposes for which 
they are intended, and the word order must neither be 
mentioned nor implied. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 
(Signed) J. BURGOYNE, Lieut. Gen. 
To Maj. Gen. HEATH." 

To the foregoing, our General wrote an answer 
as follows: 

HEAD-QUARTERS, BOSTON, Nov. 21, 1777. 

" YOURS of yesterday is before me; and although 
you might at first imagine that the Hon. Continental 
Congress have no right of interference in matters of 
the Convention, yet I conclude upon further reflec 
tion you must be convinced, that as that body are the 
Representatives of that people who are to reap the 
advantages or disadvantages of the Convention, and 
as all Continental officers are acting by virtue of their 
authority, and under their direction, they assuredly 
have a right of interference, and to give such orders 
to their officers as they may think proper, for the full 
completion of the Convention, and for the safety and 
good of the people. 


"The paragraph of my orders of the 2Oth inst. 
respecting the troops of the Convention is founded 
in reason and justice, being designed only to ascer 
tain the officers and soldiers who were comprehended 
in the Convention, that in case any of them (con 
trary to their faith and honour) should hereafter be 
found in arms against these States, in North Amer 
ica, during the present contest, they may be convicted 
of the offence, and suffer the punishment in such case 
inflicted by the law of nations. I must therefore 
insist that you furnish me with proper lists of names, 
and descriptions, for the purpose before mentioned 
as soon as may be. 

"The other lists of the names and rank of the 
commissioned officers, and number of non-commis 
sioned officers and soldiers, so essentially necessary 
for the several purposes of regularity with quarter 
masters and commissaries (and which should be fre 
quently renewed, as circumstances may vary) should 
long ere this have been exhibited. Some days since, 
I directed my Deputy-Adjutant-General to call for 
them; and I expect they will be sent in without delay, 
for the purposes above mentioned. 

"I shall at all times endeavour to found my orders 
on the principles of honour, reason and justice, and 
not to infringe those delicate principles in others; 
but my orders for the purposes of order and regu 
larity must be obeyed by every man and all bodies 
of men placed under my direction; and fully deter 
mined I am, that offenders shall not pass with 

I am, &c. 
(Signed) W. HEATH, Maj. Gen. 

Lieut. Gen. BURGOYNE." 

23d. Gen. Burgoyne wrote an answer to the fore- 

Nov. I777 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 155 

going. But he now acknowledged a further extent 
of the supreme power, than in his former letter; but 
still at least obliquely denied the right of their inter 
ference with the Convention troops, who were under 
express stipulations until they quitted the country, 
and that no new conditions could be imposed upon 
them; and asserting that no such requisitions were 
laid upon the American prisoners in Canada; and 
concluding, that if it could be found that such had 
been required by the British in any case, he would 
submit to it. About this time, an officer, who had 
been a prisoner in Canada, returned to Boston on 
parole, and gave information that he and others had 
complied with similar injunctions before they came 
away; upon this being communicated to Gen. Bur- 
goyne, he found that he had got to the end of his 
tether of evasion; he did not attempt to dispute more, 
but observed, that he supposed if it was done any 
time before the troops departed, it would answer the 
purpose. Our General found that nothing could be 
done by force, for were he to attempt of himself to 
have the lists taken, every thing might be evaded 
except the size and complexion. He therefore laid 
the matter before Congress, with the copies of what 
had passed. Congress took the matter into consid 
eration, and President Laurens wrote our General 
an approbation of his conduct, and not to push the 
matter, as Congress would take a more extensive view 
of the business; concluding his letter, "I have in con 
clusion to assure you, Sir, that Congress repose the 
"utmost confidence in your address and abilities for 
"conducting with propriety this important business, 
"in which, on one side, the faith and honour of these 
"infant States are to be preserved, and on the other, 
"the magnanimity and resolution of Congress to be 

156 HEATH S MEMOIRS [JAN. i 77 8 

December. Congress had received some intima 
tions that an application would be made to them 
for leave for the troops of the Convention to embark 
at some other place than Boston; they therefore on 
the ist of December passed a resolution that no 
other place than that stipulated in the Convention, 
viz. Boston, should be admitted. A few days after, 
Gen. Burgoyne applied, as was suspected, but to no 

Congress also passed resolutions that all the as 
sistance of provisions and other necessaries furnished 
to the troops of the Convention should be paid for 
in specie, or replaced in quantity and quality. 

1778. January. Gen. Burgoyne had now got 
himself into a very serious entanglement; he had not 
only refused, and then delayed to give descriptive 
lists of the troops of the Convention, but some time 
before, viz. in the month of November, had written 
a letter to Gen. Gates complaining that the troops 
had not been furnished with quarters as they had a 
right to expect, and among other things a paragraph 
as follows: 

"While I state to you, Sir, this very unexpected 
treatment, I entirely acquit Maj. Gen. Heath and 
every gentleman of the military department of any 
inattention to the public faith engaged in the Con 
vention. They do what they can; but while the 
Supreme Powers of the State are unable or unwil 
ling to enforce their authority, and the inhabitants 
want the hospitality, or indeed the common civiliza 
tion to assist us without it, the public faith is broke, 
and we are the immediate sufferers." 

This was unreasonable, as it respected both the 
civil power, and the people; for the former did every 
thing in their power, unless they had turned the 
citizens out of their houses to have let the Conven- 

jAN.i 77 8] HEATH S MEMOIRS 157 

tion officers in, which was not to be expected; nor 
could it be supposed that the citizens would turn 
their families themselves into the streets. But Con 
gress considered the conduct of Gen. Burgoyne, and 
these and other of his expressions on the occasion, 
as calling for serious consideration. They therefore 
investigated the whole in all its latitudes; and the 
President of Congress wrote our General that as it 
was a matter of high importance, and required deep 
deliberation, it would probably occupy some days 
before the resolutions would be completed. But that 
in case the fleet arrived before the papers were sent 
to him, to forbid the embarkation. 

Gen. Burgoyne had received intimations that a 
fleet of transports were about to come round for the 
troops, and that the Juno frigate was to wear a flag 
for his particular accommodation. This he men 
tioned to our General, and wished to know if the 
frigate might come up into the harbour. Our Gen 
eral had no apprehensions of any danger from a 
frigate entering the harbour, but apprehended that 
some people might think that he was not sufficiently 
vigilant, in case he allowed it. He therefore told 
Gen. Burgoyne that the frigate could not come up 
into the harbour, and hinted to him the taking one 
of the most convenient transports in the fleet for the 
purpose; and he might do as he pleased when he got 
off. This touched Gen. Burgoyne exceedingly, who 
wrote a letter to our General, in which was the fol 
lowing paragraph: 

"As to your allotment of a convenient transport* 
for my passage, if it was from yourself, I am to 
thank you Sir, for a sort of insult which the most 
haughty man of office would be ashamed of in any 
other country. However, as I am determined every 

158 HEATH S MEMOIRS QAN. i 77 8 

transaction concerning this Convention shall be no 
torious, and beyond the powers of subterfuge to ex 
plain away, I have directed the frigate together with 
the transports to come round, and it will then be for 
you, Sir, to prohibit the entry of Boston harbour to 
any ships bearing a flag of truce, and declaring they 
are sent for the express purpose of conveying to 
Great Britain any part of the troops of the Conven 

(Signed) J. BURGOYNE. 

Maj. Gen. HEATH." 

To which our General wrote the following an 



"YOUR Excellency s favour of yesterday came 
duly to hand; and I must confess I was not a little 
surprised at some expressions in it. 

"As by the Convention, transports only are stip 
ulated to receive the troops, I submit to you, Sir, 
whether a hint (if you were even sure that it came 
from myself) that you should take a convenient one, 
rather than introduce a frigate, which is neither ex 
pressed or implied in the Convention, merits those 
epithets which you are pleased to bestow on me. 

"I have ever aimed to treat you with politeness; 
and the plighted faith and honour of my country re 
quire me to pay strict attention to the Convention on 
their part: of course, when transports arrive to re 
ceive the troops, they will enter the harbour; and if 
you can find by the Convention that a frigate is to 
enter for the particular reception of yourself, she will 
not be prohibited. But if it is rather uncommon 
for ships of war to bear flags of truce, and if con- 

JAN. i 77 8] HEATH S MEMOIRS 159 

senting to it in the present case should appear to be 
rather an act of politeness and generosity than other 
wise, I leave you to your own reflections whether you 
have made choice of the most happy expressions to 
obtain it. 

(Signed) W. HEATH. 

Lieut. Gen. BURGOYNE." 

Gen. Burgoyne somehow communicated to Vis 
count Howe the subject of the frigate, who wrote 
Gen. Burgoyne the following letter some time after, 
but before the transports came round: 

EAGLE, RHODE ISLAND, Feb. 3, 1778. 

"I AM much concerned to find by your letter, I 
had the honour to receive from you, on the return 
of Capt. Piper, that you have suffered so greatly in 
your health. But I hope that a speedy removal to 
a milder climate will contribute to your effectual 

"The transports have only been delayed to take 
the precautions necessary for their safe passage at 
this season of the year. As it is not to be expected 
that the frigate ordered for your reception, though 
carrying a flag of truce, and restricted from every 
act of hostility in consequence, whilst attending this 
service, should be admitted within the port of Bos 
ton, the commander, Capt. Jacobs, will be to land 
a letter under the same sanction, for giving you notice 
of his arrival off the entrance of the port. He will 
wait to be favoured in your answer with notice of 
the time you may expect to embark, on which oc 
casion, I trust you will find every facility that your 
impaired state of health may require. 

(Signed) HOWE." 


Thus did the Admiral s opinion perfectly coincide 
with that of our General s. 

But Congress had passed a resolution, on the 8th 
day of January, upon principles clearly expressed in 
a report of a committee, upon which the resolution 
was founded: 

"That the embarkation of Lieut. Gen. Burgoyne, 
and the troops under his command, be suspended 
till a distinct and explicit ratification of the Conven 
tion of Saratoga shall be properly notified by the 
Court of Great Britain, to Congress." 

Our General s correspondence with Gen. Bur 
goyne, respecting the frigate, &c. was transmitted to 
Congress, and the President soon after wrote him: 

"The House appeared to be pleased with your 
conduct in every respect relative to that officer." 

Gen. Burgoyne applied to Congress for leave to 
go to Europe himself; but Congress did not then 
think proper to grant his request. Although this 
denial must have been very painful to the General, 
he did not express himself, or write any thing in the 
least improper. He observed to our General that 
he was sorry; for that not only his health urged his 
departure, but that every day he was detained here, 
gave his enemies at home an opportunity for pierc 
ing the wound of his reputation the deeper. 

But Col. Kingston was not so prudent as the Gen 
eral: a packet of letters which Gen. Burgoyne wished 
to send to Gen. Howe was sent to our General for 
inspection; among these was one from Col. Kingston 
to Lord Harcourt, in which, after observing that 
fortune had not shewn them the smooth side of her 
face, yet they thought their misfortunes honourable, 
proceeded, that he, (Gen. Burgoyne) was not well, 
but you know his firmness. But I think, "the in 
sincerity of France, bigotry of Spain, or the vindic- 

jAN.i 77 8] HEATH S MEMOIRS 161 

tive Portuguese, situated as he is, would not have 
sought for means unnecessarily to detain him." This 
insult to the authority of the country induced our 
General to detain this letter, and he notified Gen. 
Burgoyne of it, adding, that while it was his wish to 
gratify the officers as much as possible in writing to 
their friends, he expected they would be cautious 
and prudent in their manner of expression. When 
the American Deputy-Adjutant-General gave the 
letter from our General to Gen. Burgoyne, and he 
had read it, he observed, " I told Col. Kingston that 
Gen. Heath would not let that letter pass;" he should 
have done more forbid his making the attempt. 

Another serious matter took place about this time: 
Col. Henley, who had the immediate command at 
Cambridge, a brave and good officer, but warm and 
quick in his natural temper, having ordered some 
prisoners who were under guard turned out, that he 
might examine them, one of them treated him, as he 
judged, with much insolence; upon which he pricked 
him with a sword, or bayonet. Gen. Burgoyne im 
mediately presented a complaint against Col. Henley, 
charging him with barbarous and wanton conduct, 
and intentional murder, as appears in the following 

CAMBRIDGE, Jan. gtb, 1778. 

"A REPORT has been made to me of a disturb 
ance that happened at the barracks on Wednesday 
afternoon, for which I am much concerned; and 
though the provocations from your people, which 
originally occasioned it, were of the most atrocious 
nature, I was willing the offender on our part should 
be properly punished. But Col. Henley, not con 
tent with that, made prisoners of eighteen innocent 
men, and sent them on board a guard-ship, as alleged 

162 HEATHS MEMOIRS [JAN. i 77 8 

by your order. It is not only a duty to my situation 
to demand the immediate discharge of these men, 
together with a satisfactory apology; but I also mean 
it as an attention to you, Sir, that I give you an im 
mediate opportunity to disavow so unjustifiable a 
proceeding, as committing men to the worst of pris 
ons upon vague report, caprice and passion. 

"Insults and provocations, at which the most 
placid dispositions would revolt, are daily given to 
the officers and soldiers of this army. Regular, de 
cent complaints are received by your officers, some 
times with haughtiness, sometimes with derision, but 
always without redress. These evils flow, Sir, from 
the general tenor of language and conduct held by 
Col. Henley, which encourages his inferiors, and 
seems calculated to excite the most bloody purposes. 

"For want of sufficient information, and not 
bringing myself to believe it possible that facts as re 
lated by common report could be true, I have hith 
erto declined taking public notice of this man; but 
upon positive grounds, I now and hereby formally 
accuse Col. Henley of behaviour heinously criminal 
as an officer, and unbecoming a man; of the most 
indecent, violent, vindictive severity against unarmed 
men; and of intentional murder. I demand prompt 
and satisfactory justice, and will not doubt your 
readiness to give it. Whenever you will inform me 
that a proper tribunal is appointed, I will take care 
that undeniable evidence shall be produced to sup 
port these charges. 

I am, &c. 
(Signed) J. BURGOYNE." 

To which our General returned the following an 

jAN.i 77 8] HEATH S MEMOIRS 163 


Jan. iQthy 1778. 

"YOURS, of yesterday s date, I received the last 
evening. What provocations you allude to, as having 
been offered by my troops, I am at loss to determine. 
The insults and abuses which they have received, I 
will venture to say, unless I have been most grossly 
misinformed, are unparalleled; and whether you are 
willing, or unwilling, Sir, offenders shall no longer 
pass with impunity. 

" If it can be made to appear that any of those 
soldiers sent to the guard-ship by my orders are in 
nocent, they shall be released from their confine 
ment: but with respect to such as have been guilty 
of violating my standing orders of the garrison, in 
stead of disavowing or making any apology for the 
confinement of such, be assured that I do most ex 
plicitly avow it. And as I have before observed to 
your Excellency in a former letter, of which you may 
be assured, I shall at all times endeavour to found 
my orders on the principles of honour, reason and 
justice, and not to infringe those delicate principles 
in others: so also be assured, Sir, that such my orders 
shall be obeyed by every officer and soldier placed 
under my direction; and such as have the hardiness 
to transgress them, shall abide the consequences. 

"I have been informed of late, that some have 
hinted, that such of your troops as break my orders, 
ought to be tried and punished by your orders. 
Even the mention of such a thing, I conceive to be 
(to use your own words in a late letter, with a little 
variation) a sort of insult, that a man of military 
erudition in any country would be ashamed of, as 
being repugnant to every idea of military discipline; 

164 HEATH S MEMOIRS QAN. i 77 8 

and from my opinion of your military knowledge, I 
cannot admit that you ever hinted it. 

"To convince you that it is my fixed determina 
tion to inquire into all abuses, whether committed 
by my own troops, or those of the Convention, whilst 
they remain within my department, I have ordered 
Col. Henley under arrest, and appointed a Court of 
Inquiry, whereof Brig. Gen. Glover is President, to 
examine into the grounds of your complaint, on 
Wednesday next, at 10 o clock, A. M. at Cambridge; 
and if any complaints have heretofore passed unre- 
dressed it is because they have not been laid before 
me. You hinted to me, when I had the pleasure of 
seeing you last at Cambridge, that one of my officers 
had been enticing some of the troops of the Con 
vention to enter our service. I then informed you 
that if you would send the complaint, I would im 
mediately bring the officer to trial. You promised 
to do it, but I have not yet received it. I now call 
upon you to exhibit that charge, or any other, that 
you have to make against any officer under my com 
mand, for practices of that kind, or any other; being 
with yourself fully determined that all my conduct 
respecting the Convention shall be notorious, and 
beyond the powers of subterfuge to explain away. 
Complaints of most enormous abuses have lately 
been made to me; one, of the conduct of a number 
of officers on the evening or night of the 25th of 
December, at Bradish s Tavern; others, of prisoners 
being rescued from the guards sentinels abused 
and insulted on their posts passes counterfeited, 
and others filled up in the most affrontive manner; 
and of late, several highway robberies committed in 
the environs of the garrison one the last evening, 
in which a gentleman was robbed of between 7 and 
800 dollars, and a watch. The robberies I do not 

jAN.i 77 8] HEATH S MEMOIRS 165 

charge to your people, as it is unknown who were 
the perpetrators; but there are several reasons to 
suspect it. All these, Sir, tend not only to exas 
perate the troops, but to enrage the inhabitants of 
the country, who view such abuses as unsufferable. 
I therefore call upon you to exert your endeavours 
to suppress all abuses, as far as is in your power. 

I am, &c. 

(Signed) W. HEATH. 

Lieut. Gen. BURGOYNE." 

Col. Henley was ordered under arrest, and Col. 
Lee to take the command at Cambridge; and the 
general order of the roth of January announced 

"Lieut. Gen. Burgoyne having entered a com 
plaint against Col. Henley, charging him with gross 
misconduct while in command at Cambridge; the 
honour of the United States, and the justice due to 
an officer of Col. Henley s character, demand a pub 
lic inquiry: for which purpose a Court of Inquiry 
is to sit at Cambridge on Wednesday next, at 10 
o clock in the morning, at such place as the Presi 
dent shall appoint." 

Brigadier-General GLOVER, President. 
Col. M. Jackson, 
Col. Nixon, 
Col. Lee, 
Col. H. Jackson, 

All persons concerned, to attend the Court." 

Gen. Burgoyne found fault that a Court of Inquiry 
only was appointed, and not a Court Martial. He 
was answered that this was frequently the case; 
that it did not preclude the latter; and where an 
officer of rank, and in particular one who had the 
immediate command was the object, this previous 
step was both justifiable and proper. The Court of 



Inquiry met, and gave in their opinion; and in the 
general orders of January i8th, the following was 

"The Court, whereof Brig. Gen. Glover was Pres 
ident, appointed by the orders of the loth inst. to 
inquire into the grounds of a complaint exhibited by 
Lieut. Gen. Burgoyne against Col. Henley, late com 
manding officer of the American troops at Cambridge 
after mature consideration, are of opinion that 
from the evidence offered on the side of Gen. Bur 
goyne against Col. Henley, it will be most for the 
honour of Col. Henley, as well as for the satisfaction 
of all concerned, that the judgment of a Court Mar 
tial should be taken on his conduct, during his com 
mand at Cambridge. 

"The General, approving the opinion of the Court, 
orders that a special general court martial sit on 
Tuesday next, at 10 o clock A. M. at the courthouse 
in Cambridge, for the trial of Col. David Henley, 
late commanding officer at that post, accused by 
Lieut. Gen. Burgoyne, of a general tenor of language 
and conduct heinously criminal as an officer, and 
unbecoming a man; of the most indecent, violent, 
vindictive severity against unarmed men, and of in 
tentional murder. 

Brigadier-General GLOVER, President. 
Col. Wesson, Lieut. Col. Popkin, 

Col. M. Jackson, Maj. Curtis, 
Col. Lee, Capt. Randall, 

Col. H. Jackson, Capt. Langdon, 
Lieut. Col. Colman, Capt. Sewall, 
Lieut. Col. Badlam, Capt. Hastings, 
Lieut. Col. Tudor is desired to act as Judge-Ad 
vocate. All evidences and persons concerned to 
attend the Court." 

The Court met, and adjourned several times, 

FEB.i 77 8] HEATH S MEMOIRS 167 

through a long, particular, and tedious trial. Gen. 
Burgoyne attended, and in a very engaged and elo 
quent manner said every thing which he judged 
proper; which, although novel in courts martial, was 
yet permitted. 

The general orders of the 27th of February an 
nounced as follows: 

" Col. David Henley, late commanding officer of the 
post at Cambridge, tried at the special general court 
martial, whereof Brig. Gen. Glover was President, 
accused by Lieut. Gen. Burgoyne, of a general tenor 
of language and conduct heinously criminal as an 
officer, and unbecoming a man; of the most inde 
cent, violent, vindictive severity against unarmed 
men, and of intentional murder 

"The Court, after mature consideration, are of 
opinion, that the charge against Col. Henley is not 
supported, and that he be discharged from his arrest. 

"The General approves the opinion of the Court; 
thanks them for their unwearied endeavours to in 
vestigate the truth; and orders Col. Henley to re- 
assume his command at Cambridge immediately. 

"The General thinks it to be his duty on this oc 
casion to observe, that although the conduct of Lieut. 
Gen. Burgoyne, (as prosecutor against Col. Henley) 
in the course of the foregoing trial, in his several 
speeches and pleas, may be warranted by some like 
precedents in British courts martial, yet as it is 
altogether novel in the proceedings of any general 
court martial in the army of the United States of 
America, whose rules and articles of war direct that 
the Judge-Advocate-General shall prosecute in the 
name of the United States; and as a different prac 
tice tends to render courts martial both tedious and 
expensive he does protest against this instance ^e 
drawn into precedent in future." 


yth. A British soldier at Cambridge stabbed one 
of the American guard. 

1 8th. Intelligence was received from Gov. Cook 
that three frigates and twenty-three sail of transports 
sailed from Newport, on Sunday the I5th instant, 
standing to the northeast. Our General received a 
letter from the President of Congress, in which he 
observed, "I had the honour of receiving, by Mr. 
Closki, the 5th instant, your favour of the loth ult. 
including a late correspondence with Lieut. Gen. 
Burgoyne; these were immediately reported to Con 
gress, and transmitted to the Board of War, from 
whence a report has not yet ascended; therefore I 
have no particular commands relative to your said 
dispatch. I may, however, with propriety and pleas 
ure intimate, that your conduct towards the British 
General and his dependents, receives the continued 
approbation of Congress, if I may be permitted to 
make this conclusion from the general sentiments of 

23d. Just before noon, Gen. Lincoln arrived in 
Boston from Albany; his leg was recovering fast, but 
he was still very lame, and was conveyed from place 
to place on a moveable bed, with handles, which 
was fixed on the runners of his sleigh, with a canopy 
and curtains, and was convenient also to remove into 
the house, &c. In this was blended ingenuity and 

28th. Intelligence was received that the British 
transports, destined to take away the troops of the 
Convention, had arrived at Holmes s Hole; and the 
next day, March ist, that they had arrived at Cape 
Harbour, Provincetown, Cape Cod. But Gen. 
Buxgoyne was not now to depart. 

l&arch 8th. A cartel arrived from Cape Cod, 
with the following letter to Gen. Burgoyne: 


JUNO, CAPE COD HARBOUR, 4th March, 1778. 

" I TAKE the earliest opportunity, by Lieut. Car 
ter, in the Haarlem cartel, to inform you of the ar 
rival of the transports under my charge, and that I 
am appointed by the Viscount Howe to receive you 
and your suit on board the Juno, under my com 
mand, for your conveyance to England, when you 
shall be at liberty to embark separately, or together 
with the troops, as you will let me know in return 
to be your intention. And I am to acquaint you 
that I will move the Juno to Nantasket Road, for 
facilitating your embarkation, if you will please to 
inform me of your having negotiated an agreement 
to such effect, upon faith duly pledged, that no in 
sult shall be offered in the mean time to any of the 
ships of war, or other ships and vessels, appointed for 
fulfilling the purpose of the Convention, and dis 
tinguished by flags of truce, in testimony of the re 
striction they are under from committing any acts of 
hostility. You are otherwise to take your passage in 
the Haarlem, in order to your being received on 
board the Juno, in Cape Cod harbour. 

"Inclosed is a list of the transports, with their 
tonnage, that you may be able to settle the proper 
arrangement of the troops destined for Europe; for 
every thing else I refer you to our meeting on board 
the Juno, where I have a number of private letters 
for you, Gen. Phillips, and Col. Kingston, and a 
large box of letters for the army. 

I am, &c. 

Lieut. Gen. BURGOYNE." 

Gen. Burgoyne having written an answer to Capt. 
Dalrymple, and submitted it for inspection, requested 

1 70 HEATH S MEMOIRS [MARCH, i 77 8 

our General to send it down by the cartel; which he 
did under the following cover: 

HEAD-QUARTERS, BOSTON, March 10, 1778. 

"INCLOSED are sundry letters from Lieut. Gen. 
Burgoyne, by which you will learn his present sit 

"Although I wish on every occasion to extend the 
utmost generosity to the gentlemen of the army, yet 
to allow letters to pass unopened would be betraying 
the trust reposed in me. Therefore any idea of 
granting such an indulgence cannot be admitted. 

" If any advantage in the economy of expense to 
the government of Great Britain may be derived 
from landing any overplus of provisions from the 
fleet, for the use of the troops of the Convention, I 
have not the least objection to it; but wish you would 
ascertain the matter as soon as possible. 

" I rest assured, that whilst your vessels enjoy per 
fect security under the sanction of their flags, not 
the least molestation or inconvenience will happen 
to any of our vessels or inhabitants. 

" I do myself the pleasure to send down to the flag 
a turkey, sent here by Gen. Burgoyne. 

I am, &c. 
(Signed) W. HEATH. 


Many people having grown jealous that the troops 
of the Convention had collected and secreted arms 
in the barracks, they could not be quieted until the 
matter was ascertained; and on the i8th, our Gen 
eral ordered a strict search to be made, when nothing 
was found but the officer s fuzees, to which by the 
Convention they had a right. A wag, coming from 


the barracks, was asked if any thing was found; he 
answered, "Yes in one of the rooms a large brass 
mortar." This spread, and was alarming to be sure. 
The fact was that in one of the rooms there was a 
large bell-metal pestle and mortar, for family use. 
Jealousy, like the other passions, although a virtue 
in itself, may exceed its bounds; and when it does, 
"trifles, light as air, to jealous minds are strong as 
proofs of holy writ." 

Capt. Dalrymple wrote to Gen. Burgoyne again, 
on the I5th, and proposed to put the spare provi 
sions on board one of the flags, and send them up 
to Boston harbour. 

But on the 23d, Capt. Brathwait of the Centurion 
wrote the General that he had arrived at Cape Cod, 
with orders from Viscount Howe for the men-of-war 
and transports with the provisions on board them to 
return to Rhode Island, which they did accordingly. 

7th. General Lincoln left Boston for Hingham; 
our General accompanied him as far as Milton. 

1 2th Intelligence was received that a 40 gun ship 
had arrived at New London, laden with clothing 
for the United States. 

1 8th. A detachment of Col. Henley s regiment 
marched out of Boston for the army. 

iQth. General Burgoyne having again applied to 
Congress for leave to go to England himself, they 
now gave him liberty. This was joyous to the Gen 
eral, and he wrote our General that he had assured 
himself that there would be nothing thrown in the 
way on his part, and wished for his passports. The 
President of Congress, in his letter to our General, 
by the same express, informed him that it was late 
in the evening when the resolve, granting Gen. Bur 
goyne leave to depart, passed, and nothing was said 
respecting the settlement of the accounts before his 


departure; but that it was fully his opinion that the 
former resolve should be strictly observed; for Con 
gress had before resolved that neither he nor the 
troops of the Convention should depart before the 
accounts were settled and paid. Our General, there 
fore, told General Burgoyne, that this must first be 
done and that then he should meet with no delay: 
on this he hesitated, and then asked how the ac 
counts were to be settled ? He was answered 
Strictly conformable to the resolves of Congress. 
He then asked if Congress could be serious in their 
resolution, requiring in specie the same sum which 
they had expended in paper money ? Our General 
replied that he supposed that honourable body were 
serious in all their resolutions. He then replied that 
this was unjust, for the odds was double; and ap 
pealed to our General to say whether he thought it 
just himself? Our General answered that as an 
executive officer, it was not for him to judge or de 
termine whether the orders of his superiors were just 
or not. General Burgoyne replied, that was true. 
He was then told that if he did not choose to pay 
for the supplies, the act allowed him to replace them, 
in quality and quantity; and this seemed to remove 
his objections. After further discussion the two 
Generals pledged their faith and sacred honour to 
each other, in which they both had the fullest con 
fidence, that General Burgoyne should proceed to 
Rhode Island, accompanied by such officers as our 
General might think proper to send, to whom Gen 
eral Burgoyne should pay in specie the amount of 
the supplies furnished in the quarter-master s de 
partment; and that he should forward in vessels 
bearing flags provisions of the different species they 
had received, within a certain number of days stipu 
lated; that no advantage should be taken by delay 


occasioned by stress of weather; that a box of gold, 
as a pledge for any deficiencies in the provisions, 
should be deposited with our General, the balance 
of which, after full settlement of the accounts, to 
be paid to the senior officer of the troops of the 

April 2d. General Burgoyne came into Boston, 
and dined at head-quarters; and before he took leave 
of our General, observed, " I know your situation, 
Sir, and the difficulty of obtaining many foreign 
necessaries, you may want or wish. If you will give 
me a memorandum, on my arrival in England, I 
will with great pleasure forward them to you." Our 
General thanked him for his politeness, but was 
careful not to mention any, choosing rather to suffer 
with his fellow countrymen the necessities of the 
times, than to avail himself of so exclusive a favour. 

5th. Between n and 12 o clock General Bur 
goyne left Cambridge for Rhode Island, accompanied 
by Colonel Pollard and Samuel Barrett, Esq. 

8th. The Raleigh frigate, it was learnt, had ar 
rived at Portsmouth, N. H. 

A part of the Convention troops were ordered to 
be removed to Rutland, in the county of Worcester, 
and temporary barracks were erected for the purpose. 

1 5th. A division of the Convention troops 
marched for Rutland under escort of a detachment 
of militia, commanded by Major Read. Our Gen 
eral received a letter from the President of Congress, 
dated the 4th instant, in which he observed: "Yes 
terday I had the honour of presenting to Congress 
your favours of the 2ist and 24th of March; and, 
although I have received no particular commands 
relative to their several contents, I am warranted by 
the general voice of Members to intimate that you 
have received the applause of the House for your 

174 HEATH S MEMOIRS [MAY, i 77 8 

determination respecting the adjustment of accounts 
with General Burgoyne." 

1 8th. Mr. Barrett returned from Rhode Island, 
accompanied by a British commissary, Major Mor 
rison, who was sent on by Gen. Pigot, to negotiate 
a plan for the future supply of the troops of the 

iQth. About 2 o clock, P. M. a wagon arrived 
from Rhode Island with a large sum of money, re 
ceived in discharge of the accounts, and for the 
troops of the Convention. 

The same day, Mr. Dean arrived from France 
with the highly important intelligence that the Court 
of France had acknowledged the independency of 
the United States of America, and a treaty of alliance 
was concluded. 

22d. Five sail of victuallers arrived in the lower 
harbour from Rhode Island, with provisions for a 
replace of those supplied the troops of the Conven 

28th. The British hand-bill for quieting America, 
as it was called, was received at Boston. It was 
forwarded from Connecticut, where it had been sent 
by Governor Tryon. Governor Trumbull had made 
a most magnanimous reply. 

30th. A valuable prize was sent into Boston, 
laden with dry goods, teas, flour, &c. 

May 4th. Several French ships had arrived with 
goods and stores from France for the United States. 

5th. The French frigate Nymphe, Capt. Senne- 
ville, arrived in Boston harbour, and sailed out again 
on the 1 6th. 

23d. Certain intelligence was received that the 
French Ambassador left England about the 2Oth of 
the preceding March, and that the English Ambas 
sador had returned to England. 

MAY,i 77 8] HEATH S MEMOIRS 175 

3Oth. The British made an excursion to Tiverton 
and Little Compton, and did some damage. 

Our General concluded with Gen. Pigot a system 
for the future supply of the troops of the Convention, 
by sending provisions from Rhode Island. This 
mode tended to the increase of provisions in the 
States, and to the easier supply of our own troops. 
The plan was submitted to Congress, who were 
pleased to honour it with their approbation, which 
they expressed in the following resolution: 

In CONGRESS, May 22 </, 1778. 

"Resolved, That Congress approve of Maj. Gen. 
Heath s conduct relative to the proposals made by 
Maj. Gen. Pigot, for supplying with provisions the 
troops who surrendered prisoners under the Conven 
tion of Saratoga. 

"That the President be directed to inform Maj. 
Gen. Heath, that Congress expects that all assistance 
afforded to the enemy, in unloading, storing, or 
transporting provisions for the support of the Con 
vention prisoners, be paid for in solid coin, agreeably 
to the spirit of their resolution of the iQth of Decem 
ber last." 

The Convention troops complained exceedingly 
of this discrimination in payment, because it was 
notorious that there was a considerable difference 
between paper money and specie; indeed, at first 
view, it seems scarcely reconcilable on the princi 
ples of justice and equity; but when the grounds on 
which the resolve of the iQth of Dec. 1777, is pred 
icated, are considered, it seems to place the matter 
in a different light. It is expressed as follows: 

In CONGRESS, Dec. gtb, 1777. 
"Whereas Sir William Howe, Commander in 

176 HEATH S MEMOIRS [MAv, I77 8 

Chief of his Britannic Majesty s forces, has required 
that provisions should be sent in for the subsist 
ence of the American prisoners in his possession, and 
for the purchase of such necessaries as they may 
stand in need of, and has prohibited the circulation 
of the money struck by the authority of these States, 
within such parts of the country as are at present 
subjected to his power, whereby great difficulties 
have occurred in relieving the distresses of the Amer 
ican prisoners; and whereas large sums of Continental 
bills of credit have been counterfeited and issued by 
the agents, emissaries and abettors of Sir W. Howe, 
"Resolved, That the accounts of all provisions and 
other necessaries, which already have been, or which 
hereafter may be supplied by the public to prisoners 
in the power of these States, shall be discharged by 
either receiving from the British Commissary of 
Prisoners, or any of his agents, provisions or other 
necessaries equal in quantity and kind to what have 
been supplied, or the amount thereof in gold or 
silver, at the rate of four shillings and sixpence ster 
ling for every dollar of the currency of these States; 
and that all these accounts be liquidated and dis 
charged, previous to the release of any prisoners to 
whom provisions or other necessaries shall have been 
so supplied. 

Extract from the Minutes. 

(Signed) C. THOMSON." 

By the foregoing it appears, that the British were 
allowed to replace any and all the supplies which 
were furnished to them, and in that way might make 
all the savings in their power; and certainly they 
ought to be checked, if they attempted to destroy that 
currency on which the States had solely to rely for 

juNE,i 77 8] HEATH S MEMOIRS 177 

the prosecution of the war, which had been forced 
upon them by this same power. 

June 1 7th. A British officer was shot by an Amer 
ican sentinel on Prospect Hill, the officer attempting 
to pass, contrary to the standing orders. The sen 
tinel was immediately relieved and put under guard, 
and as soon as the official account of the event was 
received by our General, he wrote the following letter 
to Gen. Phillips: 

June 17, 1778, 8 o clock, P.M. 

"I AM this moment informed that an officer of 
the Convention has been shot by one of our sentries. 
I have ordered the man into close confinement, and 
have directed the Town-Major to desire the Coroner 
of the county of Middlesex to summon a jury of in 
quest to sit on the body; and I desire that it may not 
be removed until that step be taken. I can only say, 
Sir, that you may be assured that I will take every 
step in my power, which honour and justice require. 
"Your letters of this date were handed to me by 
the person who brought the disagreeable news of the 
officer s being shot. I will answer them to-morrow. 
I am, Sir, your obedient servant, 

(Signed) W. HEATH. 

Maj. Gen. PHILLIPS." 

A few minutes after our General had sent his letter, 
he received the following from Gen. Phillips: 

CAMBRIDGE, June 17, 1778. 

"MURDER and death has at length taken place. 
An officer, riding out from the barracks on Prospect 
Hill, has been shot by an American sentinel. I leave 
the horrors incident to that bloody disposition, which 

178 HEATH S MEMOIRS QE, i 77 8 

has joined itself to rebellion in these Colonies, to the 
feelings of all Europe. I do not ask for justice, for 
I believe every principle of it is fled from this 

"I demand liberty to send an officer to Gen. Sir 
Henry Clinton, by way of the head-quarters of Gen. 
Washington, with my report of this murder. 

(Signed) W. PHILLIPS, Maj. Gen. 

Maj. Gen. HEATH." 

The next morning our General wrote the following 
to Gen. Phillips: 

HEAD-QUARTERS, BOSTON, June 18, 1778. 

"IMMEDIATELY upon my receiving the dis 
agreeable report, the last evening, that an officer of 
the Convention had been shot by an American sen 
tinel, and that the sentinel was confined, I ordered 
him to be closely kept so, and the Coroner of the 
county of Middlesex to be certified that a jury of 
inquest might be summoned to sit on the body of the 
officer. Decency and the utmost attention, in any 
country, could not have done more. A few minutes 
after I had dispatched the officer with the foregoing 
orders, I received your letter, couched in such terms 
that I am at a loss what epithets to give it. Were it 
even certain that the shooting of the officer was an act 
of the most deliberate wilful murder, why should you 
charge these free independent States with a bloody 
disposition and with rebellion, and this State in par 
ticular as void of every principle of justice ? Al 
though I ever had and still have a personal regard 
for you, and wish in every respect to treat you with 
the utmost generosity; yet that duty which I owe to 
the honour and dignity of the United States will 

juNE,i 77 8] HEATH S MEMOIRS 179 

not allow me to pass unnoticed such expressions as 
are contained in your letter; and I cannot put any 
other interpretation upon them, than that they are 
a violent infraction of your parole, most sacredly 
given. I do conceive it to be my duty, and I do 
hereby restrict you to the limits of your house, gar 
dens and yard, and to the direct road from your 
quarters to the quarters of the troops of the Conven 
tion, on Prospect and Winter Hills; expecting from 
you a parole for propriety of conduct within those 
limits; which if you refuse, I shall be under the ne 
cessity of ordering you to narrower limits, until I can 
obtain the pleasure of the Honourable the Congress, 
touching this matter, to whom I shall transmit your 
letter, and crave their directions. 

"As to your demand of liberty for an officer to 
proceed to Sir Henry Clinton, with a report of this 
murder, as you are pleased to express yourself, I 
have only to reply, that as soon as the Coroner has 
taken an inquisition, in which all the evidence re 
specting this unhappy affair will be contained, I shall 
transmit a copy thereof to Congress; and I shall have 
no objection to your sending a copy also to Sir Henry 
Clinton, by way of the head-quarters of his Excel 
lency General Washington, (if his Excellency should 
approve of it) together with any just and decent rep 
resentations which you may think necessary to make 
on this occasion or any other, after I have examined 
such letters; but as to an officer s going to Sir Henry 
Clinton, it is altogether unnecessary so you will 
please to excuse my refusal of it. 

I am, Sir, your obedient servant, 
(Signed) W. HEATH, Major-General. 

"P. S. I shall not at this time comment on the 
indelicate manner in which your letter is addressed. 

Maj. Gen. PHILLIPS." 

180 HEATH S MEMOIRS [JUNE, i 77 s 

"I, WILLIAM PHILLIPS, Major-General and 
senior officer of the troops under the restrictions of 
the Convention of Saratoga, do promise and engage, 
on my word and honour, and on the faith of a gen 
tleman, to remain in the quarters now assigned to 
me in Cambridge, in the State of Massachusetts Bay, 
and at no time to exceed or pass the limits of the 
gardens and yards adjoining and belonging to said 
quarters, except in the road by the nearest and most 
direct route from said quarters to Prospect and 
Winter Hills, and the limits of said hills within the 
chain of sentries until it shall be permitted or or 
dered otherwise by the Continental General com 
manding in this State, his Excellency General Wash 
ington, or the Honourable Congress of the United 
States of America; and that I will not, directly or 
indirectly, give any intelligence to the enemies of the 
said United States, or either of them, or do or say any 
thing in opposition to or in prejudice of the measures 
and proceedings of any Congress for the said States, 
during my continuance here as aforesaid, or until I 
am duly exchanged or discharged. 

Given under my hand, at Cambridge, this eighteenth 
day of June, 1778." 


June 18, 1778. 

"YOU will immediately repair to Cambridge, and 
wait upon Maj. Gen. Phillips: present him the letter 
addressed to him. After he has read the letter, pre 
sent the parole; if he signs it, well; if he refuses, you 
will please to inform him, that in consequence of the 
indecent, dishonourable, and highly insulting ex 
pressions in his letter of yesterday against the honour 
and dignity of the Free, Sovereign, and Independent 

juNE,i 77 8] HEATH S MEMOIRS 181 

States of America, and in prejudice of the measures 
and proceedings of the Honorable the Congress 
as it is my duty, so it is my express orders, that he, 
the said Maj. Gen. Phillips, be restricted to the 
limits of his house, yards and gardens, beyond which 
he is not to pass, until it be otherwise ordered; and 
that you immediately plant and continue by relief 
so many sentries as may be necessary to prevent his 
exceeding those limits. You will give orders that 
the sentries, so planted, observe a strict decorum and 
soldier-like behaviour, avoiding insult, and behaving 
with becoming dignity. After which, you will wait 
on the next senior officer, and acquaint him of Gen. 
Phillips being confined. 

I am, Sir, your most obedient servant, 

(Signed) W. HEATH, Maj. Gen. 
Lieut. Col. POLLARD, Dep. Adj. General." 

The same day Gen. Phillips wrote our General as 
follows : 

CAMBRIDGE, June 18, 1778, 3 o clock, P.M. 

"LIEUTENANT Brown, of the zist regiment, 
who was shot yesterday by an American sentinel, 
died about midnight in the last night. 

" I am informed some person, whom you have sent 
to examine the body, is now doing it; and, as I sup 
pose every inspection of that sort will be over by 
to-morrow, I would propose to bury the corpse to 
morrow evening. I am to desire to know if you have 
any objection, and whether you have any particular 
intentions relating to the body of the murdered officer. 
If it is to be allowed Christian burial, I would wish 
to deposit it in the vault appropriated for strangers, 
in the Protestant church at Cambridge. In this case, 


I am to desire you will give the necessary permission 
for this purpose, and allow a sufficient number of 
men from the barracks to assist in carrying down the 
corpse from the barracks to the church. 

"As I am totally ignorant to whom it may be nec 
essary to apply for leave to open the church, it 
obliges me to give you this trouble; and I hope, if 
permission is granted, that it may be done so fully, 
as will prevent the sanguinary people of this country 
from insulting and treating with indignity the dead 
body of the unfortunate officer, who, in their rage, 
revengeful tempers, and barbarity, they have put to 
death. I am, Sir, 

Your most obedient humble servant, 

(Signed) W. PHILLIPS. 

Maj. Gen. HEATH." 

To this letter the following was returned: 

HEAD-QUARTERS, BOSTON, June 19, 1778. 

"YOURS of yesterday afternoon was handed to 
me the last evening; I most sincerely regret the un 
fortunate death of Lieut. Brown. 

"As I apprehend the Coroner has taken his in 
quisition, or will do it this morning, which is in con 
formity to the laws of the land in that case made and 
provided, for the sole purpose of investigating the 
truth of facts you not only have my permission, but 
request, that every mark of respect may be paid to 
the corpse of the deceased; and you have my per 
mission also for such a number of non-commissioned 
officers and privates to attend as may be necessary 
to bear the corpse from the funeral house to the 
place of interment. 

" I do not know under whose direction the church 

JUNE, i 77 8] HEATH S MEMOIRS 183 

at Cambridge now is; but I have given orders to Maj. 
Hopkins and the Town-Major to afford every kind 
of assistance in their power, and to inquire who has 
the direction, and to obtain permission. I have also 
given orders that decency be exhibited by our troops 
during the time of procession of interment, which 
the solemnity of so mournful an occasion points out 
as the duty of rational beings; and from the universal 
respectful behaviour of the people of this country on 
such occasions, you may be sure that not the least 
insult will be offered. 

I am, Sir, your most obedient servant, 

(Signed) W. HEATH. 

Maj. Gen. PHILLIPS." 

1 9th. Gen. Phillips wrote another letter, as fol 

CAMBRIDGE, June igth, 1778. 

"I SHALL not animadvert upon, or answer any 
part of your letter of yesterday, except what relates 
to your meaning to restrict me to my house, garden 
and yards, and to the direct road from my quarters 
to the quarters of the troops of the Convention on 
Prospect and Winter Hills, and requiring my signing 
a new parole for my propriety of conduct within 
those limits. 

"When by the treaty of Convention of Saratoga 
the officers were to be admitted on parole, it was 
clearly intended that a liberal interpretation was to 
be given of that agreement; and, to use your own 
words, generous limits were to be granted. I will 
not deny that the limits have been sufficient. 

" I apprehend, Sir, that under no sense or expla 
nation of the treaty, the officers were to be denied 
intercourse with the soldiers indeed, there is an 


article particularly on that point; and by restricting 
me to my quarters, allowing me only the passage to 
the barracks by the direct road, you would certainly 
have restricted me as you have done several other 
officers, from whom you have taken the benefit of 
their parole, allowing for the distinction of my rank, 
having obtained a quarter instead of a barrack: it 
seemed therefore a very extraordinary proposal made 
to me that I should sign a parole under a restriction 
which deprived me of any advantage arising from 
my giving one, according to the article on that sub 
ject in the treaty of Convention of Saratoga; and on 
this consideration I refused it. 

"You have, Sir, made me a prisoner in my quar 
ters, under a guard, and I am perfectly at ease about 
it shall bear it, Sir, and any other violence of power 
which may happen to me, with more patience than 
you may suppose. I am very regardless about in 
sults or injuries done me personally I feel only, and 
then severely, when any are offered to the troops I 

" But, Sir, you attempt at much more than re 
stricting my person; for in a paper sent me this day, 
being your instructions to Lieut. Col. Pollard, dated 
June 1 8, 1778, you direct him, after he has planted 
sentinels around my quarters, that he is to wait on 
the next senior officer, and acquaint him of General 
Phillips being confined/ I am to inform you, Sir, 
that, bearing the King s commission, I shall consider 
myself senior officer of the troops of the Convention; 
and every officer of them will obey my orders as far 
as their present situation will allow. You may con 
fine my person, but cannot have power to take from 
me my military place, nor my connection with the 
Convention troops it is too extravagant an idea to 
suppose you capable of: so little can it be in the 

juN E ,i 77 8] HEATH S MEMOIRS 185 

power of an individual to deprive me of the com 
mission I hold, that were these Colonies really ac 
knowledged Independent and Sovereign States, it 
would not be in the power of their government to 
deprive an officer of another nation of his military 
commission, how far soever they might stretch and 
extend their power over his person. But, Sir, I must 
be allowed to declare, that until the Colonies are 
acknowledged by Great Britain to be Independent 
Sovereign States, I cannot view them in any other 
light than that in which they are considered by 
Great Britain. 

"As you will not allow me to send an officer to 
Sir Henry Clinton, I must request to take advantage 
of your express for sending my report and represen 
tations to him; and I will beg to know when I must 
send you my letters. 

I am, Sir, 

Your most obedient, humble servant, 
(Signed) W. PHILLIPS. 

Maj. Gen. HEATH." 

To which the following answer was returned the 
next day: 

HEAD-QUARTERS, BOSTON, June 20, 1778. 

"ANOTHER of your favours of yesterday was 
handed to me this morning. You may be assured 
that the reason of my restricting you to your quar 
ters the day before yesterday was personally no 
agreeable service. Duty to the honour and dignity 
of my country, made it indispensably necessary. 
Apprehending that so great a restriction from your 
former limits as I pointed out, might be construed 
by you a dissolution of your parole, I thought it 

1 86 HEATH S MEMOIRS [JUNE, i 77 8 

necessary and also reasonable that you should give a 
new one. I wished that you might retain your quar 
ters, and at the same time have a free intercourse 
with the troops who are quartered at a distance from 
you; this distance is so considerable that a parole is 
necessary. I acknowledge that by the Convention 
you are to be admitted on parole, and this parole is 
for propriety of conduct under such admittance; but 
that parole being forfeited by misconduct ceases to 
be, and confinement in proportion to the offence 
no breach of the Convention, but fully justifiable 
upon every principle of reason and justice. 

" It was never in my idea to take away your com 
mission, or dissolve your connection with the troops 
of the Convention; but, while under confinement, 
your power of acting might with propriety be sus 
pended, so far as respected the transaction of public 
business between myself and you; but personal re 
gard has prevented my going that length, any further 
than to notify the next officer of your confinement. 

" I do not insist that you, as an officer in the British 
army, are obliged to view the Free, Independent and 
Sovereign States of America in any other light than 
they are acknowledged by the government whose ser 
vice you are in. But, under your present situation 
and circumstances, I do insist that you shall not 
openly insult the honour and dignity of these Sov 
ereign States with impunity. 

I am, Sir, 

Your obedient servart, 
(Signed) W. HEATH, Major-General. 

Maj. Gen. PHILLIPS." 

"Middlesex, ss. 

"AN inquest taken at Cambridge, within the said 
county of Middlesex, on the i8th of June, A.D. 1778, 

juNE,i 77 8] HEATH S MEMOIRS 187 

before Joel Smith, one of the Coroners for the county 
aforesaid, upon view of the body of Lieut. Richard 
Brown, one of the British officers (Charlestown, in 
the county aforesaid) then and there being dead, by 
oaths of William Howe, Benjamin Lock, John Brown, 
Ebenezer Steadman, Samuel Manning, Nathaniel 
Austin, Joseph Read, jun., James Hill, Thomas Bar 
ret, Benjamin Barker, Aaron Hill, Isaac Bradish, 
James Munro, Joseph Johnson, good and lawful men 
of Cambridge aforesaid, who being charged and 
sworn to inquire for the sake of the government and 
people of the Massachusetts Bay, when, and by what 
means, and how the said Richard Brown came to his 
death upon their oath do say, that the said Richard 
Brown was shot with a fire-arm by the sentinel in 
Charlestown, near Prospect Hill, between the hours 
of five and six, P. M. on the iyth day of June, A.D. 
1778, in attempting to pass the sentinel with two 
women, after being properly challenged by said sen 
tinel and so came to death. 

JOEL SMITH, Coroner. 
Nathaniel Austin, James Munro, 

Joseph Read, jun. Joseph Johnson, 

James Hill, William Howe, 

Thomas Barret, Benjamin Lock, 

Benjamin Barker, Jhn Brown, 

Aaron Hill, Ebenezer Steadman, 

Isaac Bradish, Samuel Manning. 

CAMBRIDGE, June 18, 1778." 

Extract of a Letter from Major-General HEATH to 
the President of Congress, dated Head-Quarters, 
Boston, June 19, 1778. 

"SINCE my last, of the gth instant, I have re 
ceived the honour of yours of the 23d, by Capt. 

1 88 HEATH S MEMOIRS [JUNE, i 77 8 

"The day before yesterday, one of our sentinels, 
posted at the foot of Prospect Hill, shot a Lieut. 
Richard Brown, of the troops of the Convention, 
for not stopping when repeatedly challenged, as he 
was riding out of the lines with two women. The 
orders given to the sentinels being not to allow any 
officer without side-arms, or non-commissioned offi 
cer, private soldier, woman or child, without a written 
passport, to pass the chain of sentries. Immediately 
upon my receiving the report of the officer s being 
shot, and that the sentinel was confined, I gave orders 
for his being kept so, and notice to be given to the 
Coroner of the county of Middlesex, that a Jury of 
Inquest might sit on the body for the investigation 
of the truth of facts; at the same time I wrote to Maj. 
Gen. Phillips I do myself the honour to inclose 
copy thereof, No. i; a few minutes after, I received 
a paper from him, No. 2; the next morning I again 
wrote him, No. 3; and a parole, No. 4; and gave 
Col. Pollard written orders for the delivery thereof, 
No. 5. Gen. Phillips refusing to sign the parole, 
Col. Pollard, in obedience to my orders, restricted 
him to the limits therein mentioned, and planted 
three sentinels around the house and gardens; in 
which state matters now remain." 

In CONGRESS, July 7, 1778. 

"Resolved, That Congress approve of Maj. Gen. 
Heath s conduct respecting Maj. Gen. Phillips, con 
sequent upon the death of Lieut. Richard Brown, of 
the troops of the Convention. 

Extract from the Minutes. 


The whole of the foregoing correspondence was 
published by order of Congress; and our General 
was informed that it was left for him to conduct 

juNE,i 77 8] HEATH S MEMOIRS 189 

towards the British General, as to the continuance of 
his arrest, as he might judge the honour of the 
United States required. Gen. Phillips continuing 
to exhibit the same temper, or it rather growing 
upon him, he was continued in his arrest, until the 
troops of the Convention were ordered to be removed 
to Charlottesville in Virginia. It has before been 
observed that the officers had certain articles pre 
scribed to them, for their government in quarters, 
and that these were drawn into the parole, and sub 
scribed by them. If any abuses took place, a Court 
of Inquiry was directed to investigate the complaints, 
and report to our General, thus giving the accused 
officers an opportunity to exculpate their conduct, if 
it was in their power; and no officer could wish more 
than our General to treat them with generosity and 
indulgence, as far as was compatible with good order 
and discipline. But notwithstanding the fairness of 
this mode of procedure, Gen. Phillips forbid the 
officers appearing before any court so appointed; 
and on the i8th ult. Mr. Bibby, the Deputy-Adju 
tant-General to the troops of the Convention, came 
into a Court of Inquiry, and declared the following, 
which, in order to have the whole together, we now 

"Maj. Gen. Phillips will not permit any officer 
under his command to be brought before a Court of 
Inquiry of the American troops, for the purpose of 
scrutinizing their conduct; but if any complaints 
are lodged against any British officers, and Maj. Gen. 
Heath shall desire their conduct to be inquired into, 
Maj. Gen. Phillips will give such orders as are cus 
tomary in such cases among the British troops. 
By order of Maj. Gen. Phillips: 

(Signed) THOS. BIBBY, Dep. Adj. Gen. 

MONDAY, May 18, 1778." 

i go HEATH S MEMOIRS UUNE, i 77 s 

The same day, Gen. Phillips sent a letter to our 
General, expressive of the same sentiments, to which 
the following answer was sent to him: 


"YOUR favour of yesterday, came to hand the 
last evening; and, I must confess, contained matter 
novel and surprising to me. What ideas of a co 
partnership in command you have entertained, I 
cannot tell. From the beginning, I have found a 
disposition in the senior officer of the Convention, to 
assume the right and authority of trying and pun 
ishing offenders for breaches of my orders. This I 
ever have and ever shall view in no other light than 
that of insult. As such, I represented it to his Ex 
cellency Lieut. Gen. Burgoyne, whose good sense 
and thorough knowledge of discipline, led him, in a 
letter to me of the I3th Jan. to yield the matter in the 
following words: I do not mean to deny that you 
have a right to take justice into your own hands/ 
Indeed it is a subject, concerning which, having 
heretofore said and wrote very fully, I shall not at 
this time dwell long upon. As to agreement or co 
partnership in command, it is absurd. In military 
command there must be one supreme head; at pres 
ent, the Honorable Congress have honoured me with 
the command of this department, and I imagined 
that no officer within its limits would dare dispute it. 

"My orders, as I have repeatedly heretofore de 
clared, shall ever be founded on the principles of 
honour, reason and justice, and not to infringe those 
delicate principles in others; so I again declare that 
such my orders shall not be broken or disputed by 
any officer or soldier placed under my direction 
with impunity. The matter of command is no hid- 

juNE,i 77 8] HEATH S MEMOIRS 191 

den mystery; the usage and customs of nations are 
known. The celebrated Vattel, Puffendorff and 
Grotius, with whose writings I dare say you are 
acquainted, elegantly explain how an army that sub 
mits to another, whether the conditions are more or 
less honorary to themselves, are to conduct whilst 
they remain within the limits of the victors camp, or 
jurisdiction of their country. But I shall not spend 
time to reason on a subject which would reflect dis 
honour on myself to allow even to be disputed. 
Therefore, to sum up all in few words that, as I 
am determined to treat the troops of the Convention 
with strict justice and generosity, so I am determined 
that all offenders against my standing orders of the 
garrison shall be brought to proper punishment; 
that I will not allow the senior officer of those troops 
to try or punish for any offence against my orders; 
and, that the truth may at all times be properly in 
vestigated, I shall, from time to time, when occasion 
requires, appoint Courts of Inquiry for that purpose, 
and such as presume to dispute or counteract them 
I shall duly notice. 

I am, &c. 

(Signed) W. HEATH, Major-General. 
Maj. Gen. PHILLIPS." 

Gen. Phillips finding that he could not get any 
thing by assault, he next tried his skill in attempting 
to sap, with the policy of friendship; he therefore 
wrote another letter of the same date, under the 
name of 


MONDAY, May 18, 1778. 
"I HAVE, this morning, written to you a letter 

i 9 2 HEATH S MEMOIRS QUNE, i 77 s 

upon public matters. I will now assure you, that I 
am sorry that my earnest desire of preserving a com 
munication of intelligence between you and I does 
not meet your consent; and I will lament that you 
will attend to the sudden reports you receive, so fully, 
and act upon them, without that good-humoured 
attention to me, which I had hoped and have en 
deavoured should subsist between us. You and I 
are nearly of an age I will not dispute understand 
ings with you; but I certainly am an older soldier, 
and must necessarily know the customs of armies. 
Allow me to assure you, the manner with which 
things are taken up sometimes deviates from military 
rule. It is a fixed custom to go from the head, down 
wards; and, when an Ensign offends against order, 
the General does not condescend to altercate with 
him, but sends his orders, his desire, or his opinion, 
to the commanding officers; and, in your sending 
messages to young officers, it injures your own conse 
quence, and certainly hurts mine. Believe me, that 
I am strict against any breach of orders, and will 
never suffer it to pass uncensured. I allow, the two 
officers have behaved ill, and I will punish them; but 
the getting the countersign was an effect of good 
humour and simplicity in an American soldier. Let 
me once more request of you, to recollect your own 
situation, and it will put mine in a clear view to you. 
Whenever you have reports against any of our troops, 
let me know them, and I will give instant attention 
to them; but you will, I am sure, immediately feel, 
that sending a threat to two officers, that you would 
send them on board a prison-ship, and never in 
forming me wherefore, was not strictly conformable 
to good humour or good discipline. 

"I am, with a very hearty desire of preserving 

juNE,i 77 8] HEATH S MEMOIRS 193 

harmony and order, and with much personal regard, 

Yours, &c. 

(Signed) W. PHILLIPS. 

Maj. Gen. HEATH." 

To which the following answer was returned : 


" HAVING, in my other letter of this date, an 
swered yours of yesterday, I now reply to your fa 
vour of the same date, which you are pleased to style 
"private." I can assure you, Sir, that no person 
living wishes to act with good humour more than I 
do; or would take more pains to cultivate harmony 
and a good understanding. But in the present case, 
you must not expect that I shall allow myself, either 
by frowns or flatteries, to give up the dignity of com 
mand reposed in me. 

"I wish, I am determined, to extend every act of 
generosity towards the officers of the Convention 
which is compatible with the safety and honour of 
my country. I shall not take up matters suddenly, 
or proceed rashly, unless circumstances shall render 
it unavoidably necessary; and although you may be 
possessed of a greater share of understanding than I 
am, and an older soldier, yet I have endeavoured 
to acquire a knowledge of my duty, and the customs 
of armies and nations. I am not conscious of any 
deviations from those rules or customs in general 
adopted by them. 

"The General who commands is undoubtedly the 
fountain of power, and all orders should descend 
from him through the proper officers until they are 
communicated to the lowest order of the army; and 
that commander who disputes with, or threatens 

i 9 4 HEATH S MEMOIRS [juNE,i 77 8 

young officers, undoubtedly lessens his consequence 
and will soon become contemptible in the eyes of an 
army. Nothing of this was in the late transactions, 
that I know of: having received a report of the con 
duct of the two officers, I ordered them to be con 
fined to their quarters, and appointed a Court of In 
quiry to examine into the grounds of the complaint, 
that I might have a clear understanding of the affair, 
and order accordingly. In all cases where you and 
the troops of the Convention are immediately con 
cerned in the orders, I have always directed that you 
should be served with a copy. As to any threatenings 
being sent to the two officers of confining them on 
board a guard-ship, I know nothing of it. 

"The main difficulty seems to arise from your ap 
prehension that you are to try and punish all offend 
ers against my orders. Here, Sir, notwithstanding 
your knowledge and age in soldiery, you much mis 
take, and cannot support those your pretensions by 
any rule or authority, civil or military. The mo 
ment you piled your arms, and marched off the 
ground, you became subject to the standing orders 
of the victor; and in every jurisdiction through which 
you marched, or where you remain, are subject to all 
the orders and laws of the place; and such as violate 
them are obnoxious to punishment. The law and 
custom of nations explicitly tell us who are to try 
and punish: and, although I do not in the least doubt 
your ready disposition to inquire into, and even to 
punish offenders against my orders yet when you 
attempt it, it is such an indignity offered to my au 
thority, that you may be assured it ever will raise my 
resentment; and if it did not, I am confident that 
yourself (at least hereafter) and all military men 
would despise me for my insensibility. In a word, 
Sir, cultivate those principles of obedience to orders 

juNE,i 77 8] HEATH S MEMOIRS 195 

among the officers in your situation, recommended 
and inculcated by the custom and usage of nations, 
and dictated by reason and you may depend that 
I shall exert myself to make your situation as agree- 
ble as possible; and you may be also assured that 
I never shall require that of the troops of the Con 
vention which, in the opinion of the just and wise 
in any country, shall reflect dishonour on them. 
With the strongest desire to cultivate and maintain 
harmony, and to treat you with respect, and with 
much personal regard, 

I am, &c. 

(Signed) W. HEATH. 

Maj. Gen. PHILLIPS." 

The same feelings which had great weight in the 
beginning of the war, continued for some time, 
namely, that Great Britain was one of the greatest 
and most powerful nations in the world, in arts, and 
in arms; while the Americans were yet their Col 
onies, young, weak, and but barely civilized, igno 
rant of the world, and especially so of arts and of 
arms. Hence we see it so frequently breaking out, 
(until experience had taught them a different opin 
ion). There was frequently, as in the atmosphere, 
placid intervals; but whenever any cross wind hap 
pened to blow, (and there is no season or circum 
stances without them) then instantly appeared those 
ideas of self-superiority, and contempt for the Amer 
icans, which was the true cause of many uncom 
fortable hours. Mankind have the same passions, 
the difference lies in some riding with a double curb, 
while others give the reins. 

This Convention business was a heavy task for our 
General, and the whole subject would form an enter 
taining volume of itself: we are now circumscribed 


by our limits, and have only given a small specimen 
for mankind to form an opinion for themselves. In 
all the letters or conversation which was had on the 
occasion, we find scarcely a reflection cast by our Gen 
eral on the British nation, the cause in which they 
were engaged, or against any who were fortunate, or 
unfortunate; but a uniform desire to make those 
placed under his orders as comfortable as circum 
stances would admit; at the same time, an unshaken 
determination, a perseverant watchfulness, with de 
cent language, to defend the cause and honour of his 
own country, by arguments supported by the cus 
toms and maxims of the civilized world. The hun 
dreds of letters on file, are all proofs of this; and in 
many instances it was politely acknowledged. 
The two following letters, of different dates, are 

some of the specimens. Major Harnage had his 

lady with him: 

(( ~ CAMBRIDGE, October 30, 1778. 

"WITH great pleasure I acknowledge the favour 
of your obliging letter; and Mrs. Harnage joins me, 
with Capt. Hawker, in returning you our sincere 
thanks for your kind representation of us, and solici 
tation in our favour, to the Honourable Congress. 
"With your leave, we shall with patience wait the 
result; and, let the Congress determine in what man 
ner they please, our obligations to you, Sir, will be 
ever acknowledged. 

Believe me, Sir, with respect, 

Your obliged humble servant, 

Maj. Gen. HEATH." 

CAMBRIDGE, June 10, 1779. 
"BEING this moment informed that you are 

juLY,i 77 8] HEATH S MEMOIRS 197 

about to quit Boston, I must beg leave, previous to 
your departure, to trouble you with these our ac 
knowledgements, for the civility and attention you 
have been pleased to shew us; and to assure you that 
Mrs. Harnage, Capt. Hawker and myself shall ever 
retain a due sense of all favours, by which you have 
kindly endeavoured to alleviate, and make easy, the 
restraints and disagreeable circumstances that una 
voidably attend our present situation. 

"We hope you will mention us to the gentleman 
who is to succeed to the command in the Eastern 

"Wishing you all personal happiness, I remain 
with respect, Sir, your most obedient and 
Obliged humble servant, 


The Hon. Maj. Gen. HEATH." 

29th. A Spanish xebeck and a French cutter ar 
rived at Boston, with dispatches from their respec 
tive Courts, which were forwarded to Congress. 

3Oth. Certain intelligence was received, that the 
British had left Philadelphia. 

July 9th. Intelligence was received, that a warm 
action happened on the 28th ult. between Gen. 
Washington s and Gen. Clinton s armies, near Mon- 
mouth Court House, in the Jerseys. Gen. Clinton, 
having taken the resolution to move from Philadel 
phia to New York, through the Jerseys, commenced 
his movements accordingly, encumbered with an im 
mense train of stores and baggage, which occupied 
some miles in length; and these are the greatest in- 
cumbrance to a General, on a march of danger from 
an attack of his opponent, to which he can be 

Gen. Washington was no sooner apprised of this 


intention and movement of the British General, than 
he made his arrangements accordingly, crossed the 
Delaware, and pushed detached corps forward to 
obstruct the advance, gall the flanks, and fall on the 
rear of the enemy, while he moved on with the body 
of his army. By the 2yth, Gen. Clinton had got on 
as far as Monmouth, and Gen. Washington s de 
tached troops were on his flanks, and close on his 
rear. Here the British General took a wise resolu 
tion to make a stand with a part of his best troops, 
while he pushed on his baggage through the difficult 
defiles, under the careful and experienced hand of 
Gen. Knyphausen. 

Gen. Washington, acting with equal skill, and 
equal bravery, made every arrangement which the 
moment called for. On the morning of the 28th, 
he ordered Maj. Gen. Lee to attack the enemy s 
rear, himself moving on briskly to support him; but 
to his surprise, as he advanced on, he met Lee s 
troops retreating and the enemy impetuously pur 
suing. Here was Gen. Washington seen in all his 
splendor; for this critical situation is the orb in 
which he shines the brightest. He rallied the re 
treating troops: he inspired them by precept and by 
example; and the misfortune of the morning was 
considerably retrieved.* 

The Americans fought bravely, and so did the 
British. After hard fighting, in a most intense hot 
day, when scores died of the heat, and drinking too 
freely of cold water when they could find it, both 
armies remained on the ground. The Americans 
determined to re-commence the action on early the 
next morning; but Gen. Clinton, finding that his 
baggage had struggled pretty well through the de 
files, and had got tolerably well advanced, took the 

* See Appendix XVIII. 

jm.Y, I77 8] HEATH S MEMOIRS 199 

advantage of the cool of the night to slip off, unper- 
ceived by the Americans, and got to ground where 
he was safe. Some sharp words took place between 
Gen. Washington and Maj. Gen. Lee, as the one 
advanced and the other retreated, which issued in 
the arrest, trial and suspension of the latter. Gen. 
Washington reported to Congress, that the Amer 
icans buried of the British 4 officers and 245 privates; 
among the former, the Hon. Col. Monckton, (who 
was a brave and experienced officer) and that there 
were a few prisoners. The American loss: killed, 
I Lieutenant-Colonel, I Major, 3 Captains, 2 Lieu 
tenants, I Sergeant, 52 rank and file wounded, 2 
Colonels, 8 Captains, 4 First-Lieutenants, 2 Second- 
Lieutenants, i Ensign, i Adjutant, 8 Sergeants, I 
Drummer, 120 rank and file missing, 5 Sergeants, 
126 rank and file; of the artillery, one First-Lieu 
tenant, 7 Matrosses, and I Bombadier were killed 
one Captain, i Sergeant, I Corporal, i Gunner, 
and 10 Matrosses wounded one Matross missing 
six horses killed, and two wounded. Both Gen 
erals undoubtedly have much credit for their con 
duct in this action. Gen. Clinton s object being to 
reach New York with his baggage, &c. obtained 
this victory, with the loss which he sustained. Gen. 
Washington s conduct was well calculated for vic 
tory on his side; and how far he would have suc 
ceeded, had it not been for the misfortune of the 
morning, none can tell. This misfortune began by 
exposing the American advanced troops, in line, on 
the side of the field where they were cannonaded by 
the British, who at the same time wisely exposed only 
their artillery to that of the Americans. It is to be 
remembered, that men may be led on to action in 
the face of a cannonade, before which they will not 
stand; the point of decision is in the mind; while 


advancing, although galled by the fire of their op 
ponents, the dead and wounded are left behind them 
as they fall, and the troops feel an ardour for ar 
riving in a few minutes at a point where they can 
use their own arms, to retaliate for the injury they 
sustain. But when men are placed open to the fire 
of the artillery of their enemy, at such a distance as 
to prevent the use of their own arms in their de 
fence, the dead and wounded fall and lie among them, 
or are drawn away, and every groan they make is 
heard. The troops soon conceive that they are 
placed as marks to be shot at; while the greater 
policy of the enemy keeps their column or line out 
of the rake of their cannon; the mind gives way, and 
retreat will be inevitable. This was experienced in 
this instance, and the fairest hopes of a noble onset 
in a few minutes blasted; and these were some of 
the best troops in the army too. It was here that 
the firm Col. Wesson had his back peeled of its mus 
cles, almost from shoulder to shoulder, by a cannon- 
ball. The confidence of the troops could not be 
fully recovered, until they saw the presence of their 
beloved General. 

1 8th. Intelligence was received that the Count 
D Estaing had arrived, with the fleet under his com 
mand, off the Capes of Delaware. The fleet con 
sisted of 12 sail of the line, and 4 frigates. Off the 
coast of Virginia, they took a privateer, fitted out of 
New York, of 26 guns a ship, bound from New 
Providence to London re-captured a French snow, 
laden with dry goods, and drove a British ship of 
war on shore. 

1 9th. Intelligence was received that about 2,000 
men, said to be invalids, had arrived at Rhode Island 
from New York. 

2 1 st. Intelligence was received that a body of 

JULY, i 77 8] HEATH S MEMOIRS 201 

refugees and Indians had destroyed the town of Wy 
oming, on the Susquehanna, and butchered many 
of the inhabitants. The same day, it was learnt, 
that Gen. Washington had crossed Hudson s River 
with the main army, except Gen. Wayne s brigade 
that Count D Estaing had appeared off Sandy Hook 
that the inhabitants of New York were in great 
consternation, and that the Marquis de la Fayette, 
with Glover s and Varnum s brigades, were on their 
march for Providence.* 

The British were very busy in fortifying Rhode 

25th and 26th. Sent for Providence 43,000 flints, 
five tons hard bread, a quantity of dry fish, &c. and 
sent a large number of the large flat-bottomed boats 
to Wey mouth; they were to be conveyed, taking the 
advantage of the river, to the vicinity of Rhode 
Island. Half of Col. Craft s regiment of State ar 
tillery were ordered to Tiverton; the other half of 
the regiment of artillery, and a draft from the militia, 
to the number of 3000 men, including 1000 before 
ordered, were to march and reinforce Maj. Gen. 
Sullivan in the State of Rhode Island. On the 29th, 
at noon, the Count D Estaing s squadron came to 
anchor off Point Judith, and at evening stretched a 
line from that Point to Seconnet. 

3 1 st. The regiment of State artillery, with 6 brass 
4-pounders, and 2 brass howitzers, marched for Tiv 
erton; and the next day the marine mortar was sent 
on, slung under two pair of stout cart-wheels. The 
British sloop of war, Kingfisher, a row-galley and a 
sloop, stationed near Seconnet, upon the approach 
of a French frigate, were run on shore by their own 
crews, set on fire, and left to burn and blow up. 
Maj. Bumstead s company of Boston artillery, with 

* See Appendix XIX. 


two brass field-pieces, and Lieut. Dunnel, with a 
detachment of the Continental artillery, with two 
field-pieces, marched for Rhode Island, and the 
militia and volunteers were on their march that way; 
and large quantities of military stores and provisions 
were going from hence. 

August loth. Major-General Hancock, with his 
suit, went for Rhode Island, to take the command 
of the militia. The same morning, Gen. Sullivan 
made a landing on the island, without opposition. 
About the same time, the Count D Estaing, with his 
squadron, passed the British batteries at Newport, 
when there was a brisk cannonade on both sides. 
Many of the shot struck in the town, and the inhab 
itants were in much consternation, not knowing in 
what place they were safe. A shot entered the door 
of the house of Mrs. Mason, a widow lady, a little 
above the floor: as the family were passing from 
room to room, not knowing where the next shot 
might strike, young Mr. Mason, passing through 
the entry, found the black man of the family sitting 
with his back against the shot-hole in the door; on 
being asked why he sat there, he answered, "Master, 
you never know two shot to go in the same place." 
Under this idea he was tranquil. Lord Howe s fleet 
appeared in the offing, consisting of 8 sail of the line, 
and 12 frigates. 

nth. The Count came to sail, and stood out, 
and the British fleet stood off the wind very fresh. 

I3th. A most severe storm of wind and rain, 
which stripped many trees of their fruit, and tore 
others up by the roots, &c. 

The troops on Rhode Island, under the command 
of Gen. Sullivan, were on the nth, 10,122, includ 
ing officers, exclusive of some volunteers from New 
Hampshire, and other corps, arranged as follows: 

AuG.i 77 8] HEATH S MEMOIRS 203 

Varnum s brigade, including officers, ,037 

Glover s, ,131 

Cornell s, ,719 

Greene s, ,626 

Lovell s, ,158 

Titcomb s, 957 

Livingston s advance, 659 

West s reserve, i>O25 

Artillery, 810 

Total, 10,122 

These were encamped at and near Quaker Hill. 
The storm destroyed a great number of cartridges, 
owing to the badness of the boxes. A fresh supply 
was sent on from Boston. 

1 5th. The army advanced, and in the afternoon 
arrived within two miles of the enemy, without the 
least opposition. Gen. Washington with the main 
army, was at the White Plains, in the State of New 
York, said to be about 20,000 strong. Seventeen 
transports with troops from Gen. Howe s army at 
New York, sailed for Rhode Island; but rinding the 
French squadron in the way, could not come to the 

On the evening of the i6th, Gen. Sullivan took 
possession of some high grounds which commanded 
the enemy s works on their right, and was not dis 
covered until morning, when they began to cannon 
ade the Americans, but did them no damage, which 
was continued the next day without injury. 

On the night of the I7th, the covered way was 
nearly completed, and also two batteries of cannon. 
The enemy fired 300 or 400 shot, but did no other 
damage than slightly wounding two men. 

1 9th. The American works were advanced nearer 


to the enemy, and on the 20th they had one man 
killed and two wounded by the enemy s cannon. In 
the afternoon the Count D Estaing returned to New 
port his own ship, the Languedoc, was totally dis 
masted in the storm, and lost her rudder. In this 
situation, an English 50 gun ship of Lord Howe s 
squadron, came across her, and got under her stern, 
where she did the Languedoc some small damage; 
but on nearing the Languedoc, so as to bring some 
of her heavy metal to bear, the Englishman bore 
away. The Marseilles, a 74, lost her foremast in 
the storm, and the Caesar, a 74, parted from the 

22d. In the afternoon, the Caesar came to anchor 
in the light-house channel, (Boston lower harbour). 
After parting from the squadron in the storm, she 
fell in with a British 50 gun ship, with whom she 
was engaged for near three glasses, and would have 
taken her, had not some other English ships hove in 
sight. The Caesar had 160 men killed and wounded, 
about 60 of which were of the former; and the Cap 
tain among the latter, who lost an arm. On his 
being brought up to Boston, our General imme 
diately paid him a visit, and expressed to him his 
regret for the arm he had lost; to which the Captain 
replied, although very weak through the great loss 
of blood he had sustained that he was ready to 
lose his other arm in the cause of the Americans. 
Remember this, ye Americans, in future times! 

The same day, the enemy threw 2 or 300 shells at 
our troops on Rhode Island; two men only were 
wounded, and the fire briskly returned. The Count 
D Estaing determined to come round with his squad 
ron to Boston, and Gen. Sullivan must retreat to the 
north end of the island.* 

* See Appendix XX, 


26th. Maj. Gen. Hancock returned to Boston. 
The volunteers were coming home. 

On the morning of the 28th, the Count D Estaing, 
with his squadron, arrived in Nantasket Road, and 
the next day the Count came up to town. 

On the 2Qth, there was a smart action between the 
British and Americans, towards the north end of 
Rhode Island, which terminated in favour of the 
latter. The most severe part of this action was at 
the hollow between Butt s Hill and Quaker Hill, a 
ground situated for slaughter on both sides, rather 
than for decisive victory on either. Col. Jackson s 
regiment of Continental troops, and Gen. Lovell s 
brigade of militia, are said to have distinguished 
themselves; and the artillery drove off two frigates 
that attempted to cover the enemy s flank. The 
Americans had about 60 men killed, and 1 80 wound 
ed. The loss of the enemy unknown. 

On the evening of the 3Oth, Gen. Sullivan left 
the island; and on the morning of the 3ist, an ex 
press from Plymouth brought intelligence that 20 
sail of topsail vessels were seen off that place the 
evening before some of them very large ships. In 
consequence of this intelligence, our General, the 
President of the Council, Gen. Hancock, and others, 
went down the harbour, to confer with the Count 
D Estaing. 

The next day, September ist, the Count came up 
to town, with a number of his officers, and was to 
dine with our General. Just as the company were 
going to sit down, the signal guns announced the 
appearance of the fleet, and which were visible from 
the town, (Mr. John Cutler having discovered them 
from the steeple of the Old South meeting-house) 
appearing to be about 20 sail, eight of which at least 
were two deckers. The Count immediately put off 

2o6 HEATH S MEMOIRS [SEPT. i 77 8 

for the squadron. Several of the islands next to the 
road had been fortified, and the squadron moored, 
in order to give a warm reception to the British, 
should they attempt to enter the road. A number 
of regiments of the militia of the vicinity were 
ordered to march immediately to the Castle, Dor 
chester Heights, Boston, Noddle s Island, &c. Sev 
eral signal guns were heard in the bay the latter part 
of the night, and the next morning the fleet was out 
of sight. The militia which were coming in were 
countermanded. Admiral Byron s squadron arrived 
a few days before, at Sandy Hook. The enemy 
made a descent on New Bedford, and did consid 
erable damage: they also made a demand on the 
inhabitants of Martha s Vineyard, for a large number 
of cattle, sheep, &c. 

Qth. An affray happened in Boston between some 
American and French sailors; two French officers 
in attempting to part them, were much wounded 
one of them, a Major of the fleet, died of the wounds 
on the I5th. 

Brigadier-General Speckt, the eldest Brigadier of 
the Hessian troops under the Convention, wrote a 
letter to our General, in which he informed him, 
that, being advanced in age, he had but little taste 
for those pleasures and amusements which please the 
young and gay; but he had not lost his taste for 
sporting with his gun, and requested that he might 
do it within the limits of his parole. Nothing could 
be more pleasing to our General, than to gratify this 
brave veteran soldier; he therefore wrote him the 
following answer: 

HEAD-QUARTERS, BOSTON, Sept. loth, 1778. 
"SiR, f 
"YOUR letter of the Qth inst. came safe to hand. 


The frequent informations which I have received of 
your civil and polite behaviour, since you have been 
at Cambridge, and your taste for little diversion ex 
cept shooting, leads me to grant you every indulgence 
which is compatible with my duty, and the honour 
and safety of my country. You therefore have my 
permission to go a shooting within the limits assigned 
you, attended by one servant; and hope the amuse 
ment will equal your expectation. 

I am, &c. 

(Signed) W. HEATH. 

Brig. Gen. SPECKT." 

iyth. The General Assembly ordered 1,200 men 
to be detached from the militia, and marched to 
Boston immediately; and on the iQth, ordered one- 
third part of their train-band to be immediately de 
tached for the purpose of completing the works in 
and about the town of Boston garrisoning the works, 
&c. Our General went on board the Count s ship, 
and with him to view the works on George s Island. 

22d. The Count D Estaing, with the officers of 
his squadron, made a public appearance in town 
were received by a Committee of both Houses of 
the General Assembly, at their landing breakfasted 
at Gen. Hancock s took punch and wine at Head- 
Quarters, at twelve o clock; and then returned to 
the fleet, under a salute on leaving the town, and on 
passing the Castle. 

The grand army under Gen. Washington took a 
new position; one division under the immediate com 
mand of Gen. Putnam, at Fishkill; one under Gen. 
de Kalb, at Fredericksburg; and one under Gen. 
Gates, at Danbury. 

24th. The General Assembly countermanded 
their orders for calling out one third part of their 

208 HEATH S MEMOIRS [OCT. i 77 8 

train-band, and ordered that they be held in readi 
ness to march on the shortest notice, wherever occa 
sion shall require. 

25th. The General Assembly made a public din 
ner for the Count D Estaing, &c. &c. The next 
day, the Count D Estaing, Marquis de la Fayette, 
and a number of other officers and gentlemen, dined 
with our General. 

October 5th. The British destroyed the salt-works 
and several stores, and did other damage, at Egg 
Harbour; they also surprised a part of Pulaski s 
legion in that neighborhood, whom they handled 
very severely. The British pretended that they had 
heard that Pulaski had instructed his men not to give 
them quarter; they therefore anticipated retaliation. 
About the same time, Baylor s dragoons were sur 
prised at Tappan, and treated much in the same 
manner. Nocturnal enterprises, in which the bayo 
net is principally made use of, are generally uncom 
monly bloody. 

The Languedoc, the Count s ship, having been 
completely repaired, fell down to Nantasket Road, 
and joined the squadron. 

6th. Gen. du Portail, the Chief Engineer of the 
American army, came to Boston to survey the several 
works, in order to their being repaired or augmented, 
as might appear necessary; and fatigue parties were 
employed on the different works, and every thing 
put in the best posture of defence. 

2Oth. Our General, in company with the Count 
D Estaing and others, went to Nantasket to take a 
view of the works there, and to review a battalion of 
marines, who manoeuvred well, and in every partic 
ular were well disciplined, owing to the unwearied 
attention of their Major, M Donald, a Scotchman, 
whose father was in the rebellion in England, and 

Nov.i 77 8] HEATH S MEMOIRS 209 

with his son fled to France for safety. Gen. Bou- 
ganville had the command at Nantasket; he was 
also commander of one of the first ships in the fleet 
under the Count D Estaing. The enemy left the 
Jerseys, and prepared to embark a large body of 
troops. About 100 sail of shipping, including men- 
of-war, fell down to the Hook on the iyth of October. 
On the iQth and 2Oth, the fleet sailed from Sandy 
Hook; the first division consisted of upwards of 120 
sail, of which 15 were of the line, and 10 or 12 
frigates. This fleet went to the West Indies, with 
about 4,000 troops. The second division, about 30 
sail, of which 2 were of 50 guns, and 2 frigates. 
They stood to the eastward; there was but few 
troops on board the latter. Six brigades of the 
Continental army were on their march for Hartford, 
in Connecticut, to be ready to move this way, should 
the enemy appear in this quarter; and Maj. Gen. 
Gates was ordered to take the command in the 
Eastern Department. 

November 4th. In the morning the Count D Es- 
taing s squadron sailed from Nantasket Road. 

6th. Maj. Gen. Gates, with his lady, suite, &c. 
arrived at Boston. The Somerset, British man-of- 
war, of 64 guns, run ashore on Cape Cod, and was 
taken possession of by the militia, who sent the crew 
prisoners to Boston. 

yth. Maj. Gen. Gates took the command at Bos 
ton. In the next Continental Journal, printed by 
John Gill, the following made its appearance: 

BOSTON, Nov. 12. 

"On Thursday last, arrived in town, from Hart 
ford, the Hon. Horatio Gates, Esq. Major-General 
in the army of the United States, being appointed 
by Congress to the chief command in the Eastern 


District, in the room of the Hon. Major-General 

"While we receive, with the highest pleasure, a 
General justly celebrated for his personal virtues and 
martial achievements, we cannot but pay a due trib 
ute of respect to one, whose accomplishments as 
a citizen, a gentleman, and an officer, have shone 
so conspicuously in the delicacy, propriety, and dig 
nity of his private and public conduct, through the 
whole of his command in this department. 

"Tenacious of the civil rights of the community 
and of the honour and safety of these Free, Sovereign 
and Independent States, so far as they were entrusted 
to his protection, in the most interesting and critical 
circumstances in which a General could possibly be 
placed, he has uniformly exhibited a prudence, ani 
mation, decision and firmness, which have done him 
honour, and fully justified the confidence reposed in 

"The cordial and most explicit approbation of the 
army, the inhabitants of this town, the army and 
navy of our illustrious ally, the Government of this 
State, his Excellency the Commander in Chief, and 
of Congress, added to the consciousness of his having 
discharged his trust with fidelity must, in a great 
measure, have alleviated the fatigues incident to his 
arduous station, and compensated the loss of his 
health, so much impaired by an incessant attention 
to business. 

"The very polite and affectionate terms in which 
he has taken leave of the department, in his last 
general orders, demand also our most grateful 

loth and nth. The Convention troops marched 
for Virginia. They were marched to Connecticut, 
and delivered to the orders of Gov. Trumbull; and 

DEC. i 77 8] HEATH S MEMOIRS 211 

were in like manner to be conveyed from State to 
State, each furnishing an escort, wagons, &c. until 
they reached Virginia. Gen. Sir Henry Clinton, 
having refused to give passports to American vessels 
to bring to Boston provisions for the use of the 
Convention troops, or otherwise supplying of them, 
Congress on the I5th of October, passed a resolve 
that the troops of the Convention should be removed 
to Qiarlottesville in Virginia, and they were now 
moving accordingly. 

24th. It was learnt that the brigades which 
marched from the American grand army to Hart 
ford, marched back to Danbury. In this month, 
Col. Alden, of one of the Massachusetts regiments, 
with his clerk, were surprised and killed by the Tories 
and Indians, at Cherry Valley, in the State of New 
York. The regiment defended the place, and re 
pulsed the enemy. The American army went into 
winter quarters in the Jerseys, at Danbury, Peeks- 
kill, &c. Capt. Hallet, on the 23d, on George s 
Bank, latitude 41 40 north, in 18 fathoms water, dis 
covered a mast 10 or 12 feet above water; upon a close 
examination, supposed it to be the top-mast of a 74 
gun ship of Admiral Byron s squadron, which foun 
dered in the storm, when the Somerset ran on shore. 

December iQth. It was learnt that the small armed 
vessels of the enemy did considerable damage to the 
inhabitants along the eastern coast of Massachusetts, 
by plundering, taking their coasting vessels, &c. A 
little before this time, Colonel Joseph Ward, Muster- 
Master-General, and Lieut. Col. Bradford, were taken 
by a gang of refugees, in the Jerseys, and carried to 
New York. 

27th. Our General received letters from Admiral 
Gambier, respecting the prisoners taken from the 

212 HEATH S MEMOIRS [JAN. i 779 

Somerset man-of-war, and proposing an immediate 
exchange; the letters couched in very polite terms. 

28th. A wagoner, his horse and four oxen were 
found frozen to death near the dyke, on Boston neck; 
they perished in the severe cold storm on the preced 
ing Saturday evening. 

A more particular account from Cherry Valley 
stated that there were 32 persons killed, beside Col. 
Alden, and 10 rank and file belonging to the Con 
tinental army, and about 30 other persons taken 
prisoners; 32 houses, 31 barns, one grist-mill, fulling- 
mill, and blacksmith s shop, burnt. The enemy con 
sisted of 200 refugees, and 443 Indians, commanded 
by Joseph Brant, Walter Butler, and the Seneca 

In the late storm, the General Arnold privateer 
drove on shore near Plymouth, and bilged; 80 of 
the crew perished; the survivors were much frost 

1779. January 6th. The Marquis de la Fayette, 
and Captain Raimondis, of the Caesar, French man- 
of-war, who was wounded and left at Boston, sailed 
for France in the Alliance frigate. 

8th. Capt. Mowatt, with his fleet of picaroons, 
were still infesting the eastern harbours; they had 
already captured about 60 sail of vessels, inward and 
outward bound, and burnt several houses, &c. 

Congress had passed a resolution for calling in the 
whole emission of Continental bills of May 2Oth, 
1777, and April nth, 1778, for which the possessors 
were to receive loan certificates, or new emission bills. 

2 1 st. It was learnt, that the enemy had made an 
irruption into the State of Georgia, and were in pos- 
sesssion of Sunbury. Their force, at first about 500, 
was said to have increased to upwards of 1000. 

* See Appendix XXI. 

FEB.i 779 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 213 

The British ship which foundered on George s 
Bank, and whose masts were discovered by Capt. 
Hallett, was supposed to be the Cornwall, of 74 guns. 
It is said her whole crew were lost. 

February ^d. It was learnt that the Count D Es- 
taing, on his arrival in the West Indies, made an 
attack on the British in the island of St. Lucia, but 
was defeated with considerable loss, after which he 
returned to Martinique. 

9th. It was learnt, that a number of Americans, 
confined in Gosport prison, in England, among whom 
was Doctor Downer of Roxbury, made their escape 
in the preceding Sept. by sapping with great address 
from the prison under the yard and fence, to the 
distance of 20 feet, daily concealing the earth which 
they dug, in the chimney of the prison. This Doctor 
Downer is the person mentioned to have killed a 
British soldier in single combat, on the igth of April, 
in the battle of Lexington.* 

nth. Intelligence was received that the British 
troops had made themselves masters of Savannah in 
Georgia. Their light-infantry having stole a march 
upon the Americans, by a pass through a swamp, 
which was supposed impassable, and thereby de 
feated our army, under the command of General 
Robert Howe. The American loss was said to be 
about 30 officers, and near 400 men, killed, wounded 
and taken prisoners. This event threw the whole 
State of Georgia into the hands of the British. The 
American General was accused of misconduct, and 
a long time after brought to trial, and honourably 
acquitted. The British here practised art, and force 
was obliged to yield to it. Their light-infantry find 
ing their way through the path in the swamp, bring 
ing of them on the flank and in the rear of the 

* See Appendix XXII. 


Americans, where they were not expected, or not 
guarded against, proved their overthrow. A few 
shots on the flank or rear of an enemy serve to 
disconcert them more than a heavy fire in the front. 
The point of decision here lies not in the force, but 
in the mind. A company of 50 men cannot fire 
more shots in the same given time on the flank, or 
in the rear, than they could in the front; but these 
few shots will have more effect on the minds of the 
enemy than the fire of a whole regiment in their 
front. The Americans were vastly inferior in num 
bers to the British, and must at any rate have been 
forced from the ground; but the British light-infantry 
passing through the swamp, was the first misfortune. 

The Continental currency was now greatly depre 
ciated. Provisions very scarce and dear, flour 
especially so, and many families in Boston almost 
destitute of this necessary article. 

26th. The following resolution of Congress was 
published in the Boston newspapers: 

In CONGRESS, October Sth, 1778. 
"Resolved, That all limitations of prices of gold or 
silver, be taken off." 

27th. It was learnt that the Supreme Executive 
Council of the State of Pennsylvania had exhibited 
a number of charges against Maj. Gen. Arnold, while 
in command at Philadelphia. 

March 7th. Intelligence was received that Gen. 
Tryon had lately made an excursion to Horseneck, 
in Connecticut, where he burnt three small vessels, 
destroyed all the salt-works, and one store; plun 
dered the inhabitants of their clothing, &c. and 
carried off about 200 cattle and horses, and some 
small stock. The party consisted of about 600 light- 
horse, light-infantry, rangers, &c. The enemy got 


off with the loss of 2 men killed and 20 made pris 
oners; giving out that their party was the advance 
of a body of 3 or 4000, they deceived the militia, and 
so escaped a severe drubbing. 

nth. It was learnt that on the 25th ult. the Brit 
ish made an excursion from Staten Island, with intent 
to surprise General Maxwell, who was stationed with 
his brigade at Elizabethtown, in the Jerseys. They 
landed at the point a little before day-break, and in 
such superior force as obliged the General to aban 
don the town, which he effected without loss. The 
enemy burnt the General s quarters, the barns, and 
a store or two, and then returned. 

29th. Intelligence was received that General 
Washington had issued a proclamation, offering a 
pardon to all deserters from the army of the United 
States, who should return to their duty by the first 
day of May following; and also called upon all ab 
sent officers to join their respective corps by that 

Maj. Gen. Sullivan was ordered from Providence 
to the main army, and Maj. Gen. Gates to the com 
mand at Providence. 

Capt. Mowatt again made his appearance on the 
eastern coast; he had landed some men, and burnt 
Mr. Shaw s house. 

Intelligence was received, that the British had 
gained an advantage on the borders of Georgia, near 
Briar Creek. Col. Elbert, with a number of others, 
were taken prisoners. Matters did not wear a fa 
vourable aspect in that quarter; but it was hoped 
that Gen. Lincoln, who had now got the command, 
would give a new complexion to things at the south 

April 2d. Maj. Gen. Gates left Boston for Prov- 

216 HEATH S MEMOIRS [MAY, i 779 

idence; in consequence of which the command again 
devolved on our General. 

nth. It was learnt, that a fleet of refugee crui 
sers made an attempt to land a number of men near 
Falmouth, (Cape Cod) but were repulsed by the 
militia. They next proceeded to Nantucket, where 
they plundered the inhabitants of goods and effects. 
Edward Winslow, formerly of Marshfield, was said 
to be commander, with George Leonard, and others. 

i6th. The Continental frigates, Warren, Ranger, 
and Queen of France, had been very successful in a 
cruise, having taken seven or eight prizes going from 
New York to Georgia: they were now coming in; 
among them the Jason, of 20 guns and 150 men; 
and Maria, of 16 guns four field and about twenty 
commissioned officers, were on board. A large num 
ber of accoutrements for dragoons, dry goods to the 
amount of 100,000, and it was said a sum in specie 
a large quantity of flour, &c. 

A great uneasiness prevailed in the army at Prov 
idence on account of the scarcity of flour. Relief 
was sent on. 

May 3d. Capt. Farnald, of New Hampshire, was 
unfortunately shot in the breast, as he was standing 
on Hancock s wharf, by a musket-ball discharged 
from the Warren frigate. 

yth. Intelligence was received that Col. Van- 
schaak, of the New York line, with about 500 men, 
had lately made an excursion to Onondaga, sur 
prised the cattle, killed 12 Indians, and took 34 
prisoners; destroyed their castle, cattle, provisions, 
&c. without the loss of a man. 

nth. Several vessels laden with rice, on account 
of the United States, arrived at Boston, from the 
southward, which was a great relief to the troops. 

An embarkation of troops had sailed from New 


York, under the command of Gen. Matthews, con 
voyed by the ships under the command of Sir George 
Collier. They entered the Capes of Virginia, on the 
8th. The Qth or loth they took possession of a fort 
at the entrance of Elizabeth River, on the west side. 
They destroyed a number of vessels, stores, provis 
ions, &c. and returned. 

3Oth. Sir Henry Clinton moved up the Hudson, 
with a large body of troops, covered by Sir George 
Collier s naval force, which had just returned from 
Virginia. The intention of Sir Henry Clinton was 
to seize the posts at King s Ferry. 

3 ist. Gen. Vaughan, with the troops under his 
command, landed on the east side of the river, a few 
miles below Verplanck s; and Gen. Sir Henry Clinton 
on the west side, a little below Stony Point. They 
soon got possession of both the points, and imme 
diately rendered them more defensible. 

June 4th. Our General received orders from Gen. 
Washington to join the main army. He had before 
ordered all the heavy cannon at Boston and Prov 
idence, belonging to the United States, to be sent on 
to Hudson s River; they were sent on, slung under 
two pair of stout cart-wheels each, and were a pon 
derous load. 

Our General received polite and affectionate ad 
dresses, on his leaving the department, from the 
officers of the line staff department the officers 
of the Boston regiment of militia, &c. 

On the nth, he left Boston, accompanied by a 
large and respectable number of officers and citizens, 
in carriages and on horse-back, as far as Watertown, 
where the gentlemen had ordered an elegant dinner 
to be provided. After having dined, he took his 
leave, amidst a shout of hearty wishes for his health 
and prosperity. 


I4th. He reached Springfield was met some 
distance out of town by Col. Armand s dragoons, 
and the officers of the Springfield department; and, 
on entering the town, was received by the infantry 
of the legion, and a salute of cannon from the park. 
Here he quitted the extent of his late eastern com 
mand. He was escorted out of town by the officers 
of the several military departments, and Armand s 

2ist. He arrived at New Windsor; and on the 
22d, attended Gen. Washington to West Point. 

23d. Our General took the command of the 
troops on the east side of the Hudson, having in 
front all the out-posts towards New York, on that 
side of the river. The British were now in posses 
sion of both the points at King s Ferry; and a num 
ber of transports had lain in the river for some time. 
The advanced posts of the Americans at this time, 
on this side, did not extend lower than Peekskill; 
and a picket mounted every night at the south foot 
of Sugar Loaf Hill. 

On the morning of the 24th, about 200 of the 
enemy s light-horse came up as far as Crom Pond 
surprised two militia pickets killed and took pris 
oners about 30 men. About 130 light-infantry of 
the enemy, at the same time, came out from Ver- 
planck s Point, made an excursion round, and then 

On the morning of the 25th, the enemy s light- 
horse, and about 1000 infantry, were at Pine s Bridge. 
Our General ordered 200 light-infantry, under the 
command of Lieut. Col. Grosvenor, to march to 
Robinson s stores, near Marpoach Pond, to cover 
that quarter. 

27th. A deserter came in from Verplanck s Point, 
who reported that the British army, except five or 

juN E)I7 79] HEATH S MEMOIRS 219 

six regiments, were to leave the Points, and were 
then embarking. Soon after, upwards of 30 sail of 
transports were seen, standing down the river. The 
British had a sloop at anchor off Peekskill landing, 
and a ship off the Dunderberg. Lest the enemy 
meant a deception, the Americans were ordered to 
lie on their arms, and a regiment extra was ordered 
to advance on the heights. 

28th. Three deserters, one a Hessian musician 
with his horn, came in from the enemy; they con 
firmed the testimony of the former deserter that the 
body of the British army had left the Points. 

29th. Moylan s horse crossed the river, to rein 
force the left; they were to be followed by Armand s 
legion. At evening a deserter came in from the 
enemy. A detachment from the British at Rhode 
Island arrived at New York. 

Congress, by ballot, chose our General a Commis 
sioner of the Board of War; which was communi 
cated to him by a letter from his Excellency the 
President, which he received on the 3Oth, as follows: 

PHILADELPHIA, June 24-th, 1779. 

"I HAVE the pleasure of transmitting to you, en 
closed, an extract from the minutes of Congress, of 
the 22d ult. by which you will perceive that you are 
elected to the place of a Commissioner to the Board 
of War. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 

(Signed) JOHN JAY, President. 
Maj. Gen. HEATH." 

In CONGRESS, May 22d, 1779. 
"Congress proceeded to the election of a Commis- 


sioner for the Board of War, and the ballots being 
taken, Maj. Gen. W. Heath was elected." 

Extract from the Minutes. 
(Signed) C. THOMSON, Secretary. 

Although this appointment was, in its nature, very 
honourable, with a salary proportionate, (4,000 dol 
lars per annum) and our General was informed that 
he would also retain his rank in the army, he abso 
lutely declined an acceptance of it; expressing, in a 
letter to his Excellency the President, the high sense 
he entertained of the honour done him by the ap 
pointment; yet, that he chose rather to participate in 
the more active operations of the field. 

"July 1st. Gen. Huntington s brigade moved 
down, and took post at the gorge of the mountains, 
near the Continental Village. A deserter came in 
from the enemy. 

2d. Col. Rufus Putnam reconnoitred the enemy s 
positions at Verplanck s and Stony Points. At even 
ing a deserter came in from the enemy. 

About 360 of the enemy s light-horse, and light- 
infantry, came out from Mile Square, and attacked 
Col. Sheldon s light-horse, who were posted at 
Pound Ridge, about 90 in number. The superior 
force of the enemy obliged our horse, at first, to re 
treat; but, being reinforced by the militia, they, in 
turn, pursued the enemy. Our loss was one Corpo 
ral, one Trumpeter, and eight privates, wounded: 
three Sergeants, one Corporal, and four privates miss 
ing; and 12 horses missing. The standard of the 
regiment, being left in the house when the dragoons 
suddenly turned out, was lost. Of .the enemy, one 
was killed, four taken prisoners, four horses taken, 
and one horse killed. The enemy set fire to and 
burnt the meeting-house and Maj. Lockwood s 


house; they also burnt Mr. Hay s house, at Bedford. 

The 5th was an excessive hot day, with a thunder 
shower; the lightning struck in the encampment of 
Col. Putnam s regiment, on Constitution Island, by 
which one man was killed; several received much 
hurt, and a large number were stunned. 

The enemy entered the Sound landed, and took 
possession of New Haven plundered and insulted 
the inhabitants, and left the place. 

yth. The enemy landed at Fairfield, and burnt 
many houses, &c. 

loth. About 6 o clock P. M. our General re 
ceived orders from Gen. Washington, to march, with 
the two Connecticut brigades, by the way of Crom 
Pond, towards Bedford. The next morning, al 
though rainy, the first brigade marched to the 

1 2th. The storm ceasing, the tents (although as 
wet as water could make them) were struck, and 
the troops took up their line of march, reaching 
Amiwalk about sun-setting. A report having been 
spread in the fore part of the day, that the enemy 
were at or near Pine s Bridge, our General ordered 
the baggage-wagons, under proper escort, to file off 
to the left, and pursue a road running parallel with 
the one on which the column was moving, thereby 
keeping the column between the enemy and the 
wagons. Both arrived on the ground of encamp 
ment within a few minutes of each other. The 
troops lay on their arms, without pitching their tents. 
The enemy continued their depredations at the 
Sound, and burnt some houses at Norwalk. 

1 3th. At 5 o clock A. M. the troops took up their 
line of march, and reached Ridgefield, where they 
halted for the night. The next morning, our Gen 
eral sent off all the tents and other baggage to 


Danbury, and took up his line of march towards 
Stamford. When he ascended the high grounds in 
sight of the sound, the enemy s fleet was observed 
under sail, standing off and on between Stamford 
and Long Island. About 12 o clock, two deserters 
from Gen. Clinton s army came to our troops; they 
had left the British army two or three hours before, 
at which time the enemy were on the point of mak 
ing a movement; the corps of guides and pioneers 
being then assembled at Gen. Clinton s quarters. 
This called for the exercise of discretion. The troops 
on board the transports, with Gen. Tryon, if the 
whole should land, were far inferior to the force 
with our General; but the main British army, with 
General Clinton, was by far superior to his. If the 
whole of the Americans had marched down to Stam 
ford, Clinton, by five or six hours forced marching, 
might have crossed his rear, and have cut him off 
from a communication with the Highlands; he there 
fore resolved to march forward to the Cross Roads, 
one of which went directly to the British army, 
another to Stamford, and in his rear to the High 
lands. Here he took a position in order of battle, 
and detached Col. Starr s and Meigs s regiments, 
with one field-piece, to Stamford, whose approach 
towards the town, in open view, would prevent Tryon 
from landing; or, in case he did with superior force, 
the detachment might be supported. In this sit 
uation the troops remained until dusk, and then 
took a more advantageous position for the night, 
the whole lying on their arms, in order of battle. 
Early on the morning of the I5th, our General re 
ceived information that the shipping had gone down 
towards New York; he therefore moved and took 
a strong position, between Ridgefield and Bedford, 
sending out patrols of horse and foot, on all the 

JULY, i 779 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 223 

roads. This movement towards the Sound, quieted 
the minds of the people, and saved Stamford and 
the towns from destruction. 

While the attention of both the grand armies, and 
of the adjacent country, was turned towards the 
Sound, the Great WASHINGTON ordered General 
Wayne to strike at Stony Point, with the light-in 
fantry, which lay not far distant from that post. 
This was done with great promptitude, the works 
being carried by assault, and the whole garrison 
made prisoners of war, with all the artillery, ammu 
nition, stores, &c. This was a most brilliant affair. 

In advancing to the assault, the front of the Amer 
ican column led, with unloaded arms, relying solely 
on the use of the bayonet. As they approached the 
works, a soldier insisted on loading his piece all 
was now a profound silence the officer, command 
ing the platoon, ordered him to keep on; the soldier 
observed that he did not understand attacking with 
his piece unloaded; he was ordered not to stop, at 
his peril; he still persisted, and the officer instantly 
dispatched him. A circumstance like this, shocks 
the feelings; but it must be considered how fatal the 
consequence would have been, if one single gun had 
been fired; scores would have lost their lives, and 
most probably defeat have been consequent; and 
therefore this was the lesser evil.* 

On the morning of the i6th, signal guns were 
heard in the Sound, towards New York, at intervals, 
from two o clock until day-light. Gen. Clinton s 
army moved to Mile Square. 

Stony Point having been taken, with so much 
eclat to the American arms, Gen. Washington de 
termined an attempt on Verplanck s Point, on the east 
side of the Hudson and opposite to Stony Point: 

* See Appendix XXIII. 


for this purpose Maj. Gen. Howe, with two brigades 
and some 12-pounders on travelling carriages, was 
ordered to proceed by the way of Peekskill, throw 
a bridge over the creek, move on to the point, and 
open batteries against the enemy s works, while a 
cannonade and bombardment was kept up across 
the river from Stony Point. 

I yth. At about 10 o clock, A. M. our General, 
while out reconnoitring, received, by an express from 
Gen. Washington, orders to move as expeditiously 
as possible to Peekskill, where he would find Gen. 
Howe with two brigades. Our General was to take 
the command of the whole, and carry into effect the 
orders which had been given to Gen. Howe. Our 
General returned immediately to the troops, and at 
12 o clock began his march towards Peekskill 
marched until dusk 15 miles, when the troops halted 
and laid down to rest on the side of the road; the 
dragoons not unsaddling their horses. At 3 o clock 
the next morning, the troops resumed their march, 
and in the afternoon our General received informa 
tion from Gen. Howe, by express, that Gen. Clinton 
was on full march with his whole army towards Ver- 
planck s Point: an answer was returned at what point 
the troops then were, and that they were marching 
as fast as the men could endure, and would continue 
so until they reached him. When the troops had 
advanced a little to the westward of Drake s farm, 
Col. Moylan came up from Gen. Howe, with infor 
mation that a part of Clinton s army were then above 
the New Bridge on Croton river, pushing for the 
point; and that he was retreating from the point as 
fast as possible. On this, our General ordered Gen. 
Huntington, with his brigade, and two field-pieces, 
to push forward as fast as the troops could march 
and keep in breath, and take a position on the high 

JULY, i 779 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 225 

ground, to the south of Peekskill, which commands 
the road to the point, and also that to the New Bridge 
on Croton river; and ordered a regiment to file off to 
the right, and secure the pass over the hills between 
Drake s and Peekskill, and also ordered the flank- 
guard on the left to be reinforced, and to send out 
small flank-guards still further from its flank. The 
troops moving on with the utmost expedition to the 
ground which Gen. Huntington had been ordered 
forward to secure. Every moment that passed was 
expected to announce the commencement of an ac 
tion between the advanced or flanking parties of the 
two armies, but it did not take place. At this mo 
ment, Gen. Washington, having learnt how matters 
stood, and that possibly Gen. Clinton might attempt 
to push into the Highlands, sent an express to our 
General to move into the Highlands immediately, 
which was done just after dark, the troops passing 
the night on Bald Hill. It was generally the opin 
ion, that if our General had not been at hand to ad 
vance in the manner he did, that Gen. Clinton, by 
a forced march of his light troops, backed by his 
army, would have got in the rear of Gen. Howe, 
before he could have possibly gained the road at 
Peekskill, and between his army and a sally from 
the garrison of Verplanck s Point inevitably cut off 
the whole. Our troops at Stony Point cannonaded 
and bombarded the enemy s works at Verplanck s 
during the whole day, and until near midnight. The 
post was then evacuated, and the Washington galley 
was blown up. 

1 9th. The troops moved from Bald Hill, Par- 
sons s brigade to Robinson s, Huntington s and Pat 
terson s to Nelson s, Nixon s to the gorge of the 

On the morning of the 2Oth, the British army 


moved from their encampment, near the New Bridge, 
to Dobbs Ferry. The shipping in Tappan Bay 
came to sail, and stood down the river. By a new 
disposition of the American army, on this day, our 
General was to command the left wing; it then con 
sisted of two regiments of horse, and two divisions 
of infantry. 

22d. Two deserters came in from Verplanck s 
Point; they reported that the garrison consisted of 
about 1000 men. This day about 40 sail of trans 
ports sailed up the Sound. The British army en 
camped near Dobbs Ferry, their advanced picket 
at Jonathan Odell s, three miles below Tarrytown; 
from this encampment the enemy moved to Mile 
Square, Valentine s Hill, &c. A deserter from Ver- 
planck s Point reported that the British had again 
taken possession of Stony Point, and were repairing 
the works, their force on both sides of the river being 
about 1500; and that they had got up the guns of 
our galley, which had been blown up. 

25th. The British having sent Col. M Lean, in 
the month of the preceding June, with six or seven 
hundred men, to establish a post at the mouth of 
Penobscot river, the Legislature of Massachusetts 
determined to dislodge them, and made arrangements 
for the purpose. The armament, with the troops, 
made their appearance on this day before the posts; 
the issue is detailed in a subsequent page. 

26th. Four deserters came in from the enemy; 
they reported that Stony Point was repairing with 
great expedition, and that Lord Cornwallis arrived 
at New York on the 24th. 

28th. Four deserters came in from the enemy. 
Capt. Hopkins, of the dragoons, took the Captain 
of the Bellona transport, a Sergeant and Corporal of 

AUG. i 779 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 227 

the 64th British regiment, and two seamen, who had 
ventured too far on the shore near Sing Sing. 

2Qth. Two deserters came in from the enemy. 

3<Dth. Three deserters came in from Verplanck s 
Point. This morning, Capt. Hopkins, of Moylan s 
light dragoons, fell in with a party of the enemy, 
under Col. Emmerick, near Young s tavern, and 
charged them vigorously; but the Colonel being sup 
ported by the Hessian Yagers, Capt. Hopkins was 
obliged to retreat: he brought off with him three 
prisoners and four horses, and killed six of the enemy 
on the spot, and wounded a number. Several pris 
oners which he had taken, were retaken by the 
enemy. Capt. Hopkins had one dragoon and two 
horses wounded. The British army were under 
marching orders for several days. 

3 1 st. Three deserters came in from the enemy. 
A body of the enemy landed in the Jerseys. 

August 1st. Capt. Hopkins gave notice that the 
British army had moved below Kingsbridge. Three 
deserters came in from the enemy. 

2d. Six deserters came in from the enemy. The 
British army encamped on York Island: Emmerick s 
and Bearmore s corps above Kingsbridge. The 
American army remained at their respective posts 
in the Highlands. 

5th. About 100 horse, of Sheldon s, Moylan s, 
and of the militia, and about 40 infantry of Glover s 
brigade, passed by Delaney s mills to the neighbour 
hood of Morrisania, where they took 12 or 14 pris 
oners, some stock, &c. The enemy collected a 
skirmish ensued, in which the enemy had a number 
of men killed and wounded; our loss, two killed, and 
two wounded. The British army, below the 7 mile 
stone on York Island, were alarmed by a report 
that a French fleet were on the coast. Three de- 

228 HEATH S MEMOIRS [AUG. i 779 

serters from Verplanck s Point; they reported that 
the garrison, except 400 men, were to remove to 
New York. 

Qth. Four deserters from the point. 

loth. Two deserters from the enemy. There 
were some desertions from our army to the enemy. 

I4th. Four prisoners, taken the I2th, near Sing- 
Sing, were sent up, and two deserters from the Brit 
ish 33d regiment came in. 

lyth. Three deserters from the enemy. 

1 8th. Seven deserters came in; the enemy were 
very strongly fortifying Laurel Hill, on New York 
Island, nearly opposite to Fort Washington. 

1 9th. Twenty-three wagon loads of forage were 
brought off from the vicinity of Peekskill, covered 
by 250 men, under the command of Lt. Col. Putnam. 
The galley and one of the enemy s gun-boats fired a 
number of cannon-shot at the party, but did them 
no harm. The night before, Maj. Lee, with about 
400 men, surprised and took the garrison at Paulus 

2Oth. Two deserters came in from the enemy. 

2 1 st. Two deserters came in. At night, the en 
emy s guard-boats came as far up the river as An 
thony s Nose, and fired several shot at the camp of 
our light-infantry. 

23d. Three deserters came in from the enemy. 
The enemy burnt two houses belonging to the Lents, 
near Verplanck s Point. Accounts were received, that 
Gen. Sullivan had advanced into the Indian country, 
and taken two of their principal villages. 

25th. Admiral Arbuthnot arrived at New York, 
with about 200 sail of transports: between 2 and 
3,000 troops arrived in the fleets, and a large sum of 
money was brought for the army. The Continental 

* See Appendix XXIV. 

SEPT. i 779 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 229 

frigates were very successful at sea, and sent into 
Boston several rich sugar ships. 

3Oth. Three deserters came in from Verplanck s 
Point; and a prisoner belonging to the 33d regiment, 
taken by one of our patrolling parties, was sent up. 
About 15 sail of square-rigged vessels lay at anchor 
near King s Ferry. 1231 recruits, of the 2,000 or 
dered by Massachusetts, to serve 9 months, had 
already joined the army. 

September 4th. Three deserters from the enemy. 

5th. Two deserters came in. Preparations were 
making in New York for an embarkation of troops. 
The British army sickly, especially the newly arrived 

6th. The enemy made an excursion from Kings- 
bridge, towards Horseneck; on their return they 
carried off some cattle, sheep, poultry, &c. Ac 
counts were received, that General Sullivan had ob 
tained further advantages in the Indian country. 

9th. Two deserters came in from the enemy. 
Putrid fever and scurvy raged at New York, among 
the British troops. The American army remained 
in their former position: the Virginia line, near Ram- 
apo, on the right; the light-infantry, near Fort 
Montgomery; the Maryland line, on the left of the 
light-infantry; Pennsylvania line, and two brigades 
of Massachusetts, at West Point; North Carolina 
brigade, at Constitution Island; the Connecticut line, 
on the east side of the Hudson, between Nelson s 
and Robinson s; Nixon s brigade, at the gorge of the 
mountains, above the Continental Village; Glover s 
brigade, Moylan s, Sheldon s, and Armand s horse, 
at Lower Salem. On the west side of the Hudson, be 
sides Fort Clinton, at West-Point, and Fort Putnam, 
on the height back of it, there were seven or eight 
redoubts, built and building. On the east side of 


the river, the north and middle redoubts, and a re 
doubt at the gorge of the mountains. Great ex 
pectations of the arrival of a French fleet on the 
American coast. 

1 3th. Four deserters came in from the enemy. 

I4th. Just after reveille, our General received 
orders to put Nixon s brigade under marching orders, 
which was done immediately. Gen. Howe was or 
dered to move with Glover s to Pine s Bridge, Croten 
River, and Nixon s to join him. 

1 5th. A deserter came in from Verplanck s Point. 
The day before, a party of the enemy s horse came 
out from Kingsbridge, with intent to surprise Lieut. 
Col. White; but, by the desertion of one of the party, 
they were disappointed. The Count de la Luzerne, 
the new French Minister, arrived, and dined at Gen. 
Washington s. 

1 6th. Nixon s brigade marched to form a junc 
tion with Glover s, and a picket of 150 men mounted 
at the Village. Four deserters came in from the 
enemy. The Count Luzerne was highly pleased 
with the treatment he received in passing through 
the New England States. The lyth, he left head 
quarters, on his way to Philadelphia. 

1 8th. Gen. Howe was ordered to march back to 
Lower Salem, with Glover s and Nixon s brigades. 

iQth. Two deserters came in from the enemy. 
Some appearances indicated an evacuation of Ver 
planck s Point. 

22d. A deserter came in from Kingsbridge. 
Preparations for the embarkation of a large body of 
troops continued at New York. 

29th. Two deserters from the enemy, and one 
the day before. 

3<Dth. The engineers, covered by a detachment 
of 300 men, reconnoitred the enemy s works at Ver- 

ocT.i 779 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 231 

planck s; the enemy appeared to be much alarmed, 
and fired a number of cannon and small-arms at our 
party, and a reinforcement came over from Stony 
Point. At evening another deserter came in. 

October ist. The American light-infantry moved 
down near to Kakeat, and the North Carolina brig 
ade from Constitution Island to New Windsor. One 
deserter from the enemy. 

2d. Two deserters came in from the enemy. 
Certain intelligence was received that the Count 
D Estaing had arrived at Georgia. The enemy, at 
Verplanck s Point, opened a number of pits, about 
five feet deep, and four feet over, with a sharp stake 
in the middle, around the outside of the abattis. 
By the last accounts from Gen. Sullivan, he was at 
Tioga, on his return this way; he had destroyed a 
great number of Indian towns, and immense quan 
tities of corn and other produce, and cut down many 
fruit-trees. It is a great pity the latter were not 
spared; they would have been very pleasing to the 
American settlers, who will one day, not far distant, 
fill that fertile country.* 

A number of armed vessels, from the Connecticut 
ports on the Sound, cut and brought off a number 
of the enemy s vessels from Huntington harbour, 
Long Island, and the Halifax brig was taken by an 
armed galley. 

4th. Five deserters came in from the enemy. 
Gen. Howe was ordered to take post again at Pine s 

5th. The Sieur Gerard, the late French Minister, 
came to camp, and dined at head-quarters. Two 
days before, Lieut. Gill, of the dragoons, patrolling 
in East Chester, found a superior force in his rear, 
and no alternative but to surrender or cut his way 

* See Appendix XXV. 


through them; he chose the latter, and forced his 
way, when he found a body of infantry still behind 
the horse; these he also charged, and on his passing 
them, his horse was wounded and threw him, when 
he fell into the enemy s hands. Two of the Lieu 
tenant s party, which consisted of 24, were killed, 
and one taken prisoner; the rest escaped safe to 
their regiments. 

Congress about this time appointed the Hon. John 
Adams, a Plenipotentiary, extra, to repair to France, 
to negotiate for a peace with Great Britain, when an 
opportunity occurred. The British fortified Gov 
ernor s Island, in the harbour of New York, and 
appeared under great apprehensions of a visit from 
the French fleet under the Count D Estaing. The 
troops and shipping at Rhode Island were ordered to 
New York. 

7th. One deserter from Verplanck s Point. There 
was a cannonade between our infantry at Grassy 
Point and one of the enemy s guard-ships, when the 
latter was driven from her moorings. 

8th. The light-infantry of Glover s brigade 
crossed the Hudson to join Gen. Wayne. The 
British had a number of ships ready to sink in the 
channel, in case a French fleet arrived, and attempted 
to enter the harbour of New York. The merchants 
in the city packing up their goods. 

Qth. A fleet of transports passed the Sound 
towards Rhode Island. 

The General Officers of the American army re 
solved to address Congress, respecting themselves and 
the army. 

nth. There was a cannonade in the river be 
tween the American and British gun-boats; but no 
damage was done. 

Sir Joseph Yorke, the British Minister at the 

OCT. i 779 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 233 

Hague, addressed their High Mightinesses on the 
22d of the preceding July, in such language as 
evinced the feelings of the British nation. One de 
serter from Verplanck s Point. 

1 2th. Gen. Sir Henry Clinton and Col. Robinson 
came up to Verplanck s Point, in the ship Fanny, and 
returned the next day; after which, the workmen at 
the points ceased working. The troops of the enemy 
sickly at the points. 

I3th. Two deserters came in. 

I4th. Two prisoners of war were sent up, and 
four deserters came in. The British transports were 
collected near Turtle Bay, and their ships of war 
near the Narrows. 

1 5th. Seven deserters came in from Verplanck s 
Point; they reported that the enemy were putting 
their baggage, sick, the women, &c. on board the 

i6th. Fourteen prisoners, seamen, taken by Capt. 
Hallet s company of New York militia, two days be 
fore, on the North River, near Teller s Point, were sent 
up, and one deserter came in. Just before sunset, 
a galley and several of the enemy s gun-boats came 
up the river as high as Fort Montgomery, and fired 
a number of shot at some of our boats, and at the 
troops on the west side of the river; the Americans 
discharged some muskets from the banks at the boats, 
and the latter returned down the river. 

I7th. One deserter came in from the enemy. 

iQth. One deserter from Verplanck s Point. 

2 1 st. Three deserters came in from Verplanck s, 
and reported that the enemy were on the point of 
evacuating their works. The officer commanding 
the advance picket soon after sent information that 
the works appeared to be on fire, and the shipping 
standing down the river. Maj. Waldbridge, who 

234 HEATH S MEMOIRS [OCT. i 779 

commanded the advance picket, immediately sent 
a detachment to take possession of the works. Sev 
eral loaded shells left by the enemy, in places where 
the fire would come at them, burst, but did no harm. 
The enemy left one horse, a few old intrenching tools, 
and some other trifles at the point. The transports 
came to anchor off the mouth of Croton River; and 
information was received that the British grenadiers 
were on board transports, in the river near Fort 
Washington, and the yth and 33d regiments in read 
iness to embark at a moment s notice. Our Gen 
eral, lest there might be an attempt made on Gen. 
Howe s division, ordered a detachment of 500 men, 
and half the Village picket, under the command of 
Col. Bradley, to march, and take post, during the 
night, towards the New Bridge, on Croton River, 
to cover the right flank of Howe s division. 

22d. About noon, the enemy s transports came 
to sail with the ebb, and beat down against the wind, 
and were soon out of sight. 

24th. Col. Bradley s detachment returned to 
camp. The Colonel reported that he observed large 
quantities of forage and fruit, in the fields between 
Verplanck s Point and Croton River. To secure the 
forage, and cover the communication by King s 
Ferry, Gen. Washington ordered our General to 
move down and encamp at Peekskill. 

27th. The Connecticut line moved down and en 
camped on the high ground to the southward of 
Peekskill, and Maj. Gen. Howe s division was or 
dered up to form a junction. The day before, the 
enemy landed a body of troops, said to be some thou 
sands strong, at Amboy, and advanced towards 
Brunswick. The light-infantry, and the Virginia 
line, were ordered to move down that way. 

A man, who said he was a lieutenant in the Brit- 

NOV. i 779 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 235 

ish service, and who produced a commission, came 
out, pretending that he had been ill-treated, &c. 

The State of Massachusetts appeared to be deter 
mined to fill up their regiments, and offered 300 
dollars bounty to those who would enlist, in addition 
to the Continental bounty, which was 200 dollars, 
making the whole bounty 500 dollars. This morn 
ing about 70 sail of vessels, many of them large ships, 
passed down the Sound, having the garrison of Rhode 
Island on board. 

When the enemy landed yesterday at South Am- 
boy, 96 horse about the same time landed at Perth 
Amboy, and proceeded rapidly to Middlebrook 
burnt Raritan meeting-house, Somerset court-house, 
and six boats, and returned through Spotswood to 
South Amboy. This party, on its retreat, was met 
by 13 of the militia, who fired upon them, killed one 
man and four horses, and took the commanding 
officer, Lieut. Simcoe, and one trooper, prisoners. 
By the capture of Simcoe, the inhabitants were freed 
of a very enterprising and troublesome officer. The 
destruction of the boats was the object of this 

2Qth. Gen. Howe s division formed a junction 
with the Connecticut line, and encamped with them. 
Strong fatigue parties were daily employed on the 
works evacuated by the enemy at Verplanck s and 
Stony Points. Gen. Lincoln and the Count D Es- 
taing, by the last accounts from Georgia, had formed 
a junction, and were determined to attack the enemy. 

3 1 st. Maj. Bunschoten arrived at camp, with a 
detachment of Lieut. Col. Paulding s New York 
levies; they were ordered to garrison Stony Point. 

November 1st. Maj. Armstrong, aide-de-camp to 
Maj. Gen. Gates, called at camp, on his way to Con 
gress, with official dispatches of the evacuation of 

236 HEATH S MEMOIRS [NOV. i 779 

Rhode Island, which took place on the night of the 
26th ult. The British left large quantities of forage, 
fuel, &c. Brigadier-General Stark had gone on to 
Rhode Island. A Hessian Lieutenant belonging to 
the Landgrave regiment, came out from the neigh 
bourhood of Fort Washington; he pretended a desire 
to enter the American service as a volunteer. A 
prisoner of war was also sent up from the advanced 

2d. Intelligence was received, that a body of In 
dians were advancing towards Fort Schuyler. 

7th. Two German Yagers, with their rifles, 
came to our camp. At night, Col. Armand pro 
ceeded with his corps from near Tarrytown to the 
vicinity of Morrisania, to the house of Alderman 
Leggett, where he surprised and took Maj. Bearmore 
and five others prisoners. The secrecy, precaution, 
gallantry and discipline exhibited by the Colonel and 
his corps on this occasion did them much honour. 
In the capture of Maj. Bearmore, the inhabitants of 
the adjacent country were relieved from the frequent 
excursions of a troublesome officer. The British 
augmented their troops on Staten Island. 

nth. Two deserters came in from Col. Wurmb s 

1 3th. Five prisoners taken by Lieut. Oakley, near 
Morrisania, were sent to camp. The enemy had a 
redoubt, called No. 8, on the east side of Harlem 
Creek, nearly opposite to the fort on Laurel Hill, and 
under the fire of its cannon, for the security of their 
advanced troops on the Morrisania side. 

1 6th. Intelligence was received, that on the 23d 
of September, Gen. Lincoln and the Count D Es- 
taing broke ground before the enemy s works, at 
Savannah in Georgia; and on the 5th of October, 
batteries of 33 cannon and nine mortars, were opened 


and continued firing with intervals until the 8th, 
without the wished-for effect. 

Qth. In the morning an assault was made, which 
proved unsuccessful the Americans were repulsed 
and obliged to retreat; of the Americans, 170 were 
killed and wounded; among the former, Count Pu- 
laski, a remarkably brave and enterprising officer of 
Polish descent. The Count D Estaing was wounded 
in the arm and leg. It was said that of the French 
troops, 330 were killed and wounded. Gen. Lin 
coln retreated to Charleston. It being rendered 
certain that the Count D Estaing would not come to 
the northward, the American main army was dis 
tributed to winter-quarters, Moylan s, Sheldon s, 
Baylor s, and Bedkins s dragoons to Connecticut 
Poor s brigade to Danbury The Massachusetts line 
to West Point, and the posts in the Highlands The 
Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New 
York, and Connecticut lines, Hand s and Stark s 
mixed corps, back of the Scotch Plains, New Jersey 
Lee s corps, and a detachment of infantry, towards 
Monmouth Marechausee, with the main army.* 

I Qth. Four prisoners were sent up. 

23d. Maj. Gen. Gates and his family came to 
camp from Rhode Island. 

25th. The troops were moving to their different 
places of cantonment; many of the soldiers, (as fine 
men as ever stood in shoes) were marched barefooted 
over the hard frozen ground, and with an astonish 
ing patience. Remember these things, ye Americans, 
in future times! 

28th. The Commander in Chief gave our Gen 
eral the command of all the posts and troops on 
Hudson s River, which Gen. Washington very fre 
quently called the key that locked the communication 

* See Appendix XXVI. 

238 HEATH S MEMOIRS [DEC. i 779 

between the eastern and southern States; and of all 
the posts in the United States, was the most impor 
tant. This was the second time that our General 
was designated to command them. 

2Qth. Three deserters came in from the galley in 
the river. 

30th. Early in the morning, Gen. Washington 
crossed the Hudson at King s Ferry, into the Jerseys. 
Maj. Gen. Gates was to proceed to Virginia a ser 
geant, corporal, and three privates, were carried off 
by one Joseph M Keel, a sly, artful fellow, in the 
service of the enemy, and who conducted many re 
cruits from the country to them. 

December 2d. Col. Armand, with some of his 
corps, went down to Morrisania, and took a Capt. 
Cruzer, of Bearmore s corps, and two men, prisoners. 
At this time the troops were greatly distressed for 
bread, and the horses for forage; the former occa 
sioned by the want of water at the mills. All the 
horses, except such as were absolutely necessary for 
incumbent duties, were ordered out into the country. 
A man, who pretended to be a prophet, came out 
from the enemy he more probably was a spy. 

i6th. Col. Paulding s corps was ordered from 
Stony Point to Poughkeepsie, a great desertion hav 
ing taken place in the corps. The Virginia line had 
marched to the southward the enemy at New York, 
preparing for the embarkation of a large body of 
troops, said to be upwards of 10,000 under the im 
mediate command of Gen. Sir Henry Clinton. 

2Qth. Three Hessian deserters came into our 
army; they reported that Gen. Matthews had the 
command of all the posts and troops on the north 
end of York Island, above the bridge, &c. The 
long-talked-of embarkation of troops at New York, 
sailed on the 26th. The fleet was said to consist of 

jAN.i 7 8o] HEATH S MEMOIRS 239 

near 200 sail. The enemy boasted that it was con 
voyed by nearly 20 ships of war; however, it was 
well known that they had very few ships of the line, 
and that they were under great apprehensions of 
falling in with a superior French force. They went 
to the southward. 

3<Dth. Lieut. Col. Newhall, with 250 men properly 
officered, marched to do duty on the lines. 

3 1 st. There was a great body of snow on the 

1780. January 1st. Early in the morning about 
100 soldiers belonging to the Massachusetts regi 
ments, who had enlisted, at different periods subse 
quent to January, 1777, for three years, pretending 
that their time of service now expired, (although 
many of them had months to serve, before their three 
years service was completed) marched off with intent 
to go home: they were pursued and brought back: 
some of them were punished; the greater part of them 
pardoned. Some others, at other posts, conducted 
in the same manner, and were treated as the first 
mentioned. Those whose time of service was ex 
pired were all discharged with honour. 

3d. The snow had got to be about four feet deep 
on a level, and the troops were driven to great diffi 
culties in keeping open the communication to the 
posts obtaining provisions, fuel, forage, &c. and so 
intense and steady was the weather, that for more 
than twenty days there could not be discovered the 
least sign of the remission of the snow in any places 
the most open to the influences of the sun. The 
Hudson soon becoming passable on the ice, the troops 
were comfortably supplied with provisions; but many 
were in extreme want of clothing. 

8th. The light-infantry belonging to the regi 
ments in the Highlands, were joining their respective 

2 4 o HEATH S MEMOIRS [JAN. 1780 

corps, the corps of light-infantry being separated for 
the winter. 

9th. About dusk, the north redoubt was discov 
ered to be on fire at the southwest corner, under the 
rampart, which was of timber; the fire was out of 
reach, and threatened the destruction of the whole 
redoubt. A detachment from West Point was or 
dered over to the assistance of the garrison of the re 
doubt; but so strongly dovetailed and strapped were 
the timbers of the rampart, that the fire for a time 
seemed to baffle every exertion to extinguish it. The 
ammunition, and about 100 barrels of salted pro 
visions in the magazine, were seasonably removed 
by the garrison; but the fire was not extinguished 
until about four o clock on the morning of the loth. 
All the officers and men distinguished themselves on 
this occasion; but the conduct of Col. Lyman, Col. 
Sprout, and Capt. Drew, was conspicuous indeed, 
as was that of a sergeant of the garrison of the re 
doubt, who, when all were on the point of quitting 
the redoubt, lest the magazine should take fire and 
blow up, instantly rushed into the magazine, and did 
not quit it until he had thrown out every cask of 
powder, and box of ammunition deposited in it. If 
his name could be recollected, it should be inserted. 

1 2th. Artificers and fatigue-men were ordered to 
repair the redoubt. The weather continued in 
tensely cold. A man belonging to the garrison of 
West Point was frozen to death on his return from 
New Windsor to the point; and many soldiers were 
frost-bitten. Maj. Gen. Putnam, who had gone 
home on furlough about this time, received a para 
lytic stroke at Hartford in Connecticut, as he was 
on his return to the army. 

1 7th. The Hudson was so frozen, that travellers 
safely crossed the river on the ice at King s Ferry. A 


Hessian deserter came in. Two days before, viz. on 
the I5th, Maj. Gen. Lord Sterling made a descent 
on Staten Island, with a detachment, consisting of 
about 2,500 infantry, and some artillery; a number 
of tents, arms, and some baggage, belonging to Col. 
Buskirk s regiment, was taken and brought off, with 
some liquors, &c. Some of the American soldiers 
deserted to the enemy, and 17 were taken prisoners. 

iQth. Two deserters came in from the enemy, 
and reported the strength of the British at Fort 
Washington. The people crossed from New York 
to Long Island on the ice. About this time, a de 
tachment from Col. Mead s regiment of levies at 
Horseneck, and a number of volunteers from Green 
wich, the former under the command of Captain 
Keeler, the latter under the command of Captain 
Lockwood, the whole about 80, marched to Morris- 
ania; and about one o clock in the morning, made 
an attack on Col. Hatfield. They first attacked the 
picket, killed 3, and drove the rest into the Colonel s 
quarters. The Colonel and his men took to the 
chambers, and fired out at the windows, and down 
stairs at those who had entered the house; it appear 
ing difficult, if possible, to dislodge them, the house 
was instantly set on fire, by putting a straw bed into 
a closet, which compelled the enemy to jump out at 
the chamber windows, to avoid the flames. Colonel 
Hatfield, one Captain, one Lieutenant, one Quarter- 
Master, and 1 1 privates, were taken prisoners and 
brought off". This was a pretty affair, but was a 
little tarnished on the return by some of the militia, 
who were fatigued, loitering on the road where they 
supposed there was no danger; but a party of horse 
pursuing, overtook, killed and captured several of 

26th. Between u and 12 o clock at night, a fire 


broke out in the Quarter-Master s barrack at West 
Point, which threatened the most serious and ex 
tensive damage. It had got to considerable height 
before it was discovered; the barrack was conse 
quently consumed to ashes, notwithstanding every 
exertion of the garrison, which was numerous. 
Brig. Gen. Patterson, who commanded the garrison, 
not only distinguished himself, but also exposed his 
person to the flames to save another building, which 
was fortunately effected. The loss by the fire was 
considerable, both to the public and to individuals. 
The night before, viz. the 25th, a detachment of the 
enemy, said to consist of 500 men, made an excur 
sion from Staten Island, over the ice, to Elizabeth- 
town, in the Jerseys, and completely surprised the 
picket posted there, consisting of a Major and 100 
men, properly officered; it was said that not a gun 
was fired, nor a man hurt. The enemy surrounded 
the houses, and took the troops asleep. He who 
suffers himself to be surprised, through the want of 
proper precaution, his character (says a great mili 
tary writer) is irretrievable. 

February 1st. At two o clock in the morning, the 
north redoubt was discovered to be on fire again in 
the top of the bomb-proof, between the sally-port 
and the door. Every exertion was made by the gar 
rison of the redoubt, and detachments sent to their 
aid, to put out the fire, but it was so much out of 
reach, and spread among the joints of the large tim 
bers, that it was not extinguished until about two 
o clock on the morning of the 3d. The redoubt 
received considerable damage, and would have been 
totally destroyed, had it not been for the unwearied 
exertions of the troops, day and night, during the 
whole of the time; and much credit was due to Lieut. 
Col. Vose, and the other officers who commanded. 

FEB.i 7 8o.] HEATH S MEMOIRS 243 

By a more accurate account of the loss at the Quar 
ter-Master s barrack at West Point, it appeared that 
6 marques, 26 horseman s tents, 80 common tents, 
900 knapsacks, 250 narrow axes, and a number of 
other articles were burnt and destroyed. 

On the morning of the 3d, about 9 o clock, the 
enemy made an attack on Lieut. Col. Thomson, who 
commanded the troops on the lines; the Colonel s 
force consisted of 250 men, in five companies, prop 
erly ofiicered; they were instructed to move be 
tween Croton River and the White Plains, Hudson s 
River and Bedford; never to remain long at any one 
place, that the enemy might not be able to learn 
their manner of doing duty, or form a plan for strik 
ing them in any particular situation. The Colonel 
had for some days taken post himself at Young s, 
not far from the White Plains. Capt. Watson, with 
his company, was with the Lieut. Colonel; Capt. 
Roberts and Capt. Stoddard, with their companies, 
were on the right; Capt. Lieut. Farley and Capt. 
Cooper on the left. The force of the enemy con 
sisted of the four flank companies of the first and 
second British regiments of guards detachments 
from two Hessian battalions some mounted yagers, 
and mounted refugees. The whole under the com 
mand of Col. Norton, of the guards. The roads were 
so filled with snow that the enemy advanced but 
slowly, and were obliged to leave their field-pieces 
behind on the road. They were discovered at a 
distance by Mr. Campbell, one of our guides, who, 
from the goodness of his horse, reconnoitred them 
pretty near. He gave the Lieutenant-Colonel notice 
of their advancing, and that their force was consid 
erable, and advised him to take a stronger position a 
little in his rear. But the Lieutenant-Colonel was 
very confident that the enemy were only a body of 


horse, and that he could easily disperse them, and 
would not quit his ground. The enemy first at 
tacked a small advance-guard, consisting of a ser 
geant and 8 men, who behaved well, and meant to 
reach the main body in season; but were prevented 
by the horse, and all taken prisoners. The enemy s 
horse soon appeared in sight of the Americans, and 
discharged their rifles at long shot, and waited the 
coming up of the infantry, when a warm action com 
menced; the enemy scattered, taking the advantage 
of the ground and trees in the orchard, and closing 
up on all sides. The 3 companies of the detachment, 
which had joined, fought well. After about 15 min 
utes sharp conflict, our troops broke; some took into 
the house, and others made off; the enemy s horse 
rushing on at the same instant, and the whole shout 
ing. At this time, the two flank companies came up, 
but finding how matters stood, judged it best to re 
treat, Capt. Stodder s company giving a fire or 
two at long shot, Capt. Cooper s, from their distance, 
not firing at all. Some who were engaged effected 
their escape, others were overtaken by the horse. 
The enemy collected what prisoners they could, set 
Mr. Young s house and buildings on fire, and re 
turned. Of the Americans, 13 were killed dead on 
the spot, and Capt. Roberts, who was mortally 
wounded, lived but a few minutes. Seventeen others 
were wounded, several of whom died. Lieut. Col. 
Thomson of Marshall s, Capt. Watson of Greaton s, 
Capt. Lieut. Farley of Wesson s, Lieut. Burley of 
Tupper s, Lieut. Maynard of Greaton s, Ensign Fow 
ler of Nixon s, Ensign Bradley of Bigelow s, with 89 
others, were taken prisoners. The enemy left 3 men 
dead on the field, and a Captain of grenadiers was 
wounded in the hip, and a Lieutenant of infantry in 
the thigh. The British, in their account of the ac- 

FEB.i 7 8o] HEATH S MEMOIRS 245 

tion, acknowledged that they had 5 men killed, and 
18 wounded. Lieut. Col. Badlam, with the relief 
for the lines, was at the time of the action far ad 
vanced on his march, but not within reach of those 

One Mayhew, a peddler, well known in Massachu 
setts, was of this detachment; he made off up the 
road, but finding the horse rushing on, he struck off 
into the snow, almost up to his hips. Two of the 
enemy s horse turned into his track after him; and, 
gaining fast upon him, he asked them if they would 
give him quarter; they replied, "Yes, you dog, we 
will quarter you." This was twice repeated, when 
Mayhew, finding them inflexible, determined to give 
them one shot before he was quartered; and, turning 
round, discharged his piece at the first horseman, 
who cried out, "The rascal has broke my leg;" when 
both of them turned their horses round and went off, 
leaving Mayhew at liberty to tread back his path to 
the road, and come off. 

yth. A body of the enemy s horse, said to be 
about 300, and the 7th British regiment, came over 
from Long Island to West Chester on the ice. The 
troops in New York, about this time, drew four 
days provisions, which they were directed to keep 
cooked, and the troops to be in readiness to move on 
the shortest notice, with arms and blankets only. 
A number of sleighs were collected, and some heavy 
cannon were drawn out; whether an attempt on 
Morristown or the Highlands was the object, was 
not known. Several deserters came in from the 
enemy, and in this month there were some desertions 
from the American southern regiments to the enemy. 
The enemy also made an excursion in the Jerseys, 
as far as Elizabeth town, and carried off a great 
quantity of plunder. 


. Some small parties of the enemy were out 
towards the White Plains. 

Our General having obtained leave, from the 
Commander in Chief, to make a visit to his friends 
in New England, commenced his journey eastward, 
on the 2ist of February, and reached his house in 
Roxbury on the 29th. It appeared that the winter 
had been as severe, and the snow as deep, in the 
New England States, as in the Highlands of New 

March 8th. Our General addressed the Hon. 
Council of Massachusetts on the importance of the 
then moment for recruiting their battalions. 

By the master of a flag from Bermuda, information 
was received, that the fleet, in passing from New 
York to the southward, the preceding December, 
suffered considerably; and that an ordnance ship was 

9th. A privateer ship, of 18 guns, prize to the 
Tartar privateer, was sent into Boston. 

I3th. The Committee of the General Court of 
Massachusetts were issuing notes for the deprecia 
tion of the pay of the troops of their line: these were 
sold at a very great discount. 

2Oth. A rich Jamaica ship, prize to the Conti 
nental frigate Dean, arrived safe in Boston harbour. 
The same day, there was a report that Sir Henry 
Clinton had arrived at South Carolina, with the 
British troops, which sailed from New York in 

The Legislature of Massachusetts passed a resolu 
tion, granting a premium of 30 per man for each 
recruit that should be enlisted and pass muster for 
their line. 

27th. A Marblehead privateer, the Aurora, sent 
in a prize ship, with 1600 barrels of flour 1400 do. 


of beef and pork; and dry goods to the amount of 
700 sterling. 

April 1st. News was received of a most obstinate 
engagement in Europe, between the French frigate, 
Sueveillant, Capt. Conedic, of 36 guns, and the 
British frigate, Quebec, Capt. Farmer, of the same 
force. The French frigate had 32 men killed, and 
92 wounded. The Quebec blew up, and her whole 
crew, 300, except 40, were lost, either in action or in 
the explosion. This engagement did honour to the 
bravery of both nations. 

The depreciation of the Continental money rapidly 
increased; many people withheld their merchandise 
and produce from sale, and the times were truly em 
barrassing. An embarkation of some thousands of 
Hessian troops took place at New York for Carolina. 
In the course of this month, the Maryland line of 
the army, and three companies of artillery, marched 
to the southward. 

26th. News was received that the British had got 
their shipping over the bar, at Charleston; that the 
Continental frigates, in the harbour, were hauled up, 
and their guns taken out and mounted on batteries: 
the garrison of Charleston numerous. 

27th. The privateers Franklin and Jack sent into 
Salem a large letter-of-marque ship, having on board 
1,000 barrels of pork and beef, 750 barrels of flour, 
800 firkins of butter, and dry goods to the amount of 
15,000; she was from London, bound to New York. 

During this month, the enemy made two excur 
sions to Paramus, where they killed and took a num 
ber of Americans; Maj. Byles, of the Pennsylvania 
line, was mortally wounded, and died the next day. 
The enemy burnt Mr. G. Hoper s houses and mills; 
the militia turned out spiritedly, repulsed and pursued 
the enemy. By accounts from Europe, the American 

248 HEATH S MEMOIRS [MAY, i 7 8 

cause was viewed in a very favourable light by the 
Courts in that part of the world. 

28th. The French frigate Hermione, Capt. La- 
touch, arrived at Boston; in whom came the Marquis 
de la Fayette, and suite, from France. The inhab 
itants of Boston exhibited the greatest demonstra 
tions of joy, on the occasion. The next morning the 
Marquis, Capt. Latouch, and other officers, made a 
visit to our General: the Marquis, the day before, 
on his landing at Hancock s Wharf, was received by 
a number of Continental officers, and escorted to his 
lodgings; after which, he paid his respects to the 
Honourable Legislature, who were then in session; 
in the evening there were rejoicings. 

May 2d. The Marquis de la Fayette set out from 
Boston, for the army. 

During the session of the Legislature of Massachu 
setts, they received an order from Congress, in favour 
of the State, for 2,000,000 dollars, to reimburse the 
State in part of the expense of the Penobscot expe 
dition, which had greatly involved the State. The 
enemy having taken post at Penobscot, the Legisla 
ture of Massachusetts, without applying to Congress, 
determined to dislodge them; and, for this purpose, 
ordered a body of militia to be detached, under the 
command of Brig. Gen. Lovell; and, in addition to 
their own State vessels, procured a number of pri 
vateers, belonging to individuals. The expedition 
was attempted; the shipping arrived safe in Penob 
scot Bay; the troops, or a part of them, were de 
barked to attack the enemy, but they did not succeed 
in their attempt. The armed vessels, instead of 
cruising off the harbour, where they could have had 
sea room, remained in the bay. The enemy sent a 
naval force to the relief of the post, which arrived, 
and found the American shipping in the river, who 


immediately ran up as far as they could, where the 
whole were destroyed, and the militia and seamen 
left to find their way home through the woods. This 
was an unfortunate affair to Massachusetts, whose 
privateers, before, were numerous, able and active, 
and greatly annoyed the enemy; and, had it not been 
for this blow, would have been of great public benefit, 
by depriving the enemy of many of their provision 
vessels, and of increasing provisions in our own coun 
try. Congress, at first, seemed to decline bearing 
the expense, as they had never been consulted re 
specting the expedition; but they finally consented 
to a reimbursement. 

Congress ordered, that 800 men, in the pay of the 
United States, should cover and protect the Eastern 
Country the ensuing summer. 

1 2th. The gentlemen of Boston gave a ball to 
the French and American officers. 

I4th. The Hermione frigate, Capt. Latouch, 
sailed from Boston harbour, on a cruise. 

A number of very valuable prizes, taken by the 
American cruisers, were sent into different ports. 

The iQth exhibited a most extraordinary phenom 
enon. The wind, in the morning, was southerly, a 
moderate breeze; the sun shone a little after it was 
up, but was soon clouded: there was some thunder 
and moderate showers. A little after 10 o clock, the 
clouds exhibited a yellowish cast, and every object 
seemed to present a brassy hue; it soon after began 
to grow dark, which gradually increased; between 
eleven and twelve, it became necessary to light can 
dles, to do household business. The darkness in 
creased until near one o clock P. M., the inhabitants 
dining by candle-light. About one, the darkness 
began to decrease, and went off gradually, as it came 
on; between three and four P. M. the usual light 


was restored. The evening, although the moon was 
at the full, was remarkably dark, and there was a 
sprinkling of rain the people were in great conster 
nation. This phenomenon, in the opinion of our 
General, although he has no pretensions to astron 
omy, was produced by opposite winds forcing to 
gether a vast body of smoke and vapours, (the air 
had been smoky for some days before) which, from 
the light state of the atmosphere, as they accumu 
lated, ascended, forming, from top to bottom, such a 
body, as to cause the darkness; and yet, so open 
were the particles, as to admit the sun s rays so far, 
as to cause the brassy appearance: had the atmos 
phere been heavy, the vapours would probably have 
condensed, and rain, in torrents, would have ensued. 
Some observations made by our General, some years 
since the foregoing, on the darkness in Canada, and 
which, on the afternoon of the preceding day, he 
noticed at Roxbury, and remarked thereon, afford 
strong collateral evidence that the foregoing opinion 
was not wholly unfounded. 

As the learned and curious wish to ascertain, as far 
as possible, the true cause of the phenomenon, we 
throw in those rough materials, which our observa 
tion at the time collected, that they may be shaped 
by those of greater skill, for the information and sat 
isfaction of an enlightened public. Those called the 
dark days in Canada, were the Qth, I5th and i6th 
of October, 1785; but the greatest degree of dark 
ness was on Sunday, the i6th, when the darkness 
was so great as to render the use of candles necessary 
in the churches and families: it is said to have been 
as dark as a dark night. 

On the Qth, at Roxbury, in Massachusetts, the 
wind was at southeast, and then at southwest; the 
day fair, cool and pleasant. 

MAY,i 7 8o] HEATH S MEMOIRS 251 

The I5th, the prevailing wind was easterly; the 
day was cloudy and foggy; about 2 o clock, P. M. 
it was uncommonly dark, and there was an opposite 
wind from the southwest. There were several hard 
claps of thunder at a distance, and a few drops of 
rain. Towards evening, the sun was visible, but 
appeared very red, and the clouds exhibited a brassy 
complexion, so similar to the dark day in May, 1780, 
as to be noticed and compared; in the evening the 
wind was southerly. 

The i6th, which was the dark day in Canada, the 
wind, there at opposite points, N. E. and S. W., was 
at Roxbury S. W. The day was fair, warm and 
pleasant; from which it seems to be obvious that 
the body of smoke and vapour, with which the at 
mosphere was fraught on the I5th, which pervaded 
a region which comprehended Canada and a part 
of New England at least, was, by the strength of the 
southwest wind in the night, forced northward, and 
being still opposed by the northeast wind, pressing 
on the other side, produced the accumulation of 
smoke and vapour which occasioned the darkness; 
and if the northeast wind had prevailed against the 
southwest, the darkness would probably have been 
in New England. 

2 1 st. Capt. Latouch returned from his cruise; 
he ran into Penobscot Bay, and cast anchor, firing 
several signal guns. Two British sloops of war, 
which were at anchor, upon the approach of the 
Hermione, came to sail, and ran up the river. Capt. 
Latouch lay at anchor until he took a plan of the 
enemy s post. Our General intended to have com 
menced his journey for the army on Monday, the 
2Qth of May; but on. the afternoon of the preceding 
day, he received a letter from Gen. Washington, 
dated the I5th, in which his Excellency observed, 


"I have the pleasure to inform you, in strict confi 
dence, that we have authentic advices of his most 
Christian Majesty s determination to send a respect 
able armament of sea and land forces to operate on 
the continent, and that the period is not remote when 
we may expect their arrival." The Commander in 
Chief added, that the seizing of Halifax was an ob 
ject with the French; and our General was instructed 
to obtain, as soon as possible, the exact state of the 
British in that quarter, as to their works, garrison 
and troops; all of which was shortly after ascertained. 

29th. The Hermione fell down, in order to pro 
ceed on a cruise to the southward. The troops at 
West Point at this time were very short of provisions, 
and without rum. 

Congress and the Commander in Chief called upon 
the several States to complete their battalions of the 
army with all possible dispatch. The enemy at New 
York were under great apprehensions of a visit from 
the French, and were said to have prepared a number 
of hulks of different sizes to sink in the channel. 

June 6th. News was received, that a French fleet 
had been seen at sea, in latitude 33, standing E. N. E. 

About this time, Capt. Latouch sent into Dart 
mouth a prize brig, having 1700 firkins of butter, 
150 boxes of candles, and 150 boxes of soap on board. 
The Legislature of Massachusetts ordered a draft to 
be made from the militia, to complete their Conti 
nental battalions. The drafts were to rendezvous 
at Springfield. 

9th. Our General received the following letter 
from the Commander in Chief: 


"IT is expected that the fleet of our ally will, in 

juNE,i 7 8o] HEATH S MEMOIRS 253 

the first instance, touch at Rhode Island for the pur 
pose of landing their sick and supernumerary stores, 
and to meet the intelligence necessary to direct their 
operations. I have already sent forward Doctor 
Craik, to take up proper houses for hospitals, and to 
make some previous arrangements in that depart 
ment: but I apprehend the French General and Ad 
miral, will, upon their arrival, want the advice and 
assistance of a person of discretion and judgment, 
and acquainted with the country. I must request 
you to repair immediately to Providence, and, upon 
their arrival, present yourself to them, letting them 
know that they may command your services. 

" I would wish you to endeavour, in conjunction 
with the Governor, to establish a market between the 
fleet and army and country, and be careful that our 
allies are not imposed upon in the prices of articles 
which they may find necessary. This is a point rec 
ommended in the plan drawn up by the Ministry of 
France, and which policy and generosity directs 
should be strictly attended to. 

(Signed) G. WASHINGTON. 

Gen. HEATH." 

About this time, an engagement happened between 
the Hermione and a British man-of-war, which lasted 
near two glasses; it was a drawn battle. Capt. La- 
touch, and one of his Lieutenants, were wounded; 
and it was said 13 men were killed and 39 wounded. 
Several of the wounded died soon after; among them, 
an officer. 

I5th. At ii o clock, A. M. our General set out 
from his house, in Roxbury, for Providence, where 
he arrived the next day, at 2 o clock, P. M. Was met 
at Pawtucket Bridge by Deputy-Governor Bowen, 


and a number of other gentlemen, who attended him 
into town. 

On Friday, the 2d of June, the Continental frigate, 
the Trumbull, James Nicholson commander, had an 
engagement with a British frigate of 36 guns, which 
lasted five hours. The Trumbull had all her masts 
wounded, 8 men killed, and 31 wounded. The Brit 
ish frigate was supposed to have suffered much. 

In this month, a body of the enemy, under the 
command of Gen. Knyphausen, landed in the Jer 
seys, and moved towards Springfield. Some skir 
mishing ensued; Col. Angeli s regiment suffered con 
siderably. A number of men were killed on both 
sides. It was now fully confirmed that the enemy s 
shipping passed Fort Moultrie, on Sullivan s Island, 
in South Carolina, on the Qth of April, with a fresh 
breeze, by which means they received but little dam 
age: they came to anchor between Fort Johnson 
and Charleston, and just out of reach of the latter. 
Gen. Sir Henry Clinton had now advanced his ap 
proaches so far as to be erecting his batteries. The 
garrison made a good defence, but, on the I2th of 
May, were obliged to surrender. Of the Americans, 
I Colonel, I Aide-de-camp, 6 Captains, 3 Lieutenants, 
10 Sergeants, and 68 rank and file, were killed; 
I Major, 2 Captains, 5 Lieutenants, 18 Sergeants, 
and 114 rank and file were wounded. Maj. Gen. 
Lincoln, with Brigadiers Moultrie, M Intosh, Wood- 
ford, Scott, DuPortail and Hogan, with 9 Colonels, 
14 Lieut. Colonels, 15 Majors, 84 Captains and Capt. 
Lieutenants, 84 Lieutenants, 32 Second Lieutenants 
and Ensigns, 209 non-commissioned officers, 140 
drums and fifes, and 1977 rank and file, including 
sick and wounded, of the Continental troops, mak 
ing in the whole, 2564, were taken prisoners. Be 
sides the foregoing, it was said that there were about 

juNE, I7 8o] HEATH S MEMOIRS 255 

500 naval officers and seamen, 250 Charleston mili 
tia, and 500 country militia, also taken the enemy 
pretended many more. About 20 American soldiers 
deserted to the enemy during the siege. Besides 
the artillery and stores which fell into the hands of 
the enemy, (the former being 220 pieces, from 3 to 
26 pounders) the Continental frigates, Providence, 
Boston, Ranger, and Queen of France, with 4 State 
galleys, and one French ship of war were lost. It 
was supposed that about 500 American men, women 
and children were killed, during the siege. The 
enemy s loss, in killed and wounded, was consider 
able. The enemy broke ground before the town 
on the first of April, at the distance of 800 yards 
from the American works. Before the surrender of 
the place, it was contemplated in council of war, 
to embark the garrison, except about one regiment, 
on board the shipping, in the night, and run up the 
river, and land them; thereby to save the army, 
leaving those in the town to make the best terms 
they could. This opinion for some time prevailed, 
but it was afterwards given up.* 

7th. The British fleet left Charleston, said to con 
sist of 2 ships of the line, 2 fifties, 2 forty-gun-ships, 
6 or 7 frigates, and between 80 and 90 transports; 
near 2,000 negroes were put on board the fleet. 
Lord Cornwallis, with about 2,000 men, marched 
from Charleston towards North Carolina. A few 
days after the surrender of Charleston to the British 
troops, the grand arsenal, wherein was deposited all 
the arms, &c. taken from the Americans, took fire 
and blew up, by which it was said a number of men 
were killed and wounded. The loss of Charleston 
roused the country, and seemed to give a check to 
that spirit of avarice and speculation which had but 

* See Appendix XXVII. , 


too much prevailed in all places, and a determina 
tion, by every exertion, to drive the enemy from the 
country, appeared to be catching from breast to 

At Rhode Island every preparation was making 
for the reception of the French fleet and army. The 
handsome college at Providence was given up for a 
hospital. The American privateers had been very 
successful, and many valuable prizes were sent in. 

24th. Monsieur Corney, a French Commissary, 
arrived at Providence. About this time, it was sus 
pected that the enemy at New York had some in 
tentions of an attempt on our posts in the Highlands; 
and some of their shipping were up the Hudson. 

On the morning of the 3Oth, Capt. Latouch, in 
the Hermione, sailed from Newport harbour. The 
same day, the British frigate, the Flora, which was 
sunk in Newport harbour nearly two years before, 
was weighed; she had a quantity of provisions on 

July 1st. News was received that the enemy were 
again in motion in the Jerseys. 

2d. News was received of the sailing of the 
French fleet, which left France the 2d of May. It 
was said in France, that if the fleet fell to the north 
ward, it would visit Halifax; if to the southward, it 
would proceed to Rhode Island. 

A great uneasiness, at this time, prevailed in Ire 

4th. The anniversary of American Independence 
was celebrated at Providence, by a discharge of 13 
cannon from the park. Governor Greene, Monsieur 
de Corney, and a number of other gentlemen, dined 
with our General. 

By the last accounts, the main army was at Rama- 
po, in the Jerseys. In the skirmish, which hap- 

juLY,i 7 8o] HEATH S MEMOIRS 257 

pened some time before, near Springfield, the Ameri 
cans had about 40 killed and wounded.* 

nth. At one o clock, A. M. our General received 
advice, by express, that the fleet of our illustrious 
ally was seen off Newport the evening before. Be 
fore sunrise an express was sent forward to Gen. 
Washington with the agreeable tidings, and our Gen 
eral immediately prepared to proceed to Newport, 
but the day being calm, the packet did not reach the 
town until 12 o clock at night. General Rocham- 
beau had gone on shore in the evening. Early the 
next morning our General went on shore, and waited 
on the Count, from which moment the warmest 
friendship commenced between our General, the 
Count, and all the French officers. After breakfast, 
our General went on board the Duke de Burgoyne 
man-of-war, to pay his respects to the Chevalier de 
Ternay, who commanded the squadron, where the 
same friendship was commenced. The fleet con 
sisted of seven sail of the line, viz. the Duke de Bur 
goyne, of 80 guns; la Neptune, la Conquerant of 74; 
la Jazen, La Leville, la Ardent, and la Provence of 
64; and the Fantasque of 64, armed en flute with 40 
guns as a hospital ship; two frigates, and two bombs, 
with a number of transports, having on board about 
5,000 troops, besides the marines, the soldiers, and 
sailors, something sickly. The joy in the town of 
Newport was great. At n o clock, A. M. the Ad 
miral saluted the town with 13 cannon, which was 
returned by the discharge of the same number. In 
the evening the town was beautifully illuminated, 
and fireworks exhibited, to the great pleasure and 
satisfaction of our allies. The fleet, on its passage 
to America, fell in with five British ships of the line, 
who, after firing a few broadsides, bore away. 

* See Appendix XXVIII. 

258 HEATH S MEMOIRS [juLv,i 7 so 

1 2th. Our General dined with the Count de 

I3th. The Chevalier de Ternay, and the principal 
officers of the squadron, came on shore. 

I4th. Count de Rochambeau, and the general 
officers of the French army, dined with our General. 

I5th. A number of the field-officers of the 
French regiments, dined with our General in the 
most happy fraternity. 

1 8th. Four sail of ships of war, two of them sup 
posed to be of 40 or 50 guns, appeared in the offing; 
they were supposed to be British. The same day, 
the Chevalier de Ternay, and the principal officers 
of the fleet, dined with our General. In the after 
noon the remains of the officer, who was some time 
before wounded on board the Hermione, and died 
of those wounds, was interred with military honours. 

The missing transport of the fleet, with troops on 
board, arrived safe in Boston harbour, and the troops 
marched to Rhode Island. 

1 9th. Our General dined with the Count. 

20th. The frigates of the squadron came to sail 
in the morning; but the wind being ahead, they 
were obliged to come to anchor. Intelligence was 
received that Admiral Greaves, with five or six sail 
of the line, arrived at Sandy Hook on the I3th. 

On the 2ist, in the afternoon, 15 or 16 sail of 
British ships of war appeared in the offing; more 
than one half of them were supposed to be ships of 
the line. At sunset, they appeared to be coming to 
under Block Island. The frigates, which attempted 
to get out in the morning, returned at evening. 

Apprehending that the British fleet might be cruis 
ing off, with a view to intercept the second division 
of the French fleet, which was expected soon to ar 
rive, our General sent off expresses to head-quarters, 

juLY,i 7 8o] HEATH S MEMOIRS 259 

Boston and Hartford, advising of the British fleet 
being off Newport that dispatch-boats might be 
sent out to apprize the French, and point them to 
another port. Several works and batteries, next to 
the harbour, were mantled with cannon. 

22d. The British fleet were cruising off all the 
day, and rather nearer than they were the preceding 
day. Eighteen or nineteen sail were counted, eight 
or nine of which appeared to be of the line. The 
French squadron kept their former station in the 
harbour, and in the most perfect readiness for ac 
tion. The army was in the same preparedness, and 
batteries so constructed as to afford a heavy cross 
fire with the shipping, in the entrance of the harbour. 
All vessels and boats were forbid passing out of the 
harbour in the night. 

23d. The British were cruising ofF early in the 
morning one of their frigates was near in. Col. 
Greene s regiment of Continental troops took post at 
Butt s Hill, Bristol, and Howland s Ferries. Fifty 
French soldiers, from the army, were sent on board 
each of the ships of the line. By accounts from 
West Point, it appeared that many recruits had 
joined, and were joining, the American army. 

24th. The British fleet continued off Newport. 
In the afternoon, 12 sail were at anchor to the east 
of Block Island, and 4 frigates cruising between that 
Island and Point Judith. In the evening, the Mar 
quis de la Fayette came to town, from head-quarters. 

25th. Intelligence was received, that Sir Henry 
Clinton intended an attempt upon the French army, 
with 10,000 men; upon which 1500 of the militia of 
Rhode Island, and Brigadier Godfrey s brigade of 
militia, of the county of Bristol, in Massachusetts, 
were called in to Tiverton; and the three months 
men, who were destined to the main army, such of 


them as belonged to the counties of Suffolk, Essex, 
Plymouth, Worcester, Barnstable and Bristol, were 
ordered to march to Rhode Island. 

26th. A confirmation of the intention of Sir 
Henry Clinton, against Newport, was received from 
the neighborhood of New York, in consequence 
of which, the whole militia of the State of Rhode 
Island was called in, Col. Tyler s, Col. Perry s, and 
Maj. Dullard s militia regiments, in addition to Brig 
adier Godfrey s, from Massachusetts. Signals were 
fixed as far as Watch Hill, and every thing put in 
train for the giving instant notice, both by day and 
night, in case the enemy should approach towards 
the place. 

27th. The wind being fresh at southwest, and 
the air hazy, the privateer ship Washington, Capt. 
Munroe, ran by the British fleet, and passed up the 
harbour. The stock on Conanicut Island was or 
dered to be taken off. Howland s Ferry was to be 
well secured on both sides. 

3Oth. Intelligence was received, that the enemy s 
shipping, which were in the Sound, and supposed to 
have taken in troops at Whitestone, had come to sail, 
and stood to the westward; on which, the militia 
who were coming in, except the three months men, 
were permitted to return home. The militia had 
discovered great zeal and alertness on the occasion. 
About noon, the British ships that had been at an 
chor off Block Island came to sail and stood out to 

The same day a brig, with dispatches from France, 
passed up the harbour; she ran on one of the wrecks, 
and sunk immediately. 

31 st. Our General received letters from Gen. 
Washington, Gen. Howe, Gen. Parsons, and Gov. 
Trumbull intimating that the enemy intended an 


attack on Newport; that about 150 sail of vessels 
were in the Sound; that about 8000 troops were to 
be employed on the expedition; and that Gen. Sir 
Henry Clinton was to command in person; that 26 
heavy cannon, some mortars, &c. were put on board. 
In consequence of this intelligence, the militia were 
again called in. The next day (August ist) our 
General received the following letter from Gen. 

ROBINSON S HOUSE, July 31, 1780. 

"I ARRIVED here last night; having met your 
favours of the 25th and 26th at Paramus, where the 
army then lay. Immediately upon hearing that the 
transports, with the troops, which had been some 
days on board, had sailed eastward, I put the army 
in motion again; they will cross the ferry to-day, 
and will be joined by the troops from hence. I pro 
pose moving as rapidly as possible down towards 
Kingsbridge, which will either oblige the enemy to 
abandon their project against Rhode Island, or may 
afford us an opportunity of striking them to advan 
tage in this quarter, if Sir Henry Clinton has carried 
with him the number of men reported (eight thou 
sand) and with less than which, I think, he would 
scarcely risk an attempt upon Count Rochambeau, 
reinforced by the militia. 

"I entirely approve of the measures you have 
taken for calling in aid, and have the strongest hopes 
that if Sir Henry should venture upon an attack, 
that he will meet a reception very different from what 
he expects. You know the critical situation in which 
this army will be in a position below, and how much 
depends upon constant intelligence of the motions of 
the enemy. I shall direct relays of expresses the 

262 HEATH S MEMOIRS Qm.y, 1780 

whole way, between this army and you, to convey 
intelligence in the most expeditious manner. The 
nearest express to you will be upon Tower Hill; and 
Gen. Greene advises that you should keep two 
whale-boats, to communicate with him, by South 
Ferry, so long as that passage shall be safe; and if 
that should be interrupted, by Bissell s Harbour. 

"P. S. I wish the Count de Rochambeau had 
taken a position on the main. G. W." 

The militia came in with great spirit; they were 
formed into brigades, and every disposition made 
for instant and vigorous defence, at every point 
where it was supposed an attempt might be made. 
The batteries were strengthened, a very strong one 
erected on Rose Island, and redoubts on Coaster s 
Island: the strong works on Butt s Hill pushed: 
avenues across the fields by the shortest routes were 
opened, from the encampment of the French army, 
to those points where their instant presence was 
judged necessary; and such marks fixed at small 
distances from each other as to prevent any mistake 
in the route, either by day or night; indeed, no one 
precaution was omitted, or probable advantage of 
ground or situation neglected. Had Sir Henry made 
the attempt which he menaced, he would undoubt 
edly have met a warm reception; but for some reason 
or other he gave up his design, and the militia were 
again sent home. Perhaps on no occasion did the 
militia discover more ardour, in pressing to the field, 
or more regularity when there, than at that time, 
which was everywhere testified by the inhabitants. 

Our General had expressed a wish to the Com 
mander in Chief to join the main army, that he 
might enjoy that command to which he was at that 

AuG.i 7 8o] HEATH S MEMOIRS 263 

time entitled, viz. the right wing; to which Gen. 
Washington, in a letter dated August 3d, replied: 

"As to your coming on to the army immediately, 
I shall leave it entirely to yourself to act in the affair 
as you please. Your command is, and will always 
be ready for you; however, if you find your presence 
where you are necessary, and that it will contribute 
to the accommodation of our allies, and to the culti 
vation of harmony, (matters about which I am very 
anxious) it may possibly be more eligible for you to 
remain longer, as we shall not probably have any 
instant active operations. But, as I have already 
said, do in the matter as you like, and as circum 
stances may decide." 

And in a subsequent letter some days after, he ob 
served: "As to your wishes to join the army, as I 
observed before, your aid may be very material to the 
Count; and as we have no prospect of immediate 
active operations, I would rather wish you to remain 
with him longer. I thought it essential in the first 
instance that there should be an officer of rank sent to 
him; and a variety of reasons concurred to induce me 
to believe that you would answer the important ob 
jects I had in view, as well at least as any I could 
choose. I have not been disappointed in the least in 
my expectation, and the Count himself judges your 
continuing very essential, and expressed himself in 
the following manner upon the subject several days 
ago: *I shall keep with me, if you think proper, Gen. 
Heath, whose ardour, spirit, and activity, are abso 
lutely necessary to me/ For these several considera 
tions, I wish you to reconcile yourself to remaining 
with him a while, which will be the more easy, when 
you consider that you will be fully advertised when- 

264 HEATH S MEMOIRS [Au G .i 7 8o 

ever we are in a situation to attempt any thing offen 
sive on a great scale, and will have your command." 

The British ship of war, the Galatea, appeared off 
Dartmouth. The British fleet went to Gardiner s 
Bay, excepting the frigates, which cruised off. The 
troops continued fortifying the island. 

I5th. The British fleet sailed from Gardiner s 
Bay to the eastward. About this time, Maj. Gen. 
Greene resigned the Quarter-Master Generalship 
and Col. Pickering was appointed to that office. 

iQth. In the afternoon, the British again appeared 
off the harbouB of Newport. A few days before, the 
Continental frigate Alliance arrived at Boston, in 
five weeks and four days from France, and brought 
news that there had been a great mob in England, 
headed by Lord George Gordon, and that the pris 
ons, &c. had been pulled down. 

23d. The privateer ship Washington, Capt. Tal- 
bot, of 20 guns, came down the river, saluted the 
Commodore, and came to anchor. 

24th. The French army, joined by the Americans, 
fired salutes on account of its being St. Louis day. 
The fleet fired on the next day. 

The enemy were preparing for an embarkation of 
troops at New York; their destination unknown. 

The evening of the 2Oth, three or four of the 
enemy s cruisers were off the harbour. 

26th. The British fleet, to the number of more 
than 20 sail, were in the Vineyard Sound. 

2Qth. A number of Indians from the northwest 
ern tribes came to Newport to pay their respects to 
the General of the army of their father the King of 
France. They had a hearty welcome, a treat, and 
presents, and were much pleased. They were also 
invited by our General to a sumptuous treat. After 
dinner, they performed their war dance before the 

SEP T .i 7 8o] HEATH S MEMOIRS 265 

officers of the armies, to the great satisfaction of 
those of the French, who had not seen the like before. 
The next day, the French troops were under arms, 
manoeuvred, and fired, in presence of the Indians, 
who were much pleased. 

3 1 st. Information was received that Admiral Ar- 
buthnot was near the Vineyard with nine sail of the 
line, eight other ships of war of different force, and 
two tenders; that he had made a demand of 11,000 
Ibs. of beef and mutton, to be delivered every other 
day, at five pence per Ib. The inhabitants remon 
strating against furnishing so large a quantity, the 
Admiral assured them that in case they voluntarily 
delivered as much as their ability would allow, he 
would dispense with what might be wanting. 

The enemy continued their preparations for some 
grand enterprise, which could not be developed. 

September loth. The British fleet were returned 
again to Gardiner s Bay, and their old station be 
tween Long Island and Block Island. 

nth. Intelligence was received that on the i6th 
ult. Major-General Gates was totally defeated by 
the British, at or near Camden, in South Carolina. 
The Maryland line suffered greatly, and Maj. Gen. 
Baron de Kalb was wounded, of which wounds he 

I4th. Intelligence was received, that Brig. Gen. 
Poor, of New Hampshire, died at camp on the 8th, 
of a putrid fever; and that Brig. Gen. Nixon had 
resigned his commission. Gen. Sir Henry Clinton 
was holding a body of troops, said to be about 6,000, 
in readiness to embark at New York, said to be des 
tined to the southward. The lyth, in the morning, 
the Continental regiment, commanded by Colonel 
Greene, crossed over from the island to Greenwich, 
from whence they were to march to the main army. 


2 1 st. Intelligence was received that Admiral 
Rodney arrived at Sandy Hook on the I3th, with 
ten sail of the line, and two frigates that on the 
I5th, Commodore Drake, with four sail of the line, 
was detached from the Hook to join Admiral Ar- 
buthnot near Gardiner s Island, and that these four 
ships joined on the i8th. This junction was in 
tended to intercept 12 sail of French men-of-war, 
which were expected to be coming from the West 
Indies to Rhode Island that the y6th and 8oth 
British regiments, one Hessian regiment, the Queen s 
Rangers, Fanning s corps, a part of the horse, and all 
the British grenadiers and light-infantry, were or 
dered to embark immediately at New York it was 
conjectured for Virginia. The disposition of the 
British troops at that time was said to be as follows: 
the 22d, y6th British, 3 Hessian regiments, Robin 
son s corps, and some artillery in the city Highland 
emigrants, at Brooklyn a few invalids at Newtown 
one regiment of Hessians at Jamaica the 37th, 38th 
and 43d British, one Hessian regiment, one yager, 
one grenadier, and one light-infantry from Jamaica 
to Flushing about three regiments at Whitestone 
Queen s Rangers, Oyster Bay Fanning s regiment, 
the 3d regiment of Delaney s, and the Jersey volun 
teers, Lloyd s Neck Col. Abercrombie, with about 
600 infantry, at Huntington the iyth dragoons at 
Smithtown about 1500 men from Harlem to 
Kingsbridge. At this time, the Count de Rocham- 
beau and Admiral de Ternay had an interview with 
Gen. Washington at Hartford. 

22d. Col. Greene s regiment was ordered to re 
turn from Greenwich to the island. The French 
army continued very busy in fortifying Rhode Island: 
some of their works were exceedingly strong, and 
mounted with heavy metal. 

SEPx.i 7 8o] HEATH S MEMOIRS 267 

24th. In the evening, Gen. Rochambeau and the 
Admiral returned to Rhode Island. 

30th. A French frigate arrived at Newport from 
the West Indies, but brought no news of consequence. 
The Count de Guichen, instead of coming this way 
with the fleet from the West Indies, was going or 
gone for Europe. 

While General Washington was in interview with 
General Rochambeau at Hartford, Maj. Gen. Ar 
nold, who had the immediate command of West 
Point, was playing a most traitorous game with the 
British, for the delivery of that important post into 
their hands which was communicated to our Gen 
eral by the Commander in Chief, in the following 

ROBINSON S HOUSE, Sept. 26, 1780. 

"IN the present situation of things, I think it 
necessary that you should join the army; and request 
that you will do it. You will come to head-quarters 
yourself. The route through Litchfield will be the 
most eligible for you, on account of security; and you 
may direct your baggage to halt at Fishkill, for your 
further orders. I write to the Count de Rochambeau 
by this conveyance; and I trust that your coming 
away now will not be attended with any material 
inconvenience to him. 

"I cannot conclude, without informing you of an 
event which has happened here, which will strike 
you with astonishment and indignation: Maj. Gen. 
Arnold has gone to the enemy. He had had an in 
terview with Major Andre, Adjutant-General of the 
British army, and had put into his possession a state 
of the army of the garrison at this post, of the num 
ber of men considered as necessary for the defence 
of it; a return of the ordnance, and the disposition 


of the artillery corps, in case of an alarm. By a most 
providential interposition, Major Andre was taken in 
returning to New York, with all these papers in Gen. 
Arnold s hand-writing; who, hearing of the matter, 
kept it to himself, left his quarters immediately, un 
der pretext of going over to West Point, on Monday 
forenoon, about an hour before my arrival; then 
pushed down the river in the barge, which was not 
discovered till I had returned from West Point in the 
afternoon, and when I received the first information 
of Mr. Andre s capture. Measures were instantly 
taken to apprehend him; but, before the officers sent 
for the purpose could reach Verplanck s Point, he 
had passed it with a flag, and got on board the Vul 
ture ship of war, which lay a few miles below. He 
knew of my approach, and that I was visiting, with 
the Marquis, the north and middle redoubts; and 
from this circumstance, was so straitened in point 
of time, that I believe he carried with him but very 
few, if any, material papers; though he has a very 
precise knowledge of the affairs of the post. The 
gentlemen of Gen. Arnold s family, I have the 
greatest reason to believe, were not privy in the 
least degree to the measure he was carrying on, or 
to his escape. 

(Signed) G. WASHINGTON." 

Gen. Arnold s panic was so great, when he found 
that the plot was discovered, that he called out for a 
horse, any horse that first came to hand, if it were a 
wagon-horse; upon the horse being brought, the 
General mounted, and, instead of passing to the 
landing by the usual path, he rode down a steep bank, 
where it seemed impossible for a horse with a rider 
to get down, without being unhorsed. 

When Arnold had passed Verplanck s Point, and 


had got under the guns of the Vulture, he told Cor 
poral Larvey, who was cockswain of the barge, that 
he was going on board the ship, and that he should 
not return; that if he (Larvey) would stay with him, 
he should have a commission in the British service. 
To this, Larvey, who was a smart fellow, replied, 

that he would be d d if he fought on both sides; 

the General replied that he would send him on 
shore. Arnold then told the barge crew, that if any 
or all of them would stay with him, they should be 
treated well; but if they declined staying, they should 
be sent on shore. One or two staid, the rest, with 
the cockswain, were sent on shore in the ship s boat; 
the barge was kept. Larvey, for his fidelity, was 
made a sergeant. He thought he had merited more; 
that he ought to have had as much as Arnold prom 
ised him. He continued uneasy until at his re 
peated request he was allowed to leave the army. 

Maj. Andre, on his return towards New York, 
fell in with three young men below the lines, John 
Paulding, David Williams, and Isaac Van Wart; they 
did not at first know that Andre was a British officer, 
and he was at a loss whether they were British, ref 
ugees, or staunch Americans. There was conse 
quently a little finesse exhibited on both sides; but 
at length it was fully discovered who Andre was. 
He then attempted to bribe the young men by of 
fering them a large sum of money; but their fidelity 
was too great to be purchased. They brought him 
up, and delivered him to the Americans, where he 
was tried, sentenced, and hanged as a spy. The 
British General on the river endeavoured to save his 
life, first by threats, and then by persuasions; but all 
was in vain. Maj. Andre s behaviour, until the time 
of his execution, was becoming an officer and a gen 
tleman; and such, in his last moments, as drew tears 


from many eyes. But it must be remembered that 
he who consents to become a spy, when he sets out, 
has by allusion a halter put round his neck, and that 
by the usage of armies, if he be taken, the other end 
of the halter is speedily made fast to a gallows. 

Congress, pleased with the conduct of John Paul- 
ding, David Williams, and Isaac Van Wart, passed a 
resolution, on the 4th of October, directing that 200 
dollars, in specie, should be annually paid to them, 
during life; and that a silver medal, descriptive of 
their fidelity, with the thanks of Congress, should be 
presented to each of them. 

The situation of the British army, and other cir 
cumstances, at the moment Andre was detected, 
were such as render it highly probable, that if he had 
not been taken, the most serious consequences to 
the American cause would very soon have taken 

October 1st. The next day after our General re 
ceived the letter from Gen. Washington, he took a 
most affectionate leave of the French officers, and 
left Newport, to prepare to go on to the army. His 
wagon-horses were out in the country at a distance; 
these were to be brought in, shod, &c. and other 
preparations to be made, which prevented his leaving 
Providence until the afternoon of the Qth, when he 
was attended out of town by a number of officers 
and other gentlemen. Before he left Providence, 
he bid Count Rochambeau another farewell by let 
ter, to which an answer was forwarded on after him, 
as follows: 

NEWPORT, Oct. 12, 1780. 

"I HAVE received the letter that you honoured 
me with from Providence. I am extremely sensible 
of the marks of friendship that you give me, and 

ocr.i 7 8o] HEATH S MEMOIRS 271 

likewise very grateful for all that your good heart 
has dictated to you upon the occasion of our present 
separation. I regret vastly your absence, my dear 
General, as well as all the army; and I shall never 
forget the zeal, the activity, and the intelligence, 
with which you helped us in all our operations; and 
the French army will always be most grateful for it. 
I have the honour to be, with the most inviolable 
attachment, my dear General, your most obedient 
and humble servant, 


i6th. Our General reached West Point, where 
he met the following letter from Gen. Washington: 

"DEAR SIR, Oct. 14, 1780. 

"IN my letter of the 26th ult. by which I re 
quested you to rejoin the army, I desired that you 
would come yourself to head-quarters. I am now 
to request that you will proceed to West Point, and 
take upon you the command of that post and its de 
pendencies. Maj. Gen. Greene, who is at present 
there, will either communicate to you himself, or 
leave with Gen. M Dougal to be transferred, the 
instructions he received respecting the post; to which 
you will be pleased to attend. If this should not 
find you at West Point, it is my wish that you should 
arrive there as soon as circumstances will possibly 
admit; and I hope there will be nothing to delay it. 
(Signed) G. WASHINGTON." 

Our General had scarcely entered on the com 
mand, before he received intelligence that the enemy 
were making an incursion upon the northern frontier 
of New York; upon which he immediately, without 

272 HEATH S MEMOIRS [OCT. i 7 s 

consulting the Commander in Chief, ordered Col. 
Gansevoort s regiment to their relief, and commu 
nicated what he had done to head-quarters, to which 
he received the following answer: 


"I AM favoured with yours of yesterday, ac 
companied by a letter from his Excellency Governor 
Clinton, who gives me an account of the incursion 
upon the frontiers. I am happy that you detached 
Gansevoort s regiment immediately; you will be 
pleased to order either Weisenfeld s or Willett s, as 
you may judge proper, to follow, and take orders 
from the Governor or the commanding officer. This 
is all the force I think we ought to detach from the 
posts until the views of the enemy are more fully 
ascertained. They put off the long expected em 
barkation strangely. They had not sailed the I3th, 
and it was then said the expedition was delayed for 
some purpose. The number under orders, by esti 
mate, are about 2,000, or something upwards. If 
the militia should not have been discharged, when 
this reaches you, you will be pleased to detain about 
500, to make up for the detachment you have sent 
up the river. I have received yours of the I3th, as 
I have done that enclosing the estimates, for which I 
am much obliged. You will be pleased to carry 
into execution what you proposed, respecting the 
posts at Stony and Verplanck s Points. 

(Signed) G. WASHINGTON." 

This was followed by another, dated the i8th, in 
which the Commander in Chief observed, "I am 
glad to find, by your letter of the I7th, that you 
were arrived at West Point, and had taken the com- 



mand of that important post." This was occasioned 
by our General having been on the east side of the 
river a day or two, until the quarters on the point 
were quitted by Maj. Gen. Greene, who was ordered 
to the southward. 

On the iyth, intelligence was received, that the 
enemy had advanced to Fort George and Fort Ann, 
both of which had fallen into their hands; that after 
destroying the works, and burning about thirty 
houses, and as many barns, they had gone back; 
but it was apprehended that they would advance 

igth. Maj. Gen. Greene left West Point. The 
same day intelligence was received, that on the i6th 
the long-talked-of embarkation of troops sailed from 
New York, supposed to be destined to the south 
ward. The American troops at this time drove up 
the fat cattle which were near the lines, in conse 
quence of a warrant from Gov. Clinton. 

2 1 st. Intelligence was received, that the enemy 
were meditating an excursion as far up as Crom Pond 
and its vicinity, to sweep off all the cattle. Our 
General immediately ordered Col. Hazen, with a 
detachment of 500 men, to move to Pine s Bridge, 
and Lieut. Col. Jameson, with the 2d light dragoons, 
to move from Bedford towards Col. Hazen. The 
detachment arrived at Pine s Bridge about 10 o clock 
the same evening, and Col. Jameson with the dra 
goons at about 2 o clock the next morning. The 
evening of the 23d, Col. Hazen returned with the 
detachment; the enemy did not come out. 

About this time, the enemy received a small rein 
forcement at New York, from England, said to be 
1,500 or 2,000. Two or three very valuable prizes, 
laden with rum, sugar, &c. were sent into Philadel 
phia, and news was received that upwards of 50 sail 


of British East and West Indiamen, outward bound, 
were taken by the combined fleets of France and 
Spain, near Cape Finisterre. 

24th. Intelligence was received, that the enemy 
had laid waste a great part of the fertile country 
above Saratoga, and to the westward of Schenectady. 
The same night, 20 prisoners made their escape from 
the provost at Fishkill, by digging upwards of 20 
feet under ground; parties were sent out after them 
in different directions, and some of them were 

26th. News was received, that the militia, under 
Gen. Van Rensselaer, obtained a considerable ad 
vantage over the enemy at the northward, on the 
iQth instant, at the Fox Mills. The action lasted 
for some hours; the enemy left their baggage, pris 
oners, &c. Col. Brown was killed in skirmishing 
with the enemy on the morning of the same day. 

28th. Official intelligence was received of a signal 
advantage gained by the Americans in North Car 
olina over a corps of fourteen hundred men, British 
troops, and new levies, commanded by Col. Fer 
guson. The militia of the neighbouring country 
under Colonels Williams and Shelby, and others 
having assembled to the number of 3,000, detached 
1, 600 men on horseback, to fall in with Ferguson s 
party on its march to Charlotte they came up with 
them at a place called King s Mountain, advanta 
geously posted, and gave them a total defeat, in 
which Col. Ferguson, with 150 of his men were 
killed, 800 made prisoners, and 1,500 stands of arms 
taken, with but inconsiderable loss, except, and 
greatly to be regretted, the brave Col. Williams, who 
was supposed to be mortally wounded. A second 
account stated the enemy s whole loss in killed, 

Nov.i 7 8o] HEATH S MEMOIRS 275 

wounded and prisoners, at 1,105; and that of the 
Americans in killed and wounded, 64.* 

ZQth. Brig. Gen. James Clinton was ordered to 
Albany, to take the command in that quarter. 

30th. Capt. Johnson, with a detachment con 
sisting of 100 men, marched to do duty on the lines 
for the protection of the inhabitants against the 
enemy, and the Cowboys, (so called) a set of plun 
dering thieves. 

3 1 st. A ridiculous proclamation of the traitor 
Arnold made its appearance; he styled himself a 
Brigadier-General, and invited the officers and sol 
diers of the American army to join him, promising 
ample encouragement, &c., but it had no effect. 

November ist. A severe storm of snow and rain. 
The brave soldiers who were but illy clad, and desti 
tute of blankets, were in a shivering condition. 

The devastation committed by the enemy at the 
northward, was found to be very great; at least 200 
dwellings and 150,000 bushels of wheat, with a pro 
portion of other grain and forage, were supposed to 
have been destroyed; had not the pursuit after the 
enemy been very rapid, the devastation would have 
been much greater. 

The American army were at this time experi 
encing a great want of flour, which they bore with 
their usual patience. 

4th. Intelligence was received, that Maj. Carle- 
ton, after being reinforced with 500 men, was re 
turning towards Skenesboro; it was supposed 
that his force had increased to about 1,600, and fur 
ther depredations on the frontiers were expected. 
The militia of the upper counties were again ordered 
out by Gov. Clinton. 

The same day, the new arrangement of the army 

* See Appendix XXIX. 


was published. The encouragement to both officers 
and soldiers was generous. 

5th. The troops were again without bread. In 
telligence was received that the enemy had landed a 
body of troops at Portsmouth, in Virginia, and that 
another embarkation was talked of at New York. 

6th. News was received from Boston, that his 
Excellency John Hancock had been chosen Governor 
of the State of Massachusetts the first Governor 
under the new constitution. The same day, intel 
ligence was received from the northward, that the 
enemy had crossed Lake George the Thursday be 
fore, and advanced to Fort Edward, the small gar 
rison of which abandoned the fort on the approach of 
the enemy, whose numbers were said to be about 800. 
The militia were out, and the 1st and 5th New York 
regiments were ordered to embark and sail for Al 
bany immediately. They sailed early on the morn 
ing of the Qth. On the same day, intelligence was 
received, that the enemy had lately made an excur 
sion to the upper parts of Connecticut river, and 
destroyed a number of houses at Royalton. The mi 
litia turned out with spirit, repulsed and pursued 
them; the enemy made off with precipitation, leaving 
their plunder, &c. behind them. Upwards of 2,000 
militia were assembled in that quarter. 

The 2d regiment of dragoons moved from Bed 
ford to North Castle. 

The enemy published several letters in the New 
York papers, which were taken from the Fishkill 
post-rider not long before at Stratford; in particular, 
one from the general officers belonging to the New 
England States to their several Legislatures. 

A partial but not general exchange of prisoners 
took place about this time. Maj. Gen. Lincoln was 
exchanged for Maj. Gen. Phillips; General Thomp- 

Nov.i 7 8o] HEATH S MEMOIRS 277 

son, and a number of American officers, who had 
long been prisoners, were also exchanged. 

I4th. The great chain, which was laid across the 
Hudson at West Point, was taken up for the winter; 
it was done under the direction of Colonel Govion, 
Capt. Buchanan, and Capt. Nevers, with a strong 
detachment of the garrison, and with skill and dex 
terity. This chain was as long as the width of the 
river between West Point and Constitution Island, 
where it was fixed to great blocks on each side, and 
under the fire of batteries on both sides of the river. 
The links of this chain were probably 12 inches wide, 
and 1 8 inches long; the iron about 2 inches square. 
This heavy chain was buoyed up by very large logs 
of perhaps 16 or more feet long, a little pointed at 
the ends, to lessen their opposition to the force of the 
water on flood and ebb. The logs were placed at 
short distances from each other, the chain carried 
over them, and made fast to each by staples, to pre 
vent their shifting; and there were a number of 
anchors dropped at distances, with cables made fast 
to the chain, to give it a greater stability. The 
short bend of the river at this place was much in 
favour of the chain s proving effectual; for a vessel, 
coming up the river with the fairest wind and strong 
est way, must lose them on changing her course to 
turn the point; and before she could get under any 
considerable way again, even if the wind was fair, 
she would be on the chain, and at the same time 
under a heavy shower of shot and shells. 

1 5th. The ist and 5th New York regiments re 
turned from Albany, the enemy having returned to 
Canada, except about 400 men, chiefly British, who 
were encamped about 10 miles below Crown Point. 
Provisions were extremely scarce at Albany. 


The night of the i6th, a number of the boats were 
stove by the violence of the wind and storm. 

On the morning of the i8th, five large flat-bot 
tomed boats, under the charge of a subaltern and 
25 picked watermen, were sent down the river to the 
float above Dobb s Ferry, where they were to be 
placed on carriages, and transported to a certain 
place, for an enterprise which was meditating against 
the enemy. 

iQth. Five companies, of 50 men each, marched 
from West Point, for the purpose of impressing teams 
in the upper part of Westchester, and lower parts of 
Dutchess Counties, preparatory to the grand forage. 

The same day, the invalids of the Massachusetts 
and Connecticut lines, and a detachment of able- 
bodied men, the whole about 1000, arrived at West 
Point, from the main army. 

2Oth. Three light field-pieces, with four ammu 
nition tumbrels, with ammunition for the artillery, 
and musket-cartridges; and also a quantity of hard 
bread, rum, &c. was sent down to Peekskill, for 
the use of the grand foragers. 

2 1 st. The troops destined for the grand forage 

Jaraded between Nelson s Point and the church, 
ust before they marched, Chevalier Chastellux, 
Major General in the French army, at Newport, and 
some other French officers, arrived; the detachment 
defiled before them, and proceeded for the lines. 
The French officers were much pleased with the 
appearance of the troops. 

Gen. Chastellux then accompanied our General 
over to the Point, and on landing was saluted by the 
discharge of 13 cannon; after dinner, he took a view 
of Forts Clinton, Putnam, Willis, &c. At evening 
Count Noailles, Count Damas, and Maj. Duplessis, 
arrived at the Point. The next morning, about 9 

Nov.i 7 8o] HEATH S MEMOIRS 279 

o clock, Gen. Chastellux, and the other French offi 
cers, amidst a severe cold storm of rain, embarked 
on board the barge, and went down the river to 
King s Ferry, on their way to head-quarters; on 
leaving West Point, they were again saluted by 13 

The evening of the 22d, Brig. Gen. Stark arrived 
at Wright s Mills, and the wagons were collected 
at North Castle. This grand forage was to mask 
an enterprise, which was to have been attempted by 
Gen. Washington, from the main army; although 
the foraging was in itself an important object. The 
enterprise, for some reasons, was not attempted, but 
the grand forage was very successful. Some of the 
light troops went as low down as East Chester; and 
on the 2yth, Gen. Stark returned with a large quan 
tity of corn, some hay, cattle, &c. 

The next day, the main army separated to move 
into winter-quarters, and the light-infantry corps was 
broken up for the winter, and the men ordered to 
join their respective regiments. The corps of light- 
infantry was perhaps as fine a body of men as was 
ever formed. Major-General the Marquis de la 
Fayette had, with infinite pains and great expense, 
endeavoured to render them respectable in their ap 
pearance as well as discipline, in which he was nobly 
seconded by the officers: it was a pity that the oper 
ations of the campaign did not afford an opportunity 
for the Marquis to signalize himself with this corps. 

30th. The New Jersey brigade left West Point, 
proceeding down on the west side of the Hudson, on 
their way to Pompton, where they took winter-quar 
ters. In the afternoon, the four Massachusetts 
brigades arrived at West Point, and the two Connec 
ticut brigades on the east side of the river, where 
the whole took winter-quarters. 

2 8o HEATH S MEMOIRS [DEC. 1780 

A few days before, viz. on the 23d, Maj. Tall- 
madge, with a detachment from the 2d regiment of 
dragoons, conducted with great address an enterprise 
against the enemy s Fort St. George, on Long Island. 
Fort St. George was stockaded, and encompassed a 
large spot of ground, a square redoubt, with a ditch 
and abattis. The enterprise succeeded completely. 
One half-pay Lieutenant-Colonel, i half-pay Cap 
tain, I Subaltern, and 50 rank and file, were made 
prisoners. The fort was destroyed and burnt. Two 
armed vessels burnt, and a large magazine of hay, 
said to be about 300 tons, was destroyed. 

December I st. One of the largest scows at Kings 
Ferry, in crossing, with several baggage wagons on 
board, sunk. 

The same day, our General began to discharge 
the six-months men, beginning with those who were 
the worst clothed and unfit for duty. 

4th. The three New York regiments sailed for 
Albany, where they were to take winter-quarters. 

5th. Marquis Laval, Count de Custine, and Col. 
Fleury, of the French army at Newport, arrived at 
West Point, on a visit. 

6th. At evening his Excellency Gen. Washington, 
arrived at New Windsor, where he took winter-quar 
ters. The same evening, accounts were received 
that there had been a terrible hurricane in the West 

On the evening of the Qth, Gen. Varnum and Col. 
Pickering, arrived at West Point; at this time the 
troops were without bread, and very uneasy. The 
next day, 300 barrels of flour arrived. A little before 
noon, Gen. Washington visited West Point. 

1 2th. Intelligence was received from New York, 
that another embarkation was to take place, and that 
Gen. Phillips and Gen. Arnold were to command. 

DEc.i 7 8o] HEATH S MEMOIRS 281 

Major Tallmadge received the thanks of Congress 
for his good conduct in taking Fort St. George. 

iyth. An express from Major Maxwell on the 
lines, brought up intelligence that the enemy at Mor- 
risania, under Col. Delancey, were preparing for an 
enterprise. The Major was cautioned to be on his 

1 8th. News was received that Monsieur de Sar- 
tine, the primate of France, had been removed Mr. 
D Castries appointed. 

iQth. News was received that the Hon. Henry 
Laurens, who was sent on a mission to Holland, had 
been taken by the British, carried into England, and 
closely confined. The British government talked of 
sending to America a large reinforcement for the 
next campaign.* 

2Oth. Further intelligence having been received 
that Col. Delancey intended to visit our troops on the 
lines, in order to give him a proper reception, 150 
men were ordered from the New Hampshire line, to 
march to Crom Pond. 

2 1 st. Intelligence was received that on the pre 
ceding Friday, the transports which had taken the 
troops on board at New York, fell down to the wa 
tering-place. They were to be conveyed by one 50 
gun ship and two frigates. 

On the night of the Qth, Major Hugerford, of 
Delancey s corps, surprised and took prisoners Lieut. 
Col. Wells, of a Connecticut State regiment, who 
was stationed near Horseneck, with one Captain, two 
Lieutenants, two Ensigns, and upwards of twenty 

23d. Intelligence was received that Monsieur, the 
Chevalier de Ternay, Admiral of the French squad 
ron at Newport, had died there. 

* See Appendix XXX. 


The troops on the lines were reinforced with 50 
men, and Lieut. Col. Hull was appointed to the com 
mand on the lines. 

2yth. The Free and Accepted Masons of Wash 
ington Lodge celebrated the feast of St. John, at 
Starkean Hall, on West Point. 

3<Dth. Gen. Washington visited the Point, and, 
with a number of other officers, dined with our 

On the 25th inst. Major Humphreys, aide-de-camp 
to the Commander in Chief, went towards New York 
on an enterprise; he was attended by Capt. Welles, 
of the Connecticut line, Lieut. Hart, Ensign M Cal- 
pin, Mr. Buchanan, Mr. M Guyer, and twenty-four 
non-commissioned officers and privates, in one barge 
and two whale-boats. The wind was very fresh at 
northwest in the night, and the boats were forced 
past the city, and one of them almost down to Sandy 
Hook one of the boats put in at Staten Island: at 
length the three went round to Brunswick: from 
whence the Major and all the others, returned to 
the army on the ist of January. 

3 1 st. On the evening of the 2Qth, a party of the 
enemy from Delancey s corps, consisting of about 100 
infantry and 50 horse, came up to North Castle, 
where, after a short halt, they proceeded towards 
Bedford New Purchase. Capt. Pritchard, who was 
posted at Bedford with a company of Continental 
troops, and some militia, immediately advanced to 
wards them, attacked their van, who retreated, as 
did their main body. Capt. Pritchard pursued them 
as far as Young s. It was said that one of the enemy 
was killed and several wounded, who were carried 
off in a wagon. Four oxen and between 30 and 
40 sheep were retaken eight or ten head of cattle 
were driven off: the Captain sustained no injury. 

jAN.i 7 8i] HEATH S MEMOIRS 283 

This day the enemy were out again: Col. Hull 
immediately marched down with his whole force to 
meet them; by his vigilance they were prevented 
from doing any mischief, and on his advance, retired 
towards the saw-pits. 

1781. January 1st. The Pennsylvania line mu 
tinied almost to a man, seized the artillery, broke 
open the magazines of ammunition and provisions, 
took out what they judged necessary, and took up 
their line of march. The officers exerted them 
selves, both by threats and persuasion, to reduce them 
to order; but all was in vain. They were told that 
the enemy might take the advantage of their conduct, 
and come out they answered, that if the enemy 
came out, they would immediately put themselves 
under the command of their officers, and fight them; 
but that in any other case they would not be com 
manded. They took Gen. Wayne s horses out of 
his stable, and put them to draw the field-pieces, 
At night they encamped, posting out pickets, guards, 
and planting sentinels in a very regular manner. 
An alarm was given to the country by firing the 
beacons, &c. and the militia were assembling. The 
reasons given for the revolt were the intolerable 
sufferings of the army the want of pay, of which 
1 1 months was due the want of clothing, many of 
the troops being almost naked the want of provis 
ions, and that many of them were held beyond the 
term of their enlistment. They directed their march 
towards Philadelphia, determined to demand redress 
of their grievances of Congress. 

7th. Maj. Gen. Knox was sent off by the Com 
mander in Chief to the eastern States, to represent 
the alarming situation and sufferings of the army. 

8th. Major Throop, with 100 men, was sent 
towards Pompton, in the Jerseys, to cover the public 


stores, at Ringwood. In the afternoon, 169 barrels 
of flour arrived at the Point. 

nth. His Excellency the Commander in Chief 
came down to West Point, when a Council of War 
was held at our General s quarters, in which all the 
General Officers on the ground, and all the Colonels 
and commanding officers of regiments sat, to con 
sider what measures were necessary to be adopted, 
with respect to the Pennsylvania line. After the 
Council, by order of the Commander in Chief, our 
General issued orders for the forming of five bat 
talions, by detachment from the several lines, to be 
held in the most perfect readiness to march on the 
shortest notice, with four days provisions cooked. 
The mutineers remained on the heights of Prince 
ton, and two emissaries were sent out to them from 
the enemy, with offers, in writing, promising to re 
dress their grievances, by discharging them from 
their enlistments, paying all their arrearages of pay 
and depreciation, and exempting them from serving 
in the British army, if they should choose it. The 
mutineers nobly disdained these offers, and gave up 
the emissaries and their papers: they were tried, and 
hanged as spies; the one was an inhabitant of New 
Jersey, the other was a British Sergeant. Gen. Sir 
Henry Clinton and Gen. Knyphausen were said to 
have been on Staten Island. The State appointed 
a committee to inquire into the grounds of the com 
plaints of the mutineers, and to redress such as ap- 
jfeared to have foundation: this brought the business 
to a close. A number of the soldiers were discharged, 
the rest returned to their duty. 

Accounts were received from the southward that 
the American army in that quarter were in a most 
miserable condition, on account of clothing and 
provisions, and that their sufferings were greater than 

jAN.i 7 8i] HEATH S MEMOIRS 285 

those experienced by the main army. These suffer 
ings of the army were rendered the keener, by the 
return of the officers and soldiers from furlough, who 
had been in the great seaport towns, where every 
necessary and luxury of life were enjoyed in the 
greatest abundance, many tables groaning under the 
pressure of the dainties with which they were covered. 
Their liquors were not only the best, but also of 
great variety. Such reports to men, standing sen 
tinel, as it were, in the jaws of death, ill clad, cold 
and hungry, with nothing but water oftentimes to 
drink, were trials almost too great for human nature 
to bear. The old Continental currency was fixed at 
75 for one, at Philadelphia. 

I3th. The Marquis de la Fayette and Count 
Deuxponts visited West Point. 

iyth. Intelligence was received, that the troops 
which some time before sailed from New York, were 
in the Chesapeake, under the command of Gen. Ar 
nold, and supposed to be on a plundering expedition. 

The enemy at New York removed the greater 
part of their shipping from the East River round 
into the North River. 

1 8th. Two hundred men, properly officered, 
marched down to the lines, under pretence of being 
a relief; 100 men of Hazen s regiment moved from 
Fishkill to the village, and a detachment of artillery 
from West Point. These were intended for an en 
terprise against the enemy. 

igth. 150 men from the Connecticut line, and 
200 from the New Hampshire line, were to move 
towards the lines; these, with those who marched 
from Hazen s the day before, were to form a cover 
ing party to the detachment under Lieut. Col. Hull, 
who was to make an attempt on Delancey s corps. 

2 1 st. A letter was received from Major Throop, 


at Ringwood, stating, that the evening before, the 
Jersey line, at Pompton, had revolted, and it was 
supposed would be joined by the other part of the 
line, who were at Chatham. Their intentions had 
not been developed. 

22d. His Excellency Gen. Washington, the Mar 
quis de la Fayette, and a number of French gentle 
men, visited the Point. The same day, 500 rank 
and file, properly officered from the Massachusetts, 
Connecticut, and New Hampshire lines, were de 
tached, and ordered to march the next day, under 
the command of Maj. Gen. Howe, to establish order 
and discipline in the Jerseys. 

23d. The detachment marched from West Point 
for the Jerseys. The battalion from thence was com 
manded by Col. Sprout. The troops on the east 
side of the river were to cross, and join those from 
the Point at King s Ferry: the detachment marched 
in high spirits. 

24th. In the morning, about sunrise, a noise was 
heard in the air, resembling the firing of platoons, 
and there were various conjectures respecting it. 
Intelligence was received that Gen. Arnold had gone 
up James River, in Virginia, and had taken posses 
sion of Williamsburg, and was moving towards 
Richmond; that he met with but little opposition, 
and would probably plunder large quantities of to 
bacco and other articles. 

28th. The detachment, under the command of 
Lieut. Col. Hull, returned from the enterprise against 
the enemy at Morrisania. The address and gal 
lantry of the officers, the bravery and patience of the 
troops, exhibited on the occasion, did them much 
honour. Besides a number of the enemy who were 
killed, upwards of fifty were made prisoners; the 
Pontoon Bridge was cut away, the huts and forage 

FEB.i 7 8i] HEATH S MEMOIRS 287 

were burnt, and a large number of cattle driven up. 
Of the detachment, one Ensign, one drummer, and 
ten rank and file, were killed; one Captain, one Ser 
geant, and eleven rank and file wounded; six rank 
and file were missing. 

3 1 st. Maj. Gen. Howe returned with the de 
tachment from the Jerseys; order was established 
among the troops in that quarter: two of the ring 
leaders in the revolt were executed. It was learnt 
that considerable damage was done to the enemy s 
shipping, at New York, by the high gusts of wind, 
on the night of the 23d. It was also said that a 
British 74 gun ship was dismasted, off New London; 
another struck a reef, and a third went out to sea 
with one of her masts lost. 

February 1 2th. The Duke de Lauzun, Count 
Fersen and Col. Sheldon, of the French army, 
visited West Point. 

I3th. Intelligence was received, that on the I7th 
ultimo, an action happened near Pedee, in Carolina, 
between a body of the enemy, under Lieut. Col. 
Tarleton, and a body of about 800 Americans, under 
the command of Gen. Morgan: the enemy were to 
tally routed, and pursued upwards of 20 miles. Of 
the enemy, 10 officers and 100 rank and file were 
killed, and 200 wounded; 29 officers and 500 rank 
and file were taken prisoners, with two field-pieces, 
2 standards, 800 muskets, 35 wagons, 70 negroes, 
100 dragoon-horses, one travelling-forge, and all 
their music. The loss of the Americans was not 
more than 12 killed, and 60 wounded. 

I4th. Gen. Warner and Col. Ashley, of Massa 
chusetts, arrived at West Point, to distribute to the 
soldiers of the Massachusetts line engaged to serve 
during the war 24 dollars, in specie each, as a gen 
erous gratuity from the State. The most sensible 

288 HEATH S MEMOIRS [FE B .i 7 8i 

soldiers did not applaud this measure, as it did not 
assure to them the full payment of the wages due 
to them, while this boon increased the burden of 
debt on the State. 

i6th. Count de St. Maim, of the French army, 
visited West Point. The same day, orders were is 
sued for augmenting the light companies of all the 
regiments at West Point, and its dependencies, to 
50 rank and file, each: they were to rendezvous, 
the 1 8th or iQth, at Peekskill. 

1 7th. The light companies were formed into bat 
talions, in the following order: the eight eldest com 
panies of the Massachusetts line to form a battalion, 
under the command of Col. Vose and Maj. Galvan; 
the two youngest companies of that line, and those 
of Connecticut and Rhode Island, to form a bat 
talion, under the command of Col. Gamat and Maj. 
Throop; those of the New Hampshire line, and Col. 
Hazen s regiment, and such others as might be 
joined to them, to form a battalion. This appoint 
ment of officers was declared to be intended not to 
affect the general plan of arranging the light-in 
fantry for the campaign. The preceding morning, 
the enemy made an excursion from Morrisania, 
towards Bedford, took Lieuts. Carpenter, Wright 
and Peacock, and five other inhabitants, prisoners; 
burnt five houses, plundered and stript several other 
inhabitants, and returned. They were pursued by 
Capt. Pritchard, but could not be overtaken. 

1 8th. The light companies were inspected. It 
appeared that Admiral Arbuthnot s squadron were 
so much damaged, in the storm, on the 23d ult. as 
to be rendered inferior to the French, in these seas. 

20th. A detachment of artillery was ordered from 
the park to join the light-infantry; the whole were 
to be commanded by the Marquis de la Fayette, and 


were to march to the southward. The same day, 
six of our guides, on a reconnoitring party, towards 
King s Bridge, fell in with a reconnoitring party of 
Delancey s corps: the guides attacked them, and took 
five prisoners, all of whom were wounded. 

24th. The detachment doing duty on the lines, 
was reduced to 50 rank and file, properly officered. 
Capt. Paul Jones, who arrived in the Ariel, at Phil 
adelphia on the iyth, in eight weeks from L Orient, 
brought a large quantity of powder. 

28th. Intelligence was received that a consider 
able embarkation of troops was taking place at New 
York the inhabitants and army in some conster 
nation. It was said that a fleet of French merchant 
men had arrived in the Chesapeake; but from 
appearances, there were good grounds to suspect that 
there was something more than merchant ships. 

March ist. News was received, that a part of 
the French squadron, at Newport, had sailed as far 
as the Chesapeake, where they took the Romulus, of 
50 guns, and nine privateers and transports; four 
of the latter they destroyed, not having spare men 
to navigate them; but the remainder, with the Romu 
lus, had safely arrived at Rhode Island. 

On the morning of the 2d of March, Gen. Wash 
ington set out from New Windsor, for Rhode Island. 
By the last accounts from the southward, Lord Corn- 
wallis was advancing rapidly, and Gen. Greene re 
treating moderately. His Lordship had destroyed 
his wagons, and disengaged himself of encumbrance 
as much as possible. 

3d. A Capt. Simmons, of Delancey s corps, was 
sent up to West Point; he asserted to be disaffected 
to the enemy on some pretences, and that he had 
resigned his commission, and deserted from them: he 
was sent to the Governor of the State. 


5th. Three prisoners were sent up; they were 
taken by a party of our guides, within a small dis 
tance of the enemy s post, No. 8, near Morrisania. 

6th and yth. Col. Vanschaak s regiment of the 
New York line arrived at West Point, from Albany. 
The troops were at this time well supplied with 
provisions, but almost totally destitute of forage, and 
subjected to great fatigue in obtaining fuel, which 
part of the troops were obliged to bring on their 
backs nearly a mile. 

9th. Intelligence was received that the last em 
barkation of British troops sailed from New York 
the preceding Wednesday, said to be six regiments, 
making about 3,000 men in the whole. The south 
ern militia had been successful against the Cherokee 
Indians, and destroyed a number of their towns. 
The last advices from the southward stated that 
Lord Cornwallis had continued to push rapidly after 
Gen. Greene, who had crossed Dan River, and his 
Lordship had come up to it, and then began to 
retreat; on which Gen. Greene recrossed the Dan, 
in order to pursue him, and that the militia were 
collecting. Gen. Arnold kept close at Portsmouth; 
Gen. Muhlenburgh was near him, with a superior 
force, and the Marquis de la Fayette was as far as 
Elk on the 3d, with the light-infantry. 

nth. A detachment of recruits from Massa 
chusetts arrived. The same day, Capt. Pray was 
ordered to take command of the block house at 
Dobb s Ferry, the water-guards, &c. 

On the first of this month, the Confederation and 
perpetual Union of the Thirteen American States, 
from New Hampshire to Georgia, inclusive, was 
signed and ratified by all the Delegates in Congress. 

On the evening of the I2th, intelligence was re 
ceived from Capt. Pray that at about two o clock 


in the morning, he was alarmed by the firing of guns, 
blowing of horns, &c. that the enemy were out on 
both sides of the river. In consequence of this an 
express was sent off to Maj. Maxwell to be on his 
guard; and a detachment of 150 men was ordered 
to be in readiness to march early the next morning, 
if it should be necessary to cover him. 

1 3th. The intelligence of the enemy being out 
on both sides of the river, was confirmed; as to the 
west side of the river, the enemy came out from Pau- 
lus Hook about 200 strong, with two field-pieces, 
and had advanced within about three miles of the 
block-house at Dobb s Ferry. About noon, a de 
tachment of 150 men, under the command of Maj. 
Graham, with one field-piece, embarked on board 
a sloop, and with the gun-boat, having one six and 
one three pounder, and a flat boat, fell down the 
river to King s Ferry, where they were ordered to 
debark, and make a movement to Tappan, for the 
relief of the block-house. The garrisons of the re 
doubts, on the east side, were doubled. 

I4th. About noon, Maj. Graham returned; he 
had, with the detachment, embarked the preceding 
day, proceeded to King s Ferry, disembarked, 
marched to Haverstraw, where he met the militia 
returning; when he returned to the Ferry, re-em 
barked, and arrived at West Point about noon, hav 
ing exhibited a spirit and expedition that did the 
detachment much honour. 

The enemy were completely defeated in their de 
sign by the militia, who early turned out, attacked, 
repulsed, and pursued them, until they retook all 
their plunder, except two horses, and justly merited 
high commendation. The militia had one man 
wounded; the enemy were supposed to have had 
several killed and wounded. The same day, Brig. 


Gen. Hand was announced, in general orders, Ad 
jutant-General of the army, in the room of Col. 
Scammel, who had discharged the duty of that office 
for some time to great acceptation. Col. Scammel 
joined his regiment. 

1 5th. Intelligence was received that the enemy s 
fleet, which sailed from New York the preceding 
week, returned on Sunday, having found that the 
French fleet were on the coast; their return occa 
sioned some consternation at New York. The same 
day, news reached the army, that Brig. Gen. Peleg 
Wadsworth, who commanded some militia levies in 
the eastern parts of Massachusetts, had been sur 
prised and taken prisoner in the night by two British 
officers and some refugees, at a place called Camden. 

1 6th. It was learnt that the French fleet, with 
troops, sailed from Rhode Island on the 8th; and it 
was said that Admiral Arbuthnot, with the British 
fleet, came out of Gardiner s Bay on the loth. The 
small-pox at this time made its appearance in the 
vicinity of the army, and several soldiers were taken 
down with that distemper. The enemy who were 
out a day or two before, on the east side of the Hud 
son, did no mischief. About this time, a discovery 
was made that a number of persons at Stratford, 
Norwalk, &c. had been secretly associating to sub 
mit to the enemy, if a favourable opportunity pre 
sented; and to supply them with provisions, furnish 
intelligence, &c. 

1 9th. Letters from Gen. Greene, of the 28th ult. 
at High Rock Ford, on Haw River, advised that 
Lord Cornwallis had retreated from Hillsboro, and 
that Gen. Pickens and Col. Lee had fallen in with 
Col. Hamilton s corps, (rising of 200) and had killed 
and taken almost every individual of them; and that 
several other skirmishes had happened, but nothing 


decisive. Lord Cornwallis had erected the royal 
standard at Hillsboro, and issued a vain proclama 
tion, as usual. 

By accounts from New York, it appeared that the 
British had declared war against the Dutch, and had 
taken possession of St. Eustatia. 

2Oth. In the afternoon, Gen. Washington ar 
rived at head-quarters at New Windsor, from the 

2 1 st. Five prisoners of war were sent to West 
Point; they were taken by some of the light parties 
below the lines; a sixth who was taken was so badly 
wounded, as to be left behind for the present. 

22d. Several resolutions of the State of Massa 
chusetts, in favour of the line of the army, and for 
the discharge of governmental securities, were re 
ceived at West Point. 

23d. Intelligence was received, that the British 
fleet, which sailed from New York some time before, 
and had been chased back by the French fleet, sailed 
again on the preceding Wednesday, for the south 
ward. It was said that Sir Henry Clinton was on 
board, and that Gen. Knyphausen was to command 
in his absence that the enemy were collecting a 
number of flat boats in Spuyten Duyvil Creek, near 
Kingsbridge, and that 24 were then collected that 
Arnold s corps was under orders to be in readiness 
to man the boats. Two spies were sent out of New 
York, the same day that the fleet sailed; they were 
to pass, by different routes, through the country to 

24th. A number of prisoners of war, who had 
been collected at West Point, were sent off, under 
a guard of 60 men, commanded by Capt. Pope, to 
Lancaster, in Pennsylvania. 

28th. The New Hampshire brigade were ordered 


to do duty on the lines; and the Rhode Island regi 
ment to return to their quarters near Robinson s 

ZQth. News was received from Philadelphia that 
the French and English fleets had had an engage 
ment off the Capes of Virginia, but that the issue 
was not known. The same day, intelligence was 
received from New York, that one of Admiral Ar- 
buthnot s ships had returned to New York, on Mon 
day, and reported that there had been an engage 
ment between the two fleets, and that it was a drawn 

3 1 st. A New York paper of the 28th was received, 
in which it was said that an engagement between 
the two fleets took place on the i6th, off the Capes 
of Virginia, in which several ships on both sides re 
ceived considerable damage; and that the British 
had I Lieutenant, 2 midshipmen, and 40 seamen 
killed, and 80 wounded. The French account was 
not greatly different from that of the British, but 
did not mention the number of killed or wounded. 

A number of American soldiers who had not had 
the small-pox were collected and inoculated. 

April jd. Intelligence was received that a battle 
had been fought between Gen. Greene s army and 
that of Lord Cornwallis. The action was bloody; 
and although his Lordship may be said to have 
gained the victory, as Gen. Greene retreated a mile 
from the field of battle, yet it was a dear bought 
victory. Gen. Greene having lost his horses, 4 
pieces of cannon fell into the hands of the enemy. 
Some of the British corps, and in particular the 
guards, suffered much. This day, Capt. Pray, of 
the water-guards, was reinforced with a whale-boat, 
a subaltern, and 14 men. 

4th. Gen. Washington visited the Point. In the 


afternoon, 2 prisoners of war were sent up they 
were of a party who had crossed Croton River, and 
taken 16 head of cattle and 4 horses. On their re 
turn, near Dobb s Ferry, they were overtaken by a 
party of the militia the cattle, &c. retaken, and 
two of the party made prisoners. About this time, 
the southern mail was carried off between head 
quarters and the Jerseys. The mail contained some 
letters of importance. The troops which had sailed 
from New York arrived safe in the Chesapeake. 

yth. Private intelligence was received that four 
parties were to be sent out one to take Gen. Wash 
ington, another the Governor of New Jersey, a third 
the Governor of New York, the object of the fourth 
not known. The same day, the gun-boat was or 
dered to take a station opposite Fort Montgomery; 
additional guards to be mounted in the night time, 
and patrols to pass frequently. 

8th. The enemy s flat boats, which had been col 
lected near Kingsbridge, were removed down into 
the East River. 

9th. Intelligence was received from the com 
manding officer on the lines that the enemy were 
out towards White Plains, said to be about 90 horse 
and 50 foot. 

loth. The great chain was hauled from off the 
beach near the red house at West Point, and towed 
down to the blocks, in order to its being laid across 
the river about 280 men were ordered on this duty. 

nth. The chain was properly fixed with great 
dexterity, and fortunately without any accident. 

1 2th. Our General visited the patients who were 
under inoculation with the small-pox, when 500 were 
turned out and drawn up; all of them were then 
under the operation, and in a fine way. The same 
day, intelligence was received that the enemy were 


preparing for another embarkation at New York, 
supposed for the southward. 

i/j-th. A groom, belonging to Col. Gunning of 
the 8zd British regiment, came up; he deserted from 
his master with a very good saddle-horse, which he 
sold for 100 dollars in specie. Intelligence was re 
ceived that the enemy had brought a large number 
of wagons across the Sound from Long Island, for 
the purpose of making a grand forage; the covering 
party to consist of three or four hundred men of 
different corps. 

22d. Two hundred and forty thousand dollars in 
new emission bills were brought to West Point, from 
Boston, for the troops of the Massachusetts line. 

24th. Monsieur Bieville, Quarter-Master of the 
French army at Newport, arrived at head-quarters, 
New Windsor; he came on to view the roads, and 
determine on the best route, should the French army 
move that way, and to fix on proper places for 
magazines, &c. 

26th. Gen. Washington visited West Point with 
Monsieur Bieville, &c. The next day, the latter set 
out on his return to Rhode Island, taking the lower 
road through Connecticut. Many of the soldiers, 
who had gone through the small-pox, joined their 
regiments the next day: of 500 who had been inocu 
lated, four only had then died. At this time, provi 
sions were growing very scarce at West Point, and 
the prospects daily growing more alarming. The 
magazines in Forts Clinton, Putnam, and some other 
of the most important works had reserves of the best 
provisions, which were not to be touched; that, in 
case the enemy, by any sudden movement, should 
invest them, and cut off the communication with the 
country, the garrisons might be enabled to hold out, 
until other troops, or the militia of the country, 


could march to the relief of the besieged; but unfor 
tunately, the scarcity of provisions had become so 
great, that even these reserves were broken in upon, 
and some of them nearly exhausted; when, after 
some other representations, our General addressed 
the following letter to Gen. Washington: 

WEST POINT, May 6, 1781. 

"I AM honoured with yours of the 5th and 6th, 
which I shall duly attend. 

"I hoped I should not have been compelled again 
to represent our situation on account of provisions; 
but supplies of meat have not arrived all the Irish 
beef in the store has been gone for some days we 
are at last forced in upon the reserves; that in Fort 
Clinton has all been taken out this day the pork 
which was ordered to be reserved is all issued, except 
about 1 6 barrels the boats are now up from below 
for provisions, with representations that they are out; 
the reserves will be gone in a few days if relief does 
not arrive, and hunger must inevitably disperse the 
troops. If the authority of our country will not 
order on supplies, I will struggle to the last moment 
to maintain the post; but regard to my own character 
compels me to be thus explicit that if any ill con 
sequences happen to this post, or its dependencies, 
through want of provisions, I shall not hold myself 
accountable for them. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 

(Signed) W. HEATH. 

His Excellency Gen. WASHINGTON." 

To which the Commander in Chief wrote the 
following answer: 



May 8th, 1781. 

"DISTRESSED beyond expression at the present 
situation and future prospects of the army, with re 
gard to provisions, and convinced with you, that, 
unless an immediate and regular supply can be ob 
tained, the most dangerous consequences are to be 
apprehended I have determined to make one great 
effort more on the subject, and must request that you 
will second and enforce my representations to, and 
requisitions upon the New England States, by your 
personal application to the several Executives, and 
even Assemblies, if sitting, as I suppose they will be 
in the course of this month. 

"From your intimate knowledge of our embar 
rassed and distressed circumstances, and great per 
sonal influence with the eastern States, I am induced 
to commit the execution of this interesting and im 
portant business to you, and wish you to set out on 
this mission as early as may be convenient. 


Maj. Gen. HEATH." 

On the next day, our General received the follow 
ing letter of instructions, from the Commander in 
Chief, viz.: 


May gth 9 1781. 

"YOU will be pleased to proceed immediately to 
the several eastern States, with the dispatches ad 
dressed to the Governors of Connecticut, Rhode 
Island, Massachusetts Bay, and the President of 
New Hampshire, on the subject of supplies for the 
army. The present critical and alarming situation 

MAY,i 7 8i] HEATH S MEMOIRS 299 

of our troops and garrisons, for the want of provis 
ions, is (from the nature of your command) so per 
fectly known to you, and your personal influence 
with the New England States is so considerable, that 
I could not hesitate to commit to you a negotiation, 
on the success of which, the very existence of the 
army depends. 

"The great objects of your attention and mission, 
are, ist An immediate supply of beef cattle. 2d 
The transportation of all the salted provisions in the 
western parts of Connecticut and Massachusetts; and 
3d The establishment of a regular, systematic, effec 
tual plan, for feeding the army through the cam 
paign. Unless the two former are effected, the gar 
rison of Fort Schuyler must inevitably, that of West 
Point may probably, fall, and the whole army be 
disbanded: without the latter, the same perplexing 
wants, irregularities and distress, which we have so 
often experienced, will incessantly occur, with event 
ual far greater evils, if not final ruin. 

"With regard to the particular mode of obtaining 
and transporting supplies, I will not presume to dic 
tate; but something must now be attempted on the 
spur of the occasion. I would suggest whether it 
would not be expedient for a Committee from the 
several States, (consisting of a few active, sensible 
men) to meet at some convenient place, in order to 
make out, upon a uniform and great scale, all the 
arrangements respecting supplies and transportation 
for the campaign. In the mean time, to avoid the 
impending dissolution of the army, the States must 
individually comply precisely with the requisitions 
of the Quarter-Master and Commissary upon them. 

"As the salted provisions which have been put up 
for the public, in the eastern States, (except in the 
western parts of Connecticut and Massachusetts) 


cannot at present be transported to the army, you will 
obtain accurate official returns of the quantity that has 
been procured in the respective States, at what places, 
and in whose charge it actually is; and if it should 
not all be collected and lodged in the deposits that 
have been pointed out, you will urge this imme 
diately to be done; and that the provisions should 
be repacked, stored, and taken care of in such a man 
ner as to prevent the hazard of its being tainted or 
lost by the approaching hot season. 

"I omit entering into the detail of particulars, 
which it may be necessary to state to the respective 
Executives, (or Legislatures, if in sitting) to enforce 
the present requisition, because you are as well ac 
quainted with the circumstances of our distress, the 
prospects before us, and the only resources from 
whence we can derive relief, as it is possible for you 
to be. Previous to your departure, you will obtain 
from the Quarter-Master-General and Commissary 
with the army, the proper estimates of supplies and 
transportation to be required of the several States 
together with all the light and information concern 
ing their department, which may be requisite to 
transact the business committed to you. 

"After having delivered the dispatches with which 
you are charged, and made such further representa 
tions as you may judge necessary, you will not cease 
your applications and importunities, until you are 
informed officially, whether effectual measures are or 
will be taken, to prevent the army from starving and 
disbanding. What supplies in general, and particu 
larly of beef cattle, may certainly be depended upon, 
to be delivered at fixed regular periods (monthly or 
weekly) at the army, during the whole campaign. 
When you shall have seen this business put upon the 
surest footing and in the best train of execution, 

MAY,i 7 8i] HEATH S MEMOIRS 301 

(which you will endeavour to have effected as early 
as possible) you will be pleased to report to me, with 
out delay, the success of your proceedings. 

" I heartily wish you success and a pleasant jour 
ney, and am, &c. 

(Signed) G. WASHINGTON. 

"P. S. I wish attention may be paid to learn 
what quantity of rum is in store, at what places, and 
in what manner it may be forwarded. In transpor 
tation, the arrangements should be made with the 
States, so as to have the articles brought entirely 
through to the army, without having them stopped 
on the road. You will also be pleased to urge the 
forwarding the summer clothing. G. W. 

Maj. Gen. HEATH." 

During the month of April, a large number of 
recruits from the eastern States, to fill up their re 
spective battalions, arrived at West Point. 

Qth. The Commander in Chief visited West 

nth. In the morning, our General left West 
Point, and proceeded up the river to New Windsor, 
where he received from the Commander in Chief the 
dispatches addressed to the several Executives of the 
New England States; and in the afternoon crossed 
the Hudson, on his journey eastward. On his reach 
ing Fishkill, he found that Governor Clinton, of 
New York, was making every exertion in his power 
for the relief of the army that he had issued im 
press warrants to take flour and other provisions 
where they could be found, &c. 

1 4th. He arrived at Hartford, where he found 
the Legislature in session. The dispatches to Gov 
ernor Trumbull were immediately presented to him, 
with an earnest request for speedy relief. This ven- 


arable patriot gave assurance of his immediate atten 
tion and exertions, and accordingly laid the dispatches 
from Gen. Washington before the Legislature, who 
also discovered the same noble patriotism. They 
inquired into the state of their treasury, and finding 
it was destitute of money, except a sum appropriated 
to another purpose, they ordered this money to be 
taken, and directed Col. Champion, one of their 
number, (a gentleman remarkable for his knowledge 
in the state of provisions in all the towns, skill in 
purchasing, and expedition in forwarding) imme 
diately to purchase and forward on to the army 160 
head of beef cattle, and 1,000 barrels of salted pro 
visions from their stores; and resolved to make every 
other exertion in their power, to comply with the 
requisitions of the Commander in Chief as they 
respected both fresh and salted provisions, by ap 
pointing a Committee for a general arrangement of 

1 6th. Our General left Hartford, and on the i8th 
reached Greenwich, in the State of Rhode Island, 
where he waited upon Gov. Greene, and presented 
the dispatches from Gen. Washington. The Legis 
lature of the State were not then in session; but Gov. 
Greene made the most satisfactory assurances that 
the State of Rhode Island would adopt every meas 
ure recommended by the Commander in Chief. Our 
General left Greenwich the same day, and arrived 
at his house in Roxbury on the evening of the iQth, 
and the next day waited upon Gov. Hancock at 
Boston, and presented the dispatches with which he 
was charged. The new Legislature of Massachu 
setts were to convene on the last Wednesday of the 
month. Gov. Hancock gave the fullest assurances, 
that in the interim the Executive would do every 
thing in its power for the immediate relief of the 

MAY,i 7 8i] HEATH S MEMOIRS 303 

army, by directing the several contractors of pro 
visions in the State to forward all in their power with 
the utmost expedition. 

2 1 st. Intelligence was received at Boston that 
the State ship-of-war, the Protector, of 28 guns, 
commanded by Capt. Williams, had been taken and 
carried into New York. 

The next day, intelligence was received, that on 
the I3th, Col. Greene, of the Rhode Island regiment, 
who was doing duty on the lines of the American 
army, was surprised by a body of the enemy s horse, 
supposed to be about 150 dragoons, and that the 
Colonel, Maj. Flagg, two subalterns, and 27 men 
were killed, and several wounded. Col. Greene was 
a brave and intrepid officer, and his loss was much 
regretted. The Colonel had taken post above and 
near to Croton River, at a place where the river was 
fordable, to prevent the enemy passing up by this 
ford to ravage the country. He had practised the 
greatest vigilance in guarding this ford in the night 
time, taking off the guards after sunrise, appre 
hending that the enemy would never presume to 
cross the river in the day time; but the enemy, hav 
ing learnt his mode of doing duty, on the morning 
of the 1 3th effected his overthrow, by crossing the 
ford soon after the guards had come off, and sur 
rounding their quarters before they had an idea of 
any enemy being near them. In this situation, the 
utmost exertion could not then avail them. 

23d. Our General left Roxbury on his way to 
New Hampshire, arrived at Exeter on the evening 
of the 24th, and delivered to the Honourable Mr. 
Weare the dispatches addressed to him. The Leg 
islature of New Hampshire was not then in session. 
The next day, he had an interview with the Hon 
ourable President and the Council of Safety, when 


such representations, (in addition to the requisitions 
of the Commander in Chief) were made to them, 
as the exigencies of the case required; and the fullest 
assurances were received that every aid in the power 
of the State should be afforded. 

26th. Our General left Exeter on his return, and 
on the 2yth arrived at his house in Roxbury. On 
the ZQth, he again waited on Gov. Hancock, and 
requested that the requisitions of the Commander in 
Chief of the army might be predominant in all the 
public objects. 

The 3Oth was the General Election day in Massa 
chusetts; and it appeared that his Excellency John 
Hancock was re-elected Governor, who, as soon as 
the two Houses were organized, laid the requisitions 
of Gen. Washington before them. 

June 2d. Our General was heard before a Com 
mittee of both Houses on the subject of his mission. 
The zeal and patriotism of the several Executives and 
Legislatures of the New England States to relieve 
and amply supply the army with provisions were so 
conspicuous on this occasion that it is not possible to 
say which or whether any one of them exceeded the 
other; each was for making every exertion in its 
power; and, to ensure success to their resolutions, 
they all fell in with the recommendation of the Com 
mander in Chief, and appointed committees to meet 
in convention to digest and systematize the business. 
The committees met accordingly at Providence, in 
Rhode Island, and were so fortunate in their ar 
rangements that the most ample supplies of meat 
were afterwards furnished for the main army; and a 
surplus of 100 head of beef cattle weekly sent on 
after Gen. Washington towards Virginia, until he 
ordered a discontinuance of that supply, as will ap 
pear in the sequel. While the New England States 

juNE,i 7 8i] HEATH S MEMOIRS 305 

were thus intent in supplying meat for the army, the 
State of New York was equally assiduous in furnish 
ing flour and forage. 

4th. Intelligence was received by a vessel from 
the West Indies that the Count de Grasse, with a 
French fleet of upwards of 20 sail of the line, had 
arrived in that quarter. The same day, there was a 
confirmation of this news, and that the fleet, with 
troops on board, was seen coming this way. 

The same day, intelligence was received that there 
had been an action at the southward between Gen. 
Greene and the British army in that quarter. Gen. 
Greene, having reconnoitred Camden, did not 
think it expedient to storm the enemy s works, but 
retired a little back, with a view to draw the enemy 
out; in this he succeeded, and an action commenced. 
The Maryland troops being attacked under some 
disadvantage, an attempt was made to change their 
position; this was unfortunately taken by Gen. 
Greene s army for a retreat, and the whole army 
retreated accordingly. Gen. Greene had 17 men 
killed; his retreat was about 2 or 3 miles, and the 
troops were in high spirits. It is always a danger 
ous manoeuvre to change a position in the face of 
an enemy; but necessity sometimes requires it.* 

Gen. Phillips, of the British army, had died in 
Virginia of a fever. 

6th. The Continental frigate, Alliance, arrived 
in Boston harbour from France. The Alliance had 
taken 6 prizes: 2 West Indiamen, 2 sloops of war, 
and 2 privateers. In the engagement with the sloops 
of war, both of which engaged the Alliance in a calm, 
Capt. Barry was wounded in the shoulder by a 
grape-shot; the Captain of Marines, and 8 or 9 men 
killed, and about 20 wounded. 

* See Appendix XXXI. 


Qth. Orders came on from Gen. Washington to 
forward with all possible dispatch all the cannon, 
mortars, powder, shot, shells, and other military 
stores belonging to the United States, which were 
then in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and also 
requesting the loan of some heavy artillery, powder, 
&c. of the State. The most spirited measures were 
taken for completing the Continental battalions, and 
raising a body of militia to be in readiness to march 
when called for. 

The General Assembly of Massachusetts, in their 
session at this time, passed resolutions for settling 
with the troops of their line to the last of the year 
1780, making good the depreciation of their pay, &c. 

2 1 st. Intelligence was received that the British 
had formed a junction of their principal force at the 
southward in Virginia, by which means Gen. Greene 
would deprive them of all their posts in South Caro 
lina; that on the loth of May, Lord Rawdon was 
compelled to evacuate Camden with precipitation, 
leaving behind him 3 of his officers and 58 privates, 
who had been dangerously wounded, and were un 
able to be removed. He burnt part of the town, 
and some of his baggage. On the nth of the same 
month, the strong post of Orangeburg surrendered 
to Gen. Sumter; a Colonel, several officers, and 
upwards of 80 men were made prisoners. On the 
1 2th, the garrison of Fort Mott, consisting of 7 
officers, 12 non-commissioned officers, and 165 pri 
vates, surrendered by capitulation to Gen. Marion. 
On the 1 5th, Fort Granby capitulated to Lieut. Col. 
Lee; i Lieut. Colonel, 2 Majors, 6 Captains, 6 Lieu 
tenants, 3 Ensigns, I Surgeon, 2 Sergeant-Majors, 
17 Sergeants, 9 Corporals, and 305 privates surren 
dered; large quantities of provisions, and some mili 
tary stores were taken at some of the posts. At the 

juLY,i 7 8i] HEATH S MEMOIRS 307 

same time, the posts of Augusta and Ninety-six were 
invested by Gen. Pickens, and Gen. Greene on the 
1 6th had determined to march the army to expedite 
their reduction. 

23d. Intelligence was received that some time 
before, the barracks in Fort Schuyler had taken fire, 
and were burnt down; and that afterwards the fort 
was dismantled and evacuated. The same day it 
was reported that the Spaniards had taken Pensa- 
cola from the British. The marine mortars, and a 
number of heavy iron cannon, 18 and 24 pounders, 
were removing from Boston to the North River, 
New York. The British forces in Virginia, after 
their junction, were said to be about 6,000. The 
invalids, who had been doing duty in Boston, re 
ceived orders to march to West Point, where the 
whole corps was to be collected, and compose a part 
of the garrison of that post. 

28th. His Excellency the Commander in Chief 
was pleased to communicate to our General that in 
the arrangement of the main army, the command of 
the right wing had been assigned to him. 

2Qth. A vessel arrived at Boston from Cadiz 
with a quantity of clothing for the United States. 
This vessel brought an account that the British had 
again succoured the garrison of Gibraltar, but that 
the Spaniards continued the siege. 

30th. His most Christian Majesty s frigate, the 
Servilante, arrived in Boston harbour from the West 
Indies; on her passage had a warm engagement with 
a British ship-of-war, when some damage was sus 
tained on both sides. This frigate brought news, 
that the French had taken the island of Tobago, and 
had blocked up Admiral Rodney s fleet at Barbadoes. 

July 4th was celebrated at Boston, being the anni 
versary of the Declaration of American Independence. 


6th. Information was received that Gen. Wash 
ington had ordered the American troops from their 
several cantonments, and that the whole had assem 
bled, and were encamped near Peekskill. 

Some of the enemy s cruisers from Penobscot were 
cruising in the Bay, where they took several vessels; 
one within a league of the light-house. 

nth. Intelligence was received that there had 
been a skirmish between the Americans and British 
between White Plains and Kingsbridge, but no 
particulars were received. 

1 2th. Our General set out from his house in 
Roxbury for the army. 

iQth. The enemy s shipping, which were up the 
North River, ran down; there was a brisk cannonade 
at Dobb s Ferry. 

2 1 st. The American field artillery, which had for 
some days been on board vessels in the North River, 
proceeded downwards to the nearest landing to the 

When the enemy s shipping passed Dobb s Ferry, 
on the iQth, a box of powder on board the Savage 
ship-of-war took fire, supposed by the bursting of a 
howitzer shell, on which a number of the crew, ap 
prehending that the ship would blow up, jumped 
overboard into the river. An American, who was 
a prisoner on board, jumped overboard at the same 
time, and swam on shore, relating what had hap 
pened; he also reported that the Savage was several 
times hulled by our shot, and must have suffered 
considerable loss. The late skirmish near Kings- 
bridge was occasioned by the American army s mov 
ing down, in order to give the French officers a view 
of the British out-posts near the bridge. A number 
of Americans were killed and wounded by long shot 

Auo.i 7 8i] HEATH S MEMOIRS 309 

from the yagers of the enemy, who kept up a pop 
ping fire whenever they could reach our troops. 

2yth. Our General arrived at the army which 
was encamped at Phillipseburg, in two lines; the 
park of artillery in the centre of the second line. 
Accounts had been received from the southward 
that the enemy had no footing in Georgia, except 
Savannah, nor in South Carolina, except Charleston. 
The position which the American army now occu 
pied was between the lines the preceding campaigns; 
consequently the roads and commons, as well as the 
fields and pastures, were covered with grass; while 
the many deserted houses and ruined fences depicted 
the horrid devastations of war. The French army, 
under Gen. Rochambeau, was encamped at a small 
distance, on the left of the Americans, in one line. 

2Qth. A forage was made towards Phillipse s, con 
ducted by Col. Scammel. It was said that some of 
the British troops had returned from the southward 
to New York; and that those in Virginia were col 
lected at Portsmouth. 

August. On the night of the 3d, about II o clock, 
the British and American guard-boats met in the 
river near Dobb s Ferry, when a considerable firing 
ensued; we had one man badly wounded, who died 
soon after. The damage sustained by the enemy was 
not known. 

6th. The Commander in Chief, attended by a 
number of the general officers, reconnoitred towards 
Kingsbridge, covered by strong detachments of 
cavalry and infantry. Three ships and a galley lay 
in the river between Fort Washington and Spuyten 
Duyvil Creek. The enemy did not make any move 
ments. The morning of the yth, about 2 o clock, 
the army was awakened by the firing of cannon at 
Dobb s Ferry; it appeared that 2 of the enemy s 


gun-boats had come up as high as the ferry, prob 
ably to endeavour to seize some vessels or boats; on 
finding that they were discovered, they fired four 
cannon, but to no effect. Four cannon were dis 
charged at the boats from the battery, on which they 
went down the river. Two days before, Delancey s 
corps ventured as far above Kingsbridge, as 
Phillipse s. 

News was received, that the great French finan 
cier, Neckar, had resigned, and that Monsieur Fleury 
had been appointed in his room. 

Capt. Saltonstall, formerly of the frigate Warren, 
who was dismissed the service on account of his 
conduct in the Penobscot expedition, about this time 
behaved most gallantly in a privateer, on a cruise 
against the enemy. 

The American army at this time continued in the 
same position at Phillipseburg. The Connecticut 
and Rhode Island lines, and 6 regiments of the 
Massachusetts line, composed the front line; the 
New Hampshire line, four regiments of Massachu 
setts, Crane s and Lamb s regiments of artillery, 
with the sappers and miners, the second line; the 
right wing commanded by Maj. Gen. Heath, the 
left wing by Maj. Gen. Lord Sterling; the advance 
of the American army on a height a little advanced 
of Dobb s Ferry, under the command of Col. Scam- 
mel, and Sheldon s dragoons near Dobb s Ferry. 
The French army in one line on the left of the 
Americans, with their legion under the Duke de 
Lauzun, at White Plains. Gen. Waterbury, with 
the militia under his command, towards New Ro- 
chelie. The camps at this time swarmed with flies, 
which were very troublesome. 

nth. Robert Morris, Esq. the American finan 
cier, and Richard Peters, Esq. one of the members 

AuG.i 7 8i] HEATH S MEMOIRS 311 

of the Board of War, visited the army. The same 
day, the advance of the army took a position a little 
more to the northward, and the dragoons were added 
to Col. Scammers command. A fleet arrived at 
New York from England; they brought over be 
tween 2 and 3,000 Hessian recruits. 

I4th. Col. Hazen s and Col. Vanschaak s reg 
iments joined the army. A French frigate arrived 
about this time at Rhode Island, supposed to have 
brought news of the approach of the Count de Grasse. 
A few nights before, Gen. Schuyler came very near 
being taken and carried off from his house in Albany.* 

In the general orders of the I5th, the army was 
directed to hold itself in the most perfect readiness 
to march on the shortest notice. 

i6th. It was whispered that the Count de Grasse, 
with 28 sail of the line, besides frigates, with a num 
ber of land forces on board, might soon be expected 
on our coast, and these, with the squadron under the 
command of the Chevalier de Barras, would make a 
fleet of 36 sail of the line, a force probably superior 
to any the British could assemble in these seas. 

Under prospects so flattering, the Commander in 
Chief determined to strike the enemy a capital blow 
in some quarter. To strike at their very root in 
New York, was a most desirable object; but the 
situation of New York with Long Island, and Staten 
Island, and the adjacent country, was such, as would 
require a very large army to effect a complete inves 
titure, and give a proper security against the sallies 
of the enemy, which, from situation, might be easily 
and frequently made that such an army must be 
composed, in a very considerable degree, of militia, 
to whom the continuing long in camp had often 
been found disagreeable; and the French were not 

* See Appendix XXXII. 

3 i2 HEATH S MEMOIRS [AUG. 1781 

without apprehensions that if their fleet entered the 
harbour of New York, and became warmly engaged 
with the British ships and batteries, in the course of 
those manoeuvres, which it might be necessary to 
make, some of their heavy ships, through the want of 
a competent knowledge of all parts of the bay, might 
get aground, or be damaged; while all these incon 
veniences would be avoided, in case Lord Cornwallis, 
with the British army in Virginia, were made the ob 
ject, and his capture would be almost certain, while 
the American main army might be left in sufficient 
strength, to act on the defensive against Sir Henry 
Clinton, and effectually cover the important posts in 
the Highlands of New York. 

i yth. General Washington was pleased to com 
municate to our General (in confidence) his inten 
tions, at the same time intimating to him that he 
should give him the command of the main army 
during his absence. The whole of the French army, 
with the two regiments of New Jersey, first regiment 
of New York, Col. Hazen s regiment, Col. Olney s 
regiment of Rhode Island, Col. Lamb s regiment of 
artillery, and the light troops under the command of 
Col. Scammel, were detached for the expedition 
against Lord Cornwallis, and the army under his 
command, at Yorktown in Virginia. 

1 8th. Some of the corps began to move towards 
the ferries. The next day, the Commander in Chief 
was pleased to honour our General with the follow 

"To Major General HEATH. 

"YOU are to take command of all the troops 
remaining in this department, consisting of the two 
regiments of New Hampshire, ten of Massachusetts, 
and five of Connecticut infantry, the corps of inva- 


lids, Sheldon s legion, the 3d regiment of artillery, 
together with all such State troops and militia as are 
retained in service of those which would have been 
under my own command. 

"The security of West Point, and the posts in the 
Highlands, is to be considered as the first object of 
your attention; in order to effect this, you will make 
such dispositions as in your judgment the circum 
stances shall from time to time require, taking care 
to have as large a supply of salted provisions as pos 
sible constantly on hand; to have the fortifications, 
works, and magazines repaired and perfected as far 
as may be; to have the garrison at least, in all cases, 
kept up to its present strength; to have the minutes, 
plans, and arrangements, for the defence and support 
of this important post, perfectly understood and vig 
orously executed in case of any attempt against it. 
Ample magazines of wood and forage are to be laid 
in, against the approaching winter; the former should 
be cut on the margin of the river, and transported to 
the garrison by water; the latter ought to be collected 
from the country below the lines, in the greatest 
quantities possible, and deposited in such places as 
you shall judge proper. 

"The force now put under your orders, it is pre 
sumed, will be sufficient for all the purposes above 
mentioned, as well as to yield a very considerable 
protection and cover to the country, without haz 
arding the safety of the posts in the Highlands; this 
is to be esteemed, as it respects the friendly inhabi 
tants and resources of the country, an extremely 
interesting object; but when compared with the for 
mer, of a secondary nature. The protection of the 
northern and western frontier of the State of New 
York, as well as those parts of that and other States 
most contiguous and exposed to the ravages and 


depredations of the enemy, will claim your attention; 
but as the contingencies which are to be expected in 
the course of this campaign, may be so various, un 
foreseen, and almost infinite, that no particular line 
of conduct can be prescribed for them upon all 
such occasions, you will be governed by your own 
prudence and discretion, on which the fullest confi 
dence is placed. 

"Although your general rule of conduct will be 
to act on the defensive only, yet it is not meant to 
prohibit you from striking a blow at the enemy s 
posts or detachments, should a fair opportunity pre 
sent itself. The most eligible position for your army, 
in my opinion, will be above (that is, on the north 
side) of the Croton, as well for the purpose of sup 
porting the garrison of West Point, annoying the 
enemy, and covering the country, as for the security 
and repose of your own troops. 

"Waterbury s brigade (which may be posted 
towards the Sound) Sheldon s corps, the State troops 
of New York, and other light parties may occasion 
ally be made use of to hold the enemy in check, and 
carry on the petit-guerre with them; but I would 
recommend keeping your force as much collected 
and compact as the nature of the service will admit, 
doing duty by corps instead of detachments, when 
ever it is practicable; and above all, exerting yourself 
most strenuously and assiduously, while the troops 
are in a camp of repose, to make them perfect in 
their exercise and manoeuvres, and to establish the 
most perfect system of discipline and duty. The 
good of the service and emulation of corps, will, I 
am persuaded, prompt the officers and men to de 
vote their whole time and attention to the pleasing 
and honourable task of becoming masters of their 
profession. The uncertainty which the present 

Auc.i 7 8i] HEATH S MEMOIRS 315 

movement of the army will probably occasion with 
the enemy ought to be increased by every means in 
your power, and the deception kept up as long as 
possible. It will not be expedient to prevent the 
militia, which were ordered, from coming in, until 
the arrival of the Count de Grasse, or something 
definite and certain is known from the southward; 
and even these circumstances may, (but of this you 
will be advised) render it advisable to keep the 
enemy at New York in check prevent their de 
taching to reinforce their southern army, or to harass 
the inhabitants on the sea-coast. 

u The redoubt on the east side of Dobb s Ferry is 
to be dismantled and demolished; the platforms to 
be taken up, and transported up the river, if it can 
be conveniently done. The block-house on the other 
side to be maintained, or evacuated and destroyed, 
as you shall judge proper. The water-guards, and 
other precautions to prevent surprise, you will be 
pleased to take into your consideration, and regulate 
in such a manner as you shall judge most expedient. 
You will be pleased to keep me regularly advised of 
every important event which shall take place in your 

"Given under my hand, at head-quarters, near 
Dobb s Ferry, this I9th day of August, 1781. 


"P. S. By the act of Congress of the 3d of Oct. 
1780, a return is to be made to them annually, on, 
or before the first of September, of the troops belong 
ing to the several States, that requisitions may be 
made for completing the same. This you will please 
to have done by the troops under your command. 

"The preservation of the boats is a matter of very 
great importance, to which you will attend. Let all 


the new boats, and such others as are not absolutely 
necessary, and allotted to the service of the garrison, 
be hauled up, and put under the care of a guard, so 
that the person to whom they are committed shall 
be accountable for every boat. 

"The abuses committed by people belonging to 
commissioned whale-boats, on Long Island, ought to 
be inquired into and suppressed, especially as Con 
gress have ordered those commissions to be revoked.* 

G. W." 

1 9th. About noon, his Excellency Gen. Wash 
ington left the army, setting his face towards his 
native State, in full confidence, to use his own words, 
"with a common blessing," of capturing Lord Corn- 
wallis and his army; while our General was left to 
watch Sir Henry Clinton, and guard against those 
attempts which it was probable he would make to 
succour Cornwallis, direct, or by making such other 
movements as might tend to induce Gen. Washing- 

O O 

ton to give up his object, or to avail himself of some 
important posts in his absence. Sir Henry Clinton 
was consequently on the rack to devise something 
which should effect this purpose; a stroke at the 
posts in the Highlands, Connecticut, New Jersey, 
Albany and Philadelphia, was contemplated. Against 
all this had our General to guard. Let impartiality 
judge, and candour decide on his conduct. 

On the morning of the same day, the French army 
marched from their encampment towards King s 
Ferry, where they were to cross the river. The 
American park of artillery, Col. Olney s regiment, 
and the New York regiment decamped and moved 
the same way, 

2Oth. A little after noon, our General ordered off 

* See Appendix XXXIII. 

AuG.i 7 8i] HEATH S MEMOIRS 317 

the baggage to the strong grounds near Young s, 
which at about 6 o clock was followed by the army, 
marching by the left in one column, which took a 
strong position during the night. The pickets after 
dusk were drawn back a little to the northward of 
the former encampment. The advanced parties 
under Maj. Scott were ordered to join their respec 
tive regiments, and Sheldon s horse to patrol in the 

2 1 st. Col. Putnam, with 320 infantry, Col. Shel 
don s horse, and two companies of the New York 
levies, were ordered to form an advance for the 
army, and remain at or near their present ground. 
About 12 o clock at noon, the army took up its line 
of march, and halted at night on the lower parts of 
North Castle. Two regiments had been detached 
on the march to Sing Sing church, to cover a quan 
tity of baggage belonging to the French army, assist 
in removing it, &c. and a detachment was sent to 
the New Bridge to secure a quantity of flour lodged 
near that place. 

22d. The army marched from North Castle, and 
encamped at Crom Pond; all the French stores at 
Tarrytown and Sing Sing had been secured. 

23d. The army marched frorrrCrom Pond, and 
took a strong position at Peekskill, the first line 
encamping before the village, and the second behind 
it. After the troops were encamped, 80 wagons 
were sent off to assist in forwarding the stores of the 
army with Gen. Washington. Intelligence was re 
ceived that a frigate and store-ship had arrived at 
Boston, from France, with military stores, &c. for 
the United States. 

24th. The French troops had not all passed the 
Ferry 150 Americans were sent to aid them, and 
at evening 150 more. Intelligence was received that 


a large French fleet had been seen standing for the 

26th. The whole of the French army had crossed 
the river. Gen. Washington was as far as Rama- 
po in the forenoon. Six deserters came in from 
the enemy, and three prisoners of war belonging to 
Delancey s corps, were sent up; they had taken and 
were driving off* about 30 sheep, which were 

2yth. Dispatches were sent off to Gov. Trum- 
bull at Hartford, and Gov. Hancock at Boston. A 
heavy cannonade was heard towards New York 
from early in the morning till two in the afternoon, 
supposed to be off at sea. 

3Oth. At evening a detachment consisting of 250 
men marched towards the New Bridge, where wag 
ons were collecting for a grand forage, which was 
to be covered by this detachment and the troops on 
the lines the whole under the command of Col. 
Greaton. By the last accounts, Gen. Washington 
was as far as Chatham, in the Jerseys. 

3 1 st. Colonel Laurens passed the army, on his 
way from Boston to Philadelphia: he had brought 
from France a large sum in specie for the United 
States. Col. Laurens reported the friendly disposi 
tion of the European powers towards the United 
States; that Great Britain continued to stand with 
out a single ally, nor could she obtain one in the war 
in which she was engaged. 

September 1st. The foragers returned with 42 
loads of hay. A Hessian rifleman came in with his 

The same day, letters were received from Gen. 
Washington, dated at Trenton, the 2Qth ult. men 
tioning that a British fleet of 15 sail of the line had 
arrived at Sandy Hook from the West Indies. The 

s E PT.i 7 8i] HEATH S MEMOIRS 319 

same evening, about 40 Indians, from the Oneida 
and other neighbouring tribes, came to the army, 
on their way after Generals Washington and 

2d. Intelligence was received from New York, 
that a fleet, under the command of Admiral Sir Sam 
uel Hood, had arrived at Sandy Hook from the 
West Indies, consisting of 14 sail of the line, three 
44 gun ships, one of 28, a sloop and fire-ship. The 
ships of the line were, Barfleur, of 90 guns, Princessa, 
Invincible, Alcide, Alfred, Ajax, Resolution, Cen 
taur, Intrepid, Terrible, Montague, Shrewsbury, 

Belliqueax, and , 74 guns each. It was said 

that the ist battalion of Royal, I3th and 69th British 
regiments came in the fleet. 

3d. Intelligence was received that Gen. Wash 
ington was at Philadelphia the preceding Friday, and 
that his army was to march from Trenton, as 

4th. Intelligence was received from New York 
that the British fleet had sailed to counteract the 
French. The day before, the southern post-rider, 
with the mail, was stopped near Pompton in the 
Jerseys, and the mail carried off; the horse was 
left in the road. The same day, a fleet of 26 sail, 
some of which were large, passed Stamford to the 

6th. Intelligence was received from New York 
that an embargo was laid on the shipping there, 
and that 6 British transports had been taken by the 
French. The enemy s shipping in the North River 
above Fort Washington had all gone down. 

7th. Intelligence was received from New York, 
that the Count de Grasse had arrived in the Ches 
apeake on the 3ist ultimo; that a 64 gun ship and a 
frigate had entered York River; that Lord Corn- 

320 HEATH S MEMOIRS [SEP T .i 7 8i 

wallis was preparing for a vigorous defence; and 
that 6 sail of victuallers had been taken by Admiral 
Barras. A heavy cannonade was heard the day 
before, towards the Hook. The same day, there was 
much passing between the city and Fort Washington, 
which occasioned a great rising of dust, visible at a 
great distance; and there was a rumbling of car 
riages in the night. Mr. Rivington, in his paper, 
observed the present to be the most interesting and 
critical era of the war.* The same evening, a de 
tachment marched from our army for a grand 

8th. Two companies of Col. Weisenfeld s reg 
iment were ordered to Albany to cover that city 
against the designs of the enemy. The same even 
ing, our General received a letter from Gen. Wash 
ington, dated at the Head of Elk the preceding day, 
in which he observes, "I have it now in my power 
to congratulate you on the arrival of Count de Grasse, 
with 28 ships of the line and some frigates, in the 
Chesapeake, with a body of land forces on board, 
which he debarked immediately on his arrival. On 
his passage, he took Lord Rawdon, who was bound 
from Charleston to England. This arrival, with Col. 
Laurens, from France, must fill the United States 
with the most happy prospects and expectations." 
... "I am thus far on my way to Virginia, with 
the troops under my command; we are now em 
barking the heavy baggage, stores, and some of the 
troops." ... "I must beg of you not to forget send 
ing the quantity of beef I requested, as I must at 
present altogether depend on that supply." 

The same day, intelligence was received that the 
enemy s fleet, which sailed up the Sound on the 4th, 
had made a descent on New London. At evening, 

* See Appendix XXXIV. 

s E PT.i 7 8i] HEATH S MEMOIRS 321 

Maj. Tallmadge, with 20 cavalry and 200 infantry, 
was ordered to move immediately towards the Sound. 
The preceding day, about 30 sail of the enemy s 
vessels passed the Sound towards New York. 

On the morning of the Qth the foragers returned, 
with 28 loads of hay. 

loth. Intelligence was received from Governor 
Trumbull that the enemy had made a descent on 
New London, on the evening of the 6th, with about 
2,ooo infantry and 300 light-horse. Their fleet con 
sisted of about 40 sail of ships-of-war and transports; 
they plundered the inhabitants of property to a large 
amount, and burnt a great part of the town. The 
militia behaved very gallantly, and a number of very 
valuable citizens were killed; among others, Col. 
Ledyard, Captains Saltonstall and Richards. The 
enemy, in three assaults on the fort on Groton side 
of the river, were repulsed, but on the fourth attempt 
carried it. The militia collecting in greater numbers, 
with some pieces of artillery, the enemy retreated on 
board their shipping. Part of the American ship 
ping in the harbour were scuttled, and some were 
run up the river. In Governor Trumbull s letter 
the enemy were charged with behaving in a wanton 
and barbarous manner; and that of between 70 and 
80 men who were killed, 3 only were killed before 
the enemy entered the fort, and the garrison had 
submitted; that on Col. Ledyard s delivering his 
sword reversed, to the commanding officer, who en 
tered the fort, the officer immediately plunged it in 
the Colonel s body, on which several soldiers bayo 
neted him. It is also asserted that upon the foregoing 
taking place, an American officer, who stood near to 
Col. Ledyard, instantly stabbed the British officer 
who stabbed the Colonel; on which, the British indis 
criminately bayoneted a great number of Americans. 


This expedition was commanded by Arnold. The 
British loss was very considerable in killed and 
wounded; among the former was Major Mont 
gomery. Arnold himself continued on the New 
London side, and while his troops were plundering 
and burning, was said to have been at a house where 
he was treated very politely; that while he was sitting 
with the gentleman regaling himself, the latter ob 
served that he hoped his house and property would 
be safe; he was answered that while he (Arnold) 
was there, it would not be touched; but the house, 
except the room in which they were, was soon plun 
dered, and found to be on fire. During the plunder 
of the town, the British ( as is always the case in a 
plunder) were in great confusion, setting their arms 
against trees and fences, while they were collecting 
and carrying off their plunder; in this situation they 
might have been easily defeated; nor would it have 
been the first time that an army in possession of vic 
tory lost it in this way; hence by the articles of war, 
"If any officer or soldier shall leave his post or col 
ours, to go in search of plunder, he is liable to suffer 
death for the offence." 

It is not meant to exculpate or to aggravate the 
conduct of the enemy on this occasion but two 
things are to be remembered; first, that in almost all 
cases the slaughter does but begin when the van 
quished give way; and it has been said that if this 
were fully considered, troops would never turn their 
backs if it were possible to face their enemy: Sec 
ondly, in all attacks by assault, the assailants, be 
tween the feeling of danger on the one hand, and 
resolution to overcome it on the other, have their 
minds worked up almost to a point of fury and mad 
ness, which those who are assailed, from a confidence 
in their works, do not feel; and that consequently 

SEP T .i 7 8i] HEATH S MEMOIRS 323 

when a place is carried, and the assailed submit, the 
assailants cannot instantaneously curb their fury to 
reason, and in this interval many are slain in a way 
which a cool bystander would call wanton and bar 
barous, and even the perpetrators themselves, when 
their rage subsided, would condemn; but while the 
human passions remain as they now are there is 
scarcely a remedy.* 

nth. Arnold s fleet was still in the Sound, and 
further depredations were expected; they were this 
morning at Killingsworth, and about noon 50 sail of 
vessels came to anchor between Norwalk and Stam 
ford. Major Tallmadge, who was returning, upon 
supposition that the enemy had returned to New 
York, was ordered back immediately. Maj. Knapp 
was detached with 100 men to reinforce Col. Putnam 
on the lines; and Brig. Gen. Huntington, with the 
first Connecticut brigade, and a detachment of ar 
tillery was ordered to march towards the Sound. 
The same day, the army moved from its encampment 
at Peekskill, and took a very strong position on 
Bald Hill, where it encamped in one line, the second 
line forming in the centre of the first; and the 8th 
Massachusetts regiment was ordered to march from 
the army, and reinforce the garrison of West Point. 

1 3th. Intelligence was received that on the 
enemy s anchoring off* Stamford, Maj. Tallmadge 
advanced towards the town; Gen. Huntington had 
advanced as far as Bedford; and that the preceding 
morning the enemy s fleet came to sail, and stood 
principally to the westward; some of the fleet, at the 
same time, standing over to Huntington Bay, Long 
Island. Maj. Tallmadge was to remain at or near 
Canaan, for the protection of the inhabitants; Gen. 
Huntington to return to the army. 

* See Appendix XXXV. 


The Hessian recruits, which had a little before ar 
rived at New York, were very sickly, and many died. 
The fleet which had arrived at New York were in 
bad condition. The Prudente and Robuste lay at 
the ship-yard; the Roebuck had been sent to Halifax 
to repair, and had not returned. Mr. Rivington, 
in his paper, talked of another fleet coming out under 
Admiral Digby. 

1 5th. The enemy had still a number of troops 
on board their transports in the harbour. The same 
day, intelligence was received from Canada that the 
enemy were preparing a number of canoes and small 
batteaux at St. John s, baking hard bread at Mon 
treal, and forwarding it to St. John s, &c. The 
Cork fleet had arrived at Quebec. The same day, 
about 40 sail of the enemy s vessels passed in the 
Sound to the eastward. 

iyth. Intelligence was received that a brigade 
of troops had lately come to St. John s, from whence 
an incursion on our northern frontier might be ex 
pected; on which the whole of Weisenfeld s regiment 
was ordered for Albany immediately; notice was also 
given to the eastern Governors, and the Brigadiers 
commanding the militia in the counties of Hampshire 
and Berkshire, in Massachusetts, requested to lend 
their aid if it should be found necessary. 

1 8th. A deserter came in from New York; he 
reported, that when he left the city, about 20 sail of 
vessels were falling down to the Hook, said to have 
troops on board. 

iQth. The 2d and 5th Massachusetts regiments 
were ordered to go into garrison at West Point, and 
the 7th regiment to join the army; it had before 
been in garrison. The same day, intelligence was 
received from New York that there had been a 
naval engagement off" the Chesapeake, between 19 

SEP T .i 7 8i] HEATH S MEMOIRS 325 

sail of British men-of-war, and 24 French ships of the 
line: the story was so badly told in New York that 
there was good grounds to conclude that the British 
had received a severe drubbing. On the iyth, when 
a packet arrived at New York, 3,000 people were 
said to be waiting on the wharves to learn the news, 
but not a word transpired; nor did the countenance 
of the officer who landed, appear to beam with the 
smiles of fortune. The enemy had taken a number 
of heavy cannon from the Grand Battery, which were 
put on board ship. The troops still remained on 
board the transports, and had fallen down to the 
Hook. A mortal sickness prevailed in Delancey s 
corps, at Morrisania, which was much reduced in 
its numbers. 

22d. Intelligence was received that the British 
fleet had been pretty severely handled by the French, 
and some of the ships were considerably damaged: 
that the inhabitants were in great consternation in 
New York; many were packing up their goods: that 
Arnold s loss at New London, in both killed and 
wounded, was very considerable: that the 38th, 47th 
and 5Oth regiments were on that expedition, and 
then considered as unfit for duty. Gen. Sir Henry 
Clinton was said to be embarked with the troops, 
report said from 7 to 8 thousand; among them the 
British and Hessian grenadiers, light-infantry, 42d 
regiment, &c. 

24th. A grand forage was made below the lines. 
The British fleet returned to the Hook on the 2Oth. 
The Prudente of 64 guns, had gone down in a mis 
erable condition to join the fleet; and the Robuste 
of 74 guns, had hauled down nearly opposite to the 
city. The heavy cannon had been taken from Fort 
Washington, as well as the Grand Battery. 

25th. Forty-six loads of forage were brought off 


from below the lines. Mr. Rivington published 
another account of the naval engagement between 
the fleets on the I5th; he acknowledged that several 
ships were much damaged, and that two which had 
come from the West Indies leaky, were more so after 
the engagement: that in particular, the Terrible was 
so much damaged, as occasioned the taking out her 
guns, &c. and setting her on fire; after which the 
fleet returned to the Hook, finding it impracticable 
to succour Lord Cornwallis. It was said that the 
troops which had embarked, (about 6,000) had de 
barked on Staten Island. Other accounts stated 
their number not more than 4,000 they were im 
pressing and collecting wagons.* 

ayth. Three deserters came in from Col. Wurmb s 
corps with their arms, &c. 

28th. Apprehending that the enemy might have 
intentions of crossing over from Staten Island to the 
Jerseys, a detachment of 300 infantry, with light artil 
lery, under the command of Col. Swift, were ordered 
to cross the ferry the next morning, and move as far 
as Ramapo, to be at hand to aid the militia, in 
case the enemy should land in the Jerseys. 

2Qth. Intelligence was received from the north 
ward that a small party had been sent from St. John s 
to Saratoga, to take a prisoner or two, for the purpose 
of obtaining information; but that five of the party, 
with the instructions of the British commandant at 
St. John s, were taken and brought in by Captain 

3Oth. Intelligence was received that Admiral 
Digby arrived at New York the 25th inst. with three 
sail of the line, and one frigate. Prince William 
Henry, the King of England s third son, came in 
this fleet. It was said in New York that Lord Corn- 

* See Appendix XXXVI. 

ocr.i 7 8i] HEATH S MEMOIRS 327 

wallis s force in Virginia consisted of 5,000 regular 
troops, and 3,000 levies; but that behind him was a 
numerous Continental army before him a powerful 
French fleet. The troops on Staten Island were at 
this time suspected to be planning some secret ex 
pedition; and Congress, from some intelligence which 
they had received, were not without apprehensions 
that Philadelphia might be their object. The militia 
of Pennsylvania were held in readiness for instant 
service; and our General was notified to hold the 
army in readiness to move if necessary. The enemy 
were carefully watched. Sir Henry Clinton was en 
deavouring to devise some means whereby he might 
relieve Lord Cornwallis; but nothing would have 
diverted Gen. Washington from capturing him. 
The New York papers were filled with addresses 
and adulations to their young Prince; but these could 
not retard the advances of a WASHINGTON, or defend 
Cornwallis. The fleet of Count de Grasse made 
several captures.* 

October 2d. A detachment marched for a grand 

3d. At 3 o clock, A.M. Major Trescott, with a 
detachment of 100 men from Maj. Tallmadge s com 
mand, crossed the Sound to Long Island, and com 
pletely surprised the enemy s Fort Slonge, making 
2 Captains, I Lieutenant, and 18 rank and file pris 
oners; of the enemy, 2 were killed, and 2 wounded; 
of the Americans, none were killed, and but one 
wounded. Two double fortified 4 pounders, found 
in the fort, were damaged. One brass three-pounder, 
with a number of small-arms, ammunition, clothing, 
British goods, &c. were brought off. This enter 
prise was conducted with address and gallantry. 

* See Appendix XXXVII. 

328 HEATH S MEMOIRS [Ocr.i 7 8i 

4th. The foragers returned, with upwards of 40 
loads of hay. 

5th. A detachment of dragoons were sent towards 
Boston, and 100 picked infantry under Maj. Morrell 
were to march towards Springfield, to escort a large 
sum of money (brought by Col. Laurens) to 

6th. The enemy were again embarking their 
troops from Staten Island; they embarked on board 
the men-of-war. Considering their case as desperate, 
they were determined to make one desperate attempt. 
Ten or twelve fire-ships were prepared to sail with the 
fleets; they were filled with proper materials for the 
purpose, and, to prevent suspicion, they were new 
painted, had guns, and the appearance of some of 
the handsomest ships in the fleet. 

8th. A detachment was sent on a grand forage. 
The same day, intelligence was received that a party 
of refugees and Indians, from Niagara, had burnt a 
number of houses and barns at Warworsing; they 
were pursued by Col. Paulding, but could not be 
come up with. Sir Henry Clinton, in his orders of 
the 3d, directed 3,000 regular troops to embark on 
board the men-of-war as marines; it was supposed 
that every thing would be ready by the I4th. Secret 
intelligence had been received from Albany that the 
enemy had intentions on that city; that they would 
advance by different routes, and on their near ap 
proach, would be joined by some disaffected people 
in the country, and the destruction of the city be 
effected. Brig. Gen. Stark had been in command 
for some time at the northward. 

loth. Our General ordered the ad New Hamp 
shire regiment, and a detachment of artillery, to the 
northward. Gen. Stark had executed a Mr. Love 
less, sent in by Capt. Dunham, as a spy. 


I3th. Intelligence was received that the enemy 
had advanced to this side of Lake George. 

I4th. The ist New Hampshire and roth Massa 
chusetts regiments, with a detachment of artillery, 
were ordered to Albany, where matters wore a more 
serious aspect. 

I5th. Intelligence was received that on the 28th 
ult. Gen. Washington took a position in the neigh 
bourhood of York the enemy gave him no annoy 
ance: on his advancing, a body of horse paraded 
before the enemy s works; but retired upon the dis 
charge of a few shot at them. 

The 2Qth was spent in taking another position as 
near the enemy s advanced works as could be done 
without placing the encampment in the range of their 
shot. Some skirimishing happened between our rifle 
men and the yagers, in which the former had the 
advantage. At night, the enemy abandoned all their 
out-posts, (some of which were very advantageous) 
and retired to the town; the Americans occupied the 
same ground, and made lodgments at a short dis 
tance from the enemy s lines. The heavy artillery 
was to be brought up as soon as possible, and the 
siege pushed with vigour. 

3Oth. Col. Scammell, who was officer of the day, 
was wounded and taken prisoner by a party of the 
enemy s horse, as he was reconnoitring one of the 
works which had just before been evacuated. 

Our General had ordered Maj. Gen. Lord Sterling 
to proceed to Albany, and take the command of the 
troops in that quarter; he set out for the northward 
about noon on the i6th. The same day, Col. Tup- 
per, with the 1st New Hampshire and loth Massa 
chusetts regiments, and a detachment of artillery, 
embarked at Fishkill Landing, and arrived at Albany 
in 1 8 hours afterwards. The same day, it was learnt 

330 HEATH S MEMOIRS [Ocr.i 7 8i 

that the enemy s fleet at New York was 24 or 25 
sail of the line; and that 5 or 6,000 of the best troops 
at New York had embarked, and were on the point 
of sailing to attempt to relieve Earl Cornwallis; it 
was also said that Cornwallis was short of bread, 
and that his meat provisions would not last him more 
than the month out, at farthest he had received 
fresh provisions but once after he was blockaded. 

On the morning of the lyth, a horse-guard be 
longing to Gen. Howe s division, consisting of a 
sergeant, 9 privates, and 8 wagoners, with 30 horses, 
were taken by Delancey s horse a little below Croton 
River, where the horses had been put to pasture con 
trary to orders. A Court of Inquiry was ordered to 
investigate the matter. 

1 8th. It was learnt, that on the preceding Satur 
day, a British 74 gun ship was struck by the light 
ning at New York, and sustained considerable 

22d. Gen. Greene s official letter to Congress 
announced that his battle on the 8th, near Eutaw 
Springs, was well fought; that on the field he ob 
tained the victory, drove and pursued the enemy for 
several miles; when the enemy, throwing themselves 
into a three-story brick house, a stockaded garden, 
and thick brush, renewed the action, when, after some 
efforts to dislodge them, Gen. Greene thought it ad 
visable to call off his troops, which was done, and 
the wounded brought off, except such as were under 
the fire of the house. Four brass six-pounders hav 
ing had their horses killed were also left near the 
house, in possession of the enemy. This was some 
what similar to what took place at Germantown 
battle, and now very probably saved the British from 
a total defeat. The close of this action barred its 
being called a complete victory, although its effects 

ocr.i 7 8i3 HEATH S MEMOIRS 331 

proved it such. General Greene, of Continental 
State troops and militia, had one Lieutenant-Colonel, 
i Major, 6 Captains, 8 Subalterns, 8 Sergeants, and 
114 rank and file killed 5 Lieutenant-Colonels, 
13 Captains, 25 Subalterns, 32 Sergeants, and 300 
rank and file wounded i Sergeant, and 40 rank and 
file missing I Brigadier-General of militia wounded. 
Of the enemy, 500 prisoners, including the wounded, 
which the enemy left behind them, were taken; and 
it was supposed that the killed and other wounded 
of the enemy, must be nearly 600 more. Perhaps 
troops never fought better than the Americans did 
in this battle; and of the British, General Greene 
observed, "the enemy fought with equal spirit, and 
worthy of a better cause."* 

By a letter from Gen. Washington, of the 6th, it 
appeared that the operations against Earl Cornwallis 
had then gone on but slowly, but that the trenches 
were to be opened that night. The same letter ob 
served that some misunderstanding, which had sub 
sisted in Vermont, was settled; and that Gen. Enos, 
and the troops under his command, were to be sub 
ject to the orders of our General. 

The army in the Highlands were at this time short 
of flour, occasioned by the dry season, and conse 
quent want of water for the mills. 

24th. A letter was received from Gen. Washing 
ton, dated at York in Virginia, the I2th, by which 
it appeared that the trenches were opened on the 
night of the 6th, without being discovered by the 
enemy until day-light. The approaches were carried 
on within 600 yards of the enemy s works without 
any loss the Jth and 8th were employed in erecting 
batteries on the Qth, two batteries, one on the right, 
and the other on the left, were opened. The next 

* See Appendix XXXVIII. 


morning, four other batteries being completed, the 
whole opened a heavy fire of cannon and mortars, 
which soon become so warm as to drive the enemy 
from their guns, and their fire was almost totally 
silenced very little return was made afterwards. 
The Charon, of 44 guns, with one transport, took 
fire from our shot or shells, the evening of the loth, 
and were both consumed. The i ith, another ship was 
destroyed in the same manner. The same night, 
the second parallel was advanced within less than 
400 yards of the enemy s lines. This approach was 
also effected without annoyance; and on the I2th, 
the fatigue men were securely covered, while they 
were completing the works. The same evening there 
was a flying report, and which seemed to gain credit, 
that Earl Cornwallis, and his army, surrendered on 
the iyth; and that Count de Grasse had gone out to 
meet Admiral Digby. 

25th. Intelligence was received of the advance 
of the enemy at the northward. 

26th. Col. Francis, with the specie from Boston, 
passed the river; the money was escorted by 40 horse 
of Sheldon s regiment, and 150 infantry; and Lieut. 
Col. Mellen was ordered with a detachment of in 
fantry to move on the lower road as far as Morris- 
town, keeping between the escort and the enemy. 

28th. In the afternoon, a letter from Gen. Wash 
ington to our General announced the pleasing and 
highly important news of the complete capture of 
Earl Cornwallis, and his whole army, on the iQth. 
Our General had assured the army that the moment 
he received the certain intelligence of the capture of 
Cornwallis it should be announced to them by the 
discharge of 13 cannon, near his quarters; these were 
now the heralds to the army, and were instantly 

ocr.i 7 8i] HEATH S MEMOIRS 333 

answered by a like number of field-pieces in every 
brigade on the ground. 

On the 1 5th, two of the enemy s redoubts were 
stormed, one by the Americans, and the other by 
the French troops, and soon carried, with but little 
loss. The possession of these redoubts gave the 
allied army in a great measure the command of the 
other works of the enemy, who on the lyth, beat a 
parley, and on the iQth surrendered: 3,500 regular 
troops laid down their arms; 2,000 more were sick 
and wounded in the hospitals. These were exclu 
sive of sailors, negroes, &c. Earl Cornwallis was 
to go to England on parole, and remain a prisoner 
until exchanged. The officers and men were to be 
exchanged as far as the garrison of Charleston would 
extend; the remainder were to continue prisoners of 
war; the British were to retain their private baggage. 
It was said that more than 100 vessels were taken 
from the enemy. A detail of the prisoners taken, 
was stated as follows: one Lieut. General, one Brig. 
General, 2 Colonels, 14 Lieut. -Colonels, 16 Majors, 
97 Captains, 180 Lieutenants, 55 Ensigns, 4 Chap 
lains, 6 Adjutants, 18 Quarter-Masters, 18 Surgeons, 
25 Mates, 385 Sergeants, 197 Drummers and Trum 
peters, 6,039 ran k an d file, 189 in the Commissary s 
department sailors in the pay of the King, 840 
killed during the siege, 309 deserters, 44 75 brass 
cannon, 169 iron do. ,5, 743 muskets with bayonets, 
915 muskets without bayonets, and 1,136 damaged 
muskets were among the trophies of victory. Thus 
was the principal force of the enemy crushed in the 
south. At the northward, the enemy were advanc 
ing, both by the way of the Lakes and by the Mo 
hawk River. Col. Willett, with his regiment of New 
York levies, and some militia of New York, and 
from the western parts of Massachusetts, were ad- 


vancing to meet Maj. Ross, who, with from 500 to 
700 men, principally British troops, was making his 
way towards Albany through the settlements on the 

ZQth. Intelligence was received that an action 
took place the preceding Thursday, near Johnstown, 
between the troops under the command of Col. Wil- 
lett and Maj. Ross. 

Col. Willett having advanced until he had arrived 
near Maj. Ross, detached Maj. Rowley of Massachu 
setts, with a body of militia, by a circuitous move 
ment, to get in the rear of the enemy, with orders 
that as soon as he heard the firing in the front, to 
fall on them. Maj. Rowley performed his manoeu 
vre accordingly; and as soon as Col. Willett judged 
that the Major had gained the rear of the enemy he 
made a vigorous charge on their front when they 
immediately gave way, and to all appearance the 
Colonel was nearly in the grasp of victory, when, all 
at once, without any visible occasion the levies came 
to a stand, and then immediately began to fall back, 
the enemy facing about and charging vigorously; 
the Colonel s brass field-piece and ammunition tum 
brel fell into the hands of the enemy, and a rout 
seemed to be taking place, when Maj. Rowley, not 
knowing what had taken place in the front, com 
menced a brisk attack on the enemy s rear; this in 
stantly threw them into confusion; the levies rallied 
in the front, and fought with redoubled bravery; the 
field-piece and tumbrel were retaken, and the enemy 
put to a most complete rout, and pursued until the 
levies, militia, and some Oneida Indians who were 
with Col. Willett, were worn down with fatigue. It 
was not possible to ascertain the number of the 
enemy s slain; for, to use the words of the reporting 

* See Appendix XXXIX. 

ocr.i 7 8i] HEATH S MEMOIRS 335 

officer, "Unless the swamps and rivers, in which 
they fell, were to report the killed, it was impossible 
to make a return of them." Major Butler, so fre 
quently a troublesome partisan officer on the fron 
tiers, was killed by the Indians as he was passing a 
river.* Fifty-two prisoners were taken and brought 
in; and Major Ross went off in a direction into the 
woods, where he and his troops must have suffered 
extremely for provisions, &c. Of the levies and 
militia with Col. Willett, I Lieutenant and 12 rank 
and file were killed; i Captain, 2 Lieutenants, and 
20 rank and file were wounded; i Captain, I Lieu 
tenant, and 3 privates, missing. Thus were the de 
signs of the enemy also frustrated in the north. 

The Corporation of the city of Albany were so 
much impressed with the seasonable and effectual 
exertions made by our General to save their city 
from destruction that they sent him the following 
very polite address: 

ALBANY, October 22, 1781. 

"THREATENED as this city and the frontiers of 
the State have been with destruction from an enemy, 
who, forgetting the rights of humanity, and the cus 
toms of war adopted by civilized nations, have hith 
erto waged it with all the spirit of the most savage 
barbarism, we cannot reflect but with pleasure and 
gratitude on the alacrity with which you have pur 
sued the intentions of the Commander in Chief, in 
affording with so much dispatch a competent sup 
port to oppose the enemy: permit us, therefore, to 
render you our unfeigned thanks, and to assure you 
that the Corporation of the city of Albany can never 
be unmindful of your attention; and we entertain 
not the least doubt, but that similar sentiments in- 

* See Appendix XL. 


fluence every inhabitant who has experienced the 
advantage of your generous exertions. 

We are, Sir, with the greatest respect and esteem, 
your most obedient humble Servants. 

By order of the Corporation, 
(Signed) ABRA. TEN BROECK, Mayor. 
The Hon. Maj. Gen. HEATH." 

3 1 st. The army in the Highlands celebrated the 
glorious victory obtained over Lord Cornwallis. 
The whole army was under arms in one line; the 
artillery interspersed with the brigades to which it 
was attached: at 12 o clock, the army was reviewed 
by the General; at one, a grand feu-de-joy was fired; 
after which all the officers dined together at a table 
spread in the field, and formed a great square, where 
great festivity and social mirth prevailed. The sol 
diery had an extra boon on the occasion; and, to 
crown the whole, in the midst of the joy around the 
table, an officer approached our General, and in 
formed him, that, at the request of the prisoners in 
the provost, (who were pretty numerous) he was 
desired to represent that their hearts expanded with 
joy on account of the glorious victory obtained by 
their illustrious Commander in Chief that they 
lamented they could not express it with their com 
rades in arms; but that they did it heartily in their 
confinement, and solicited the General s goodness in 
an order for something to cheer their spirits. This 
was instantly done, with an additional order to the 
officer of the provost guard to set every prisoner in 
confinement at liberty. The promulgation of this 
order drew a shout of approbation from the whole 
body of the officers at the table; and probably had 
a better effect on the discipline of the army than a 
continuation of confinement, and exemplary pun- 


ishment of the culprits, could have produced. The 
general order of the day directed, that, "As soon as 
the feu-de-joy is over, the arms, ammunition, &c. 
are immediately to be put in perfect order for instant 
action. All guards, pickets, and sentinels to be vigi 
lant and alert on their posts;" which, notwithstanding 
the joy of the day, was strictly observed. 

On this occasion there were rejoicings in all parts 
of the United States; one instance seems to be worthy 
of notice; the company collected had determined to 
burn Gen. Arnold in effigy for his treachery at 
West Point; just as they were going to commit the 
effigy to the flames, one of the company observed, 
that one of Arnold s legs was wounded when he was 
fighting bravely for America, that this leg ought not 
to be burnt, but amputated; in which the whole com 
pany agreed; and this leg was taken off, and safely 
laid by. 

November 3d. At night, the escort with the south 
ern mail, who had put up at Col. Cooper s, in Clark s 
Town, were attacked by a gang of villains, who fired 
into the house, and killed the Sergeant dead on the 
spot, and wounded Capt. Champion, of Connecticut, 
who had put up at the same house, in the shoulder; 
the Corporal of the escort behaved well, threw the 
mail behind a bed, and defended the house the 
assailants made off. 

The same day, the foragers returned from below 
the lines with a large quantity of forage, and two 
prisoners, taken near Col. Phillipse s. 

5th. A Hessian yager came in, with his horse 
and equipments complete. 

yth. Two deserters came in from New York; 
they left the city the evening before they were very 
intelligent; by them it was learnt that the British 
fleet returned to Sandy Hook, the preceding Satur- 

33 8 HEATH S MEMOIRS [NOV. 1781 

day was a week that no action happened while they 
were at sea that the troops were disembarked from 
the men-of-war, but remained on board the trans 
ports that Gen. Sir Henry Clinton landed on Long 
Island, and came across to the city. 

8th. Intelligence was received from the north 
ward that the enemy did not establish a post at Ti- 
conderoga, but were returning towards Canada; and 
the militia which had been called out, were dismissed. 
The British at New York at this time wished to 
strike some of the posts in the Highlands, but did 
not attempt any of them. The army was short of 
flour, but amply supplied with meat. 

About this time, our General received a letter from 
Gen. Washington, dated at York, (Virginia) October 
27th, 1781, in which, among other things, the Com 
mander in Chief observes: "There will be no occa 
sion for forwarding on any more beef cattle from 
the northward for this army. Should there be a 
greater quantity of cattle sent from the New England 
States] than the daily consumption of your army shall 
require, I would wish the surplus might be salted (if 
practicable) at some convenient place on the North 
River; otherwise, it will be necessary for you to give 
orders to the Agents and Commissaries, to prevent 
their sending more cattle than you shall have occa 
sion for." This was the good fruit of the systematic 

1 2th. Gen. Glover, with his own brigade, marched 
for the lines, in order to cover a grand forage. 

1 3th. Lieut. Deforest, of the Connecticut line, 
with 25 Continental soldiers, and Capt. Lockwood, 
with 15 volunteers, including Lieutenants Hull and 
Mead, of the Connecticut State troops, took an armed 
sloop of 10 carriage-guns, with 25 soldiers on board. 

DEc.i 7 8i] HEATH S MEMOIRS 339 

Lieut. Deforest, and those with him, behaved with 
great address and gallantry. 

1 6th. Brig. Gen. Glover returned from the grand 
forage; during the forage one of the enemy was 
killed, and two taken prisoners; a quantity of corn, 
hay, &c. and about 40 swine, were brought off. 

iyth. The 3d Massachusetts brigade moved to 
their ground of cantonment, south of the north re 
doubt, where they built their huts. 

1 9th. Admiral Digby remained at New York, 
with seven sail of the line, five of 74, and two of 64 
guns, two fifties, two frigates, one 20 gun ship, and 
two sloops of war; the remainder of the British fleet 
under the command of Admiral Greaves, sailed from 
Sandy Hook the preceding Monday, for the West 
Indies; a great number of shipping, perhaps 300 sail, 
were lying in New York harbour; the enemy and 
inhabitants appeared much dejected. 

2Oth. Col. Tupper, with the loth Massachusetts 
regiment, a detachment of artillery, &c. arrived at 
West Point from Albany. 

23d. The Connecticut line marched to their can 
tonment, back of Constitution Island, and the corps 
of artillery to West Point. The same day, Maj. 
Gen. Lord Sterling returned to the army from 

24th. Our General removed his quarters from 
the Continental Village to Robinson s Farm, for 
winter-quarters. The army in want of flour and 

28th. The ist Massachusetts brigade moved to 
their cantonment, back of West Point. 

December 2d. The militia which had been called 
out for 3 months were returning home. They had 
served with much reputation, and done good service 
for their country- 


4th. Capt. Sackett, of the New York levies, near 
Harrison s Purchase, below the lines, having gone a 
small distance from his detachment, on the morning 
of the 2d, was taken prisoner by a party of the enemy. 
The enemy afterwards attacked Lieut. Mosher, to 
whom the command of the detachment fell; Lieut. 
Mosher and the detachment behaved with great 
bravery, repulsed the enemy, killed one of them and 
two horses, and wounded eight of the enemy; among 
them a Capt. Kipp, said mortally; Colonel Holmes 
and Capt. Kipp had their horses killed under them. 
The levies had not a man killed or wounded. 

The army were now busily employed in building 
their huts, which they prosecuted with great expe 
dition, and soon rendered them comfortable as to 
shelter; but many of the troops were in a most naked 
and distressed condition as to clothing; but relief 
was daily arriving from the eastward. 

8th. The officers and soldiers, who had been in 
Virginia, were now returning to the army. Some 
of the soldiers brought the small-pox with them. 

1 2th. The river was frozen down to Fishkill 

The 1 3th was a general Thanksgiving Day; a 
large company of the officers of the army dined with 
our General. 

24th. The Clothier-General was issuing the new 
clothing to the regimental Pay-Masters a most nec 
essary piece of business. Congress about this time, 
by resolutions which they passed, called upon the 
Legislatures of the respective States to complete 
their quotas of the army by the first of March en 
suing, Congress being determined to push the late 
successes until the enemy were driven from America. 
The preceding day, viz. the 23d, Capt. Williams, of 
the New York levies, (stationed on the lines) with 25 

jAN.i 7 8 2 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 341 

volunteer horse, made an excursion to Morrisania, 
where they took and brought off prisoners, one Cap 
tain, one Lieutenant, and seven privates, of Delancey s 
corps, without the loss of a man. Capt. Williams 
conducted this enterprise with address and gallantry. 
Capt. Pritchard moved down with a detachment of 
Continental troops, to cover the horse, if necessary; 
but the enemy did not come out. 

26th. Five deserters came in from Arnold s corps, 
with their horses, &c. complete; they were a patrol 
to a foraging party, near Col. Phillipse s. An em 
barkation of troops was taking place at New York, 
for Charleston and Savannah; Gen. Leslie having 
written, that without a reinforcement he could not 
maintain his posts. 

27th. Free Masons celebrated the feast of St. 
John, &c. 

3 1 st. The river was a little freed of the ice. 
Thus closed the year 1781, a year which will be 
memorable in the annals of the United States of 
America for the capture of Earl Cornwallis and his 
army for several well-fought battles in the south by 
Gen. Greene and the British, in that quarter for the 
Count de Grasse s having visited our coast with the 
most formidable fleet ever before in these seas and 
for general successes on the American arms, under 
the smiles of Divine Providence, in every quarter. 
May the new year be rendered more auspicious in 
the completion of the American warfare, and in 
the establishment of the United States in the full 
acknowledgement of independence, peace and 

1782. January 1st. A new mode of supplying 
the army by contract commenced, under the conduct 
of Comfort Sands and Co., contractors. 

7th. Nine soldiers had then died of the small-pox: 


it was spreading, and it was determined to inoculate 
such as had not had the distemper, which took place 
in the Connecticut line on the nth. 

nth. Capt. Hunnewell, of New York, with a 
number of volunteer horse, covered by Maj. Tres- 
cott, with a detachment of Continental troops, made 
an excursion to Morrisania, took and brought off 
prisoners Capt. Totten, and three privates of De- 
lancey s corps; it was the intent to have captured the 
Colonel, but he was absent from his quarters. A 
party of the enemy s horse collected and pursued 
Capt. Hunnewell, but they were checked by Major 
Trescott, and no injury was sustained. 

I4th. It was learnt that on the 4th, a fleet of 25 
sail of victuallers arrived at New York from Cork, 
under convoy of the Quebec frigate; ten sail more 
were left at Charleston, where the whole touched. 

i6th. The river was hard frozen again, and was 
passable on the ice from West Point to Constitution 
Island. The same day, a sergeant and four dragoons 
came in from Arnold s corps, with six horses and 
furniture complete. The sixth dragoon would not 
come off, on which the others took from him his 
horse, cloak, sword, &c. They deserted from a 
foraging party, and reported that a great part of the 
corps would desert when opportunity offered. 

lyth. Three dragoons came in from Arnold s 
corps, with their horses, &c. complete; and one pri- 
sonertaken by our guides near Morrisania was sent up. 

1 8th. Lieut. Hiwill, crossing the river on the ice, 
fell through, but fortunately got out again. 

iQth. It was communicated, that about the month 

of the preceding October, one - was offered 

two thousand guineas to take Gen. Washington, and 
five hundred to take and bring in Gov. Read. 

2Oth. News was received that the Marquis de 

FEB.i 7 8 2 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 343 

Boullie, Governor of Martinique, had recaptured the 
Island of St. Eustatia, where he made prisoners of 
670 men. The Count De Grasse, with 31 sail of the 
line, had arrived at Martinique before the 6th of De 
cember. The British fleet from New York had 
arrived at Barbadoes. 

24th. Some uneasiness having taken place on ac 
count of the issues of provisions under the contract, 
the officers commanding brigades were ordered, on 
the part of the army, to endeavour an adjustment 
with the contractors, who went for the purpose. 

28th. A man and his horse fell through the ice, 
near West Point; several soldiers lent their assistance, 
but in vain both were drowned. 

3 1 st. The whole of the troops who had not before 
had the small-pox were then under the operation of 
inoculation their number near 2,000; several had 
died, but in general it was very favourable. 

February 8th. News was received, that the Duke 
de Lauzun, who carried to France the news of the 
capture of Earl Cornwallis, arrived in France in 23 
days after he left the Chesapeake; that there were 
great rejoicings in France on the occasion, and also 
for the birth of a Dauphin. 

loth. The river had been passable on the ice for 
several days, at King s Ferry. On the preceding 
Thursday, about 50 of Delancey s horse came out 
within four miles of Chappaqua, where they halted. 
On the 8th, they moved towards North Castle, but 
turned off by Wright s Mills; from thence to King- 
street, and towards Horseneck; they fell in with a 
small guard of Gen. Waterbury s killed one, and 
made four prisoners; they also took two or three 
inhabitants, plundered two houses, and returned. 
About this time, a detachment from the Jersey line 

344 HEATH S MEMOIRS [MARCH, i 7 8 2 

made an attempt on the refugee post at Bergen, but 
were repulsed. 

I yth. The King of England s speech to his Par 
liament came to hand: this speech was more mod 
erate than any before had been, and an inclination 
to pacification was discernible. 

2Oth. Two deserters came in from Arnold s corps, 
and also two Hessians; ten had come in during the 
course of two or three days. 

2 1 st. The enemy were out towards Bedford. 
About this time, nine or ten thousand stand of arms, 
and a large quantity of powder, brought from France 
by Col. Laurens, were brought from Boston to 

23d. A detachment, consisting of 150 men, prop 
erly officered, under the command of Maj. Maxwell, 
marched for Stamford to cover that part of the 

27th. Col. Sumner arrived from Massachusetts; 
he brought on about 2,000 suits of clothes for the 
army. The day before, a Mr. Dyckman, one of our 
guides on the lines, with 13 volunteer horsemen, 
made an excurison to Morrisania, took five prison 
ers of Delancey s corps, and five horses; on their re 
turn they were pursued by a party of the enemy s 
horse, who coming rather too near, the brave vol 
unteers faced about, charged vigorously, took one 
man prisoner with his horse, and put the rest to 
flight. The enemy again appeared in some force at 
a distance, but dared not to renew the attack. About 
this time, a fleet of transports sailed from New York 
to the southward; it was conjectured to bring away 

March 3d. The river was so freed of ice that 
the General s barge crossed to West Point. Two 
prisoners of war taken from Delancey s corps were 

MARCH, i 7 8 2 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 345 

sent up. Accounts from Massachusetts announced 
an uneasiness among the people respecting the bur 
den of taxes; and that there had been conventions 
in the counties of Hampshire and Berkshire. 

4th. Capt. Hunnewell, with a body of volunteer 
horse, backed by the infantry under the command of 
Maj. Woodbridge, made an excursion to Morrisania. 
The horse proceeded down between the British fort 
No. 8, and the cantonment of Delancey s corps, and 
having turned the cantonments between daybreak 
and sunrise, they entered pell-mell. The enemy 
were completely surprised, and fled in every direc 
tion; some were cut down on the spot, others so 
badly wounded as not to be able to be removed. 
Some of the enemy availed themselves of positions 
where the horse could not assail them, from whence 
they began to fire on the horse; this occasioned the 
firing of the alarm guns at No. 8. The horse having 
nearly accomplished their design, moved ofF, taking 
the East Chester road, on which Maj. Woodbridge 
had posted the infantry in ambuscade. Capt. Hun 
newell had brought off one subaltern and 20 men 
prisoners, and 20 horses. The enemy in the vicinity 
collected a number of horse, backed by light-infantry, 
and pursued Capt. Hunnewell until he came to Maj. 
Woodbridge. The enemy were drawn into the am 
buscade, who made one or two discharges on them, 
on which they broke and retired, but soon returned 
to the charge; skirmishing ensued, and continued to 
a considerable distance. Of the Americans, two 
privates were killed Mr. Dyckman, one of the 
guides, a brave and active man, mortally wounded, 
and three privates slightly wounded.* 

The enemy at New York were now contemplating 
means for their own defence, against the next cam- 

* See Appendix XLI. 


paign; and it was determined to open a canal and 
strong lines from the Hudson to the East River, at 
some distance from the city. The canal was to be 
deep and wide; 2,000 men were employed on the 
works on one day, 300 of whom were inhabitants. 
The same number were to be furnished daily. These 
preparations were a defensive shield for the time of 
approaching negotiation; for from the debates and 
speeches in the British Parliament the olive-branch 
was evidently putting forth its buds. 

loth. Two soldiers belonging to the 6th Massa 
chusetts regiment, having some words respecting 
their mess, one of them struck the other with his 
fist a blow on the head, and killed him dead on the 
spot. About the same time, an inhabitant, appre 
hending that some soldiers were about to rob his 
hen-roost, discharged a musket out of a window, by 
which a soldier was killed. 

I3th. Maj. Gen. Lincoln, Secretary at War, ar 
rived at the army on his way to Philadelphia. 

At this time it was learnt that on the I3th of the 
preceding December there were strong debates in the 
British House of Commons, respecting the carrying 
on the war in America. When Sir James Lowther 
made a motion that the mode which had been pur 
sued was ineffectual, many members spoke for and 
against the motion; when it was put, there was 
against the motion, 220; for it, 179; majority, 41. 

I4th. Lieut. Harris, with six men belonging to 
Capt. Vermilye s company of militia, having obtained 
intelligence of a party of Delancey s corps being at a 
house near Mile Square, had the address to surprise 
the whole party, consisting of 12, killed one and 
made four prisoners. 

21 st. A duel was fought at West Point between 
Capt. - and Lieut. , when the former was 


killed and the latter wounded: they fought with 
pistols, at about ten feet distance. The Lieutenant 

25th. News was received that the Islands of St. 
Christopher s and Nevis surrendered to the arms of 
his most Christian Majesty, on the I2th of the pre 
ceding February. The terms granted by the French 
commandants were truly noble, and reflect the high 
est honour on them. 

26th. About this time, putrid fevers were preva 
lent among the American troops, and in some in 
stances proved mortal. About this time, an embar 
kation of about 800 troops took place at New York; 
their destination not publicly known. 

28th. The whole army were ordered to be in 
readiness for instant action, or to march to such 
place or places as might stand in need of aid. An 
additional company was ordered to the lines, and 
another to Smith s Clove, for the safety of the Com 
mander in Chief, who was on his way from Philadel 
phia to Newburg, and was to pass the Clove, on the 
succeeding Saturday or Sunday. News was re 
ceived that the citizens of London and Westminster 
had petitioned the King, in the strongest terms, to 
relinquish the American war. 

29th. Five deserters came in from Arnold s corps, 
with their arms, &c. complete. The enemy were 
busily employed on their canal and lines: a number 
of heavy cannon had been put on board ship at 
New York. About this time, the British cruisers 
were but too successful against the Americans, at 
sea. A ship of 18 guns, had, for some time, taken a 
station off Spuyten Duyvil Creek. 

3 1 st. His Excellency Gen. Washington arrived 
at Newburg; he had been absent from the main 
army since the iQth of the preceding August, having 


spent the winter at Philadelphia, after the capture 
of Earl Cornwallis. 

April 2d. Our General went up to Newburg, to 
pay his respects to the Commander in Chief, where 
he dined, and returned at evening: Gen. Washington 
established his quarters at Newburg. On the night 
of the 1st, a party of Capt. Fray s men, from the 
water-guard, being on shore, on the east side of the 
Hudson, fell in with a party of our own militia, who, 
in the dark, attacked each other; four of the latter 
were wounded, and eleven (being the whole of the 
party) were taken prisoners, before the mistake was 
discovered. An express, on his way from St. John s 
to New York, with several letters, one in characters, 
had been taken. 

4th. The following [extract] was published in the 
general orders: 

HEAD-QUARTERS, NEWBURG, April ^.th, 1782. 
"The Commander in Chief, having returned, and 
resumed the command of the main army, presents 
his thanks to Maj. Gen. Heath, and the troops which 
have been employed under his orders, for having 
preserved the important posts committed to his 
charge, and covered the country so successfully 
against the depredations of the enemy, during the 
absence of the General." 

6th. The Commander in Chief visited West 
Point, and reviewed the first Massachusetts brigade. 
On his arrival at the Point, he was saluted by the 
discharge of 13 cannon. 

8th. Four deserters came in, three from the 42d 
British regiment, and a seaman from the ship Venger; 
this ship, stationed in the North River, mounted 24 
guns, and had two gun-boats with her. The enemy 
continued at work on their canal and lines, which 


they were making very strong. An incredible num 
ber of fascines had been made, during the winter, on 
Long Island and Staten Island, strongly bound with 
eight bands; these were placed in the face of the 
work, with five pickets in each fascine. 

Qth. The Commander in Chief reviewed the 3d 
Massachusetts brigade and loth regiment, and dined 
with our General. The same day, two deserters 
came in from the ship in the river. The same night, 
an armed brig, and three boats, full of men, came up 
the Hudson, and came to anchor a little above the 
place where our guard-boats rendezvous, at Nyack; 
they were early discovered, and the alarm given. 
The soldiers landed at Haverstraw, about one o clock 
on the morning of the loth, and took 3 or 4 militia 
men. It was supposed that their design was to have 
taken our whale-boats : they were refugees and sailors. 
Not knowing but this might have been a feint to 
an attack on the lines, 200 men were detached for 
their support, if necessary. The enemy returned 
down the river in the afternoon, having, in addition 
to the militia above mentioned, taken two of Capt. 
Fray s men, who were out, burning coal, and two 
others who were over at Tarrytown fishing, and 
destroyed some seines. It was learnt, from the north 
ward, that the enemy were repairing and building 
boats at St. John s, and bringing up provisions to 
that place; this rendered it probable that the enemy 
would be troublesome in that quarter the ensuing 
campaign. Several parties of Indians had been 
skulking about, on the Mohawk River, had killed a 
soldier and a lad, and had taken a soldier prisoner, 
and burnt a building. 

I4th. Three deserters came in from Robinson s 
corps; they made their escape from Long Island by 
crossing the Sound in a canoe. They reported that 

350 HEATH S MEMOIRS [APRIL, i 7 8 2 

the enemy were under great apprehensions of an at 
tack, and were making every preparation for defence; 
that 62,000 fascines had been made on Long Island, 
during the winter and spring. A fleet of transports 
had arrived at New York, from Charleston. Lines 
were traced out on Long Island, from the great fort 
to the marsh, near M Gowan s mill-dam. 

1 8th. It was learnt, that the enemy had laid an 
embargo on the shipping at New York. News was 
received that Holland had formed an alliance with 
France, and that a Spanish fleet had arrived in the 
West Indies. 

i Qth. The general officers, and officers com 
manding brigades and regiments, met at our Gen 
eral s quarters, in consequence of orders from the 
Commander in Chief, to give an opinion what meas 
ures ought to be adopted, in consequence of the horrid 
and brutal murder of a Capt. Huddy, who had com 
manded a block-house at Tom s River, in the Jerseys, 
and had been taken prisoner by the enemy, and 
carried to New York, where he was closely confined, 
under guard, and in the sugar-house, and on board 
a vessel, in irons, and then carried over to Bergen, in 
the Jerseys, and hanged by the refugees, a Capt. 
Lippincott directing the execution. This was done 
under the pretence that Capt. Huddy had been con 
cerned in the death of one Philip White, although 
White was killed by the guard, from whom he en 
deavoured to make his escape, and Capt. Huddy 
was at the same time a prisoner with the enemy. 
Huddy was left hanging on a tree, with the following 
label fastened on his breast: "Up goes Huddy for 
Philip White." This wanton and cruel act so exas 
perated the inhabitants of New Jersey that they drew 
up a petition, signed by a vast number of respectable 
citizens, claiming of Gen. Washington, as the military 


guardian of their country, the obtainment of justice 
for this horrid act, or retaliation in case justice was 
refused. Indeed, painful as the idea of retaliation 
must be to the feelings of humanity, it seemed now 
to be the only preventative of more horrid murders. 
Gen. Washington, with his wonted prudence and 
talent for investigation, free of all bias, ordered the 
officers to assemble as before mentioned, and di 
rected our General to state to them the occasion of 
their being convened, and then the following ques 
tions: "Shall there be retaliation for the murder of 
Capt. Huddy ? On whom shall it be inflicted ? And 
how shall the victim be designated?" The officers 
assembled were forbidden to converse on the ques 
tions submitted to them; each one was to write his 
own opinion, seal it up, and address it to the Com 
mander in Chief. By this mode of procedure all 
the influence which some officers might have on 
others was prevented, and the spontaneous feelings 
of every individual officer collected. Col. Hum 
phreys and Col. Trumbull, of the General s family, 
attended the council, and every direction of the 
Commander in Chief was most strictly observed. 
It was found that the officers were unanimous in 
their opinion that retaliation ought to take place; 
that it should be inflicted on an officer of equal rank, 
viz. a Captain; not under convention or capitulation, 
but one who had surrendered at discretion; and that 
in designating such an one it should be done by lot. 
The Commander in Chief was pleased to approve 
of the opinion of the officers, and wrote to the British 
commander demanding justice for the wanton mur 
der of Capt. Huddy; informing the British General 
at the same time that if justice was not obtained, 
retaliation would most assuredly take place. At the 
same time, arrangements were put in train for re- 

352 HEATH S MEMOIRS [APRIL, i 7 s 2 

taliation; the names of several British officers of 
equal rank and circumstances were thrown together, 
and a fair and impartial lot was drawn, when young 
Capt. Asgill was taken; he was of a noble family, 
his father was dead, and on him were the fond hopes 
of his mother, Lady Asgill, placed. Indeed, a more 
affecting scene than this can scarcely open; an inno 
cent young man, doomed to suffer for the wanton 
offence of another, which deed no doubt his soul 
despised; and the tender breast of a mother rent in 
twain on the fate of her darling son. Nor were the 
feelings of the great Washington unmoved on this 
occasion; they were too manifest not to be observed, 
and could only be curbed by the invariable resolu 
tion, in every exigence, to exhibit the administrator 
of justice. It was months before this tragic business 
closed; and that the reader may have the whole 
narrative together, it will be carried forward to such 
periods as will render a return back to the proper 
chain of events necessary. 

Gen. Sir Guy Carleton, who had come into the 
command in chief at New York, wrote to Gen. 
Washington, assuring him of the fullest satisfaction. 

Sir Guy ordered a court martial for the trial of 
Capt. Lippincott who was charged with the murder 
of Capt. Huddy. The court martial had set, and 
given in their proceedings to Gen. Carleton, who 
wrote a letter to Gen. Washington, requesting a 
passport for Chief Justice Smith to repair to the 
head-quarters of the American army, in order to lay 
before the Commander in Chief the proceedings of 
the court martial, with other documents, which he 
(Sir Guy) had no doubt would give full satisfaction. 

Upon Gen. Washington s receiving the letter from 
Sir Guy Carleton, he informed our General that he 
should not consent to, or give a passport to Mr. 


Chief Justice Smith, to come up with the proceedings 
of the court martial on Lippincott; but that he 
would send him (Gen. Heath) down to Col. Phillipse s, 
near Kingsbridge, to meet such officer of equal rank, 
as Sir Guy Carleton might think proper to send out 
to meet him, with the proceedings of the court mar 
tial, &c.; and on the 3Oth of July the Commander in 
Chief wrote to our General as follows: 

HEAD-QUARTERS, ^oth July, 1782. 

"FOR your information, and that you may know 
the object of your mission, I inclose to you a trans 
cript of my letter to Sir Guy Carleton, which is 
herewith committed to your care, to be forwarded 
as soon as possible. 

" Before the time of your going to Phillipse s house, 
I shall have the pleasure of seeing you, or conveying 
to you in writing my sentiments more fully on the 
subject of your meeting. 

With great regard, &c. 

(Signed) G. WASHINGTON. 

Maj. Gen. HEATH." 


HEAD-QUARTERS, July 31^, 1782. 

"IN reply to your letter of the 25th, I have to 
inform your Excellency, that Maj. Gen. Heath, 
second in command, with two aides-de-camp, will 
have the honour of meeting an officer of equal rank, 
of your Excellency s appointment, at the house of 
Mr. Phillipse, on the 5th day of August next. At 
that time Gen. Heath will receive from your officer 
the proceedings of the court martial on Capt. Lip 
pincott, for the murder of Capt. Huddy, together 

354 HEATH S MEMOIRS [APRIL, i 7 8 2 

with such other documents as you shall think proper 
to communicate. 

"The assurance which your Excellency has given 
me, of the fullest satisfaction in this matter, is as 
pleasing as it is interesting. 

"Your Excellency s propositions, contained in 
your letter of the yth, have been communicated to 
Congress, and are now under the consideration of 
that honourable body; as soon as I am favoured with 
their determination, your Excellency may be assured 
I will do myself the honour to communicate it. 
I have the honour, &c. 

(Signed) G. WASHINGTON. 


"By his Excellency George Washington, Esq., General 
and Commander in Chief of the forces of the United 
States of America. 

"To Maj. Gen. HEATH. 

"HIS Excellency Sir Guy Carleton, having re 
quested a passport for Chief Justice Smith, to repair 
to the head-quarters of the American army, in order 
to lay before me the proceedings of a court martial, 
on the trial of Capt. Lippincott for the murder of 
Capt. Huddy, with other documents and explana 
tions, which, he says, he has no doubt will give full 
satisfaction : 

" I do, therefore, from an earnest desire to proceed 
with candour and deliberate justice, appoint you to 
meet an officer of equal rank, at the house of Col. 
Phillips, on Monday the 5th instant, or at any other 
time or place which you may think more convenient, 
for the purpose of receiving the proceedings and 
documents above mentioned, with such explanations 
in writing as he may think proper to communicate. 


The papers you shall receive, you will transmit to 
me as soon as your business is concluded, together 
with a report of your proceedings therein. 

" Given at head-quarters, this 3d day of August, 

(Signed) G. WASHINGTON. 

By his Excellency s command." 

The following instructions accompanied the fore 
going commission: 

"To Maj. Gen. HEATH. 

"HAVING desired you to meet an officer from Sir 
Guy Carleton, for the purpose mentioned in your 
appointment and authority, you will proceed to exe 
cute said business; in the course of which, you may 
inform the officer you meet, that, as I have no con 
nection with, or control over any person in the line 
in which Mr. Smith walks; as the question before 
us is in my opinion purely of a military nature, and 
reduceable to this single point, whether the perpe 
trator of the wanton and cruel murder of Huddy 
is to be given up, or a British officer to suffer in his 
place, that I could see no propriety or necessity in 
an interview with the Chief Justice. 

"If you should find that the design of Sir Guy 
Carleton is to procrastinate this business, to envelope 
it in as much intricacy and difficulty as possible, or 
that he means to justify it by recrimination and law 
cases, thereby attempting to avert our purposes of 
retaliation, you may assure him, (unless you shall 
judge it expedient to leave me more at liberty) if not 
explicitly, at least by strong insinuation, that he 
will miss his aim; and that my deliberate and dispas 
sionate proceedings in this case are intended to give 


him, as he now has had, full time to determine 
whether the guilty person or an innocent officer shall 
be made the subject of retaliation. 

"You will be particularly cautious that whatever 
passes in the conference you are to have, which is to 
be considered as official, be committed to writing, 
that no omissions or misconceptions may be plead 
hereafter; and you will inform the officer in explicit 
terms, if you find the matter is not likely to end as 
justice dictates and we could wish, that all oral con 
versation will be excluded from the official report of 
these proceedings now, or any share in the account 
of them hereafter, or the recital of them will be con 
sidered as unfair, and an evident departure from 
that line of rectitude which we wished to pursue, for 
an unbiassed world to judge by. 

"If, notwithstanding my letter to Sir Guy Carle- 
ton, requesting his appointment of an officer of your 
rank to meet you on this business, he should send 
Mr. Chief Justice Smith, you may, at your discre 
tion, either receive the proceedings of the court, and 
such other documents as he is merely the bearer of, 
without going into any explanation with this gentle 
man, or refuse the whole, as the circumstances of 
the moment shall dictate to you. Or if this gen 
tleman should be an attendant on the officer afore 
mentioned, you may refuse to admit him at your 
conference. In the first case, you may either return 
with the proceedings, &c. or you may write Sir Guy 
Carleton, that you will wait a given time for an 
officer, agreeable to the purport of my letter to him 
of the 3Oth of last month. 

"Given at head-quarters, Newburg, August 
3d, 1782. 

(Signed) G. WASHINGTON." 


In the afternoon of the same day, our General 
received the following letter from the Commander 
in Chief: 

HEAD-QUARTERS, August 3^, 1782. 

"BY the contents of Sir Guy Carleton s letter, 
which came inclosed in yours of this day, I find it is 
unnecessary for you to proceed to Phillipse s house. 
Disappointed in not obtaining a passport for Mr. 
Chief Justice Smith to come out, he will not, he says, 
trouble an officer of your rank to be the bearer of a 
bundle of papers only; but adds, they shall be sent 
out in the ordinary course of conveyance. Your 
letter to Col. Trumbull, covering the new adopted 
system of issues, &c. is received. 

(Signed) G. WASHINGTON. 

Maj. Gen. HEATH." 

Not long after, the proceedings of the court- 
martial on Capt. Lippincott for the murder of Capt. 
Huddy were sent out; Lippincott was acquitted by 
the court, and it appeared that the British Com 
manders in Chief, both Sir Henry Clinton, and Sir 
Guy Carleton, disapproved the act. It seemed that 
a kind of Board of Directors who had a subordinate 
direction of the refugee operations, were somehow 
concerned in this business, and that argument and 
some artifice were necessary to smooth it over. How 
ever, Gen. Washington, painful as his task was, was 
not to be diverted from justice or retaliation; but 
execution was suspended. Lady Asgill, learning the 
unhappy situation of her darling son, with much 
policy, and equal success, applied to the Count de 
Vergennes, then Prime Minister of France, who 
spread the matter before the King and Queen: indeed 
it was a subject that needed no extra colouring to fix 

358 HEATH S MEMOIRS [APRIL, i 7 8 2 

it on the mind of humanity. The King and Queen 
listened to the request; and Congress was addressed 
in a representation, that the French, as well as Amer 
ican arms, were victorious at York; and that the 
former seemed to have some share in the prisoners; 
and hinted that it would be pleasing to the French 
Court, if young Asgill was pardoned which Con 
gress complied with: and although reparation for the 
wanton murder of Capt. Huddy was not fully ob 
tained, yet it is highly probable, that the firm and 
determined conduct of Gen. Washington on the 
occasion put a final stop to any further repetition of 
the kind. 

Sir Guy Carleton was probably the greatest gen 
eral which the British had in America during the 
war; and it was fortunate for the Americans that he 
was so long kept within the limits of Canada. In 
him were combined many of those great qualifications 
which form the general. 

When Sir Guy visited the American prisoners in 
confinement in Canada, he addressed them with all 
the tenderness of a father; he observed to the young 
prisoners that he did not blame them, it was the 
fault of the designing men of their country that had 
led them into difficulty; that he would not hold them 
in confinement, but would send them home to their 
fathers and friends. See here the soothing art that 
could not fail to cool the ardour of the young warrior 
in the cause of his country. 

To Gen. Waterbury of Connecticut, when he shew 
him his commission, Sir Guy observed " Your com 
mission is from the proper authority of your Colony; 
(Connecticut had not changed her form of govern 
ment) you are no rebel, Sir; you shall go home to 
your family." 

Soon after Sir Guy Carleton came into the com- 


mand at New York, a Connecticut soldier, who had 
been a prisoner, came out to our army, and requested 
a pass to go home, informing that he had given a 
parole to Sir Guy, not to serve again during the 
war; but he was ordered to join his regiment, which 
disappointed the soldier exceedingly. Gen. Wash 
ington ordered the Commissary of Prisoners to credit 
the British for one man exchanged; and informed Sir 
Guy that this practice would not be allowed. Many 
soldiers were at that time very uneasy in the Amer 
ican army. Had a conduct of this sort been allowed, 
many soldiers on the out-posts and otherwise might 
have gone to the enemy, have pretended they were 
taken, and have come out under parole, and have 
gone home, to the unspeakable injury of the army: 
but it was nipped in the bud only one other having 
come out in the same way, before it was put a 
stop to. 

We now return to take up the chain of events 
from which we digressed. 

The 2Oth of April, two prisoners of war, taken near 
Kingstreet, were sent up by Major Oliver. 

2 1 st. A Sergeant Major deserted and came out; 
he reported that an enterprise was contemplating at 
New York, and a number of large boats were col 
lecting at Turtle Bay. 

24th. Two deserters came in from the Adamant 
man-of-war, of 50 guns, which lay in the East River, 
against New York. Admiral Digby s flag was then 
hoisted on board the Centurion. The seamen on 
board the ships very sickly. 

The latter end of April, the Duke of Cumberland 
packet, Capt. Dashwood, arrived at New York, in 
six weeks from England, with the March mail: by 
which it was learnt, that the debates in the British 
Parliament on the American war grew more and 


more interesting; that a motion had been made by 
Gen. Conway for bringing in a bill empowering the 
King to make peace with America. 

The beginning of May, the British cruisers were 
very successful against the Americans; eleven sail of 
vessels from Philadelphia were taken, and carried 
into New York, with near 9,000 barrels of flour. 

May 4th. This evening exhibited the most ex 
traordinary aurora borealis ever before seen by those 
who observed it. 

5th. It was learnt that the merchants of Edin 
burgh, at a meeting on the yth of the preceding Jan 
uary, declared and published their sentiments and 
wishes for a peace with America, and a renewal of 
friendship. It was also further learnt, that it was the 
prevailing sense of the British House of Commons, 
as a first step to an accommodation with America, to 
change the mode of carrying on the war, and to act 
only on the defensive, on the continent; and that 
the person who should advise to offensive operations 
against the Americans should be considered as an 
enemy to the King and nation. At the same time, 
France and Holland appeared to be making great 
preparations for a vigorous campaign. 

6th. Symptoms of a dangerous mutiny were dis 
covered in the Connecticut line; it had been con 
ducted with so much address as to have been nearly 
matured before it was divulged. Under the pressure 
of real or supposed grievances, the soldiers of the 
whole line had determined, at reveille the next morn 
ing, to have marched from their cantonment with 
arms, &c. complete, for Fishkill, where they were to 
take a number of field-pieces, and such ammunition 
and provisions as might be necessary, and then pro 
ceed to Hartford, and there demand of their new 
General Assembly that justice which they supposed 

MAY,i 7 8 2 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 361 

was their due. Just as the officers were going to 
bed, a faithful soldier, who was waiter to an officer, 
came into his room, and told the officer that he could 
not go to rest until he divulged to him an event which 
would assuredly take place the next morning at 
break of day; and that every thing was then in 
readiness for it and laid open the whole secret. 
The matter was immediately communicated to the 
principal officers of the line, and several soldiers were 
seized and confined, and one suffered. The whole 
design was frustrated. Mutiny is a most horrid 
offence in an army, which, without strict order and 
discipline, is but a rope of sand. On the other hand, 
human nature can bear but to a certain degree, and 
no further; hence any trial of human nature, beyond 
such a degree, is impolitic, and unjustifiable. Of 
this line, it may with strict justice be said, that their 
whole conduct through the war was highly 

yth. A stop was put to the inoculation with the 

8th. A prisoner was sent up, and a deserter came 

9th. News was received, that there had been a 
total change of the British Ministry, and that Fort 
St. Philip, and the whole island of Minorca, surren 
dered to the Spaniards, on the 6th of the preceding 
February, by capitulation. 

1 5th. Eleven trusty Sergeants were sent to Massa 
chusetts, to march on the recruits to the army from 
that State. 

1 7th. Two deserters came in, who reported that 
a packet had arrived at New York from England. 

24th. Near 100 old and decrepit soldiers were 
collected from the different regiments, and many of 
them discharged. About this time, a packet arrived 

362 HEATH S MEMOIRS [M A Y,i 7 8 2 

at Boston, in 25 days passage from France; the letters 
were immediately forwarded to Congress. 

26th. The 1st Massachusetts brigade was ordered 
to move out of its cantonment, and encamp near the 
German huts. 

The United States of Holland acknowledged the 
independence of the United States of America, the 
28th of the preceding March. 

There was a great talk of peace in New York. 

In the American army great preparations had for 
some time been making to celebrate the birth of the 
Dauphin of France. At least 1,000 men a day were 
employed, under the direction of the engineers and 
other artists, in constructing a most superb arbor, 
decorated with every emblem and device, descriptive 
of the occasion, and the alliance between France and 
America, which ingenuity could invent; and perhaps 
for any thing of the kind, constructed in the field, 
was never surpassed. 

3 1 st. The birth of the Dauphin of France was 
celebrated by the American army. An elegant din 
ner was provided, by order of the Commander in 
Chief; of which the officers of the army, and a great 
number of ladies and gentlemen, invited from the 
adjacent country, partook. Thirteen toasts were 
drank, announced by the discharge of cannon. At 
evening there was a grand feu-de-joy, opened by the 
discharge of 13 cannon, three times repeated. The 
feu-de-joy, being fired in the dusk, had a pleasing 
appearance to the eye, as well as the ear; and was 
so ordered for that purpose. The army was not 
formed in line, but each brigade was drawn up in 
front of its own cantonment, or camp, on both sides 
of the river; and thus were in a circle of several miles 
circumference, in the centre of which, the Comman 
der in Chief, and the spectators were placed. After 

juNE,i 7 8 2 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 363 

the feu-de-joy, there was an exhibition of fire-works, 

June 2d. Information was received that the 
island of New Providence, and its dependencies, 
were taken by the Spaniards, on the nth of the 
preceding May. The garrison, which consisted of 
about 200 men, were sent to Europe. The new 
frigate South Carolina, built in Europe, arrived about 
this time in the Delaware; she was an exceeding fine 
ship, mounting 28 42-pounders on one deck, and 
12 12-pounders on her quarter and fore-castle. She 
was commanded by Commodore Gillon. 

There had been a bloody engagement in the West 
Indies, the I2th of the preceding April, between the 
Count De Grasse and Admiral Rodney; but all the 
accounts had been very vague. The British now 
published their account, and that they took from the 
French, the Ville de Paris, of no guns, and 1300 
men; Le Glorieux, Le Caesar, and Le Hector, of 74 
guns each; and Le Ardent, of 64 guns, and sunk 
one ship of the line. They acknowledged to have 
had 236 men killed, and 779 wounded; among whom 
were several officers. They also boasted of having 
obtained a very signal advantage in the European 
seas, over Admiral Kempelfelt. 

5th. It was reported, that a French fleet had been 
seen on the American coast. A fleet about this time 
sailed from New York, eastward, through the Sound, 
conjectured to be destined to Penobscot. The brig 
ades of the American army daily manoeuvred, and 
fired to great acceptation. 

I4th. The British had been removing a number 
of heavy cannon and ordnance stores from their 
works at the north end of New York island, and 
placing light pieces in the room of them. A number 
of deserters daily came in. 

364 HEATH S MEMOIRS [juL Y ,i 7 8 2 

24th. The Commander in Chief sent the fol 
lowing letter to our General: 


June 24-th, 1782. 

"I AM this moment setting out for Albany, and 
shall be absent a few days. I give you this informa 
tion for the regulation of your own conduct; and 
request, in the mean time, you will give me any in 
telligence you may receive, which you shall deem of 
sufficient consequence for communication by express. 

(Signed) G. WASHINGTON. 

Maj. Gen. HEATH." 

26th. It was learnt from Canada that several 
armed vessels and a number of batteaux, had come 
up Lake Champlain; there were probably about 300 
men. A much larger force, (report said 3,000) was 
gone or going towards Lake Ontario, to establish a 
post at Oswego. 

27th. Another ship came up the North River, 
and took a station near Spuyten Duyvil Creek. 

July 2d. The Commander in Chief returned from 

4th. The army fired a grand feu-de-joy, it being 
the anniversary of the Declaration of American 

nth. At evening, the Commander in Chief wrote 
our General the following letter: 

HEAD-QUARTERS, July nth, 1782. 

"I HAVE this moment received a letter from 
Count de Rochambeau, (by one of his aides, in 5 days 
from Williamsburg) informing me that he is on his 

juLY,i 7 8 2 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 365 

way to Philadelphia; that he will be there the 
or I4th, and wishes for an interview with me: for this 
purpose I shall set out in the morning, very early, 
and have only to request your usual attention. 

(Signed) G. WASHINGTON. 

Maj. Gen. HEATH." 

1 3th. Two prisoners of war were sent up, and 
three German deserters came in, and the next day 
a light dragoon, with his horse, &c. complete. About 
this time, the southern mail was taken between 
Philadelphia and Morristown. 

1 8th. It was learnt that on the 2ist of the pre 
ceding May, Gen. Wayne obtained a considerable 
advantage over the enemy, with very little loss on 
his side, near Ogechee, in Georgia: the enemy retired 
into Savannah. About this time, a corporal and 
8 men deserted from our block-house, at Dobb s 

2 1 st. Three deserters came in. About this time, 
a fleet of about 40 sail arrived at Sandy Hook, under 
convoy of two frigates; they were supposed to be 
from Ireland. 

22d. Three deserters came in from the British 
grenadiers; two others deserted at the same time, 
but had not got in. The same day, four deserters 
came in from the Hussar frigate, and the next day 
three soldiers. At this time the cow thieves and 
refugees were lurking in the Highlands, and detach 
ments were sent out to patrol them. 

26th. Information was received that a party of 
the enemy, to the number of 4 or 500, had appeared 
on the Mohawk River, advancing towards Fort Her- 
kimer. They killed a Continental soldier. 

27th. Gen. Washington returned to Newburg 
from Philadelphia. 


August ad. The British May and June packets 
had arrived at New York. Admiral Barrington had 
taken a French man-of-war, of 74 guns, and several 
transports, destined for the East Indies. The next 
day it was learnt that a French fleet, consisting of 
12 or 13 sail of the line, and 3 frigates, had arrived 
in the Chesapeake. 

On the ZQth ult. a bloody engagement took place 
off the Chesapeake between the French frigate Am 
azon, of 36 guns and the British frigate Margaretta, 
which terminated in favour of the latter. 

6th. Information was received that the British 
had evacuated Savannah in Georgia. 

8th. Four deserters came in from the enemy. 

loth. The prospect of an approaching peace 
brightened; Gen. Sir Guy Carleton and Admiral 
Digby informed Gen. Washington that Mr. Grenville 
had gone over to France on the negotiation for 
peace, and that the independence of America was 
to be acknowledged previous to, or as an opening of 
the negotiation. The refugees at New York were 
greatly alarmed at the prospect of peace. Sir Guy 
Carleton had notified the inhabitants to meet him; 
and in Rivington s paper of the yth there appeared 
a proclamation advising the refugees to continue 
their loyalty, and make themselves easy until the 
event of the negotiation was known. 

1 2th. A large stone magazine, capable of con 
taining 1,000 barrels of gun-powder, was begun to be 
erected on Constitution Island; it was built upon the 
principles of Monsieur Vauban, and under the direc 
tion of Maj. Villefranche. 

1 5th. It was learnt, that the French fleet, which 
had been at the Chesapeake, had arrived at Boston. 
The British troops evacuated Savannah the nth of 
July, leaving the town and works uninjured. Pre- 

AuG.i 7 8 2 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 367 

vious to the evacuation, the refugees sent out to Gen. 
Wayne, to know if they might depend on protection 
in their persons and property; they were answered in 
the affirmative, until they were delivered over to the 
civil authority, who, they were informed, must decide 
on their case. When the British left the town, near 
200 of the inhabitants immediately entered the Amer 
ican service in the Georgia battalion. 

1 9th. Three prisoners of war were sent up; they 
were taken near East Chester. Several deserters 
came in about the same time. 

22d. The light-infantry of the American army 
moved down, and encamped near Peekskill. 

24th. Maj. Gen. Knox was in the general orders 
appointed to the command of West Point. The 
artillery, sappers and miners, loth Massachusetts 
regiment, and the corps of invalids, for the garrison. 

From the 25th to the 27th, inclusive, 7 deserters 
came in; they reported that the sick of the British 
army were ordered to be sent on board the hospital 
ships, and not to the hospitals on shore. The heavy 
baggage was also ordered to be put on board the 
shipping, the officers to retain on shore no more than 
what was of absolute necessity. 

2Qth. An order of encampment and battle for 
the American army was published. The army was 
to encamp in one line, with a reserve; the New 
Jersey and New York troops were to form a division 
under the command of Maj. Gen. St. Clair; the 
Connecticut troops, a division under Maj. Gen. 
M Dougall; these two divisions to form the right 
wing, to be commanded by Maj. Gen. Gates: the 
New Hampshire brigade and first brigade of Massa 
chusetts to form a division under the command of 
Maj. Gen. Lord Sterling; the 2d and 3d Massachu 
setts brigades, a division under the command of Maj. 


Gen. Howe, these two divisions, forming the left 
wing, under the command of Maj. Gen. Heath. 
The 2d Connecticut and 3 d Massachusetts brigades 
to form the reserve; and when the ground would 
admit, form at 200 paces in the rear of the army. 
Maj. Gen. Lord Sterling was ordered to Albany to 
take the command of that part of his division which 
was then in that quarter. 

3 1 st. As many of the army as could be carried 
in the boats embarked at their respective brigade 
landings; and the whole of the boats being formed 
in order, fell down the river to Verplanck s Point, 
where the troops disembarked and encamped. They 
made a most beautiful appearance when in the boats 
and in motion. The remainder of the army marched 
down by land. 

September 1st. Information was received that 
the British were on the eve of evacuating Charleston, 
South Carolina. The season was remarkably dry, 
both to the eastward and southward; it was with 
difficulty that the army could obtain a supply of 
water. About this time, an embarkation of Hessian 
troops took place at New York. 

7th. There was a grand review and manoeuvre 
of the army which gave great satisfaction. The 
July packet arrived at New York about this time; it 
appeared that the Marquis of Rockingham had died, 
that Mr. Fox and Lord Cavendish had resigned their 
places, and that Lord Shelburne was appointed one 
of the Secretaries of State. 

I4th. The American army was under arms to 
receive Gen. Count de Rochambeau; after his re 
ception the army defiled before him, and returned 
to their respective encampments. The French army 
was now arriving from the southward; they en 
camped to the south of Peekskill as they arrived. 


1 6th. The enemy made a grand forage near Val 
entine s Hill; Sir Guy Carleton was out in person, 
as was the young Prince. The covering party, it 
was said, consisted of 5 or 6,000 men; a number 
deserted. The American army at this time was in 
great want of forage, occasioned by the dry season. 

1 8th. The last of the French army arrived. 

20th. Gen. Washington reviewed the French 
army; the troops made a fine appearance. A French 
frigate had been run on shore in the Delaware, and 
taken by the enemy. 

2 1 st. The American army manoeuvred before the 
Commander in Chief, Gen. Rochambeau, and many 
other officers. The troops made a handsome ap 
pearance, and manoeuvred well. 

22d. It was learnt that the ships-of-war and 
transports at New York were watering and pre 
paring for sea, and a number of regiments were under 
orders for embarkation. A little before this time, 
Congress had authorized and empowered Gen. 
Washington to adjust and finally settle the accounts 
subsisting between the United States and the British 
government respecting the support of the prisoners 
of war on both sides; and to provide by a general 
cartel for their greater comfort and exchange, under 
the great seal ratifying what he, the Commander 
in Chief of their army, should agree to. Gen. Wash 
ington transferred this power to Major-Generals 
Heath and Knox, whom he appointed Commis 
sioners for the purpose, and instructed them not to 
proceed to business unless the British Commissioners 
were found to be equally empowered to bring the 
business to a final issue. 

The time and place of meeting were agreed to by 
the two Commanders in Chief, and was to be on the 
25th of September, at Tappan. 


24th. The American Commissioners sent down 
two of their aides-de-camp to take up the necessary 
quarters, and make other preparations; and a com 
pany of light-infantry was ordered to Tappan to 
furnish guards and sentinels. 

25th. The American Commissioners embarked 
on board their barges at King s Ferry, and fell down 
the river to Tappan Landing, where they arrived 
about 2 o clock, P.M. In less than half an hour, 
the British Commissioners, in two vessels wearing 
flags, came up the river, and cast anchor ofF the 
Landing. The American Commissioners waited at 
the shore, and sent off their barges to aid in bringing 
the British Commissioners on shore, the river being 
at that time very rough : on their reaching the shore, 
it was found that Lieut. Gen. Campbell and the Hon. 
Mr. Elliot who had been Lieut. Governor of New 
York, were the Commissioners on the part of the 
British. The whole dined together, an elegant din 
ner having been ordered by the American Commis 
sioners, and politeness and great sociability took 
place; and a mutual arrangement for the daily sup 
port of the table was agreed on, as it was expected 
that the business would not be completed in less than 
three or four weeks, if the whole object was adjusted. 

26th. The Commissioner interchanged copies of 
their respective powers; these were to be considered 
until the next day, when answers were to be given 
in writing whether the powers were satisfactory on 
both sides. On examining the powers given to the 
British Commissioners, it appeared that their doings 
would not be conclusive until confirmed, and were 
very short of those held by the American Commis 
sioners, whose agreement and signature were to be 

2/th. The American Commissioners stated to the 

ocT.i 7 8 2 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 371 

British Commissioners that the powers with which 
they were vested were inadequate to effect the expec 
tations of the government of the United States, and 
that therefore the negotiation must be broken off. 
Of the great difference of the powers, the British 
Commissioners were fully convinced. The Amer 
ican Commissioners thought it to be their duty, when 
they gave their note of objections to the British 
delegated powers, to hand with it a very pointed 
protest, in behalf of the United States, against that 
conduct on the part of the British, which had so long 
delayed the settlement of the accounts for the support 
of the prisoners of war, which were in the power of 
the United States. The Commissaries of Prisoners, 
on both sides, were present to present and support 
their respective accounts; and a settlement would 
not only have been just, but also very interesting to 
the United States. 

28th. About 12 o clock, at noon, the Commis 
sioners parted with the same politeness and good- 
humour with which they met, and which had in 
variably continued during the time they were to 
gether. Our General sent orders to the commanding 
officer at Dobb s Ferry to permit the British flags 
to pass down the river; and the American Commis 
sioners returned to camp. The day before, (the 27th) 
Gen. Washington, covered by the dragoons and light- 
infantry, reconnoitred the grounds on the east side of 
the river, below the White Plains; and the 2Qth, 
about noon, returned to camp. 

October 3d. It was learnt that the enemy had 
evacuated Lloyd s Neck, and destroyed their works 
at that place: their works at Bergen Point, in the 
Jerseys, had been destroyed before that time. 

5th. Maj. Gen. Gates arrived at camp. At this 

372 HEATH S MEMOIRS [OCT. i 7 s 2 

time, the horses of the army were suffering for want 
of forage. 

6th. Intelligence was received from the south 
ward that on the 2Jth of August, Col. Laurens was 
killed in a skirmish with the enemy: the loss of this 
brave young officer was much regretted. The enemy, 
previous to their leaving Charleston, desired to pur 
chase some provisions; and Gen. Leslie had inti 
mated to Gen. Greene that if this could not be 
permitted he must take the provisions by force. 
The former being denied, the latter was attempted, 
and Col. Laurens fell; 24 or 25 others were killed, 
wounded, or taken prisoners, and one howitzer fell 
into the hands of the enemy. 

7th. Intelligence was received that Maj. Gen. 
Lee had died, a little before, at Philadelphia; he had 
just before sold his estate in Virginia for 6,100 

8th. The weather beginning to grow cold and 
blowing, all the bowers (which were numerous and 
very salutary, during the hot season) were ordered to 
be pulled down and removed, to prevent accidents 
by fire, and to admit the benefit of the sun. 

1 2th. Intelligence was received from Europe, by 
the arrival of a vessel in 34 days from Amsterdam, 
that the negotiation for peace was going on, and that 
additional Ministers and Envoys had gone to attend; 
that the combined fleets were all in port; that the 
siege of Gibraltar was continued; and that there had 
been an obstinate engagement in the East Indies 
between the French and English fleets, in which both 
fleets had suffered much, but no ships were taken by 
either side. The insurrection in South America had 
been quelled. 

1 5th. A new contract for supplying the army 

* See Appendix XLII. 

OCT. i 7 8 2 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 373 

with provisions, under Messrs. Wadsworth and Car 
ter, took place. 

1 6th. A grand manoeuvre was performed by 
eight picked battalions, preparatory to a grand re 
view, which was to be the next day. 

On the iQth (several preceding days having been 
stormy) the grand manoeuvre was performed by the 
eight picked battalions. The evolutions and firings 
were performed with regularity and exactness, much 
to the credit of the troops, and general satisfaction of 
the numerous spectators of the American and French 

20th. The Secretary at War arrived at camp. 
The enemy were demolishing their works at No. 8, 
Morrisania. Intelligence was received, that the be 
siegers of Gibraltar had made a nearer approach to 
the place, and were playing upon it with 200 pieces 
of artillery. 

22d. The first division of the French army moved 
eastward; they were to halt at Hartford, in Connec 
ticut, where the whole were to rendezvous. The 
American army was put under orders to be ready to 
move on the shortest notice: The August packet 
from England arrived at New York the day before. 

24th. The whole American army manoeuvred 
before the Hon. the Secretary at War. The Com 
mander in Chief, in the orders of the day, expressed 
his own, as well as the Secretary at War s fullest 

26th. At reveille, the left wing of the American 
army, under the command of our General, struck 
their tents, and marched from the encampment, as 
far as the wood, near the north redoubt, in the 
Highlands, where they remained during the night; 
the day and night were rainy, and the troops had no 
covering but the heavens. 


27th. The troops crossed the Hudson in boats to 
West Point, the whole having crossed by half past 
12 o clock. In the afternoon, the troops took up 
their line of march, and ascended Butter Hill, a 
tedious march, and halted and passed the night on 
the northern descent of the hill, in the open field. 

28th. At 7 o clock, A.M. the troops resumed 
their march from Butter Hill, and reached the ground 
on which they were to build their huts, in New 
Windsor, at about half past 10 o clock, A.M. Upon 
this ground, and its vicinity, the army passed the 
ensuing winter. The cantonment, for its nature and 
kind, was regular and beautiful. Upon an eminence, 
the troops erected a building, handsomely finished, 
with a spacious hall, sufficient to contain a brigade of 
troops on Lord s days, for public worship, with an 
orchestra at one end; the vault of the hall was arched; 
at each end of the hall were two rooms, conveniently 
situated for the issuing of the general orders, for the 
sitting of Boards of Officers, Courts Martial, &c. 
and an office and store for the Quarter-Master and 
Commissary s departments. On the top was a cu 
pola and flag-staff, on which a flag was hoisted oc 
casionally, for signals, &c.* In this cantonment the 
army spent the winter very comfortably, and it proved 
to be their last winter quarters. 

3Oth. It was learnt, that on the 26th or 27th, 
fourteen British men-of-war, of the line, one 44 gun 
ship, seven frigates, three large transports, and ten 
or twelve brigs and schooners, sailed from New 
York, it was conjectured for the West Indies. They 
were observed to sail nearer under Long Island than 
usual, and came to near the place where Gen. 
Howe landed in the year 1776, where it was con 
jectured troops now embarked. 

* See Appendix XLIII. 

Nov.i 7 8 2 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 375 

On the yth of the preceding August, Congress 
passed resolutions directing the Secretary at War, on 
or before the ist day of January following, to cause 
the non-commissioned officers and privates, belong 
ing to the lines of the several States, to be arranged in 
such manner as to form complete regiments, agree 
able to the acts of Congress of the 3d and 2ist of 
October, 1780, of regiments of not less than 500 rank 
and file, the junior regiments to be drafted to fill the 
senior regiments. The regiments so formed, to be 
completely officered; the officers to agree and de 
termine who should stay in service; or if this could 
not be effected by agreement, the juniors who were 
supernumerary of each grade were to retire, retain 
ing their rank, and be entitled to the emoluments to 
which the officers were entitled who retired under 
the resolutions of the 3d and 2ist of October, 1780. 
In consequence of these resolutions, the Commander 
in Chief, on this day, (3Oth of Oct.) ordered the 
regiments of the Massachusetts line to be reduced to 

8 regiments, of 500 rank and file each, or as near as 
could be to that number; and the Connecticut line to 
3 regiments of similar strength, with 3 Field Officers, 

9 Captains, 19 Subalterns, I Surgeon, and I Mate 
each; and the regiments were formed accordingly. 

November ist. It was learnt from Europe that 
the Royal George, a first-rate English man-of-war, 
of no guns, had been overset near Spithead, by a 
sudden flaw of wind, as she lay heeled to repair a 
leak on the other side; that she sunk in about 8 
minutes, having on board 12 or 1300 souls, about 
900 of whom perished. 

5th. Our General left the army, and commenced 
his journey to the eastward, and arrived at his house 
in Roxbury on the nth. 

1 2th. There was a transit of Mercury over the 


north-west limb of the sun s disc. The preceding 
week, one of the French men-of-war, in Portsmouth 
harbour, (N. H.) was struck by lightning, and her 
foremast damaged. The French army were now on 
their march towards Boston. 

The America, a fine new 74 gun ship, the first of 
her rate built in the United States, and which had 
not long before been presented by Congress to his 
most Christian Majesty, was launched at Portsmouth 
on Tuesday the 5th instant. 

1 8th. The field artillery of the French army 
reached Boston. The same day it was reported 
that the British troops had left Charleston, South 

2 1 st. The French discharged their artillery horses 
to the number of several hundreds. 

27th. Intelligence was received from Spain that 
the British had relieved Gibraltar and taken a Span 
ish 70 gun ship; several of their gun-boats were also 
destroyed. Had Spain long before this given over 
the siege of Gibraltar, and employed her naval and 
land forces against the British in some quarter more 
vulnerable, solid advantages might have accrued, 
much money and many lives have been saved. 

28th. General Thanksgiving throughout the Uni 
ted States. The French fleet, under the command 
of the Marquis de Vaudreuil, was at this time in 
Nantasket Road, except a few ships which were at 
Portsmouth, New Hampshire. 

December 2d. Maj. Gen. Baron Viomenil, com 
mander of the French army, (Count de Rochambeau 
not coming this way) arrived at Boston from Provi 
dence. The troops were coming forward in divi 
sions, at one day s march distance from each other. 
The first division arrived at Boston on the 5th, in 
the morning. 

DEc.i 7 8 2 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 377 

6th. In the morning, a ship lying in Boston har 
bour, laden with masts, destined to the West Indies, 
by some accident took fire, and burnt down to the 
water s edge; the loss was very considerable. Ad 
vice was received from Europe that the Commis 
sioners for settling peace were sitting at Paris; that 
matters were in forwardness; several articles had 
been agreed to, &c. A reinforcement of French 
ships and troops had arrived in the West Indies from 
France. This day the last division of the French 
troops reached Boston. These troops embarked on 
board the men-of-war, were much crowded, and in 
danger of growing sickly, if continued long on board. 
About this time, the American officers had been very 
uneasy respecting their great arrears of pay, &c.; 
and soon after addressed Congress on the subject, 
and appointed a committee from the army to present 
their petition and support it. 

nth. The town of Boston presented an address 
to the French General and officers. 

22d. The French fleet had all fallen down below 
the Castle, and were in readiness to proceed to sea. 
The markets were at this time extremely high; flour 
at 8 and some at 9 dollars per hundred; butter was 
sold at 2s. 4fd. per pound, &c. 

24th. His most Christian Majesty s fleet, under 
the command of the Marquis de Vaudreuil, came to 
sail in King and Nantasket Roads, and went out to 
sea, having the army under the command of Gen. 
Viomenil on board. The fleet was first to stand to 
the northward, until it was joined by the ships from 
Portsmouth; they were then to tack and stand to 
the southward, and take with them the Fantasque, 
armed en -flute from Rhode Island, and proceed to 
the West Indies. 

25th. It was learnt that near 3,000 refugee in- 

378 HEATH S MEMOIRS [JAN. i 7 8 3 

habitants had gone from Charleston, South Carolina, 
to Jamaica, and about the same number to Augus 
tine. The exorbitant prices of provisions fell imme 
diately after the sailing of the French fleet. 

26th. Authentic accounts were received from 
Europe that Monsieur de la Perreuse, in the ship 
Sceptre, with two frigates, had returned to France, 
from a successful enterprise against the British set 
tlements in Hudson s Bay, having entirely destroyed 
the establishments and property of the English on 
that coast, estimating the damage at ten millions of 

3 1 st. Intelligence was received that the British 
homeward-bound West India fleet, on their way to 
England, met a violent storm, in which two 74 gun 
ships, the Ramillies and the Centaur, were said to 
have foundered; and that a number of the merchant 
men had been taken by French and American crui 
sers, and carried into France that four prizes had 
been taken by the American frigate Alliance, Capt. 
Barry, having 1,200 hhds. of sugar, and 400 hhds. of 
rum on board. 

1783. January 1st. Intelligence was received, 
that a terrible fire happened in the city of Constan 
tinople, in the month of the preceding August, in 
which a large part of the city was consumed, and 
about 5,000 lives lost. The fire was supposed to 
have been kindled by the malefactors in six different 

4th. Intelligence was received that Great Brit 
ain had acknowledged the independence of the Uni 
ted States, collectively and severally; and that a com 
mission had been sent to Mr. Oswald, one of the 
British Commissioners at Paris, to treat with the 
American Commissioners accordingly. 

Some further accounts of the terrible fire in Con- 

jAN.i 7 8 3 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 379 

stantinople stated that near 200,000 inhabitants were 
burnt out of their habitations that the fire con 
tinued to burn sixty-two hours, and at some times 
with a front a mile in width. 

8th. Intelligence was received that the Charles 
ton man-of-war, belonging to the State of South 
Carolina, a remarkable fine ship, commanded by 
Commodore Gillon, was taken by the British, and 
carried into New York. 

In this month, the inhabitants of Massachusetts, 
in their several religious societies, made voluntary 
contributions to the inhabitants of the town of 
Charlestown, to enable them to rebuild a meeting 
house, in the room of that which was destroyed by 
fire by the British troops during the battle of Bun 
ker s Hill, on the zyth of June, 1775. 

24th. News was received that Maj. Gen. Lord 
Sterling had lately died at Albany; he was a brave 
officer in the American army.* 

25th. Intelligence was received that the British 
troops left Charleston, in South Carolina, the I4th 
of the preceding December, and the bar the I7th; 
and that Gen. Greene had taken possession of the 
city. It had been previously agreed that the Amer 
icans would not molest the British in quitting the 
place; and on their part they were not to injure the 

28th. It was learnt that Gen. Clark had been 
very successful against the Shawnee Indians, and 
had destroyed a number of their towns. From Eu 
rope it was learnt that although there was the greatest 
prospect of peace, yet all the powers at war were 
straining every nerve to be prepared for the opening 
of the next campaign. The damage sustained by 
the British homeward-bound West India fleet was 

* See Appendix XLIV. 

380 HEATH S MEMOIRS [FEB. i 7 8 3 

greater than at first supposed; among the disabled 
ships was the Ville de Paris, of no guns, and sev 
eral others. 

29th. A prize ship, taken by Capt. Manly, ar 
rived in Boston harbour having about 1,800 barrels 
of provisions on board. 

February 5th. News was received that the British 
had reinforced the garrison at Penobscot that the 
whole garrison consisted of nearly 900 men that a 
further reinforcement was expected and that the 
British were endeavouring to extend their influence 
in that quarter. 

6th. Intelligence was received that a number of 
loyalists had gone from New York to Nova Scotia; 
that Gov. Franklin, in England, had written to his 
friends in New York, that peace would certainly take 
place. About this time, the articles of a treaty of 
amity and commerce between the United States 
of America and Holland was published by Congress. 
In the month of the preceding December, Congress 
passed a spirited resolution respecting the conduct 
of the government of Vermont; and about this time, 
the Council of Vermont presented to Congress a re 
monstrance against the resolution, as interfering with 
their internal police.* 

About this time, Gen. Washington and Gen. Sir 
Guy Carleton had an interview on the lines of the 
two armies. 

2Oth. Intelligence was received that Don Solano, 
with ten sail of Spanish men-of-war, had arrived at 
the Havanna, and that the Count D Estaing had 
arrived with a French fleet at Martinique; that an 
attack on the island of Jamaica was soon expected to 
take place; in consequence of which seven British 
regiments were to go from New York to the West 

* See Appendix XLV. 

FEB.i 7 8 3 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 381 

Indies. The refugees at New York were selling off 
their effects at auction, and preparing for a sudden 
removal to Nova Scotia. 

2 1 st. The British King s speech to his Parlia 
ment appeared in a hand-bill. The speech breathed 
reconciliation throughout. The King informed his 
Parliament that he had gone the utmost lengths the 
power granted to him would allow; and that he 
hoped soon to lay before them the articles of peace, 
which were in great forwardness, and such as he ap 
prehended they would approve. That he hoped the 
two countries would still be in friendship, that re 
ligion, language, interest, &c. urged this, that he 
devoutly prayed Great Britain might not experience 
any of those calamities which might be feared from 
such a dismemberment of the Empire; and then ex 
tends some compassionate expressions to America. 
Alas, O King! it might have been happy for both 
countries, if a due consideration had been early ex 
ercised; then might much blood and much treasure 
have been saved. Let it be a warning to other na 
tions, to be wise and just! Nature will have her own 
way, and do her own work in her own time. Amer 
ica of course would be independent and sovereign; 
but a mistaken policy in Great Britain hurried on 
an event to her own loss, long before nature had 
ripened it for her own consummation. The public 
expectation now was high, and the period when 
peace should be announced supposed to be even at 
the door, and divers premature accounts were at 
different times circulated. 

25th. It was learnt that Lieut. Col. Barber, of 
the New Jersey line, had a little before been killed, 
together with his horse, near the army, by the un 
expected fall of a tree which a soldier was cutting. 
By this event a brave officer and valuable citizen 

382 HEATH S MEMOIRS [MARCH, i 7 8 3 

was lost, who had frequently distinguished himself 
in action; his fall, therefore, in this manner, and at 
the very grasp of the harvest of his toils, was ren 
dered the more affecting. 

2yth. Intelligence was received from Virginia 
that the House of Delegates of that State had rec 
ommended to their constituents not to choose into 
places of power and trust men who had not been 
attached to the cause of liberty, and only such as 
had given early and decided proof of their friendship. 

28th. It was found that the British cruisers 
from New York had lately taken a number of Amer 
ican vessels, among them several from Boston to 

March 3d. Accounts were received from Europe 
that in an assault made by the Spanish troops on the 
garrison of Gibraltar, in the month of September, 
the besieged, with their cannon loaded with grape- 
shot, made great havoc among the assailants, but 
that this did not check their ardor; but that upon a 
near approach to the walls, they were stopped, and 
thrown into great confusion by several engines 
throwing scalding water upon them. Some were 
scalded almost to death, and others had their eyes 
put out a new mode of defence, but a powerful 

6th. Intelligence was received that not long be 
fore, the French frigate Sibill had been taken by 
some of the British cruisers, aad carried into New 

2Oth. It was learnt from Philadelphia that the 
Washington packet, Capt. Barney, had arrived at 
that place from L Orient in France, which place she 
left the I yth of January. The public dispatches 
brought by this vessel, although they did not an 
nounce a peace to be concluded, yet informed that 


the negotiations were going on; every thing was 
settled between America and Great Britain, and 
matters looked favourable towards France; but diffi 
culties were subsisting between Great Britain, Spain 
and Holland. Several of the outlines of the articles 
of the treaty between Great Britain and the United 
States of America, were published, and in general 
were thought to be favourable to the latter. The 
same packet brought dispatches for Gen. Sir Guy 
Carleton and Admiral Digby, which were forwarded 
to New York. 

22d. It was learnt that a great uneasiness had 
discovered itself in the American army, on account 
of the great arrears of pay which was due, and some 
doubting apprehensions as to the real intention of the 
public to fulfil their promises to the army, and in 
particular that of half pay. An anonymous notifi 
cation, and two addresses to the officers, made their 
appearance about ten days before, couched in very 
firm and decided language; these produced an ad 
dress from the Commander in Chief, a meeting of 
the officers, a representation to Congress, and their 
resolutions respecting the army at that time.* 

The evening of the 28th, a letter was received from 
Philadelphia purporting that a vessel had arrived 
there from Europe with the intelligence that the 
preliminary articles of peace were signed on the 2Oth 
of the preceding January. Hostilities were to cease 
in Europe the 2Oth of February, and in America on 
the 2Oth of this month. The public dispatches had 
not now arrived, but were momently expected. 

April 2d. It was learnt that a very valuable prize 
was carried into Salem. 

7th. Our General sat out from his house in Rox- 
bury, and arrived at the head-quarters of the Amer- 

* See Appendix XLVI. 

384 HEATH S MEMOIRS [APRIL, i 7 8 3 

lean army at Newburg on Hudson s River, on the 
I4th, in the forenoon. 

On the 1 6th, in the general orders of the day our 
General was directed to take the immediate com 
mand of the army, during the absence of Maj. Gen. 
Gates. Congress had published their proclamation 
suspending hostilities. 

1 8th. The Commander in Chief addressed the 
army on the happy cessation of hostilities as follows: 

"The Commander in Chief orders the cessation 
of hostilities between the United States of America 
and the King of Great Britain, to be publicly 
proclaimed to-morrow at 12 o clock, at the New Build 
ing; and that the Proclamation which will be com 
municated herewith, be read to-morrow evening, at 
the head of every regiment and corps of the army; 
after which the chaplains, with the several brigades, 
will render thanks to Almighty God for all his mer 
cies, particularly for his over-ruling the wrath of man 
to his own glory, and causing the rage of war to 
cease amongst the nations. 

"Although the Proclamation before alluded to 
extends only to the prohibition of hostilities, and not 
to the annunciation of a general peace, yet it must 
afford the most rational and sincere satisfaction to 
every benevolent mind, as it puts a period to a long 
and doubtful contest stops the effusion of human 
blood opens the prospect to a more splendid scene 
and, like another morning-star, promises the ap 
proach of a brighter day than hath hitherto illumi 
nated this western hemisphere! On such a happy 
day a day which is the harbinger of peace a day 
which completes the eighth year of the war, it would 
be ingratitude not to rejoice: it would be insensibility 
not to participate in the general felicity. 

"The Commander in Chief, far from endeavour- 


ing to stifle the feelings of joy in his own bosom, 
offers his most cordial congratulations on the occa 
sion to all the officers of every denomination to all 
the troops of the United States in general, and in 
particular to those gallant and persevering men who 
had resolved to defend the rights of their invaded 
country so long as the war should continue; for these 
are the men who ought to be considered as the pride 
and boast of the American army, and who, crowned 
with well-earned laurels, may soon withdraw from 
the field of glory to the more tranquil walks of civil 

"While the General recollects the almost infinite 
variety of scenes through which we have passed with 
a mixture of pleasure, astonishment and gratitude 
while he contemplates the prospects before us with 
rapture, he cannot help wishing that all the brave 
men, of whatever condition they may be, who have 
shared in the toils and dangers of effecting this glo 
rious revolution, of rescuing millions from the hand 
of oppression, and of laying the foundation of a great 
empire, might be impressed with a proper idea of the 
dignified part they have been called to act (under the 
smiles of Providence) on the stage of human affairs; 
for happy, thrice happy, shall they be pronounced 
hereafter, who have contributed any thing, who have 
performed the meanest office in erecting this stupen 
dous fabric of Freedom and Empire, on the broad 
basis of independency; who have assisted in pro 
tecting the rights of human nature, and establishing 
an asylum for the poor and oppressed of all nations 
and religions. 

"The glorious task for which we first flew to arms, 
being thus accomplished the liberties of our country 
being fully acknowledged and firmly secured, by the 
smiles of Heaven on the purity of our cause, and the 


honest exertions of a feeble people, determined to be 
free, against a powerful nation disposed to oppress 
them; and the character of those who have perse 
vered through every extremity of hardship, suffering, 
and danger, being immortalized by the illustrious 
appellation of the Patriot Army, nothing now re 
mains but for the actors of this mighty scene to 
preserve a perfect, unvarying consistency of char 
acter through the very last act; to close the drama 
with applause; and to retire from the military theatre 
with the same approbation of angels and men which 
have crowned all their former virtuous actions. 

"For this purpose, no disorder or licentiousness 
must be tolerated; every considerate and well-dis 
posed soldier must remember it will be absolutely 
necessary to wait with patience until peace shall be 
declared, or Congress shall be enabled to take proper 
measures for the security of the public stores, &c. 
As soon as these arrangements shall be made, the 
General is confident there will be no delay in dis 
charging, with every mark of distinction and honour, 
all the men enlisted for the war, who will then have 
faithfully performed their engagement with the pub 
lic. The General has already interested himself in 
their behalf; and he thinks he need not repeat the 
assurances of his disposition to be useful to them on 
the present, and every other proper occasion. In 
the mean time, he is determined that no military 
neglect or excesses shall go unpunished, while he 
retains the command of the army. 

u The Adjutant-General will have such working- 
parties detailed to assist in making the preparation 
for a general rejoicing, as the Chief Engineer, with 
the army, shall call for; and the Quarter-Master- 
General will also furnish such materials as he may 
want. The Quarter-Master-General will, without 


delay, procure such a number of discharges to be 
printed as will be sufficient for all the men enlisted 
for the war; he will please to apply to head-quarters 
for the form. 

"An extra ration of liquor to be issued to every 
man to-morrow, to drink perpetual peace, indepen 
dence, and happiness to the United States of 

In the afternoon of the 1 8th, a schooner, - Cottle, 
master, from Nantucket, with fish, oil, rum, &c. 
came up the Hudson to Newburg. This was the 
first American vessel which had come up the river, 
since the British took possession of New York in the 
year 1776. 

I Qth. At noon, the Proclamation of the Congress 
for a cessation of hostilities was published at the door 
of the New Building, followed by three huzzas; after 
which a prayer was made by the Rev. Mr. Ganno, 
and an anthem (Independence, from Billings) was 
performed by vocal and instrumental music. The 
same day, Gen. Washington went for Ringwood to 
meet the Secretary at War on some business of 

aoth. At evening, the Commander in Chief re 
turned to head-quarters. 

2ist. Permission was given for such persons as 
might choose it to go to New York, with provisions, 
&c. A vessel was loading with flour to go down 
the river; and one laden with rum, porter, cheese, 
beef, &c. &c. came up from New York. Thus, as 
we have seen how the rage of war came on, we now 
see how by degrees that rage subsided, until the 
olive sprang up and progressed to full bloom. 

24th. It was learnt from Europe that on the 5th 
of February preceding, the Bedford, Capt. Morris, 
made entry at the custom-house in London, being the 

388 HEATH S MEMOIRS [MAY,i 7 8 3 

first vessel that had arrived in the river belonging to 
the United States. 

} 26th. It was learnt that the refugees were em 
barking in order to leave New York; and many 
transports were falling down to the watering-place. 
About this time, Congress recommended an impost 
duty to the several States.* 

2yth. Intelligence was received that the Indians 
had recently committed some outrages on the western 
frontier; had killed and scalped 17 persons near 
Wheeling Creek. 

May ist. Congress had expressed their opinion 
in a resolution which was this day published that 
the term for which the men engaged for the war are 
to serve does not expire until the definite treaty is 
received; and that then those engaged for the war, 
and who so continue, shall have their arms and ac 
coutrements as a present for their long and faithful 

2d. The next morning, the Commander in Chief 
was to go down the river to Dobb s Ferry to meet 
Gen. Sir Guy Carleton. Four companies of light- 
infantry marched this morning for that place to do 
the duty of guards. Sir Guy was to come up the 
river in a frigate. 

3d. In the forenoon, the Commander in Chief, 
and Gov. Clinton, with their suites, &c. went down 
the river. 

7th. It was learnt that several vessels had arrived 
at Boston, from Europe, Halifax, &c. with men- 
chandise, in consequence of which the price of goods 
had much fallen, and the inhabitants of the eastern 
States were fitting out a great number of fishing 

8th. It was said that 11,644 American prisoners 

*See Appendix XLVII. 

MAY,i 7 8 3 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 389 

had died during the war in the prisons, and on 
board the prison-ships at New York: a surprising 
number, and evidences that if their treatment was 
not severe, they were too much crowded, or not 
properly attended to in other respects. Those who 
have seen know, and others can easily conceive, that 
where men are closely confined in great numbers in 
prison-ships, or in gaols, that without frequent airing 
and cleansing, the air in such places becomes putrid 
and poisonous, and produces almost certain death. 
How much care then ought to be exercised by every 
humane commander in the appointment of provost 
officers, to be assured that those whom they appoint 
are not only firm and resolute, (necessary qualifica 
tions in such officers) but that they also are consider 
ate and humane; and that such commanders them 
selves take care to know, and if necessary, correct any 
abuses which may exist. Such conduct towards the 
confined and distressed, would add a laurel to the 
hero s brow, equal to the triumphs of victory, and 
more lasting: for if the merciful man be merciful 
even to his beast, how much more ought a great and 
brave man to feel for the unfortunate of his own 

Qth. At evening, the Commander in Chief re 
turned to head-quarters having had an interview 
with Gen. Sir Guy Carleton. 

I5th. The Commander in Chief went for Pough- 
keepsie. A letter from Gen. Sir Guy Carleton to 
Gov. Clinton had rendered an interview between 
the Governor and the Commander in Chief 

1 6th. At evening, the Commander in Chief re 
turned to head-quarters. 

28th. The army about this time were badly sup- 

* See Appendix XLVIII. 

390 HEATH S MEMOIRS [juNE,i 7 s 3 

plied with provisions, and much uneasiness was dis 
covered, both by the officers and soldiers. 

3 ist. It was learnt that Congress had passed a 
resolution to furlough the men engaged for the war. 
This mode appeared to be marked with policy in 
several respects. 

June 2d. The general orders of the day an 
nounced, that the men engaged for the war should 
be immediately furloughed, with a proportion of the 
officers. They were to be discharged as soon as the 
definite treaty arrived; they were to be marched 
home in divisions. Those men that remained en 
gaged for other periods were to be formed into com 
plete corps. The officers to agree who should stay, 
and in cases where they could not agree, seniority 
was to decide. 

3d. The Maryland battalion was put under orders 
to march to the southward. 

5th. The Maryland battalion marched from the 
cantonment. The same day, the general officers, and 
officers commanding regiments and corps, in the can 
tonment on Hudson s River, having, by their com 
mittee for that purpose appointed, prepared an 
address to the Commander in Chief it was accord 
ingly presented, in the words following: 


" IT is difficult for us to express the regret we feel 
at being obliged again to solicit your Excellency s 
attention and patronage. Next to the anguish which 
the prospect of our own wretchedness excites in our 
breasts, is the pain which arises from a knowledge of 
your anxiety on account of those men who have been 
the sharers of your fortunes, and have had the hon 
our of being your companions through the various 
vicissitudes of the war. Nothing, therefore, but ne- 

juNE, I7 8 3 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 391 

cessity, could induce us to a representation which we 
know must give you concern. 

"Your Excellency has so intimate a knowledge 
of the condition of the army, as to render a particular 
delineation unnecessary. As you have been a wit 
ness of our sufferings during a war uncommon in 
its nature, and unparalleled in many circumstances 
attending it; so you are now, Sir, no less a witness of 
the unequal burden which has fallen upon us from 
the want of that provision, to which, from our assid 
uous and unremitting services, we conceive we are 
entitled. Having recently expressed our sense of 
what was due to our distress; having repeated to 
your Excellency the confidence we had that our ac 
counts would be liquidated, the balances ascertained, 
and adequate funds provided for payment, previous 
to our being dispersed or disbanded; having seen 
with pleasure, the approbation which Congress gave 
our reliance, it is with a mixture of astonishment and 
chagrin that we view the late resolve of Congress, by 
which the soldiers for the war, and a proportionate 
number of officers are to be furloughed without any 
one of those important objects being accomplished; 
and, to complete the scene of woe, are to be com 
pelled to leave the army without the means of de 
fraying the debts we have necessarily incurred in the 
course of service, or even of gratifying those menials 
in the pittance which is their due; much less to carry 
with us that support and comfort to our families of 
which, from our long military services, they have 
been deprived. No less exposed then to the insults 
of the meanest followers of the army, than to the 
arrests of the sheriff deprived of the ability to assist 
our families, and without an evidence that any thing 
is due to us for our services, and consequently with 
out the least prospect of obtaining credit for even a 

392 HEATH S MEMOIRS EjuNE,i 7 8 3 

temporary subsistence, until we can get into business 
to what quarter can we look ? We take the liberty 
to say, Sir, only to your Excellency; and, from the 
sincerity of our hearts, we do it no less from a per 
suasion of the efficiency of your further efforts in our 
favour, than from the kind assurances you have been 
pleased to give us of your support. 

"To your Excellency, then, we make our appeal, 
and in the most solemn manner, from that abhor 
rence of oppression and injustice which first un 
sheathed our swords; from the remembrance of the 
common dangers through which we have passed; and 
from the recollection of those astonishing events, 
which have been effected by our united efforts, 
permit us to solicit your further aid, and to entreat 
that the order of the 2d instant, founded on the act of 
Congress of the 26th of May last, may be suspended 
or varied in its operation, so far as that no officer or 
soldier be obliged to receive a furlough until that 
honourable body can be apprised of the wretched 
situation into which the army must be plunged by a 
conformity to it; that your Excellency will endeavour 
to prevail on Congress nay, that on the principles 
of common justice, you will insist that neither officer 
nor soldier be compelled to leave the field until a 
liquidation of accounts can be effected, till the bal 
ances are ascertained, certificates for the sums due 
given, including the commutation of half pay to the 
officers, and gratuity of 80 dollars to the soldiers; 
and till a supply of money can be furnished suffi 
cient to carry us from the field of glory with honour 
to ourselves and credit to our country. We still wish 
to believe that that country to which we have been 
so long devoted will never look with indifference on 
the distresses of those of her sons who have so essen 
tially contributed to the establishment of Freedom, 

juNE,i 7 8 3 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 393 

the security of property, and the rearing of an 

"In the name and behalf of the Generals and 
officers commanding regiments and corps, in the 
cantonment on Hudson s River, 
I have the honour to be, 

With the highest respect, 
Your Excellency s 

Most obedient servant, 
W. HEATH, Maj. Gen. President. 
June 5 tb, 1783." 

To the foregoing address, Gen. Washington was 
pleased to return the following answer, viz. : 

HEAD-QUARTERS, June 6th, 1783. 

"BEFORE I make a reply to the subject of the 
address of the Generals and Officers, commanding 
the regiments and corps of this army, presented by 
yourself yesterday, I entreat that those gentlemen 
will accept my warmest acknowledgement for the 
confidence they have been pleased to repose in me; 
they may be assured it shall never be abused: and I 
beg they will be persuaded that as no man can pos 
sibly be better acquainted than I am with the past 
merits and services of the army, so no one can possi 
bly be more strongly impressed with their present 
ineligible situation, feel a keener sensibility at their 
distresses, or more ardently desire to alleviate or re 
move them. But it would be unnecessary, perhaps, 
to enter into a detail of what I have done, and what I 
am still attempting to do, in order to assist in the 
accomplishment of this interesting purpose. Let it 
be sufficient to observe, I do not yet despair of suc 
cess; for I am perfectly convinced that the States 


cannot, without involving themselves in national 
bankruptcy and ruin, refuse to comply with the re 
quisitions of Congress; who, it must be acknowl 
edged, have done every thing in their power to obtain 
ample and complete justice for the army; and whose 
great object in the present measure undoubtedly was, 
by a reduction of expense, to enable the Financier to 
make the three months payment to the army which 
on all hands has been agreed to be absolutely and 
indispensably necessary. To explain this matter, I 
beg leave to insert an extract of a letter from the 
Superintendent of Finance, dated the 2Qth ult.: 

" i It is now a month since the Committee conferred 
with me on that subject, and I then told them no 
payment could be made to the army, but by means 
of a paper anticipation; and unless our expenditures 
were immediately arid considerably reduced, even 
that could not be done. Our expenditures have 
nevertheless been continued, and our revenues lessen, 
the States growing daily more and more remiss in 
their collections. The consequence is that I cannot 
make payment in the manner first intended; the 
notes issued for this purpose would have been pay 
able at two, four, and six months from the date, but 
at present they will be at six months, and even that 
will soon become impracticable, unless our expenses 
be immediately curtailed. 

" * I shall cause such notes to be issued for three 
months pay to the army; and I must entreat, Sir, 
that every influence be used with the States to absorb 
them, together with my other engagements, by 

" Three days ago, a messenger was dispatched by 
me to urge the necessity of forwarding these notes 
with the greatest possible expedition. 

"Under this state of circumstances, I need scarcely 

juNE, I7 8 3 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 395 

add that the expense of every day in feeding the 
whole army will increase very considerably the ina 
bility of the public to discharge the debts already 
incurred, at least for a considerable time to come. 

"Although the officers of the army very well know 
my official situation, that I am only a servant of the 
public, and that it is not for me to dispense with 
orders, which it is my duty to carry into execution; 
yet, as furloughs, in all services, are considered as a 
matter of indulgence and not of compulsion as Con 
gress, I am persuaded, entertain the best disposition 
towards the army and, as I apprehend, in a very 
short time the two principal articles of complaint 
will be removed I shall not hesitate to comply with 
the wishes of the army under these reservations 
only, that officers sufficient to conduct the men who 
choose to receive furloughs, will attend them, either 
on furlough or by detachment. The propriety and 
necessity of this measure must be obvious to all; it 
need not, therefore, be enforced; and with regard 
to the non-commissioned officers and privates, such 
as from a peculiarity of circumstances wish not to 
receive furloughs at this time, will give in their names 
by 12 o clock to-morrow, to the commanding officers 
of their regiments, that on a report to the Adjutant- 
General, an equal number of men, engaged for three 
years, may be furloughed, which will make the saving 
of expenses exactly the same to the public. 

"I cannot but hope the notes will soon arrive, and 
that the settlement of accounts may be completed, by 
the assistance of the Pay-Masters, in a very few days. 
In the mean time, I shall have the honour of laying 
the sentiments of the Generals and Officers, com 
manding regiments and corps, before Congress; they 
are expressed in such a decent, candid and affecting 

396 HEATH S MEMOIRS [JUNE, i 7 8 3 

manner, that I am certain every mark of attention 
will be paid to them. 

I have the honour to be, 
With great esteem, Sir, 

Your most obedient Servant, 

Maj. Gen. HEATH." 

The two preceding papers were enclosed in the 
following letter from the Commander in Chief to his 
Excellency the President of Congress: 

"SiR, C 

"I HAVE the honour to enclose to your Excel 
lency the copy of an address to me from the Generals 
and Officers commanding regiments and corps, to 
gether with my answer to it. These enclosures will 
explain the distresses which resulted from the meas 
ures now carrying into execution in consequence of 
the resolution of the 26th of May; but the sensibility 
occasioned by a parting scene, under such peculiar 
circumstances, will not admit of description! 

"The two subjects of complaint with the army, 
appear to be the delay of the three months payment 
which had been expected, and the want of a settle 
ment of accounts. I have thought myself authorized 
to assure them Congress had and would attend par 
ticularly to their grievances; and have made some 
little variation respecting furloughs, from what was 
at first proposed; the Secretary at War will be able to 
explain the reason and propriety of this alteration. 

"While I consider it a tribute of justice, on this 
occasion, to mention the temperate and orderly be 
haviour of the whole army, and particularly the ac 
commodating spirit of the officers, in arranging 


themselves to the command of the battalions which 
will be composed of the three years men, permit me 
to recall to mind all their former sufferings and 
merits, and to recommend their reasonable requests 
to the early and favourable notice of Congress. 
I have the honour to be, &c." 

A little before this time, the officers of the army 
beginning to realize that the dissolution of the army 
was drawing nigh, and wishing to perpetuate that 
friendship which numerous hardships, sufferings, and 
common dangers had inspired in their breasts, 
resolved to form themselves into a Society, by the 
name of the Cincinnati. Several meetings were had 
for the purpose, and an Institution was digested and 
completed; and although our General presided at 
one of the meetings, and cheerfully, at the request of 
his brother officers, transmitted copies of the Institu 
tion, covered by a letter, to the officer commanding 
the southern army, and to the senior officers of the 
respective State lines, from Pennsylvania to Georgia 
yet he had serious objections to the Institution, as 
it stood, and refused for some time to sign it. He 
wished, as much as any one in the army, to perpet 
uate the happy friendship cemented in the breasts 
of the officers by an eight years common danger and 
sufferings; but he thought this would be best done 
by simply forming a Society, to meet annually in 
their respective States, for the purpose of a social 
hour, and to brighten the chain of friendship, with 
a fund for the relief of the unfortunate of their breth 
ren; but he was opposed to any idea of any thing 
that had any resemblance of an order, or any insignia 
or badge of distinction, asserting that it would only 
serve to mark them in an unfavourable light with 
their fellow citizens: but the prevailing opinion of 

398 HEATH S MEMOIRS QUNE, i 7 8 3 

the officers was otherwise. Our General was finally 
induced to sign the Institution, from the following 
consideration (but not until all the officers were 
appointed, and he nearly ready to leave the army) 
conversing with an officer of rank, who was of the 
same opinion with him, they parted in the resolution 
not to sign the Institution; but the next morning, the 
officer called upon him, and observed that one con 
sideration, not before mentioned, had occurred to 
him, viz. that it might happen in the days of their 
posterity, in case they did not sign, that the descen 
dant of one who was a member might happen to fall 
in company with the descendant of one who was not; 
that the latter, on observing the badge, might inquire 
what it was, and what its intention ? upon his being 
answered, that it was the insignia of a Society, of 
which his ancestor, who served in the American army, 
during the Revolution, was a member the other 
might reply, my ancestor too served during that war, 
but I never heard any thing of such a badge in our 
family; to which it might probably be answered, it is 
likely your ancestor was guilty of some misconduct 
which deprived him of it. Upon this, our General 
broke out "I see it, I see it, and spurn the idea/ 
which led him to sign the general Institution: and he 
subscribed to the State fund, 166 dollars, being one 
month s pay, as was stipulated in the Institution. 
He however never met with the Society, although no 
one has cherished a warmer affection for every mem 
ber of the army. After the revolution in France, 
finding that the insignias of distinctions were doing 
away, it led him anew to review the distinction which 
the badge of the Society to which he belonged, if not 
in fact, yet in appearance, seemed to exhibit, and 
brought to mind all his former objections, which in 
duced him to write to the Secretary-General to erase 

juNE,i 7 8 3 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 399 

his name from the Institution; but that his subscrip 
tion to the fund should remain so long as it was ap 
plied to the purpose for which it was given the 
relief of the unfortunate. 

6th. In the forenoon, the Jersey line marched 
from the cantonment to their own State, where they 
were to be disbanded. The same day, the first New 
York regiment made a present of their standards and 
band to Governor Clinton; they were escorted to 
Poughkeepsie by the light-infantry company of the 

8th. The men for the war, belonging to the 
Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and New Hamp 
shire lines, having marched from the cantonment, a 
division of the Massachusetts men marched on this 

9th. A division of the Suffolk and Worcester fur- 
loughed men marched for their own State, and so on, 
a division each day, until the whole had marched. 

loth. Our General was General of the Day. In 
the after orders of the Commander in Chief on this 
day, it was expressed "The strength of the army 
in this cantonment being considerably diminished by 
the number of men lately furloughed, the order of 
the 1 6th of April, directing a General, Field-Officers, 
and Quarter-Master to be of the day, and also a 
regiment to parade every day for duty, is dispensed 
with. For the present, there will be one Field-Offi- 
cer, and an Adjutant of the day; and the guards only 
will form on the grand parade at 9 o clock in the 
morning." It is here a little remarkable that our 
General, by whose orders and under whose direction 
the first guard in the American war mounted at the 
foot of Prospect Hill, on the evening of the I9th of 
April, 1775, after the battle of that day, should hap 
pen, in the course of service, to be the last General 

400 HEATH S MEMOIRS [JUNE, i 7 8 3 

of the day in the American main army, on the loth 
of June, 1783, to inspect, turn off, and visit the 
guards. At the first period, the roads were full of 
militia pressing towards Boston to commence and 
prosecute a dubious war; they were now filled with 
veteran soldiers, covered with laurels, returning from 
the field to their peaceful abodes. 

nth. About 2 o clock, P.M. the wind freshened 
from the west; there were several thunder-showers, 
with large hail-stones, some of which were supposed 
to be two inches long. The lightning struck the 
flag-staff of the New Building, entered the house, and 
ran down the south side of it, doing some damage, 
and stunning several soldiers near the door. In the 
general orders of this day it was announced that 
the levees were to be discontinued. 

I3th. The men who had enlisted for 3 years, and 
for shorter periods not expired, were formed, those 
belonging to Massachusetts into 4 regiments, and 
were to be commanded by Colonels Michael Jackson, 
Henry Jackson, and Joseph Vose, and Lieut. Col. 
Commandant Sprout. On the morning of the i6th, 
these regiments incorporated, and were formed into 
two brigades, the one commanded by Brig. Gen. 
Patterson, the other by Brig. Gen. Greaton. 

iQth. A number of officers of the army, viz. sev 
eral general officers, and officers commanding regi 
ments and corps, met at the New Building, and 
elected his Excellency Gen. Washington, President 
General; Gen. M Dougall, Treasurer; and Gen. 
Knox, Secretary, pro tempore, to the Society of the 

2Oth. The Massachusetts State Society of the 
Cincinnati met, and made choice of Maj. Gen. Lin 
coln for their President; Maj. Gen. Knox,Vice-Pres- 
ident; Col. John Brooks, Secretary; Col. Henry 

juNE,i 7 8 3 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 401 

Jackson, Treasurer; and Capt. Heywood, Assistant- 
Treasurer. The same day, the troops at the canton 
ment were put under orders to be ready to march for 
West Point on the succeeding Monday. 

22d. Our General issued his last order, which 
finished as follows: "The long-wished-for period 
having arrived, when the din of war ceases, the olive- 
branch of peace is displayed, the toils and fatigues of 
the field are drawing to a close, a part of the army 
have already mingled with their fellow-citizens, and 
others will probably ere long join them Maj. Gen. 
Heath being about to leave the army, and this being 
the last opportunity which will remain in his power, 
to express that affection for his brother officers and 
soldiers, which more than eight years service has es 
tablished in his breast, he cannot depart without 
leaving his best wishes for the health, prosperity and 
happiness of those whose lot it is a little longer to 
continue in the field invoke every blessing on them, 
and bid them an affectionate farewell." 

23d. The Massachusetts regiments marched to 
West Point. 

The morning of the 24th, our General was to 
commence his journey homeward; but the Com 
mander in Chief wished him not to proceed until the 
afternoon. On his arrival at head-quarters, Col. 
Humphreys, one of the aides-de-camp of the Com 
mander in Chief, gave him a sealed letter, observing 
to him to read it at his leisure. On opening it, in 
General Washington s own hand-writing it was as 
follows : 


HEAD-QUARTERS, June 24^, 1783. 

"PREVIOUS to your departure from the army, 
I wish to take an opportunity of expressing my sen- 

402 HEATH S MEMOIRS QUNE, i 7 8 3 

timents of your services, my obligations for your 
assistance, and my wishes for your future felicity. 

"Our object is at last attained; the arrangements 
are almost completed, and the day of separation is 
now at hand. Permit me, therefore, to thank you 
for the trouble you have lately taken in the arrange 
ment of the corps under your orders, as well as for all 
your former cheerful and able exertions in the public 
service. Suffer me to offer this last testimony of my 
regard to your merits; and give me leave, my dear 
Sir, to assure you of the real affection and esteem 
with which I am, and shall at all times, and under all 
circumstances, continue to be 

Your sincere friend, and 

Very humble servant, 
(Signed) G. WASHINGTON. 

Maj. Gen. HEATH." 

In the afternoon, the general officers were in Coun 
cil at head-quarters in consequence of an express 
from Philadelphia. Four or five hundred men of 
the Pennsylvania line, of those who had been fur- 
loughed on or about the 2Oth, grew very mutinous, 
refused to obey orders, entered the city of Philadel 
phia, seized some public stores, surrounded the place 
where Congress and the Supreme Court of the State 
were sitting, and made several demands, and occa 
sioned some consternation, which caused a represen 
tation to the Commander in Chief. The Continental 
regiments were to be put under marching orders 
immediately. It was judged inexpedient to call out 
the militia. 

At about 5 o clock, P. M. our General took his 
leave of his beloved General, and commenced his 
journey for Massachusetts, and arrived at his house in 
Roxbury on the first day of July, at 2 o clock, P. M. 

DEc.i 7 8 3 ] HEATH S MEMOIRS 403 

where he gave evidence that an eight years military 
life had not divested him of the feelings or manners 
of a citizen. 

October 3Oth. It was learnt that the definitive 
treaty of peace was signed the 3d of the preceding 
September; and that dispatches were sent off to the 
different Courts in Europe, to America, the East and 
West Indies, &c. with an account of this happy 

Congress by a proclamation which bore date the 
1 8th of this month discharged from further service 
such soldiers as were engaged for the war, and officers 
who were absent by derangement and furlough. The 
discharges to take place the 3d of November, 

November 2d. Gen. Washington issued his last 
and farewell orders to the federal armies, taking an 
affectionate leave of them, and giving them his best 

4th. Gen. Washington by proclamation, in com 
pliance with a resolve of Congress of the 2Qth of the 
preceding October, discharged all the troops in the 
service of the United States that were then in Penn 
sylvania or to the southward thereof, except the 
garrison of Fort Pitt. 

The British troops having left New York, on the 
25th of November, at one o clock, P. M. a detach 
ment of the American army took possession of the 
city; after which his Excellency General Washing 
ton, and Governor Clinton, made their public entry, 
properly escorted, &c. The Governor gave a public 
dinner at Fraunces tavern. 

December 2d. There was a grand exhibition of 
fire-works in celebration of the peace, at the Bowling 
Green in Broadway. The magnificent fire-works far 
exceeded any before exhibited in the United States. 

404 HEATH S MEMOIRS [DEC. i 7 s 3 

On the 4th, at noon, a great number of American 
officers of distinction met at Fraunces* tavern, to take 
their leave of their great Commander, Gen. Wash 
ington, who, on filling a glass of wine, addressed his 
brave compatriots as follows: 

"With an heart full of love and gratitude, I now 
take leave of you I most devoutly wish that your 
latter days may be as prosperous and happy, as your 
former ones have been glorious and honourable." 

The dissolution of the American army (excepting 
a small detachment of artillery and of infantry) took 
place a few days after; and General WASHINGTON, 
ere long, retired to his seat at Mount Vernon, covered 
with every laurel with which his own victorious con 
duct, and a grateful country, could adorn him; and 
with the applause of an admiring world. 


APPENDIX I. See p. 15. 

Heath s Roxbury farm, lying at the foot of Parker s Hill, 
was long since given over to residential uses, and is now 
bisected by a street which bears his name. The house in 
which the General was born and died stood at the easterly 
corner of the present Heath Street and Bickford Avenue. 
The farm passed out of the possession of his family a few 
years after his death in 1814, and in 1843 the house was 

APPENDIX II. See p. 29. 

The British losses as officially stated, and as adopted by 
Stedman and Bancroft, were nineteen officers killed and 
seventy wounded; of the rank and file, 207 killed and 758 
wounded a total of 1,054. The loss of the Americans, as 
stated by Washington in his report to Congress, was 145 
killed and 304 wounded a total of 449. Thus each army 
lost nearly one-third of the forces brought into action. 

APPENDIX III. See p. 37. 

Professor Justin Harvey Smith, in his "Prologue to the 
American Revolution," published in 1902, throws fresh 
light on Allen s foolhardy attempt to capture Montreal. 
No student of the Revolutionary period can afford to neglect 
this luminous and satisfying little volume. 

APPENDIX IV. See p. 40. 

The best accounts of Arnold s advance into Canada, one 
of the heroic achievements of the Revolution, are Justin 
Harvey Smith s "Arnold s March to Quebec," New York, 


1903, and John Codman s "Arnold s Expedition to Que 
bec," New York, 1901, both of which contain a large amount 
of new data. Heath fails to note that Washington author 
ized Arnold and Montgomery s demonstrations against 
Canada because he believed that the Canadian opponents 
of British policy would eagerly avail themselves of the oppor 
tunity which the presence of the colonial troops would afford 
for throwing off the yoke of the mother country. It should 
be added that the invasion of Canada was not determined 
upon until, to quote Bancroft, "the proclamation of martial 
law by the British governor, his denunciation of the Ameri 
can borderers, and the incitement of savages to raids against 
New England and New York, had made that invasion a 
substantial act of self-defence." 

APPENDIX V. See p. 55. 

The Montresor s Island of Heath s time is now known as 
Randall s Island. John Montresor, a British captain of 
engineers, became its owner in 1772, but left America when 
the British evacuated New York, and in 1784 his island 
home became the property of Samuel Ogden, who soon sold 
it to Jonathan Randel, a young farmer of Harlem. It was 
from Randel s executors that the city of New York in 1835 
bought the island, which perpetuates his memory, though 
popular usage has worked a change in the manner of spelling 
his name. It now affords a site for the New York House of 
Refuge for juvenile delinquents. See Wilson s "New York 
Old and New," Philadelphia, 1902. 

APPENDIX VI. See p. 57. 

Washington, in June, 1776, had his headquarters in the 
house known as Richmond Hill, near the present intersec 
tion of Charlton and Varick Streets, New York. Comely 
Phoebe Fraunces, daughter of a well-known publican of the 
town, was his housekeeper, and to her fidelity he owed the 
defeat of the conspiracy referred to by Heath. William 
Tryon, late royal governor of New York, from his refuge on 
board a British man-of-war lying in the harbor, had laid, 


with friends ashore, a plot to seize the town. One part of 
the plan was the murder of the American commander by 
Thomas Hickey, a British deserter, who had become a 
member of Washington s body-guard. But Hickey lost his 
heart to Phoebe Fraunces and made her his confidante. She 
revealed the plot to her father who made it known to Wash 
ington. Hickey, when arrested, confessed his crime and 
revealed the details of the plot. David Matthews, the 
royalist mayor of the town, convicted of correspondence 
with Tryon, was thrown into jail, while Hickey, as Heath 
relates, was hanged at the intersection of Grand and 
Chrystie Streets, in the presence of 20,000 spectators. 

APPENDIX VII. See p. 58. 

For this ceremony the several brigades of the army were 
formed in hollow square on their respective parade grounds. 
Washington was within one of the squares, surrounded by 
his staff, while an aide read the Declaration. This square 
was formed on what was then the Common and is now City 
Hall Park. Heath fails to mention one stirring incident of 
that eventful evening. After the ceremony on the Common 
a crowd of zealous citizens trooped down Broadway, pulled 
from its pedestal a leaden statue of George III, which in 
1770 had been set up on Bowling Green, and chopped it into 
a score of pieces. The main portions of the statue were sent 
to a place of safety in Litchfield, and there the wife and 
daughters of Oliver Wolcott, the patriot governor of Con 
necticut, speedily converted them into bullets for the Conti 
nental Army. 

APPENDIX VIII. See p. 66. 

The British loss in the battle of Long Island, as officially 
stated, was sixty-three killed, and 337 wounded and missing. 
The American loss was 970 killed, wounded, and missing. 

APPENDIX IX. See p. 70. 

Heath s narrative affords only a confused idea of the 
battle of Harlem Heights. The British forces on the morn 
ing of September 16, 1776, extended in a diagonal line from 


the present Fifty-first Street and the East River to the present 
Ninety-first and Tenth Avenue. The American lines ex 
tended from the mouth of the Harlem westward across the 
island. Early on the morning of the i6th Washington, 
anxious to force the hand of the enemy, sent Colonel 
Knowlton and his Connecticut Rangers to reconnoitre. 
Knowlton s party came in contact with the British pickets at 
what is now One Hundred and Fourth Street and the Boule 
vard, and after a half hour s hard fighting was compelled to 
give way before the superior numbers of the British, who 
now advanced and occupied the hill near Grant s Tomb. 
To draw them from the hill Washington threw a body of 
volunteers into the valley between the hill and the American 
lines, known as the Hollow Way, while he ordered Knowlton 
and Major Leitch, of the Virginia line, to make a circuit and 
catch them in flank and rear. The British took the bait 
and a brisk fight was in progress in the valley when, of a 
sudden, the second American detachment appeared on some 
rocks at what is now One Hundred and Twenty-third Street 
and the Boulevard, and began a fierce attack upon the 
enemy s flank. Both Knowlton and Leitch were mortally 
wounded early in the action, but the Americans, despite the 
loss of their leaders, fought stubbornly, and slowly drove the 
British into a buckwheat field at One Hundred and Twentieth 
Street, now part of the ground west of Columbia University. 
Here the British made a second stand, and here, both sides 
having been reinforced, occurred the hardest fighting of 
the day. The enemy held their ground for upward of an 
hour, but were finally routed, and the end of the battle 
found the Americans holding the ground from which Knowl 
ton had been driven in the morning. The British loss, as 
reported by Howe, was ninety-two killed and wounded, in 
cluding eight officers; the American loss was about half that 
number. See Henry Phelps Johnston s " Battle of Harlem 
Heights," New York, 1897. 

APPENDIX X. See p. 73. 

New York was twice visited by destructive fires during 
the Revolution. Five hundred buildings were destroyed in 


the fire of September 21, 1776, which swept from Whitehall 
through Broad and Beaver Streets to Broadway, and thence, 
sparing the western side of Bowling Green and of Broadway 
above Trinity Church, burned all the western part of the 
town. The second fire, on August 7, 1778, reduced to 
wreck more than one hundred buildings in the region south 
of Pearl Street, between Coenties and Old Slips. No 
attempt was made to repair this devastation until the end of 
the British occupation of the city. 

APPENDIX XI. See p. 77. 

The island referred to by Heath is now known as Ward s 
Island, and is owned by the city of New York, which uses it 
for hospital and asylum purposes. 

APPENDIX XII. See p. 83. 

Heath errs in his account and does scant justice to the 
battle of Pell s Point, which was one of the most important 
of the minor engagements of the Revolution. When Wash 
ington began withdrawing his army to the Westchester hills 
after the battle of Harlem Heights, his progress, owing to 
lack of proper facilities, was necessarily slow and his force 
much exposed. Howe, noting these facts, determined if 
possible to get to the rear of Washington, force him to re 
treat to the Harlem, and there catch him between two fires. 
With this purpose in mind he landed 4,000 British and 
Hessians at Pell s Point on October 18, 1776, and began to 
march towards New Rochelle, but found his progress dis 
puted by a force of 750 men commanded by Colonel John 
Glover, who had received commands to check Howe s 
advance long enough to enable Washington to safely reach 
White Plains. Glover disposed his little band with masterly 
skill, tempting the enemy with a small force, then retreating 
and luring them to a point where they offered a target to 
200 Americans hidden behind a stone wall. The fight that 
followed inflicted terrific punishment upon the British and 
Hessians, and their advance was checked long enough for 
Washington to complete his retreat to White Plains. See 
William Abbatt s " Battle of Pell s Point," New York, 1901. 


APPENDIX XIII. See p. 85. 

The officer who commanded in the attack on the Queen s 
Rangers, as Rogers corp was called, was Colonel Haslett, of 
Delaware, who had joined the Continental army on the eve 
of the battle of Long Island and who was killed a few weeks 
later at Princeton. 

APPENDIX XIV. See p. 114. 

The Reverend Charles Inglis, after having been for several 
years one of the curates of Trinity Parish, New York, in 1777 
became its rector, but, being a staunch royalist, he was soon 
banished to England and his estates confiscated. Dr. Ben 
jamin Moore, after the Revolution, served as rector of Trin 
ity, Protestant Episcopal bishop of New York, and president 
of Columbia College. 

APPENDIX XV. See p. 133. 

Why, in the summer of 1777, Howe sailed south to attack 
Philadelphia instead of marching north to co-operate with 
Burgoyne remained a mystery until, a little more than forty 
years ago, a document was discovered in England which 
threw a flood of light on the question. When the marplot, 
Charles Lee, was captured in New Jersey in December, 
1776, he was taken to New York and there confined for 
more than a year. During this time, he intrigued actively 
with the enemy, and in March, 1777, went so far as to write 
out for the brothers Howe a plan of operations by which they 
might best subdue the Americans. This document re 
mained hidden for eighty years, but was finally found 
among the archives of the Strachey family, one of whose 
members, Sir Henry Strachey, was secretary to the Howes 
during the Revolution. In it Lee asserted that an over 
whelming majority of the people of Maryland and Pennsyl 
vania were loyalists, who would welcome the arrival of a 
British army. He accordingly advised that a strong force 
should drive Washington out of New Jersey and occupy 
Philadelphia, thus paralyzing the operations of the "rebel 


government," while the remainder of Howe s, transported 
by sea to Chesapeake Bay, should occupy Alexandria and 
Annapolis. A proclamation of amnesty issued from these 
points, Lee argued, would effect the pacification of the 
"central colonies" in less than two months. General Howe 
did not adopt Lee s plan in its entirety, but the weight he 
gave it in shaping the movements of his army appeared in 
Burgoyne s surrender and his own profitless occupation of 

APPENDIX XVI. See p. 135. 

In July, 1777, Jenny McCrea, the beautiful daughter of a 
Scotch clergyman of Paulus Hook, now Jersey City, was 
visiting with her friend Mrs. McNeil at Fort Edward. She 
was betrothed to David Jones, a loyalist serving as lieu 
tenant in Burgoyne s army. Jones, bent upon a speedy 
union, sent a party of Indians under a half-breed named 
Duluth to escort Miss McCrea to the British camp, where 
they were to be married by one of the chaplains. Before 
Duluth reached Fort Edward a second party of Indians, led 
by a sachem known as the Wyandot Panther, attacked Mrs. 
McNeil s house and carried off the two women. Duluth 
and the Panther met in the forest and the former insisted 
upon taking Miss McCrea with him. High words ensued, 
and in the end the Panther drew his pistol and shot the girl. 

APPENDIX XVII. See p. 152. 

Congress from first to last treated the captured army with 
bad faith. Not only did it demand that the provisions and 
fuel supplied to it should be paid for in gold, reck 
oned at their first cost in depreciated Continental paper 
money, but it also demanded, as appears from Heath s 
narrative, that Burgoyne should make out a descriptive list 
of all the officers and soldiers in his army, although no such 
provision was contained in the convention, upon the faith of 
which that general had surrendered. Small wonder that 
Burgoyne at first refused to comply with both demands. 
But Congress sacrifice of honor to policy did not end here, 
for in January, 1778, it forbade, on a specious pretext, the 


embarkation of Burgoyne and his troops "till a distinct and 
explicit ratification of the Convention of Saratoga shall be 
properly notified by the court of Great Britain to Congress/* 
The required ratification was not forthcoming, since to give 
it would have compelled Great Britain to formally recognize 
the independence of the United States; and, although Bur 
goyne was allowed to return to England a prisoner on parole, 
the soldiers of the captured army were never sent home. In 
the autumn of 1778, as Heath relates, they were transferred 
to Charlottesville, Virginia, and thence in 1780 removed to 
Winchester in the Shenandoah valley, to Frederick in Mary 
land, and to Lancaster in Pennsylvania. Many were ex 
changed or allowed to escape, but the greater number 
remained in this country and became American citizens. 

APPENDIX XVIII. See p. 198. 

It is not to be doubted that Lee s conduct at Monmouth 
had for its treacherous purpose the humiliation and possible 
downfall of Washington, whom he bitterly hated. Sternly 
rebuked at the moment by the commander-in-chief, he was 
placed under arrest two days after the battle, and a court- 
martial convened, before which he was charged with dis 
obedience of orders in not attacking the enemy, with making 
an unnecessary and shameful retreat, and with gross disre- 
pect to Washington, from whom he had in the meantime 
demanded an apology for the language addressed to him on 
the field of battle. The trial, which lasted more than a 
month, ended in his conviction on all three charges, and 
suspension from command for the term of one year. A 
little later, an angry letter which he addressed to Congress 
caused his summary expulsion from the army. 

APPENDIX XIX. See p. 201. 

When in July, 1778, Washington s army, encamped at 
White Plains, was cheered by the arrival in American waters 
of a powerful French fleet, commanded by the Count 
d Estaing, a joint attack was at once planned on New York, 
where lay Clinton s forces, smarting under their recent 


repulse at Monmouth. The defeat and capture of the 
British army seemed certain, for the French fleet was 
superior in numbers and efficiency to that which guarded 
the harbor; but an unforeseen obstacle compelled d Estaing 
to forego a blow which, followed up by the patriot army, 
would have put an end to the war. It was found that the 
largest of the French ships could not with safety venture 
upon the bar at the entrance to the harbor, and with nature 
fighting on the side of the enemy the projected attack had 
to be abandoned. 

APPENDIX XX. See p. 204. 

When it was found that the French fleet could not enter 
the harbor of New York, Washington persuaded d Estaing 
to go to Newport and join in a combined naval and land 
attack upon the British, who held that place with 6,000 men. 
The movement would probably have been successful had 
not d Estaing s fleet been so severely damaged by the storm 
of August 13, 1778, that he was compelled to go to Boston 
to refit, after which the American army under Sullivan, 
depleted by desertions and threatened by British reinforce 
ments from New York, abandoned the siege and retreated 
to the mainland. A year later the British voluntarily 
withdrew from Newport. 

APPENDIX XXI. See p. 212. 

The inhabitants of Cherry Valley were murdered without 
regard to age or sex. There is evidence, however, that 
Joseph Brant (Thayendanegea) did what he could to re 
strain the ferocity of his savage followers. See Stone s 
"Life of Brant," Albany, 1865. 

APPENDIX XXII. See p. 213. 

The escape from Gosport was not the only one effected 
by Americans confined in English prisons. In May, 1781, 
Lieutenant Joshua Barney of the privateer "Pomona, "garbed 
in the undress uniform of a British officer, walked boldly 


out of Mill Prison, near Portsmouth, and after many 
thrilling adventures made his way to Holland and France, 
and thence to America. 

APPENDIX XXIII. See p. 223. 

In the assault on Stony Point the Americans lost fifteen 
killed, and eighty-three wounded, and the British sixty-three 
killed. The remainder of the garrison, to the number of 
553, including the wounded, were made prisoners. There 
was no wanton shedding of blood, and Stedman, the con 
temporary British historian, praises Wayne for his human 
ity, declaring that he "would have been fully justified in 
putting the garrison to the sword." 

APPENDIX XXIV. See p. 228. 

The attack on Paulus Hook by Major Henry ("Light 
Horse Harry") Lee was one of the most brilliant incidents 
of the Revolution. Paulus Hook, on the site of the present 
Jersey City, was a low spur of land reaching out into the 
Hudson, and connected with the mainland only by a 
narrow causeway which spanned a morass, washed and 
often flooded by the tide. The British had fortified it with 
block-houses and redoubts, and in August, I779> ** was 
garrisoned by 500 men. Lee volunteered to surprise the 
fort, and on the night of August i8th led 150 picked men 
to the attack. The surprise was complete, and though 
reinforcements from New York compelled Lee to beat a 
hasty retreat, he carried 159 prisoners with him into the 
Highlands, losing of his own force only two killed and three 

APPENDIX XXV. See p. 231. 

The expedition against the Six Nations was Washington s 
answer to the Wyoming and Cherry Valley massacres. 
Sullivan s army of about 4,000 men advanced into the 
Indian country in two divisions. The right wing, com 
manded by General James Clinton, marched up the valley 
of the Mohawk as far as Canajoharie, and then turned to 


the southwest, while the left wing, under Sullivan himself, 
starting from Easton, ascended the Susquehanna. The two 
columns met on August 22 at Tioga Point, N. Y., and a 
week later, near the present site of Elmira, gave battle to 
1,500 Tories and Indians led by Sir John Johnson, whose 
influence had kept the Six Nations on the side of the Crown. 
The enemy was routed with great slaughter, and then the 
Americans, resuming their march, laid waste the entire 
country of the Cayugas and Senecas, more than forty villages 
being razed to the ground. The Six Nations never re 
covered from the blow thus inflicted upon them. 

APPENDIX XXVI. See p. 237. 

Bunker Hill excepted, there was no action of the Revolu 
tion where so great a loss was sustained in so brief a period 
as in the assault of the allied forces on Savannah. General 
Moultrie, in his "Memoirs," puts the American losses at 
457 m killed and wounded, while the French casualties 
amounted to 183 killed and 454 wounded. The British 
losses were forty killed and 115 wounded and missing. 

APPENDIX XXVII. See p. 255. 

The British forces engaged in the siege of Charleston 
numbered about 12,000 men. The defending army, in 
cluding 500 in hospital, did not exceed 2,000 men. The 
British losses during the siege were seventy-six killed and 
189 wounded. 


The skirmish at Springfield was stubbornly contested on 
the part of the Americans, but none of the participants, says 
Irving, "showed more ardor in the fight than Caldwell, the 
chaplain, who distributed Watts s psalms and hymn books 
among the soldiers when they were in want of wadding, 
with the shout, Put Watts into them, boys!" 


APPENDIX XXIX. See p. 275. 

The battle of King s Mountain was one of the most 
obstinate of the war. The American losses in killed and 
wounded were eighty-eight. The British casualties were 
206 killed, 127 wounded, and 648 taken prisoners. 

APPENDIX XXX. See p. 281. 

Laurens, when captured off the banks of New Foundland, 
was on his way to the Hague to negotiate a loan. He was 
carried to London and, on a charge of high treason, kept in 
close confinement in the Tower until the end of the war. 

APPENDIX XXXI. See p. 305. 

The action referred to by Heath was the battle of Hob- 
kirk s Hill or Camden, which occurred on April 25, 1781. 
The American losses were twenty killed, 116 wounded and 
136 missing, while the total of British killed, wounded, and 
missing was 258. 

APPENDIX XXXII. See p. 311. 

The former home of Schuyler still stands at the head of 
Schuyler Street, in the southern part of Albany. In August, 
1781, a band of Tories and Indians, secreted in the nearby 
woods, watched long for a favorable opportunity to capture 
its owner and carry him off to Canada as a prisoner. Schuy 
ler, however, was on his guard against a movement of the 
kind, and when, one afternoon, he was told that a stranger 
wished to see him, he seized his firearms and hastily 
gathered his family about him in an upper room. Here it 
was discovered that the youngest child, an infant, had been 
left below asleep in its cradle, whereupon the general s 
third daughter, afterward the wife of Stephen Van Rens- 
selaer, rushed downstairs, caught up the child, and started 
back through the hall, just as the Indians and Tories 
entered through the servants quarters in the rear. The 
foremost savage, catching a glimpse of the flying girl, hurled 
his tomahawk at her head, which, barely missing her, struck 


the railing at the foot of the stairs. The Tory leader, be 
lieving her one of the servants, called out to know where her 
master was, when, with signal presence of mind, she replied 
that he had gone to alarm the town. Then Schuyler, 
leaning from an open window, fired his pistol in the air and 
shouted to imaginary friends, "Come on, my brave boys, 
and we ve got them!" whereupon the intruders beat a hasty 


Whaleboat warfare was a peculiar and detestable feature 
of the Revolutionary struggle on the waters about New 
York. A full account of the subject will be found in Wil 
son s "Historic Long Island," New York, 1902. 

APPENDIX XXXIV. See p. 320. 

A curious figure in the journalism of the Revolutionary 
period was James Rivington, whose "Gazeteer and Weekly 
Advertiser" was long the organ of the royalist party in New 
York. He wielded a keen and bitter pen, and in December, 
1775, a patriot mob, angered by his attacks, broke open his 
office, destroyed his presses, and carried off his type in 
bags. Rivington went to England after this raid, but re 
turned in September, 1777, with a new press and type, and, 
reissuing his paper, continued it under the title of the " Royal 
Gazette" until the close of the war. He was, however, a 
time-server and trimmer, and, when persuaded that the 
colonists would gain their independence, did not scruple to 
act as a spy for Washington. This deceitful service made 
it possible for him to remain in New York after its evacua 
tion by the British, but he never prospered, and his last days 
were passed in penniless obscurity. 

APPENDIX XXXV. See p. 323. 

Fort Griswold at Groton was garrisoned by 157 militia 
men. The attacking force numbered 600 British regulars, 
and so stubborn was the defense that the British lost 192 
men before they carried the fort by storm. Once within the 


fort no quarter was given, and of the garrison only twenty-six 
escaped unhurt. "There is no redeeming feature which 
history can recognize," is Carrington s comment on this 

APPENDIX XXXVI. See p. 326. 

The battle between the French and British fleets at the 
entrance to Chesapeake Bay, on September 5, 1781, in 
which 700 men were killed and wounded, though called an 
indecisive action, left the French masters of the Chesapeake, 
and by destroying all chance of Clinton s relieving Corn- 
wallis decided the final issue of the war. 


During his stay in New York, Prince William Henry, the 
future William IV, who lodged with Admiral Digby in the 
mansion of Gerardus Beekman in Hanover Square, nar 
rowly escaped capture by the patriots. A plot for his ab 
duction was laid by Colonel Mathias Ogden, of the New 
Jersey line, and approved by Washington. Two score 
officers and men, with Ogden at their head, were to embark 
on a rainy night, land in New York near the Beekman 
mansion, force an entrance, and carry off the prince and 
his guardian. But the enterprise was abandoned when the 
British leaders, forewarned, took extra care to assure the 
safety of the prince. Save for this warning, the boldness 
of Ogden s plan might have insured its success. 


The battle of Eutaw Springs, though set down as a British 
victory, was followed by the retreat of the victors, who until 
the end of the war remained cooped up in Charleston, pro 
tected by their ships. The American losses, as reported by 
Greene were 408 killed and wounded, while the British 
casualties, according to the official returns, totalled 693 men. 

APPENDIX XXXIX. See p. 334. 

The British force surrendered at Yorktown numbered a 
little less than 8,000 men. The losses of the allied armies 


during the siege was seventy-five killed and 199 wounded, 
while the British casualties were 156 killed, 326 wounded, 
and seventy missing. 

APPENDIX XL. See p. 335. 

Thus disappeared from the scene one of the most sinister 
figures in the history of the Revolution. Early in that 
struggle many of the loyalists of central New York, obliged 
by their patriot neighbors to abandon their homes, found a 
refuge at Fort Niagara, whence the Johnsons, Colonel John 
Butler and his son Walter, with their Indian allies, made 
frequent and terrible incursions against the frontier settle 
ments. Walter Butler seems to have been the most ruthless 
of these Tory leaders. He played a leading part in the 
Wyoming and Cherry Valley massacres, and it has been 
truthfully said that " some of the atrocities which he per 
mitted have never been outdone in the history of savage 
warfare." See Campbell s "Annals of Tryon County," 
New York, 1831. 

APPENDIX XLI. See p. 345. 

The commander of Delancey s corps was Colonel James 
Delancey, of the famous loyalist family of that name. He 
had been high sheriff of Westchester county before the 
Revolution, and at its close retired to Nova Scotia. His 
younger brother Oliver, however, was so good a patriot that 
he resigned his commission as lieutenant in the British navy 
rather than fight against his native land. 

APPENDIX XLII. See p. 372. 

Lee died "in a mean public house in Philadelphia, friend 
less and alone. His last wish was that he might not be 
buried in consecrated ground, or within a mile of any church 
or meeting-house, because he had kept so much bad com 
pany in this world that he did not choose to continue it in 
the next. But in this he was not allowed to have his way. 


He was buried in the cemetery of Christ Church in Phila 
delphia, and many worthy citizens came to the funeral." 

APPENDIX XLIII. See p. 374. 

The building referred to by Heath, "a structure of rough 
hewn logs, oblong square in form," crowned an eminence in 
what is now the southern part of the city of Newburg, and 
was known both as the New Building and as the Temple. 
It was torn down a few years after the Revolution, but still 
gives a name to its former site, which is called Temple Hill. 

APPENDIX XLIV. See p. 379. 

Major General William Alexander, of New Jersey, was 
commonly known as Lord Sterling, from a lapsed Scotch 
earldom to which he claimed the title. He was a native of 
New York and a son of James Alexander, a famous lawyer 
of the colonial period. 

APPENDIX XLV. See p. 380. 

Prior to the Revolution New Hampshire laid claim to all 
the territory that now comprises Vermont, and between 
1760 and 1768 granted charters to 138 townships which 
became known as the New Hampshire Grants. New York 
made a similar claim, obtained from the crown a grant of 
jurisdiction and attempted to eject the settlers from their 
farms, but this step was effectually resisted by bodies of 
militia led by Ethan Allen and Seth Warner and known as 
the Green Mountain Boys. In September, 1775, the towns 
declared the grants an independent district, and in 1776 
applied for admission to the Confederation, but was de 
barred by the opposition of New York. A few months later 
the grants declared themselves to be a free and independent 
jurisdiction or state, and again vainly sought admission to 
the Confederation. The refusal of Congress to admit the 
claims of the State led some of its citizens to listen to over 
tures from England, but the legislature, which first assem 
bled in 1778, did not favor a return to British allegiance, and 


nothing came of the negotiations. Congress in 1781 offered 
to admit Vermont with a smaller area than at present, but 
she refused and did not enter the Union until 1791 

APPENDIX XLVI. See p. 383. 

General Heath does scant justice to an unusual and 
significant incident. The Continental soldiers had re 
mained long unpaid, and when the army was about to be 
disbanded in the spring of 1783, General Gates and a few 
other officers had an inflammatory address distributed 
among the troops urging them to demand their pay and 
get it or appeal to force. Washington censured this address 
in general orders, and then called a meeting of the officers. 
When they had assembled, Washington arose and began a 
short speech. He admitted the justice of their claims, and 
expressed deep sympathy for their sufferings, but appealed 
to them not to desert their country s cause after covering 
themselves with scars in its defence; and above all not to 
become the dupes of British intrigues, as the address that 
had aroused them had doubtless been the work of crafty 
emissaries of England, "eager to disgrace the army they had 
not been able to conquer in the field." He assured them 
that Congress would do them justice, and took from his 
pocket a letter to sustain this assurance, which he attempted 
to read, but could not without putting on his glasses. 
Slowly raising them, he said with quiet pathos, "My 
brothers, I have grown gray in your service, and now I find 
myself becoming blind." At the conclusion he walked 
slowly out, but there was no more of the meeting. Those 
who remained did so only to pass resolutions professing 
faith in Congress and loyalty to their country. 

APPENDIX XLVII. See p. 388. 

A majority of the loyalists who filled New York at the 
time of its evacuation by the British were unwilling or afraid 
to remain after the departure of the royal troops, and were 
granted lands in Canada, where they settled. Several thou 
sand went to River St. John, other thousands to Port Rose- 


way, Annapolis, and Halifax, and the remainder to Port 
Moulton and Cumberland. Their going worked sharp 
discomfort and heavy loss to the exiles; but it had its com 
pensations, for it freed State and nation of what of a cer 
tainty would have proved a disturbing and mischievous 
element during the most critical period of our history. 


The figures recorded by General Heath are excessive, but 
there is no doubt that the lot of the men confined in the 
prisons, and especially on board the prison-ships at New 
York, was a pitiful one. First in the North River off the 
Battery, and later in Wallabout Bay, on the Brooklyn side, 
a half dozen old hulks were moored and used in succession, 
two or three at a time, as floating prisons. The most 
notorious of these, because the one longest in service, was 
the "Jersey," a sixty-four gun ship before her dismantle 
ment, which was sent to the Wallabout in 1780, and served 
as a prison until the end of the war. Often 1,000 men were 
confined on her, and there they sickened, sank, and died by 
scores. What remains of the "Jersey" now lies buried 
beneath the Brooklyn navy-yard. The bodies of its victims 
were buried in shallow pits at the water s edge, where the 
tide soon uncovered their graves; but in after years their 
bones were recovered and given proper burial. Many of 
the men who died in the city s prisons now rest in Trinity 


AMBOY Perth Amboy, N. J. 

BRUNSWICK New Brunswick, 
N. J. 

ton s Hill 

in what is now Bronx Park, 
New York City 

N. J. 

HORN S HOOK now 88th 
Street, East River, New York 

HORSE NECK the present 
Greenwich, Conn. 

KAKAAT the present Rama- 
po, N. Y. 

Mahopac, N. Y. 

MILE SOJJARE the present 
Armonk, N. Y. 

sons, N. Y. 


ernor s Island 

ODLE S Odell Tavern, yet 
standing at Elmsford, N. Y. 

PELL S NECK now Rodman s 
Neck in the town of Pelham, 
N. Y. 

PHILLIPSE S the present Yon- 
kers, N. Y. 

as Pollopel s Island 

loop s Creek 

SAW PITS now Port Chester, 
N. Y. 

SECUNNET Seaconnet, R. I. 

hall, N. Y. 

TAPPAN now Old Tappan, 
N. Y. 

VALENTINE S Valentine s 

WARWORSING the present 
Warwarsing, N. Y. 

WATER PASSAGE now known 
as the Bronx Kills, New York 

corner of North Avenue and 
Spruce Street, Cambridge, 

YORK ISLAND Manhattan 


The abbreviations Br. and H. distinguish British and 
Hessian officers. 

Abbatt, William, 409 
Adams, John, 232 
Adams, Winborne, Lieut. Col., 

Barber, Francis, Lieut. Col., 


Barney, Joshua, Captain, 382, 

Barras, de, Count, 320 

Agnew, James, Maj. Gen. (Br.) Barrett, Samuel, 173, 174 

143 Barry, John, Captain, 305, 378 

Alden, Ichabod, Colonel, 21 1 Barton, William, Colonel, 132 

Allen, Ethan, Colonel, 36, 37^ Battle, John, Captain, 24 

405, 420 
Andre, John, Major (Br.), 267 

268, 269 
Angell, Israel, Colonel, 254 

Baume, Lieut. Colonel (H.), 


Bearmore, Major (Br.), 236 
Bedel, Timothy, Colonel, 55 

Arbuthnot, Mariot, Admiral, Bedkins, Henry, Major, 237 

228, 265, 288, 292 

Bemis Heights, Battle of, 140 

Armand, Charles, Colonel, 127, Bennington, Battle of, 135 

236, 238 
Armstrong, John, Major, 235 
Arnold, Benedict, Maj. Gen. 

Bernard, Sir Francis, 16 
Bibby, Thomas, Major (Br.), 


36, 40, 45, 129, 136, 140, 214, Bond, William, Colonel, 39, 52, 
267, 268, 275, 280, 285, 286, 54, 107 

29, 322, 323, 337, 405 
AsgilljCaptain (Br.), 352, 358 

Boston, Siege of, 30-52 
Bougainville, Gen., 209 
Atlee, Samuel John, Colonel, 71 Bowdoin, James, 107 

Bradford, Gamaliel, Colonel, 

Bradford, William, Lieut. Col., 


Badlam, Ezra, Lieut. Colonel, 

166,245 211 

Bailey, John, Colonel, 128 Bradley, Philip Burr, Colonel, 

Baldwin, Jeduthan, Colonel, 30 234 

Baldwin, Loammi, Colonel, 83 Brandywine, Battle of, 137-138 



Brant, Joseph, 212, 413 Capes of Virginia, Battle off, 

Brewer, Jonathan, Colonel, 84 294, 326, 418 
Breyman, Lieut. Col. (H.), 135 Carey, Richard, Colonel, 93 
Bridge, Ebenezer, Colonel, 39 Carleton, Sir Guy, 95, 107, 275, 
Brodhead, Daniel, Colonel, 68, 352, 353, 354, 355, 356, 357, 

35 8 , 359, 366, 369, 380, 383, 

388, 389 
Carrington, Henry B., Colonel, 



Brooks, John, Colonel, 400 
Brown, John, Lieut. Col., 139, 

140, 274 

Brown, Richard, Lieutenant Cavendish, Lord, 368 

(Br.), 181, 187, 188 

Cedars, Battle of the, 56 

Bryant, John, Captain, 80, 81, Chaderton s Hill, Battle of, 88- 

90, 119, 123, 138 ^89 

Buchanan, Thomas, Captain, Champion, Henry, Colonel, 302 

Champion, Henry, Jr., Cap 
tain, 337 

Bullard, Moses, Major, 260 

Bumstead, Thomas, Major, 201 Chapman, James, Major, 70 
Bunker Hill, Battle of, 26-29, Charleston, British Capture of, 


254, 415 

Burgoyne, Sir John (Br.\ 57, Chase, Colonel, 146 

135, 138, 143, 144, 146, 147, Chastellux, de, Marquis, 278 

148, 151, 152, 153, 154, 156, Cherry Valley, Massacre at, 
157, 159, 1 60, 161, 165, 1 66, 211, 212, 413 

167, 168, 169, 171, 172, 173, Chester, John, Colonel, 69, 114 

Bushnell, David, 79 

Chestnut Hill, Skirmish at, 150 
Church, Benjamin, Dr., 38 

Buskirk, Lieut. Col. (Br.), no Cincinnati, Society of, 397 

Butler, Walter, 212, 335, 419 Clark, George Rogers, Colonel, 

Byles, Thomas L., Major, 247 379 

Byron, John, Admiral, 206 Clinton, George, Brig. Gen., 

63, 6 7, 95, 9 6 , I0 4, 1 06, in, 
113, 141, 275, 301, 388, 389, 

Cadwallader, John, Brig. Gen., 399> 43 

115 Clinton, Sir Henry, 108, 125, 

Camden, Battle of, 265, 305, 178, 179, 197, 198, 211, 217, 

416 222, 224, 233, 238, 246, 254, 

Campbell, Lieut. Colonel (Br.), 259, 261, 265, 284, 293, 316, 

56 325, 327, 328, 337 

Campbell, Lieut. Gen. (Br.\ Clinton, James, Brig. Gen., 95, 

Campbell, William W., 419 

9 6 , Hi,275,4i5 
Clouston, Thomas, Captain, 

Canada, Invasion of, 36, 38, 39, 131 

40, 44, 46, 54, 55, 406 

Codman, John, 406 



Colburn, Andrew, Lieut. Col., 


Coleman, Dudley, Lieut. Colo 
nel, 1 66 

Collier, Sir George, 217 
Concord, Battle of, 20, 25 
Constitution Island, 95, 141 
Conway, General, 360 
Cooke, Nicholas, 168 
Cooper, James, Captain, 243 
Corny, de, Louis D. E., 256 
Cowpens, Battle of, 287 
Cornwallis, Charles, Earl, 98, 
255, 289, 290, 292, 293, 294, 

3 T 9> 33 33*> 332, 333 
Craft, Edward, Colonel, 79, 139 
Craik, James, Dr., 253 
Crane, John, Colonel, 32, 68, 

128, 129, 310. 
Cruger, John Harris, Lieut. 

Col., 238 

Curtis, William, Major, 166 
Custine, de, Count, 280 


Dalrymple, Hugh, Captain 

(Br.) 9 169, 171 
Damas, Count, 278 
Danbury, Attack on, 129 
Davis, Colonel, 146 
Davis, William, 49 
Deane, Silas, 174 
De Borre, Preudhomme, Brig. 

Gen., 127 
De Forest, Samuel, Lieutenant, 


De Hart, William, Colonel, 53 

Delancey, James, Colonel, 281, 

Delancey, Oliver, 419 

D Estaing, Count, 200-202, 
204, 205, 207, 208, 213, 231, 
235, 236, 237, 380, 412, 413 

Deux Fonts, Count, 285 
Digby, Admiral, 324, 326, 332, 

338, 366, 383, 4i8 
Donop, Colonel (H.), 150 
Downer, Eliphalet, Dr., 22, 41, 


Drake, Commodore, 266 
Drew, Seth, Captain, 240 
Du Coudray, P. C. J. B., 129, 


Dunham, George, Captain, 326 
Dunmore, Lord, 43, 60 
Du Plessis, Chevalier, 278 
Du Portail, Lebegue, Brig. 

Gen., 208 

Durkee, John, Colonel, 57 
Dyckman, Abraham, 344 

Elbert, Samuel, Brig. Gen., 215 
Eldridge s Island, 77 
Elizabethtown, Skirmish at, 118 
Elizabethtown, Surprise of, 242 
Emmerick, Colonel (Br.), 227 
Enos, Roger, Colonel, 40, 331 
Esopus, Burning of, 142 
Eutaw Springs, Battle of, 330, 

Ewing, James, Brig. Gen., 115 

Fairfield, Burning of, 221 
Farley, Michael, Capt. Lieut., 

243 244 

Ferguson, Colonel (Br.), 274 
Fernald, Tobias, Captain, 216 
Fersen, Axel, Count, 287 
Flagg, Ebenezer, Major, 303 
Fleury, de, Louis, Colonel, 280 
Foster, Thomas Waite, Cap 
tain, 40 

Fox, Charles James, 368 
Fox Mills, Skirmish at, 274 



Francis, Ebenezer, Colonel, 132 
Franklin, William, 380 
Fraunces, Phoebe, 406, 407 
Fraunces Tavern, 403, 404 
Fraser, Brig. Gen. (Br.), 132, 

Freeman s Farm, Battle of, 

*3*> r 39 

Frost, John, Colonel, 118 
Frye, Joseph, Brig. Gen., 44 

Galvan, Major, 288 

Gambier, Admiral, 21 1 

Gansevoort, Peter, Colonel, 

Gates, Horatio, Maj. Gen., 29, 
54, 56, 108, 138, 140, 144, 
152, 156, 209, 215, 237, 238, 
251, 252, 265, 367, 371, 384, 

Gerard, Conrad A., 231 

Germantown, Battle of, 142, 


Gerry, Elbridge, 20 

Gill, Erasmus, Lieutenant, 231 

Gillon, Alexander, Commodore, 


Gilman, Nicholas, Colonel, 118 
Gimat, Colonel, 288 
Gleason, Micajah, Captain, 70 
Glover, John, Brig. Gen., 40, 

60, 83, 134, 146, 165, 1 66, 

338, 339, 409 
Godfrey, George, Brig. Gen., 


Gooch, John, Captain, 97 
Gordon, Lord George, 264 
Gould, Jacob, Captain, 44 
Gouvion, Jean Baptiste, Colo 
nel, 277 

Graham, Major, 291 
Graham, John, Captain, 116 

Graham, Morris, Colonel, 65, 

Granby, Fort, Surrender of, 

Grasse, de, Count, 305, 311, 

3i5> 3 J 9> 320, 327, 332, 343, 


Graves, Admiral, 258, 338 
Greaton, John, Colonel, 32, 52, 

54, 107, 318, 400 
Greene, Christopher, Colonel, 

259, 265, 266, 303 
Greene, Nathaniel, Maj. Gen., 

26, 29, 54, 62, 71, 262, 264, 

271, 273, 289, 290, 292, 294, 

305, 306, 307, 330, 372, 379 
Greene, William, 302 
Grenville, Thomas, 366 
Grey, Maj. Gen. (Br.), 138 
Gridley, Richard, Colonel, 30 
Grosvenor, Thomas, Lieut. Col., 


Guichen, Count de, 267 
Guilford, Battle of, 294 


Hallett, Jonathan, Captain, 233 
Hamilton, Lieut. Col., 292 
Hancock, John, Maj. Gen., 

148, 202, 205, 276, 302, 304 
Hand, Edward, Colonel, 64, 67, 

77, 78, 80, 292 
Harcourt, Colonel (Br.), no 
Harden, Jonathan, Captain, 136 
Harlem Heights, Battle of, 70, 

407, 408 
Harnage, Henry, Major (Br.), 

196, 197 

Harris, Lieutenant, 346 
Harrison, Robert H., Colonel, 


Harrod, Captain, 104 
Hart, John, Lieut. Capt., 282 



Haslett, John, Colonel, 71, 410 
Hastings, John, Captain, 166 
Hatfield, Colonel (flr.), 241 
Hay, A. Hawkes, Colonel, 109 
Hazen, Moses, Colonel, 273, 

288, 311, 312 

Heath, William, Maj. Gen., 15- 
21, 23, 26, 29, 31, 39, 41, 47, 
49, 52, 53 55, 62, 64-66, 68, 
71, 72-75, 77, 79, 80-85, 88, 
90-93, 95, 98, 100, 102-111, 
113, 116, 118-128, 138, 145- 
147, 151-153, i55- J 5 8 , l6 , 
168, 170, 172, 173, 175, 177, 
178, 183, 186, 187, 190, 193, 

195, 204, 205, 207, 208, 210, 

216-222, 224, 225, 230, 234, 
246, 248, 250-253, 257, 258, 
260, 261, 262, 264, 267, 270, 

271, 273, 278, 282, 295, 297, 
298, 301-304, 307-309, 312, 

316, 327, 328, 335, 336, 338- 

340, 348, 349> 353, 355, 357, 
364, 366, 368-371, 373, 375, 

3^3, 3 8 4, 393, 397-399, 4i, 

402, 405 
Henley, David, Colonel, 44, 

127, 161-164, 166, 167, 171 
Henly, Thomas, Major, 74-76 
Herkimer, Nicholas, Brig. Gen., 


Heywood, Captain, 401 
Hickey, Thomas, 57, 407 
Hitchcock, Daniel, Colonel, 35 
Hiwell, John, 342 
Hogan, James, Brig. Gen., 254 
Holman, Jonathan, Major, 60 
Hood, Samuel, Sir, 319 
Honeywell (Hunnewell), Israel, 

Captain, 342 

Hopkins, Captain, 226, 227 
Hopkins, Major, 183 
Hopkins, Esek, Commodore, 54 

Horton, Jotham, Captain, 79 
Howe, Richard, Lord, 59, 159, 

Howe, Robert, Brig. Gen., 213, 

224, 230, 231, 234, 260, 286, 

287, 368 
Howe, William, Sir, 27, 56, 57, 

115, 130, 136, 137, 150, 175, 

409, 410, 411 
Huddy, Captain, Murder of, 


Huggeford, Major (Br.), 281 
Hull, Abner, Lieutenant, 338 
Hull, William, Lieut. Col., 282, 

283, 285 
Humphrey, William, Colonel, 

Humphreys, David, Colonel, 

282, 351, 401 
Huntington, Ebenezer, Major, 

Huntington, Jedidiah, Brig. 

Gen., 86, 96, 109, no, 224, 


Hutchinson, Israel, Colonel, 60 
Hutchinson, Thomas, 17 

Independence, Fort, Attack on, 

119, 120 
Inglis, Charles, Rev., 108, 114, 

Irvine, James, Brig. Gen., 150 


Jackson, Daniel, Lieutenant, 

80, 90 
Jackson, Michael, Colonel, 74, 

76, 127, 131, 165, 166, 400 
Jameson, John, Lieut. Col., 


"Jersey," prison ship, 422 
Jones, David, 411 



Jones, John Paul, Captain, 289 
Johnson, Sir John, 134, 415 
Johnston, Henry Phelps, 408 


Kalb, de, Baron, Maj. Gen., 265 
Keeler, Samuel, Captain, 241 
Keith, Israel, Colonel, 91, 148 
King s Mountain, Battle of, 

274, 416 
Kingston, Colonel (Br.), 1 60, 


Knapp, Moses, Major, 323 
Knowlton, Thomas, Colonel, 

44, 70,71,408 
Knox, Henry, Maj. Gen., 31, 

36, 45, 283, 367, 369, 370, 37 1 , 

Knyphausen, Lieut. Gen. (H.), 

96, 137, 198, 254, 284, 293 

La Fayette, Marquis de, 208, 
212, 248, 259, 279, 285, 286, 
288, 290 

Lamb, John, Colonel, 310 
Langdon, John, Captain, 166 
Lasher, John, Colonel, 90 
Latouche-Treville, de la, Cap 
tain, 248, 249, 251, 252, 253, 

Laurens, Henry, 155, 281, 416 
Laurens, John, Colonel, 318, 

344, 372 

Lauzun, Duke de, 287, 310, 343 
Laval de Montmorency, Mar 
quis, 280 

Ledyard, William, Colonel, 321 
Lee, Arthur, Colonel, 20 
Lee, Charles, Maj. Gen., 29, 
81, 86, 87, 94, 98, 99, 101, 
104-110, 199, 372, 410, 412, 

Lee, Ezra, Colonel, 127 

Lee, Fort, 98 

Lee, Henry, Colonel, 228, 306, 

Lee, William R., Colonel, 137, 

139, 165, 166 
Leggett, William, 236 
Leitch, Andrew, Major, 70, 


Leonard, Abiel, Rev., 48 
Leslie, Maj. Gen. (5r.), 112, 

341, 371 

Lexington, Battle of, 20, 25 
Lincoln, Benjamin, Maj. Gen., 
78, 80, 116-118, 120, 122, 
124, 126, 140, 168, 171, 215, 
235, 236, 237, 254, 275, 346, 
Lippincott, Captain, 350, 352- 

354, 357 

Livingston, Robert, 104 
Lockwood, Samuel, Captain, 

241, 33 8 

Logan, Samuel, Major, 74 
Long Island, Battle of, 65, 66, 

Lovelace (Loveless), Thomas, 


Lovell, Solomon, Brig. Gen., 

205, 248 

Lowther, James, Sir, 346 
Loyalists, Departure of, 388, 


Luzerne, Count de la, 230 
Lyman, David, Colonel, 240 
Lyman, Elihu, 48 


McCrea, Jane, 135, 411 
McDougall, Alexander, Brig. 

Gen., 81, 271, 367, 400 
Mclntosh, Lachlan, Brig. Gen., 



43 i 

McLean, Colonel (Br.), 226 Mosher, John, Lieutenant, 340 
Magaw, Robert, Colonel, 56, Moulton, Johnson, Lieut. Col., 

68, 71, 90, 97 


Malcolm, William, Colonel, 85, Moultrie, William, Brig. Gen., 



Manly, Captain, 380 
Marion, Francis, Brig. Gen., 


Mathew, Henry, Brig. Gen. 

(Br.), 2I 7 , 2 3 8 
Matthews, David, 407 
Maxwell, Hugh, Major, 281, Munroe, Captain, 260 

Maxwell, William, Brig. Gen., 


Mead, Jasper, Lieutenant, 338 
Mead, John, Colonel, 241 

Mowatt, Oliver, Captain (Br.), 

212, 215 

Moylan, Stephen, Colonel, 224 
Muhlenburg, Peter, Maj. Gen., 

Mumford, Isaac, 35 

Musgrave, Lieut. Colonel (Br.), 
J 43 


Nash, Francis, Brig. Gen., 143 

Meigs, Return Jonathan, Colo- Newhall, Ezra, Lieut. Col., 239 
nel, 130, 222 New London > Raid on > 321, 

Mercer, Hugh, Brig. Gen., 115 ^^ , 
Mifflin, Thomas, Maj. Gen., Nicholson James, Captain, 254 

J TV! -.,.. L? ... . f 1 ~ . <rs*Q 

30, 67, 95, 115 
Miles, Samuel, Colonel, 68 

Nixon, John, Brig. Gen., 128, 
165, 265 

Millen (Melien), Janes , Lieut. Noaille.dc .Viscount 278 

Norton, Lieut. Col. (Br.), 243 

Col., 332 
Monckton, Lieut. Colonel (Br.), 


Montgomery, Fort, 95, 141 

Montgomery, Major (Br.), 322 Ogden, Mathias, Colonel, 418 
Montgomery, Richard, Brig. Oliver, Robert, Major, 359 

Gen., 29, 36, 44 
Monmouth, Battle of, 197-199 
Montresor, John, Captain (Br.), 

Oakley, Miles, Lieutenant, 236 
Ogden, Mathias, Colonel, 418 
Oliver, Robert, Major, 359 
Olney, Jeremiah, Colonel, 310, 



Oriskany, Battle of, 135, 136 
Orne, Azor, 20 

Montresor s Island, 55, 73-76, Oswald, Richard, 378 


Moore, Benjamin, 114, 410 

Morgan, Daniel, Brig. Gen., Parker, Sir Peter, 108 

138, 287 Parsons, Samuel H., Brig. Gen., 

Merrill, Amos, Major, 328 71, 86, 108, 113, 117, 119, 

Morris, Captain, 387 260 

Morris, Robert, 310 Paterson, John, Brig. Gen., 53^ 

Morrison, Major (Br.), 174 54, 128, 242, 400 



Patterson, Colonel (Br.), 59 Putnam, Israel, Maj. Gen., 26, 

Paulding, John, 269, 270 28, 29, 39, 41, 54, 62, 73, 86, 

Paulus Hook, 76, Surprise of, 116, 240 

228, 414 Putnam, Rufus, Colonel, 30, 

Pawling, Albert, Lieut. Col., 220, 317, 323 

238, 328 

Pawling, Levi, Lieut. Col., 92 x. 

Pell s Point, Battle of, 83, Quebec, Assault on, 44 

Pennsylvania Line, Mutiny of, 



Penobscot, Expedition to, 248 
Pensacola, Capture of, 307 
Percy, Hugh, Earl, 21, 96 
Perry, Abner, Colonel, 260 

Randall, Thomas, Captain, 166 
Rawdon, Francis, Lord, 306, 


Read, Major, 173 
Read, Joseph, Colonel, 83 

Phillips, William, Maj. Gen. Red Bank, Assault on, 148, 149 

(Br.), 131, 146, 147, 169, 177, Reed, Joseph, Adjt. Gen., 87, 

178, 180, 181, 183, 185, 188- 98, 342 

190, 276, 280, 305 Richards, Peter, Captain, 321 

Pickens, Andrew, Colonel, 292, Riedesel, Frederic Adolph, 


Baron, 146 

Pickering, Timothy, Brig. Gen., Rivington, James, 320, 324, 

264, 280 

326, 417 

Pigot, Maj. Gen. (Br.), 27, Roberts, Moses, Captain, 243 
174 Robinson, Beverly, Colonel, 

Pollard, Jonathan, Colonel, 91, 233 

l8 4 
Pomeroy, Seth, Brig. Gen., 18, 


Rochambeau, de, Marshal, 257, 
258, 266, 267, 270, 309, 364, 
368, 369* 376 

Poor, Enoch, Brig. Gen., 54, Rockingham, Marquis of, 368 


Pope, Isaac, Captain, 293 
Popkin, John, Lieut. Col., 166 
Porter, Elisha, Colonel, 107 
Pray, John, Captain, 290, 348 
Preble, Jedidiah, 18 

Rocky Hill, Skirmish at, 116 
Rodney, Lord Admiral, 266, 

37> 3 6 3 
Rogers, Robert, Major (Br.), 

Ross, Major (Br.), 334, 335 

Prescott, Maj. Gen. (Br.), 132 Rowley, Major, 334 

Prescott, William, Colonel, 28, Royal George, Sinking of, 375 

80, 96, 112 
Pritchard, Thomas, Captain, 

282, 288, 341 Sacket, Samuel, Captain, 340 

Pulaski, Casimir, Count, 134, St. Clair, Arthur, Maj. Gen., 

237 131, 132, 3 6 7 



St. Leger, Barry, Colonel (Br.), 

34, i35 J 3 6 
St. George, Fort, Attack on, 


St. Mesme, de, Count, 288 
Sag Harbor, Attack on, 130 
Saltonstall, Captain, 321 
Saltonstall, Dudley, Captain, 


Sands, Comfort, 341 
Sargent, Paul Dudley, Colonel, 

60, 71, 79 
Savannah, British capture of, 

213, American assault on, 

Scammel, Alexander, Colonel, 

106, 292, 309-312, 329 
Schuyler, Philip, Maj. Gen., 

29, 36, 132, 311, 416 
Scott, Major, 317 
Scott, Charles, Brig. Gen., 254 
Scott, John Morin, Brig. Gen., 

71, 96, 104, 107, 118, 119, 


Sewall, Stephen, Captain, 166 
Shee, Colonel, 56, 68, 71 
Shelburne, Lord, 368 
Shelby, Isaac, Colonel, 274 
Sheldon, Elisha, Colonel, 287, 

Shepard, William, Colonel, 58, 


Sherburne, Henry, Major, 55 
Simcoe, Lieutenant (Br.\ 235 
Slongo, Fort, Capture of, 327 
Smith, Colonel (Br.\ 21 
Smith, Justin Harvey, 405 
Smith, William, 352-357 
Sparhawk, Nathan, Colonel, 


Specht, Brig. Gen. (//.), 206 
Spencer, Joseph N., Maj. Gen., 

29, 55> 6 2, 94 

Springfield, Skirmish at, 254, 

257, 415 
Sprout, Ebenezer, Colonel, 240, 

286, 400 
Stark, John, Brig. Gen., 52, 

135, 236, 279, 328 
Starr, Josiah, Colonel, 222 
Stedman, Charles, 93, 414 
Sterling, William Alexander, 

Earl, 53, 66, 84, 95, 241,310, 

329> 339> 3 6 7> 3 6 9> 379 420 
Stoddard, Orange, Captain, 243 
Stone, William Leete, 413 
Stony Point, Capture of, 223, 


Strachey, Sir Henry, 410 

Sullivan, John, Maj. Gen., 26, 

29> 54, 5 6 , 60, 6 2. 65, 66, 76, 

85, 94, 104, 136, 202-205, 

215, 228, 229, 231, 413-415 

Sullivan s Island, Assault on, 

Sumner, John, Colonel, 128, 

Sumter, Thomas, Brig. Gen., 


Swasey, Joseph, Major, 148 
Swift, Heman, Colonel, 326 

Talbot, Silas, Captain, 264 
Tallmadge, Benjamin, Colonel, 

280, 281, 321, 323 
Tarleton, Banestre, Lieut. Col. 

(Br.\ 287 
Ten Broeck, Abraham, Colonel, 

Ternay, de, Chevalier, 257, 258, 

266, 267, 281 
Thomas, John, Maj. Gen., 18, 

25, 29, 30, 54, 55 
Thompson, Joseph, Lieut. Col., 

243, 244 



Thompson, William, Brig. Gen., 

53> 54, 56, 77, 2 76 
Thomson, Charles, 152, 176, 

Throop, Dyer, Colonel, 86, 283, 

285, 288 
Ticonderoga, Capture of, 36; 

retaken by British, 131 
Treadwell, William, Captain, 

Trenton, Battle of, 114, 115, 

116, 117 
Trescott, Lemuel, Major, 327, 

34 2 

Trumbull, Jonathan, 129, 174, 
260, 301, 321 

Trumbull, Jonathan, Jr., Colo 
nel, 351 

Trumbull, Joseph, 30 

Tryon, William, 174, 214, 222, 

Tudor, William, Lieut. Col., 166 

Tupper, Benjamin, Colonel, 32, 
34, 104, 329, 339 

Tyler, John, Colonel, 86, 96, 
104, 109, 1 10 

Tyler, Nathan, Colonel, 260 

Valley Forge, 150 

Van Benschoten, Elias, Major, 

2 35 

Van Rensselaer, Henry Killian, 

Brig. Gen., 274 
Van Shaick, Goose, Colonel, 

216, 290, 311 

Van Wart, Isaac, 269, 270 
Varnum, James Mitchell, Brig. 

Gen., 280 
Vaudreuil, de, Marquis, 376, 

Vaughan, John, Maj. Ge n 

(A-.), 217 

Vergennes, de, Count, 357 
Vermilyea, Benjamin, Captain 


Viomenil, Baron, 376, 377 
Vose, Joseph, Colonel, 33, 242, 

288, 400 


Wadsworth, Peleg, Brig. Gen., 


Walbridge, Amos, Major, 233 
Ward, Artemas, Maj. Gen., 18, 

2 5> 2 9> 33> I26 , I2 7 
Ward, Joseph, Colonel, 24, 27, 

69, 96, 211 
Ward s Island, 409 
Warner, Seth, Gen., 287 
Warren, Joseph, Maj. Gen., 22 
Washington, Fort, 62, 71, 84, 

96, 97 

Washington, George, General, 
2 9> 3 1 , 54, 59, 61, 64, 66,68, 
95, 97, 103, 108, 113-116, 
118, 121, 125, 128, 131, 133, 
134, 136-138, 140, 150, 178, 

179, 197-199, 201, 203, 207, 
215, 223-225, 234, 237, 251, 
252, 260, 26l, 263, 266, 267, 
271, 272, 280, 282-284, 286, 

289, 294, 296-298, 301, 306- 
309, 3 II, 3 I2, 316, 318-320, 

3 2 9, 33 i, 33 2 > 338, 347~349, 
35!-359> 362. 364, 365, 3H 
37^ 373, 3 8o > 3 8 4, 3 88 -390 
393, 39 6 , 401-404, 406, 407, 
409, 420 

Washington, Martha, 55, 58 
Waterbury, David, Brig. Gen., 

3 IO > 3 J 4, 35 8 

Waters, Josiah, Captain, 30 
Watson, William, Captain, 243, 




Wayne, Anthony, Maj. Gen., 
138, 223, 365, 367, 414 

Weare, Meshech, 303 

Webb, Charles, Colonel, 52 

Weisenfels, Frederick H., Colo 
nel, 2/2, 320, 324 

Welles, Roger, Captain, 282 

Wesson, Edward, Colonel, 128, 
129, 1 66, 200 

Wheeler, Adam, Captain, 21 

Whipple, William, Brig. Gen., 

Whitcomb, John, Brig. Gen., 
19, 24 

White, Anthony Walton, Lieut. 
Col., 230 

Whitney, Colonel, 118 

Wigglesworth, Edward, Colo 
nel, 128 

Willett, Marinur, Colonel, 272, 

333, 334 
William Henry, Prince, 326, 

369, 418 
Williams, Daniel, Captain, 303, 


Williams, David, 269, 270 
Williams, Edward Payson, Cap 
tain, 44 

Williams, James, Colonel, 274 
Williamsburg, Capture of, 286 
Wilson, Rufus Rockwell, 406, 


Winslow, Edward, 216 
Wolcott, Oliver, 407 
Woodbridge, Major, 345 
Wood Creek, Skirmish at, 134 
Woodford, William, Brig. Gen., 

Wooster, David, Maj. Gen., 29, 

56, 119, 124, 129 
Wyandot, Panther, the, 411 
Wyllys, John P., Major, 70 
Wyllys, Samuel, Colonel, 96 
Wyman, William, Captain, 44 
Wyoming, Massacre at, 201 


Yorke, Sir Joseph, 232 
Yorktown, Siege of, 329, 331- 
333 4l8 


198 Main Stacks 

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