Washington, George, 1732-1799. The writings of George Washington from the original manuscript sources: Volume 4
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To THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS Cambridge, January 11, 1776.

    Sir: Every Account I have out of Boston, confirms the Embarkation of Troops as mentioned in my last, which from the Season of the Year and other circumstances must be destined for some expedition to the Southward of this. I have therefore thought it prudent to send Major General Lee to New York, I have given him Letters recommentory to Governor Trumbull, and to the Committee of Safety of New York, there are good hopes that in Connecticut he will get many Volunteers, who I have some reason to think, will accompany him on this expedition, without more expence to the Continent than their maintenance, but should it be otherwise and that they will expect pay, I think it is a trifling consideration when put in competition with the importance of the object, which is to put the City of New York such parts of the North River and long Island as to him shall seem proper, in that state of defence, which the Season of the Year and circumstances will admit of so as, if possible to prevent the Enemy forming a lodgment in that Government, which I am afraid contains too many persons disaffected to the cause of Liberty and America. -- I have also wrote to Lord Stirling to give all the Assistance that he can with the Troops under his Command in the Continental Service, provided it does not interfere with any Orders, he may receive from Congress relative to them.

    I hope the Congress will approve of my Conduct in sending General Lee upon this Expedition. I am sure I mean it well as


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experience teaches us, that it is much easier to prevent an Enemy from posting themselves, than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession.

    The Evening of the 8th. instant a party of our men under the command of Major Knowlton were ordered to go and burn some houses which lay at the foot of Bunkers Hill and at the head of Charles Town they were also ordered to bring of the Guard which we expected consisted of an officer and thirty men. they crossed the Mill dam about half after eight O'Clock, and gallantly executed their design having burnt eight Houses, and brought with them a Serjeant and 4 privates of the 10th regiment, there was but one man more there, who making some resistance they were obliged to dispatch. The Gun that killed him was the only one, that was discharged by our men, tho' several hundred were fired by the Enemy from within their Works; but in so confused a manner, that not one of our people was hurt. Our Inlistments go on very heavyly. I am &ca. 14

[Note:In the writing of Stephen Moylan. ]