Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO MAJOR-GENERAL LEE. INSTRUCTIONS. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. V (1776-1777)
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TO MAJOR-GENERAL LEE. INSTRUCTIONS. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. V (1776-1777) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890). Vol. V (1776-1777).
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TO MAJOR-GENERAL LEE.
The late movement of the Enemy, and the probability of their having designs upon the Jerseys, (confirmed by sundry accounts from deserters and prisoners,) rendering it necessary to throw a body of troops over the North River, I shall immediately follow, and the command of the army, which remains, (after General Heath’s division marches to Peekskill,) devolving upon you,
I have to request
That you will be particularly attentive that all the intrenching and other tools (excepting those in immediate use) be got together, and delivered to the Quarter Master General, or Major Reed, who heretofore has been intrusted with them.
That you will direct the commanding officer of Artillery, to exert himself, in having the Army well supplied with Musket Cartridges; for this purpose a convenient place at a distance, should be fixed on, that the business may go on uninterrupted.
That no troops who have been furnished, with Arms, Accoutrements, or Camp utensils, be suffered to depart the Camp, before they have delivered them, either to the Commissary of Stores or the Quarter Master General, (or his Assistant) as the case may be, taking receipts therefor, in exoneration of those which they have passed. In a particular manner let the tents be taken care of, committed to the Quarter Master General’s care.
A little time now must manifest the Enemy’s designs, point out to you the measures proper to be pursued by that part of the army under your command. I shall give no directions, therefore, on this head, having the most entire confidence in your Judgment and military exertions. One thing, however, I will suggest, namely, that as the appearance of embarking troops for the Jerseys may be intended as a feint to weaken us, and render the strong post we now hold more vulnerable, or if they find that troops are assembled with more expedition and in greater numbers, than they expected, on the Jersey shore to oppose them; I say, as it is possible, from one or the other of the motives, that they may yet pay the army under your command a visit, it will be unnecessary, I am persuaded, to recommend to you the propriety of putting this post, if you stay at it, into a proper posture of defence, and guarding against surprises. But I would recommend it to your consideration, whether, under the suggestion above, your retiring to Croton Bridge, and some strong post still more easterly covering the other passes through the Highlands, may not be more advisable, than to run the hazard of an attack with unequal numbers. At any rate, I think all your baggage and stores, except such as are necessary for immediate use, ought to be to the northward of Croton River. In case of your removal from hence I submit to the consideration of yourself and the General Officers with you, the propriety of destroying the Hay, to prevent the Enemy from reaping the benefit of it. You will consider the post at Croton’s (or Pines) Bridge as under your immediate care, as also that lately occupied by General Parsons and the other at Wright’s mill; the first, I am taught to believe is of consequence, and the other two can be of little use, while the Enemy hover about the North River and upon our right flank.
General Wooster, of the State of Connecticut, and, by order of the Governor, commanding several regiments of militia, is now I presume in or about Stamford; they were to receive orders from me, and they are to of course do it from you. There are also some other regiments of Connecticut militia, who came out with General Saltonstall, and annexed to General Parsons’s brigade; and others, whom you must dispose of as occasion and circumstances shall require; but as, by the late returns, many of those regiments are reduced to little more than a large company, I recommend the discharge of all such supernumerary officers, and the others annexed to some Brigade. As the Season will soon oblige the Enemy to betake themselves to winter-quarters, and will not permit our troops to remain much longer in tents, it may be well to consider in time where magazines of provisions and forage should be laid in for the army on the East side Hudson’s River. Peekskill, or the neighborhood, would, I should think, be a very advantageous post for as many as can be supported there. Croton Bridge may possibly be another good deposit, or somewhere more easterly for the rest, as the Commissary and Quartermaster &c may assist in pointing out.
It may not be amiss to remind you, for it must (as it ought) to have some influence on your deliberations and measures, that the Massachusetts militia stand released from their Contract the 17th this Instant, & that the Connecticut militia are not engaged for any fixed period, &, by what I can learn, begin to grow very impatient to return, and few indeed of whom are left. If the Enemy should remove the whole or the greater part of their force to the West side of Hudson’s River, I have no doubt of your following, with all possible despatch, leaving the militia & Invalids to cover the frontiers of Connecticut in case of need. Given at Head-Quarters, near the White Plains, this 10th day of November, 1776.1
[1 ]“As it is more than probable (unless General Howe should throw his whole force into the Jerseys and bend his course towards Philadelphia,) that there will scarce be a junction of our troops again this season, it may be well for you to consider of a proper partition of the field artillery, artillerists, and stores for each service; and delay no time in the arrangement and despatch of those destined for the western side of Hudson’s River. . . . It is unnecessary to add, that if the army of the enemy should wholly or pretty generally throw themselves across the North River, that General Lee is to follow.”—Washington to Colonel Knox, 10 November, 1776.