Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. VII (1778-1779)
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TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. VII (1778-1779) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890). Vol. VII (1778-1779).
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TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.
Ringwood Iron-Works, 6 June, 1779.
On the 3d I had the Honor to address Your Excellency from Middle Brook and Morris Town—and to transmit you all the intelligence I had then received respecting the movements of the enemy on the North River; and of the measures I had taken and was about to pursue in consequence.
I am now to inform you, according to the advices I have obtained, that, on the 2d in the morning, the Enemy opened a Battery at Stony Point, which lies on the West side of the Hudson at the landing at King’s Ferry, against a small detached work which had been erected on Verplanck’s Point, on the East side, and kept up a constant fire upon it, in conjunction with their Ships, till four in the afternoon, when the party stationed in it, finding that it was also invested on the land side in force, surrendered by capitulation.2 The next day, that part of the Enemy, which was landed on the East side of the River, computed at five thousand, advanced to the Bald Hill below the Continental Village, when it was expected that they meant to attack our troops in that quarter and to gain, if possible, Nelson’s Point opposite to Fort Arnold,1 while Sir Henry Clinton, with the remainder of the army, should proceed from Haverstraw Bay against the Fort, by the routes on the West side. This however was not attempted, and the body of the Enemy, that appeared before the village, returned, without making any attack, to the ground from which they had moved. The Enemy have remained since in two divisions on the opposite sides of the River. Their Vessels have generally fallen down below King’s Ferry, and twelve square-rigged, with Eight of a smaller size and Fifteen flat-bottomed boats, with troops on board, stood down the River yesterday, and were seen till they turned the Point, which forms the upper part of Tappan Bay. The rest of the fleet (the whole of which is reported to have consisted of about Seventy sail, and a hundred & fifty flat-bottomed boats great & small) keep their station; and the division of troops on this side, from the latest advices, were very industriously employed yesterday in fortifying Stony Point, which, from its peninsular and commanding form, is naturally strong, and which, from the narrowness of the neck, that connects it to the main, may be insulated and maintained without very great difficulty. This, Sir, is a summary of the intelligence, and of the situation of the Enemy.1
Their movements and conduct are very perplexing, and leave it difficult to determine what are their real objects. However, as the posts in the Highlands are of infinite consequence, and the point in which we can be most essentially injured, I shall take every measure in my power to provide for their security, and accordingly shall make such a disposition of the army as shall best promise to answer the end. If they should not operate against those posts, it would seem that one part of their expedition, and a principal one, is, to cut off the communication by the way of King’s Ferry by establishing Garrisons. I have the honor to be, &c.
[2 ]The enemy landed in two divisions, one on the east side of the river under General Vaughan, eight miles below Verplanck’s Point, and the other on the west side three miles below Stony Point, where the garrison consisted of about forty men. They evacuated the post, as the enemy approached, on the 31st of May. Opposite to Stony Point was a small fort at Verplanck’s Point, called Fort Lafayette. This was garrisoned by a company of seventy men, commanded by Captain Armstrong, who was compelled to surrender when attacked by the cannonade from Stony Point, and by General Vaughan’s party on the other side. The following were the terms of the capitulation.
[1 ]Fort Arnold was at West Point.
[1 ]Sir Henry Clinton, who commanded this expedition in person, was not entirely satisfied at the present juncture with the instructions he received from the ministry, and the part he was made to act. In writing to Lord George Germaine, after stating the numerous difficulties with which he had been obliged to contend, and hinting at the apparent want of confidence implied by the tenor of the instructions lately received, he goes on to say: “Is it to be supposed, that I am not on the watch to profit by every favorable disposition in any part of the continent, or to improve every accidental advantage of circumstances? I am on the spot; the earliest and most exact intelligence on every point ought naturally to reach me. It is my interest, as well as my duty, more than any other person’s living, to inform myself minutely and justly of the particular views, connexions, state, and temper of every province, nay, of every set of men within the limits of my command, and it is my business to mark every possible change in their situation. Why then, my Lord, without consulting me, will you admit the ill-digested or interested suggestions of people, who cannot be competent judges of the subject, and puzzle me by hinting wishes, with which I cannot agree, and yet am loath to disregard? For God’s sake, my Lord, if you wish that I should do any thing, leave me to myself, and let me adapt my efforts to the hourly change of circumstances, and take the risk of my want of success. I do not wish to be captious, but I certainly have not had that attention paid to my wishes, and that satisfaction, which the weight of my situation, and the hopes which you held forth for me, gave me reason to expect.”—New York, May 22d.