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Tench Tilghman to Robert R. Livingston



Head-Quarters, Hackensack, November 17, 1776.

DEAR SIR: Yours of the 13th found me this day in the neighbourhood of this place, where we are fixed for the present. I wish I had better news to communicate, but we suffered a heavy stroke yesterday in the loss of Fort Washington and its garrison, consisting of about two thousand men, who chiefly were made prisoners of war; what were not, fell in the action. The lines were bravely defended; but what could two thousand men do against General Howe' s whole Army, who poured in upon them from every quarter? The loss of the post is nothing compared to the loss of men and arms, and. the damp it will strike upon the minds of many. We were in a fair way of finishing the campaign with credit to ourselves, and I think to the disgrace of Mr˙ Howe, and had the General followed his own opinion, the garrison would have been withdrawn immediately upon the enemy' s falling down from Dobbs' s Ferry. But General Greene was positive that our forces might at any time be drawn off under the guns of Fort Lee . Fatal experience has evinced the contrary. Whether the enemy will make any other move this season, is matter of speculation. We are posting the Army on this side the river, along from Newark to Amboy, as places easy of communication with each other, and through which the enemy must pass, if Philadelphia or any place southward is their aim. Troops will be left at the passes leading from the North River into Jersey and New- York, to prevent supplies from going to the enemy. We left Mr˙ Duer at Peekskill. I shall continue to write to you as I find opportunity. I imagine we shall make Brunswick our head-quarters.

I am, dear sir, yours,


To Robert R. Livingston, Esq˙, of the Committee of Correspondence.