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TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. IX (1780-1782) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890). Vol. IX (1780-1782).
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TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.
Head-Quarters, near Passaic Falls,
I have been honored with your Excellency’s favors of the 10th and 14th Instants—The advance of the British army towards the borders of North Carolina is an alarming circumstance, more especially as there is every reason to believe, that the force which lately sailed from New York is intended to coöperate with them.1 The enemy, by several accounts, received a reinforcement from Europe in the last fleet. It is said by some to consist of two British regiments, about seven hundred German recruits, and some from Scotland. If so, this new accession is nearly equal to their late detachment; but others again say the reinforcement consists wholly of recruits. I have heard nothing directly from the northward since my letter of the 16th. There are reports, that the enemy retired after destroying Fort Anne, Fort George, and burning some houses. It is thought and perhaps not without foundation, that this incursion was made upon a supposition, that Arnold’s treachery had succeeded.1
Colonel Brodhead has in many of his late letters expressed his apprehension of the consequences, which may result from the want of provisions, should the enemy, agreeably to their threats, invest the post of Fort Pitt this winter. But by a letter from him of the 14th of September, matters had proceeded to such extremities, that the garrison, headed by the non-commissioned officers, had waited upon him, and he says in a decent manner remonstrated upon the hardship of having been without bread for five days. Upon being told that every thing would be done to relieve them, they retired in good order. Colonel Brodhead adds, that the country is not deficient in resources, but that public credit is exhausted, and will no longer procure supplies. Congress will therefore see the necessity of either furnishing the commissary to the westward with a competent sum of money, or of obtaining from the State of Pennsylvania an assurance, that the part of the quota of supplies demanded of her by the requisition of Congress of February last, and directed to be deposited in the magazines to the westward, which were intended for the support of Fort Pitt, shall be immediately laid in, if it has not been already done. The importance of that post to the whole western frontier is so great, as not to admit of its being left to any risk, if it can be avoided. * * *
Since I began this letter, I have received advices from Governor Clinton at Albany, who mentions that a party of the enemy, which came from the northward, had retired by the way of Lake George; but that another party from the westward had penetrated as far as Schoharie, which valuable settlement they had destroyed. The Governor himself was going to Schenectady to make a disposition of the force in that quarter. I have sent up two Continental regiments to his assistance, which I hope will be sufficient to repel the enemy, as they are not represented as very numerous. Fort Schuyler is well garrisoned, and has forty days’ provision in it. I therefore hope no great danger is to be apprehended from the present incursion.
I have the honor to be, &c.1
[1 ]General Leslie sailed from New York on the 16th of October, with about three thousand troops. He was instructed to enter the Chesapeake and establish a post on Elizabeth River, with the design of creating a diversion in favor of Lord Cornwallis’ operations in North Carolina. General Leslie was to be under the command of Lord Cornwallis, and to act on James River towards the Roanoke, but not to pass this latter river without orders from his commander. Should Lord Cornwallis meet with serious opposition in crossing the Yadkin, it was recommended to General Leslie to move upon Cape Fear River, but this was left to his discretion. Should a post be established on the Chesapeake, it was Sir Henry Clinton’s intention to reinforce it with more troops. “But while Washington remains in such force,” said he, “and the French continue at Rhode Island, I do not think it advisable to weaken New York. If, however, he should send any detachments to the southward, I shall most likely do the same.”—MS. Letter from Sir Henry Clinton to Lord George Germaine, November 10th.
[1 ]Early in October the British advanced upon Lake Champlain. October 10th, Fort Ann was invested and surrendered, and three days later Fort George capitulated. After destroying some property in Kings and Queensborough townships, they retired to Ticonderoga, where they remained until the 22d, when an advance towards St. John was begun, but suspended, probably because of the propositions for an exchange of prisoners made by Vermont. (See note to Washington to Schuyler, 14 May, 1781, post.
[1 ]“I have recd. your favors of the 18th and 22d of September and 3d instant. I am obliged by the exertions, you had been making to throw a present supply of provisions into Fort Schuyler; and congratulate you upon your success against the party of savages, which opposed you in your march up. A company of artillery from Colonel Lamb’s regiment is ordered to relieve Captain Brown’s. Warner’s regiment will be incorporated the 1st January. It will not, therefore, be worth while to remove it from its present station, as its time of existence will be so short. Spencer’s will also undergo the same reform.