Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. III (1775-1776)
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TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. III (1775-1776) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1889). Vol. III (1775-1776).
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TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.
Cambridge, 11 January, 1776.
Every account I have out of Boston confirms the embarkation of troops mentioned in my last, which, from the season of the year and other circumstances, must be destined for some expedition to the southward of this. I have therefore thought it prudent to send Major-General Lee to New York. I have given him letters recommendatory to Governor Trumbull, and to the Committee of Safety at New York. I have good hopes that in Connecticut he will get many volunteers, who, I have some reason to think, will accompany him on this expedition, without more expense to the continent than their maintenance. But should it be otherwise, and should they expect pay, I think it is a trifling consideration, when put in competition with the importance of the object, which is to put the city of New York, with such parts of the North River and Long Island, as to him shall seem proper, in that state of defence, which the season of the year and circumstances will admit of, so as, if possible, to prevent the enemy from forming a lodgment in that government, which, I am afraid, contains too many persons disaffected to the cause of liberty and America. I have also written to Lord Stirling to give him all the assistance that he can, with the troops under his command in the Continental service, provided it does not interfere with any orders he may receive from Congress relative to them.1
I hope the Congress will approve of my conduct in sending General Lee upon this expedition. I am sure I meant it well, as experience teaches us, that it is much easier to prevent an enemy from posting themselves, than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession. The evening of the 8th. instant a party of our men under the command of Major Knowlton were ordered to go and burn some houses which lay at the foot of Bunker’s Hill, and at the head of Charlestown; they were also ordered to bring off the guard which we expected consisted of an officer and 30 men. They crossed the milldam about half after eight o’clock and gallantly executed their business, having burnt eight houses, and brought with them a sergeant and four privates of the 10th Regiment. There was but one man more there, who making some resistance they were obliged to despatch. The gun that killed him was the only one that was discharged by our men, tho’ several hundreds were fired by the enemy from within their works, but in so confused a manner, that not one of our people was hurt. Our inlistments go on very heavily.1
[1 ]William Alexander, known by the title of the Earl of Stirling, was born in New York. He served in a military capacity, during the former war, under General Shirley, and passed several years in England. While there, he made a claim to the Scottish earldom of Stirling, which he was believed to have legally established, but the decision of the House of Lords was unfavorable. By courtesy, however, the title was always afterwards granted to him. On his return to America, he took up his residence in New Jersey. He was by Congress appointed colonel of the first battalion of New Jersey troops, on the 7th of November, 1775, and in March following was raised to the rank of brigadier-general. A brief and well written sketch of the life of Lord Stirling may be found in Sedgwick’s Memoir of the Life of William Livingston, p. 213.
[1 ]Read in Congress January 22.