Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO GOVERNOR TRUMBULL. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. III (1775-1776)
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TO GOVERNOR TRUMBULL. - 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 GOVERNOR TRUMBULL.
Cambridge, 21 March, 1776.
I received your favour of the 18 Inst. and concur with you in opinion, that their women and children with the Tory Families will most probably goe to Halifax this is what I meant and alluded to, having never suspected that they (especially the latter) would goe to New York.
I am extreemly obliged by your friendly hint and shall ever receive them with pleasure. But I do not think that they were apprehensive of an attack from our side but rather preparing to make one; However let their designs have been what they may, I have the satisfaction to Inform you, that on Sunday morning last they totally evacuated the Town, and we are now in full possession; upon which event I beg leave to congratulate you, and more so, as the Town is in a much better situation than was expected, added to this, they have left by means of their precipitate retreat Stores of one kind & another to a pretty considerable amount, a particular detail of which or estimation of there value, I have not yet got.—Notwithstanding they have abandoned the Town, and there have been favorable winds for their departure, they are still lying with their fleet in Nantasket road, but for what purpose, is a matter of much conjecture, some suposing their Vessels to have been loaded with such hurry and confusion as to be unfit for sea and to require sundry things and arrangements to be settled previous to their goeing out; But for my own part, I cannot but suspect they are waiting for some opportunity to give us a stroke at a moment when they conceive us to be off our guard, in order to retrieve the honor they have lost, by their shamefull and scandelous retreat diminishing from that Lustre and renown which British armies were wont to boast and justly claimed as their right.—Suspecting them of such motives, I shall not detach any more of the Army than what is gone already; untill they have taken their departure and quitted the Coast.
I heartily thank you for your kind attention to my last requisition, and am glad that the Companies you have ordered are of the Militia; the trouble and inconveniences occasioned by them, being far less than what generally attend Voluntiers—Nothing but necessity and the Importance of New York to us in the present contest could have induced the application and therefore as soon as they can be spared by the arrival of our Army, they will be at Liberty to return home to their common and necessary employments except such as may chuse to Inlist and continue in Service.
In compliance with your request, I shall direct the Troops or some of them that goe from hence after the ministerial Fleet are gone, to pursue their Rout on or near the Sea Coast, If they can be accommodated with Covering and provision; that they may be ready to oppose the Enemy in case they make any attempt upon your Colony about the time of their goeing; tho that is what I do not apprehend; I rather suppose when they once set out, that they will repair to New York, or where ever bound with all posible dispatch to secure the place they are destined for by surprize, lest preparations shou’d be made to receive & prevent them. I am, Sir, &c.1
[1 ]“The peculiar situation of Rhode Island and its extensive sea coast had not escaped my mind. I well know the enemy have it in their power to do it considerable damage, unless there is a sufficient force to repel their attempts. But it is the opinion of the general officers here, that their destination is against New York, the importance of which, as it seems the free and only communication between the northern and southern colonies, which will be entirely cut off by their possessing it, and give them the command of Hudson’s River, and an easy pass into Canada, makes it absolutely and indispensably necessary for the whole of this army, which is but inconsiderable, except that part of it which will be left to secure the stores, barracks and other public property, to be marched from hence for its defence with all possible expedition. It is an object that should command our first attention, and if lost, will be of the most fatal consequence to us in the present unhappy and interesting struggle.”—Washington to Governor Cooke, 21 March, 1776.