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General Washington to General Lee



Newark, November 24th, 1776.

DEAR SIR: I wrote you this morning of the probability that some of your letters to me had fallen with the mail into the enemy' s hands. My apprehensions on that head have been since confirmed by direct intelligence from their camp. I am informed that a letter from you is confidently said to have come to their hands, and that measures are taken to intercept your march. To prevent them from effecting this object, I have judged it proper to acquaint you of this accident, and of their design; at the same time I must request that you will take every precaution to come by a safe and secure route. I am told by those who have an intimate knowledge of the country, that after you leave Haverstraw the western road by Kakiate will be proper for you to take. But I will not undertake to prescribe any one in particular, only observing, that you will by all means keep between the enemy and the mountains.

Before I conclude, I would wish you to leave under the care of General Heath, the two twelve-pounders on traveling carriages. They will be safe with him at Peekskill. The brass twenty-four I would have you bring, provided it can be done without great inconvenience.

I need not urge the necessity of your gaining intelligence of the enemy' s situation in the course of your march; I will be silent on that head; nor need I mention, the propriety of your sending frequent expresses, to advise of your approaches. Hoping and trusting that your arrival will be safe and happy, I am, dear sir, your most obedient servant,


To Major-General Lee.

P˙S. The expresses should come by the western road otherwise they may fall in with the enemy. Enclosed you will receive a copy of sundry resolves of Congress, which you will publish in orders.