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Letter from General Washington to General Livingston



New York, August 8, 1776.

SIR: Before this reaches you, you will undoubtedly have heard of the unexpected arrival of the Carolina Army on Staten lsland, which, added to the Hessians and foreign troops under Lord Howe, exhibits a force justly alarming. When I compare it with that which we have to oppose them, I cannot help feeling every anxious apprehension. The new levies are so incomplete, the old regiments deficient in their complement, and so much sickness, that we must have an immediate supply of men. I have therefore written to Connecticut and to the Convention of your Province to call out the Militia immediately; but as it may take some time, and the necessity admits of no delay, I have thought it proper to apply to you also, under the resolution of Congress of last June, (copy of which was sent you when Lord Howe' s fleet first arrived,) to beg you would use your utmost exertions to forward this most necessary measure. The consequences to the American interest of any failure here, are so obvious, that I need not enlarge upon them. Your own good judgment will suggest everything proper.

It would be a great saving of time and expense, if the Militia, when they come, would always equip themselves with arms, ammunition, blankets, canteens, and kettles, as far as they can. And in any order given on the present occasion, I would wish you to notice it specially.

I am, with much truth and regard, sir, your most obedient and very humble servant,

To Brig˙ Gen˙ William Livingston, New Jersey Militia.