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Letter from General Lee to General Washington



New-Haven, January 16, 1776.

DEAR GENERAL: We have been so baffled by the weather, that we only arrived here last night. I believe we shall find no difficulties in procuring a sufficient body of volunteers for the New-York expedition. The unhappy accounts from Canada, seem to animate these people, rather than depress. Indeed, we have now occasion for exertion and decision. I am apprehensive that the Congress must be inspired by you. They have just given a strong, and, I think, unfortunate instance of indecision. Colonel Waterbury had raised a regiment; the regiment was equipped and ready for embarkation. They were to have landed in Oyster-Bay, to have attacked the Tories in Long-Island. Lord Stirling was to have attacked them on the other side; all this by order of Congress; when suddenly, Colonel Waterbury received an order to disband his regiment, and the Tories are to remain unmolested till they are joined by the King' s assassins.

Governour Trumbull, like a man of sense and spirit, has ordered this regiment to be reassembled; I believe it will be ready on Sunday, the day on which I shall march from this town. I shall send immediately an express; to the Congress, informing them of my situation, and at the same time conjuring them not to suffer the accursed Provincial Congress of New-York to defeat measures so absolutely necessary to salvation. The affairs of Canada, will, I suppose, very soon, if not instantly require a very considerable force from this Province; neither will the circumstances of New-York admit of its being too much stripped of men, for which reason I should think it advisable immediately to raise some additional regiments in Massachusetts-Bay. Adieu, dear General. God prosper you, and the arms of virtue.

Yours, most sincerely,

To General Washington.