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General Heath to Colonel Ford



Pyramus, 18th December, 1776, 9 o' clock in ye evening.

DEAR SIR: Yours of the 17th and 18th I have just received. I have great expectations of Colonel Vose' s remaining with you at least a few days, until he can receive


express orders from General Washington, to whom I have desired to apply for further directions. I wish to afford you every assistance in my power, consistent with the general good of the country. The movement of our Army on this side the North river, I apprehend to be the reason of the return of Leslie' s brigade. I have this day intelligence of the arrival of part of the King' s troops at Hackensack; that a considerable number are at Fort Lee and that neighbourhood, and a large detachment gone up the North River, besides Leslie' s brigade, who are said to have been this morning at Newark. My misfortune is to be in a country from which no intelligence can be relied on from the inhabitants. I have sent out scouts, which will return this night, and from whom I expect more certain accounts of the situation and numbers of the enemy at Fort Lee, if any there. If I find no enemy in that quarter, or at Hackensack, I shall be able to afford you some aid from the Continental troops of General Parsons' s brigade, and the troops under General Clinton now with me. The number of the troops with me, and our particular intentions, may be explained more fully by the gentleman you entrusted with your express. As intelligence is the greatest difficulty I find in this part of the country, I wish you to establish a regular daily intelligencer from you to me, which will enable us to cooperate in any measures to defeat the intentions of our enemies. I shall wish to be informed as early to-morrow as possible, of the motions, number, and probable intentions of the enemy, as far as you have been able to ascertain them; and by the return of the express, I hope to be able to give you a more certain answer than at present is in my power.

I am, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,


Colonel Ford.