Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. IX (1780-1782)
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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,New Windsor,
I do myself the honor to inform Congress, that I returned from Weathersfield on the evening of the 25th. I met only the Count de Rochambeau at that place, accompanied by the Chevalier de Chastellux. The British fleet having appeared off Block Island, the Count de Barras did not think it prudent to be absent. In consequence of the measures concerted at the late interview, all the French troops, except about two hundred to be left as a guard over their heavy stores and baggage at Providence, are to march as soon as circumstances will admit, and form a junction with me upon the North River. Five hundred militia are to be stationed upon Rhode Island for the preservation of the works, which have been erected, and for the security of the harbor.
Upon a full consideration of affairs in every point of view, an operation against New York has been deemed preferable to making further detachments to the southward, while they can only be sent by land. The principal reasons, which induced to this determination, are as follows: the difficulty and expense of transportation, the lateness of the season, which would throw the troops into the extremity of the heat of summer; the great waste of men, which we have ever experienced in so long a march at the healthiest season; and, above all, a strong presumption, that the enemy, weakened as they now are by detachments, must either sacrifice the valuable post of New York and its dependencies, or recall a part of their force from the southward to defend them.
The Continental battalions, from New Hampshire to New Jersey inclusive, (supposing them complete,) aided by four thousand French troops, and such a reinforcement of militia as the operation after its commencement may seem to require, have been deemed adequate to the attempt upon New York with its present garrison. But, as the battalions of those States are still considerably deficient, I have written in the most pressing manner to the respective legislatures, to make up such deficiencies with men for the campaign only, if they cannot be obtained for a longer term, and have desired the governors to hold certain numbers of militia ready for service, should I have occasion to call for them. I am however determined to require no more, than are absolutely necessary. I shall also call on the State of Pennsylvania to hold sixteen hundred militia in readiness.
Congress have been made so fully acquainted with the difficulties of every kind, under which the military department labors, that they must be sensible that nothing but the most vigorous exertions on the part of the States to supply men, provisions, and the means of transportation, can enable me to prosecute to effect the operations, which I have agreed, in conjunction with the army of our ally, to undertake, or indeed any other. At the time I made my requisitions upon them, I summed up every argument in my power to induce a compliance; but, should I find any hesitation, I shall hope for the countenance and support of Congress.
I am very apprehensive of a formidable invasion of the northern frontier, as the enemy from Canada are undoubtedly collecting in considerable force at Crown Point. Should this be the case, it will cause a very unfortunate diversion, and be very embarrassing just at this time, when our whole force will be required here. The necessity, which I clearly foresee we shall be under, of carrying every man, who can be spared from other duties, into the field, induces me to request an order for such men of the invalid corps at Boston and Philadelphia, as are fit for garrison duty, may be ordered to march to West Point, where their services will be the same as those upon which they are now employed, and where they may be very useful.
There has been a necessity of abandoning the post of Fort Schuyler, and removing the garrison and stores to the German Flats. The barracks had been, the beginning of this month, consumed by fire, and the works so exceedingly damaged by the heavy rain storm that they were rendered indefensible; nor could they be repaired in any reasonable time by the number of men, who could be spared as a garrison. Brigadier-General Clinton recommended the evacuation of the post, as the only alternative, to which I the more readily consented, as it had been for some time past the opinion of the officers best acquainted with that part of the country, that a post at the German Flats would be more easily supported, and equally advantageous to the security of the frontier. Upon my return I found your Excellency’s favors of the 17th and 20th, and Mr. Secretary Thomson’s of the 10th. I shall pay due attention to their contents. I am, &c.