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General Washington to the President of Congress



Princeton, December 2d, 1776.

SIR: I arrived here this morning with our troops, between eight and nine o' clock, when I received the honour of your letter of the 1st, with its enclosures. When the enemy first landed on this side the North-River, I apprehended that they meant to make a push this way; and knowing that the force which I had was not sufficient to oppose ' em, I wrote to General Lee to cross with the several Continental regiments in his division, and hoped he would have arrived before now. By some means or other he has been delayed. I suppose he has passed the river, as his letter of the 26th ultimo mentioned that he had marched a brigade the day before and should follow the next himself. The remainder of the troops I conceived necessary to guard the several passes through the Highlands, nor do I think they can be called from thence. Their number is very small, being reduced to very few by the departure of the troops who stood engaged till the 30th ultimo.

I understand there are now at Bristol several prisoners. As their exchange at this time cannot be effected with propriety, I think it will be necessary, under the present situation of affairs, to have ' em removed immediately to some more interiour place upon their paroles. If they remain they may be of infinite disadvantage.

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