Primary tabs

doc_id n="S5-V3-P03-sp01-D0276">

Colonel Malcom to General Heath



Niack, December 9th, 1776.

SIR: I had the honour to write you a few lines on Saturday. A few hours thereafter, I was alarmed by repeated expresses, with accounts that a large body of the enemy were advancing within about three miles to cut off my detachment. I formed, and took post in the gorge of the mountains, the field-pieces in the road, and the wings of my little party extended to the heights on each side. Under this disposition, I ventured out three small scouts to give me timely notice of their approach; however, they returned, after the notable exploit of cutting down a liberty pole at Toppan, making prisoner the father of one of my Lieutenants, and stealing a horse and two oxen. Yesterday I marched a party within three miles of the new bridge, at Hackensack, raised a terrible uproar among the Tories as well as in the enemy' s little camp. They abandoned their houses and guard-houses as the party advanced; however, one was not so light-footed as his companions, and got taken. His name is Pierson, an arch Tory, and was with the party who came up on Saturday. I have sent him and the negro to Colonel Hay' s, to wait your orders. My men seem to expect something to fall to them out of the value of the Ethiopian. If they should be destined for Fishkill, Colonel Hay can send them over very speedily.

The fleet is gone down last night, so that I shall be of little use here. I have some thoughts of moving up to Clerktown to-day. If your Honour should think fit to reinforce me, I would move downward; but dare not, (to make a road,) with my present force. I have harassed them so much that I have some doubts whether they will not endeavour to rout me, which they have threatened several days past. The country in general appears to be against us, either through fear or inclination, and I can get no intelligence upon which I can depend. I shall follow your Honour' s orders; and am, with due respect, sir, your most obedient servant,