WASHINGTON, George. Letter signed (''G:o Washington'') to Alexander McDougall (1732-1786), Head Quarters, 23 June 1779. 1page, 4to (seal hole) TEXT IN THE HAND OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON, with Hamilton's free frank (''Public Service''). Watermark of C. I. Honig.
WASHINGTON, George. Letter signed ("G:o Washington") to Alexander McDougall (1732-1786), Head Quarters, 23 June 1779. 1page, 4to (seal hole) TEXT IN THE HAND OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON, with Hamilton's free frank ("Public Service"). Watermark of C. I. Honig.
A BATTLEFIELD DISPATCH: "45 MINUTES PAST 9 P.M," AS THE BRITISH THREATEN WEST POINT
A dramatic communication, giving us a real-time sense of a swiftly changing situation: "Half an Hour ago I received your note at eight P.M.," Washington writes. "In consequence of the intelligence Col. Butler communicates I have directed General Putnam to advance a brigade early in the morning to the Forrest of Deane. If you receive any further advice, you will be pleased instantly to give me notice of it; and at the same time, send a messenger to General Putnam, that he may be the more certain of receiving the speediest information." In a postscript he adds, "I take it for granted you have given notice to the troops on the East Side."
On 1 June the British captured Stony Point and Verplank's Point, about a dozen miles south of West Point on the Hudson. Washington thought at first they intended to strike at West Point and he moved the main body of his force into the Smith's Clove to make ready. Reports of Redcoats reconnoitering the landings at Kings Ferry made him wonder whether their next move might be up or down the river. At 10:30 p.m. Washington sent another letter to General Putnam ordering him to move Smallwood's brigade into the Forest of Deane, an iron mine built in the early 1750s, located about five miles west of Fort Montgomery. Two days later, on the 25th, it was clear to Washington that "the enemy seem to be in suspense," awaiting reinforcements to strengthen their ability to attack West Point and the other fortifications along the Hudson Highlands. On 28 June he ordered Anthony Wayne to plan an attack on Stony Point, and Washington made his own reconnaissance of the target on 6 July, where he saw that British fortifications were incomplete and vulnerable. Wayne launched his bold and successful nighttime attack that recaptured Stony Point on 16 July. A dramatic battlefield communique and a wonderful association of two great Founders, Washington and Hamilton.