Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. IV (1776)
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TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. - 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 THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.
New York, 12 August, 1776.
I have been duly honored with your favors of the 8th and 10th instant, with their several inclosures. I shall pay attention to the resolution respecting Lieutenant Josiah, and attempt to relieve him from his rigorous usage.1 Your letters to such of the gentlemen as were here have been delivered. The rest will be sent by the first opportunity. Since my last, of the 8th and 9th, the enemy have made no movements of consequence. They remain nearly in the same state; nor have we any further intelligence of their designs. They have not been yet joined by the remainder of the fleet with the Hessian troops. Colonel Smallwood and his battalion got in on Friday; and Colonel Miles is also here, with two battalions more of Pennsylvania riflemen.
The Convention of this State have been exerting themselves to call forth a portion of their militia to an encampment forming above Kingsbridge, to remain in service for the space of one month after their arrival; and also half of those in King and Queen’s counties, to reinforce the troops on Long Island till the 1st of September, unless sooner discharged. General Morris too is to take post with his brigade on the Sound and Hudson’s river for ten days, to annoy the enemy in case they attempt to land; and others of their militia are directed to be in readiness, in case their aid should be required.1 Upon the whole, from the information I have from the Convention, the militia ordered are now in motion, or will be so in a little time, and will amount to about three thousand or more. From Connecticut I am not certain what succors are coming. By one or two gentlemen, who have come from thence, I am told some of the militia were assembling, and, from the intelligence they had, would march this week. By a letter from Governor Trumbull of the 5th I am advised, that the troops from that State, destined for the northern army, had marched for Skenesborough. General Ward too, by a letter of the 4th, informs me that the two regiments would march from Boston last week, having been cleansed and generally recovered from the smallpox. I have also countermanded my orders to Colonel Elmore, and directed him to join the northern army, having heard, after my orders to Connecticut for his marching hither, that he and most of his regiment were at Albany or within its vicinity. General Ward mentions, that the Council of the Massachusetts State will have in from two to three thousand of their militia to defend their lines and different posts, in lieu of the regiments ordered from thence agreeably to the resolution of Congress.
The enclosed copy of a resolve of this State, passed the 10th instant, will discover the apprehension they are under of the defection of the inhabitants of King’s county from the common cause, and of the measures they have taken thereupon. I have directed General Greene to give the Committee such assistance as he can, and they may require, in the execution of their commission; though at the same time I wish the information the Convention have received upon the subject may prove groundless. I would beg leave to mention to Congress, that, in a letter I received from General Lee, he mentions the valuable consequences that would result from a number of cavalry being employed in the southern department. Without them, to use his own expressions, he can answer for nothing; with one thousand, he would ensure the safety of those States. I should have done myself the honor of submitting this matter to Congress before, at his particular request, had it not escaped my mind. From his acquaintance with that country, and the nature of the grounds, I doubt not he has weighed the matter well, and presume he has fully represented the advantages, that would arise from the establishment of such a corps. All I mean is, in compliance with his requisition, to mention the matter, that such consideration may be had upon it, if not already determined, that it may be deserving of.1 . . . I am, &c.2
[1 ]Journals of Congress, 7 August, 1776. Josiah was first lieutenant under Captain Biddle.
[1 ]The Convention ordered, “that each man, who shall not have arms, shall bring with him a shovel, spade, pickaxe, or a scythe straightened and fixed on a pole.” One fifth part of the militia from Albany county were also ordered to be drafted, and marched immediately to the encampment north of Kings-bridge: and it was “unanimously resolved, that, whenever the whole of the militia of any country should be ordered to march, they should bring with them all the disarmed and disaffected male inhabitants, from sixteen to fifty-five years of age, who should serve as fatigue-men to the respective regiments.”—MS. Journal of the Convention, August 10th. On the same day, having learned that the inhabitants of King’s county, Long Island, did not intend to oppose the enemy, the Convention appointed a committee to go into that country, and, if they found them in this temper, to disarm and secure the disaffected persons, remove or destroy the stock of grain, and, if they should judge it necessary, to lay the whole country waste. They were authorized to call on General Greene, who commanded in that quarter, for such assistance from the Continental troops as they should want.
[1 ]“An order is this moment passed for calling General Lee from the southward.”—Hancock to Washington, 8 August, 1776.
[2 ]Read in Congress, August 14th.