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William De Hart to Samuel Tucker



Staton-Island, January 25, 1776.

DEAR SIR: I am now on my return from Long-Island, and expect to see you at Elizabethtown to-morrow morning. All our men are well, no accident by land or water, nor the appearance of it. I could not join Colonel Heard, at Bergen town, by reason of excessive weather and distance, of bad roads, and late at night, and pointed in the boats for Paulus-Hook, but was unable to reach it, by reason of the high wind, and obliged to put into New-York, where I provided good quarters for our men in the barracks. Early next morning I proceeded to join Colonel Heard, who I came up with about four miles out of town. But a few of Colonel Heard' s Militia having come up, I was obliged to quarter our men at Hellgate, and the next day got as far as Jamaica, staid there two days, and then marched to Hempstead, and staid at that place two days more, when we joined, which I think might have been much earlier. Discovered that a much smaller number might answer our purpose, and Colonel Heard proposed to me to separate, which I humbly agreed to, and informed him of my approbation of going or staying, as might be most agreeable to him; but suggested the hint, as less troops might serve, which would be less expensive to the Continent. However, he informed me that it was a Militia business, and it was most proper for them to stay, and ordered me to return home, which I heartily consented with, and left him last Wednesday, with about six or seven hundred Militia at Hempstead, where great numbers of Tories were every hour coining in, and delivering up their arms without the least appearance of opposition. I suppose they may deliver up about five hundred arms, and if they transport them by water, they may be worth the freight.

I have the happiness of informing you, that our men have behaved with the greatest degree of civility towards the inhabitants of Long-Island, but some little complaint happened about some New-York Volunteers, which, upon examining into, proved of very little consequence. I am now happy in returning from a place being deserving of correction, and effected with so little difficulty, from the consideration of their being our neighbours.

I am your Lordship' s most humble servant,