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Extract of a letter from East-Chester, New-York


October 21, 1776. — At about four o' clock, p˙ m˙, General Heath' s division moved From above King' s Bridge, having, besides their light field-pieces, two heavy iron twelve-pounders. About eight o' clock in the evening, they passed General Lincoln' s quarters, on Volentine' s Hill, where the Commander-in-Chief was to spend the night. General Heath waited upon him, to know if he had any particular commands for him. The Commander-in-Chief only advised to send forward one of his regiments, to occupy the road coming from Ward' s Bridge, nearly to whose farm the British had now advanced; lest, apprised of his moving, they should annoy his right flank, which, if it had been day-light, would have been open to their view. But before the column reached this crossroad, it was learnt that Colonel Jonathan Brewer' s regiment of artificers, who were pretty strong, and well-armed, were to pass the night at the entrance of the road, leading to the bridge before mentioned. The division reached Chaderton' s Hill, to the south of White-Plains, at four o' clock in the morning of the 22d, having marched all night. The instant General Heath ascended the hill, he noticed, to appearance, many flashes, resembling the flash of the pan of a musket, on the other side of the lot, on which he immediately ordered a Captain with a party to discover what it was; who returned that he could not make discovery of any thing. These were indeed the flashes of discharged muskets at some distance; the height of ground having decoyed the appearance of the distance. Lord Stirling, who was before in this vicinity with his brigade, had formed an enterprise against Major Robert Rogers' s corps. The old Indian hunter in the last French war, who had now engaged in the British service, with his corps, now lay on the outpost of the British army, near Marroneck. The enterprise was conducted with good address; and if the Americans had known exactly how Rogers' s corps


lay, they would probably have killed or taken the whole. As it was, thirty-six prisoners, sixty muskets, and some other articles were taken. The Major, conformably to his former general conduct, escaped with the rest of his corps. This was a pretty affair, and if the writer could recollect the name of the commanding officer, with pride and pleasure he would insert it. He belonged to one of the Southern lines of the army, and the whole of the party were Southern troops.

October 22, 1776. — The same day General Heath moved his division, and took post on the high strong ground, to the north of the Court-House, General Sullivan' s division reached the Plains in the course of the succeeding night. In the position of White-Plains, General Heath' s division was on the left of the line. On his left was a deep hollow, through which ran a small brook, which came from a mill-pond, a little above. On the east side of this hollow was a very commanding ground, which would enfilade the division. The top of this high ground was covered with wood. To this hill he ordered Colonel Malcom with his regiment of New-York troops, and Lieutenant Fenno, of the artillery, with a field-piece, directing them to take post in the skirt of the wood, at the south brow of the hill. The ground, from General Heath' s left to the right, descended gradually a very considerable distance, and then gradually ascended up to the plain, and still on to the right to more commanding ground. On this was the American army formed, the line running nearly from northeast to southwest. There were some strong works thrown up on the plain, across the road, and still to the right of it. Chaderton' s Hill was a little advanced of the line, and separated from it by the little rivulet Brunx. A body of the Americans were posted on this hill. Head-Quarters were on the plain, near the cross-roads. General Heath' s division had only slight works for musketry. — Heath.