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Letter from Lord Stirling to the President of Congress



Head-Quarters, Elizabethtown, December 5, 1775.

SIR: In answer to the letters I wrote, yesterday to Colonel Woodhull at New-York, I have this moment received a letter from him, of which the enclosed is a copy.

The receipt of this letter shall make no alteration in my conduct with regard to preparing the six companies ordered to march to the new fortress on Hudson river, but shall hold them in readiness to march until further order from the Congress. The members of the Continental Congress, who are best acquainted with the country in the neighbourhood of the new fortress, must know the impossibility of quartering men in any place contiguous, to it, for there are not five habitable houses,within, five miles of it. It is my private opinion that we can at any time aid that fortress from hence as well as from any other place I know of, especially if I am allowed a discretionary power of giving such aid, whenever, by my intelligence, I find it is like to be necessary: the men, in the mean time, will be made more fit for service. However, I shall strictly adhere to any instructions I may receive from the Congress.

There are, I am informed, several men, who were recruited in this Province for the New-York regiment in the Continental service, lately returned into this neighbourhood, I believe, without discharges; they spread evil reports of the hardships they pretend to have met with, and greatly discourage the present service, I should be glad to be instructed what I may do with such as I meet with.

With great veneration and esteem, I am your most obedient and most humble servant,


To the Hon˙ John Hancock, Esq.