Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO GOVERNOR TRUMBULL. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. IV (1776)
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TO GOVERNOR TRUMBULL. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. IV (1776) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1889). Vol. IV (1776).
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TO GOVERNOR TRUMBULL.
Head-Quarters,New York, 7 August, 1776.
By two deserters this day, we have the following intelligence, namely, that General Clinton and Lord Cornwallis, with the whole southern army, have arrived and landed on Staten Island from South Carolina, in number about three or four thousand; that the fleet, which came in a few days since, are the Hessians and Scotch Highlanders, part of twelve thousand, who were left off Newfoundland; in the whole making about thirty thousand men; and that, it is said by the officers of the navy and army, they are to attack New York and Long Island, &c., in the course of a week. The uncommon movements of the fleet this day, together with the above intelligence, convince us, that, in all human probability, there can but a very few days pass, before a general engagement takes place.1 When I consider the weakness of our army by sickness, the great extent of ground we have to defend, and the amazing slowness with which the levies come forward, I think it absolutely necessary that the neighboring militia should be immediately sent to our assistance; and, agreeably to your letter of the 6th of July, I have ordered the colonels with their regiments to march, with all convenient speed, to this place.
The disgrace of the British arms at the southward, and the season being far advanced, will make them exert every nerve against us in this quarter. To trust altogether in the justice of our cause, without our own utmost exertions, would be tempting Providence; and, that you may judge of our situation, I give you the present state of our army.1 By this, you will see, we are to oppose an army of thirty thousand experienced veterans, with about one third the number of raw troops, and these scattered some fifteen miles apart. This will be handed you by Mr. Root. To him I must refer you for further particulars; and have the pleasure to be your Honor’s most obedient servant.2
[1 ]“They [the deserters] further add that when they left Carolina one transport got on shore, so that they were not able to give her relief, upon which she surrendered with 5 companies of Highlanders to General Lee, who after taking everything valuable out of her, burnt her; that the admiral turned General Clinton out of his ship after the engagement with a great deal of abuse; great differences between the principal naval and military gentlemen. That the ships left in Carolina are now in such a weakly distressed condition they would fall an easy prey.
[1 ]Present fit for duty, 10,514; sick present, 3,039; sick absent, 629; on command, 2,946; on furlough, 97; total, 17,225. This return was made on the third, and included troops in New York, Governor’s and Long Islands, and at Paulus Hook.
[2 ]Governor Trumbull replied with his usual promptness and spirit:—“Immediately upon receipt of your letter I summoned my Council of Safety, and ordered nine regiments of our militia in addition to the five western regiments, fourteen in the whole, to march without loss of time and join you, under the command of Oliver Wolcott, colonel of a regiment, as their brigadier-general, who is appointed and commissioned to that office. I have likewise proposed, that companies of volunteers, consisting of able-bodied men not in the militia, should associate and march to your assistance, under officers they should choose, and I have promised them the same wages and allowance of provisions, that the Continental army receives. Colonel Ward’s regiment is on its march to join you. I am far from trusting merely in the justice of our cause. I consider that as a just ground to hope for the smiles of Heaven on our exertions, which ought to be the greatest in our power. These fourteen regiments, sent on the present emergency, consist of substantial farmers, whose business requires their return, when the necessity of their further stay in the army is over; and I doubt not your attention thereto, and that you will dismiss them in whole, or in part, as soon as you think it safe and convenient.”