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Letter from General Washington to General Mercer



Head Quarters, New York, August 8, 1776.

SIR: The account given you by a deserter, as brought me by Mr˙ Tilghman, is confirmed by two sailors who came off the night before last from the enemy — that General Clinton is arrived with his Army from South Carolina, and that preparations are making for an early and vigorous attack. They further add, that last Sunday one thousand Hessians landed — part of twelve thousand, the remainder being left off the Banks of Newfoundland, that may be expected every hour. Under these circumstances, and considering how much deficient this Army is, from the not filling up the new levies, and sickness, I must desire you to send over one of the Rifle regiments, as we have not one corps of that kind on this Island. I leave it to you to fix upon that which you think will come with the most cheerfulness and are best appointed, but would not have any time lost. The Quartermaster may set out immediately to prepare for them. From all accounts, the grand attack will be made here and at Long Island. I cannot find anything meditated against New Jersey at present. I have written to the Convention of Jersey and to Connecticut to send on the Militia with all expedition.

I am, sir, with much regard, your most obedient, humble servant,

To General Mercer, New Jersey.