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Colonel Malcom to General Heath



Chatham, December 19, 1776.

DEAR GENERAL: I got to this place this moment. General McDougall most providentially was before me. An order from Head-Quarters for the Ticonderoga detachment to join the grand Army, had almost lost this State. The Militia, who are numerous and brave in this quarter, finding themselves abandoned, came to a resolution to save themselves and families by dispersing. The principal people supposing themselves forsaken by the Army, were also dejected, and would have retired. To avert so capital a blow, General McDougall hath detained Colonel Vose until further orders; but this leaves the issue doubtful. A repeated order may arrive next moment, and the Stale lost. For this


weighty consideration, surely it will be advisable that you move this way. Suppose Toppan and the vicinity is exposed, the enemy cannot approach the forts by land (with artillery) but through the pass of the Clove; and surely General Clinton' s Army is competent to defend that ground, perhaps to do more.

I am informed you can expect to be joined here by about one thousand good Militia. This will enable you to cover this valuable country, which abounds with forage, and which must expect the vengeance of the enemy. From their attachment to their country and their zeal, they are remarkably obnoxious. In proportion are their fears; and therefore they ought to be supported. This quarter is capable of being easily defended, and much benefit arise thereby, I hope to meet you on Saturday at Morris-Town, or a shorter road which Mr˙ Sanford will show you. Time is precious; I can only offer my respects to General Parsons, General Clinton if with you, and your suite; and that with much respect and esteem I am, dear General, your much obliged and very humble servant,


To Major-General Heath, Pyramus.

The facts contained in this are true,