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General Scott to the New-York Convention



Camp at Haverstraw, November 30th, 1776.

SIR: Since I had the honour of writing to you last, I have had a return of those in my brigade willing to continue a month in the service, their number too trifling to be mentioned.

Having, however, received last night an extract (a copy of which is enclosed) from a letter from Head-Quarters to General Heath, I put it in brigade orders this day, with some arguments for a compliance, which I fear will prove ineffectual, as I am informed Lieutenant-Colonel Hardenbergh and some of his men are already gone off, and many others of the brigade are in a state of motion. I have also taken care to put out in orders what I thought necessary for securing the supplies furnished to my brigades by the State. I hope the Colonels will attend to them. I expect to be at Fishkill on Monday night; for I am sure nothing less than an almighty power will hold my brigade.

I have this day wrote to General Washington an account of the steps taken by the Convention and myself to detain the brigade a little longer in the service. This I thought necessary for the justification of both. I am told with certainty, that two brigades from the other side are to cross immediately. I therefore most sincerely regret the obstinacy of my soldiers. A body of four or five thousand men to fall on the enemy' s rear, would probably, while General Washington, who is confidently reported to be fifteen thousand strong, engaged them in front, might probably do signal service, especially if the following account be true, which I had from a Major Clark, who had a command of a party to cover the removal of the stores from Tapan, which is completed, and he now on his way to join General Washington' s Army. It is safe for him in his march to take a detour. He is now on it. His letter to me is dated yesterday, at the New-City, at the Court-House. He says, two persons, who made their escape from the enemy yesterday, one of whom was taken at Fort Washington, the other at Fort Lee, bring certain intelligence, that upwards of ten thousand of the enemy embarked under the command of General Clinton last Sunday, on board their transports, and sailed, the place of their destination not known, said to be Carolina or Rhode-Island, (query, if not to Capes of Delaware;) seven thousand remain at Hackensack and Fort Lee, under command of Lord Cornwallis, who is ordered to England immediately. Dunmore already gone. General Howe remains at present in New-York. A great number of the enemy were killed at Fort Washington, chiefly Hessians. Doctor Pell confirms this, who came to my quarters yesterday from Fort Lee."

The embarkation we have had an account of from different quarters. I begin now to credit it. I am well informed that the enemy are moved so far down that Hackinsack is guarded by Tories, of which this country is full, whose insolence I would have undertaken to correct, had I been able to continue in the service.

If I should collect any further intelligence, I shall, I suppose, be the bearer of it in person.

I have the honour to be, sir, yours and the Convention' s most obedient servant,


The honourable the Chairman of the Committee of Safety for the State of New-York.