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Egbert Benson to New-York Provincial Congress



Red-Hook, Dutchess County, N˙ Y˙, Nov˙ 28, 1775.

SIR: I am now to acknowledge the receipt of a letter from some individual members of the late Congress, enclosing copies of certain resolutions of the Continental Congress, of the 8th instant, respecting the number of men to be furnished by this County for the use of the fortress in the Highlands. The letter came to hand the 18th instant, and I would immediately have called the County Committee together, but found it would be the saving only of a few days, (the stated meeting being on the 27th;) and therefore, with the unanimous advice of the friends to the cause in the neighbourhood, I thought it proper to defer the matter till that time, especially as the calling a special meeting, the members being dispersed through the County, is attended with considerable expense. There was a circumstance, also, of which I supposed the Congress ignorant, that induced me to think that the business did not require such immediate despatch, namely, that Captain Havens, with fifty men belonging to the Continental forces, (the party that escorted the Chambly garrison to Connecticut,) were on their march to garrison the fortification. I laid the letter before our General Committee on Monday last, who ordered me to write to the Colonels of the two Minute Regiments in the County, desiring them each to hold a Company, in readiness to march at a minute' s warning, with a request, also, that those gentlemen would immediately write to the commanding officer at the fortress, informing him of the places of rendezvous of their respective Regiments. This measure was advised by three members


of the Continental Congress, whom I saw as they passed through this County on their way to the northward. They informed me that they had been at the fort, where they had left part of two Companies, and that when Mr˙ Havens arrived with his party, there would be men sufficient for its present defence, or, at least, as many as could conveniently be accommodated, and therefore proposed that we should only hold a Company or two ready to march upon an emergency. I have the pleasure to inform the Congress that several Companies have not only turned out, as volunteers, but have, both men and officers, solicited the service.

I remain, by order of the Committee, your very humble servant, EGBERT BENSON, Chairman.

To Nathaniel Woodhull, Esq˙, President of the Provincial Congress, New-York.