[Document, 1776 September 06]


[Document, 1776 September 06]
Library Location
Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University
Scott, John Morin, 1730-1784 (Author)
Yates, Abraham (Addressee)
Digital Project
Papers of John Jay
September 06, 1776
Physical Description
4 pages
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783; Jay, John, 1745-1829
In answer to the Convention's request for information about events in New York, Scott describes the retreat from Long Island, a retreat made necessary because they could not defend their lines and because the English threatened to encircle them. The resolution to retreat was unanimous, and was accomplished without the loss of a single soldier although some heavy cannon had to be abandoned. The retreat cost them Governor's Island. He cannot estimate what their loss on Long Island amounted to. He notes, however, that morale is very low among the troops and that everyone is eagerly awaiting the arrival of General Lee, who it is hoped will revive the spirits of the troops. At present the army is divided into three divisions. One is in the city where Scott and his brigade are under the command of Major General Putnam. A second division is under Major General Spencer and it is situated between Harlem and the first division. A third is under Major General Heath at Kings Bridge. They are unaware of the enemy's plans but he suspects that they will make an attempt on Westchester County in order to cut their communications with the continent. He favors abandoning the city and making a strong post at Kings Bridge heights while armed vessels are placed at the mouth of Spuyten Devil on the East River. "God knows what will be the event of this campaign," laments Scott, but he assures the Convention that he will not disgrace their appointment. General Woodhull was recently made prisoner. In a postscript he notes that the army is badly paid and wretchedly fed. About 1,100 men arrived from the southward. A deserter reports that there are 3,000 foreign troops on Staten Island and there is a rumor that there are 26,000 enemy troops on Long Island, though he thinks the latter figure an exaggeration.