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, Heights of Haerlem,
* * * * * *
I must beg your excuse, for not having wrote you of late upon the situation of our affairs, and such events as have occurred in the military line. I shall only add, that the important concerns, which have commanded my closest attention, have been the cause, and, I am fully persuaded, will furnish me with a sufficient apology. Of the evacuation of the city of New York on Sunday sen’night, and the retreat to this place, you will have heard before now, and of the manner in which it was conducted. I am certain, a minute relation of them would only increase the uneasiness, which would naturally arise upon hearing the events; and, therefore, as I have not time, I shall not enter upon it.
The Enemy by their movements having unfolded their plan of Operations and discovered that they declined making a direct attack upon the Town, and that their designs were to land in our rear and cut off all intercourse with the Country; at the same time to prevent any Communication with the Jersey and States South of the North River, by means of their Ships of War; it became necessary to adopt such measures, as seemed best calculated to baffle their schemes and promote the common Interests. To these ends, a Council of Officers determined the evacuation of the city absolutely necessary, and I have only to wish, that it had been made in a way more honorable and with less loss of Baggage; which might have been the case, had the Troops that remained there for the defence of the Lines, not betaken themselves to a most precipitate and disgraceful flight, contrary to the exertions of their General Officers and every effort in my Power to prevent and form them. Having gone from hence, as soon as the Ships began their Cannonade, and whither I had come the night before to the main Body of our Army, in expectation of an Attack that night or the next morning; as the parade of the Enemy, and the unusual stir amongst them strongly indicated one. The next morning, several large Columns of them appeared on the Plains, at the distance of about two miles and a half below us, and some smart skirmishes ensued between their advanced parties composed of the 2d Battalion of Infantry, a Regiment of Royal Highlanders, and three Companies of the Hessian Chasseurs or Rifle men, and the detachments which I sent out to oppose them. Upon this occasion, our men behaved with great spirit and Intrepidity, putting the Enemy to flight and forcing them from their Posts two or three times. Our people buried Sixteen or Eighteen of their dead, as they say; and a sergeant who has since deserted reports, they had Eighty nine missing and wounded. Our Loss in number is inconsiderable but must be considered as great, in the fall of Lieut. Colo. Knowlton of your State who commanded a party of Rangers, composed of Volunteers from the several New England Regiments, and who was a brave and good officer. Every honor was paid to his merit in his Interment, that the situation of things would admit of.
The enemy have formed a large encampment in the plains, or rather heights, below us, extending across as it were from the East to the North River; but have attempted nothing as yet of a general nature. We are making every disposition in our power for defence, and I should hope, from the ground we are on, if they make an attack, and our men behave with tolerable resolution and firmness, that they will meet with a repulse, or at least, any advantage they gain will be attended with sorrow and a considerable loss. Major Leitch, who led on a detachment of the Virginia regiment in the affair of Monday, received three balls through one side; he still retains his spirits, and seems as if he would recover.1 On Friday night, about eleven or twelve o’clock, a fire broke out in the city of New York, which, burning rapidly till after sunrise next morning, destroyed a great number of houses. By what means it happened we do not know; but the gentleman, who brought the letter from General Howe last night, and who was one of his aide-de-camps informed Colonel Reed, that several of our countrymen had been punished with various deaths on account of it, some by hanging, others by burning &c; alleging, that they were apprehended when committing the fact. I am, &c.
P. S. I would choose that Governors Brown & Skene should be stopt when they come within Ten or twelve miles and detained until one of the escort can inform me of their coming and receive my directions respecting them.
[1 ]He soon grew worse, and died of his wounds on the 1st of October.