TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS Head Quarters, Head Quarters, Cambridge, March 13, 1776

SIR: In my letter of the 7th. and gth. Instant, which I had the honor of Addressing you, I mentioned the Intelligence I had received respecting the embarkation of the Troops from Boston and fully expected before this, that the Town would have been entirely evacuated. Altho' I have been deceived and was rather premature in the Opinion ~ had then formed I have little reason to doubt but the event will take place in a very short time, as other Accounts which have come to hand since, the sailing of a great number of Transports from the Harbour to Nantasket Road and many circumstances corresponding therewith seem to confirm & render it unquestionable.

Whether the Town will be destroyed is a matter of much uncertainty, but it would seem from the destruction they are making of sundry pieces of furniture, of many of their Waggons, Carts &cat which they cannot take with 'em, as it is said, that it will not; For if they intended it, the whole might be involved in one general ruin.

Holding it of the last importance in the present contest, tha we should secure New York and prevent the Enemy from possessing it, and conjecturing they have views of that sort and their embarkation to be for that purpose, I judged it necessary under the situation of things here, to call a Council of Generel Officers to consult of such measures as are expedient to be taken at this interesting conjuncture of Affairs. A copy of the proceedings I have the honor to inclose you.

Agreeable to the Opinion of the Council, I shall detach the Rifle Regiment to morrow under the Command of Brigadier General Sullivan with orders to repair to New York, with all possible expedition, which will be succeeded the day after by the other five in one Brigade, they being all that it was thought
advisable to send from hence until the Enemy shall have quitted the Town. Immediately upon their departure, I shall send forward Major General Putnam and will follow myself with the remainder of the Army as soon as I have it in my power; leaving here only such a number of men as circumstances may seem to require.

As the badness of the roads at this Season will greatly retard the March of our men, I have by advice of the General Officers wrote to Governor Trumbull by this express to use his utmost exertions for throwing a reinforcement of two Thousand Men into New York from the Western parts of Connecticut, and to the Commanding Officer there, to apply to the Provincial Convention or Committee of Safety of New Jersey, for a thousand more, for the same purpose, to oppose the Enemy and prevent their getting possession, in case they arrive before our Troops get there, of which there's a probability unless they are impeded by Contrary Winds. This Measure, tho it will be attended with considerable expence, I flatter myself will meet the,\pprobation of Congress. The Lines in Boston and on Boston Nccb point out the propriety aIId sug~est the necessity of keeping; them from gaining possession and making a Lodgement. Should their destination be further southward or for Halifax for the purpose of going into Canada, the Marcl1 of our Troops to New York, will place them nearer the scene of Action and more convenient for affording succours.

We have not taken post on Nuke [Nook's] Hill and fortified it, as mentioned we should in my last. On hearing that the Enemy were about to retreat and leave the Town, It was thougllt imprudent and unadvisable to force them with too much precipitation, that we might gain a little time and prepare for a March. To morrow Evening we shall take possession of it unless they are gone. As New York is oL such imporeance, | prudence and policy require, that every precaution that can be taken, should be adopted to frustrate the designs which the Encmy may have of obtaining possession of it. To this End I have orclcred Vessels to be provided and held ready at Norwich for the embarkation and Transportation of our Troops thither. This I have done with a view not only of expediting their arrival, as it will save several days marching but also that they
may be fresh and fit for intrenching and throwing up Works of defence, as soon as they got there, If they do meet the Enemy to contend with, for neither of which would they be in a proper condition after a long and fatiguing March in bad roads. If Wallace with his Ships should be apprized of thc mcasurc and attempt to prevent it by stopping up the Harbour at New London, they can but pursue their March by Land.

You will be pleased to observe, that it is the Opinion of the General Officers, If the Enemy abandon the Town, that it will be unnecessary to employ or keep any of this Army for its defence, and that I have mentioned on, that event's happening, I shall immediately repair to New York with the remainder of the Army not now detached, leaving only such a Number of Men here as circumstances may seem to require. What I partly allude to is, that as it will take a considerable time for the removal of such a large body of men, as the Divisions must pre cede each other in such order as to allow intermediate time sufficient for 'em to be covered and provided for on the route, and many things done previous to the march of the whole for securing and forwarding such necessaries, as can not be carried Immediately, (if proper to be carried at all) That some directions might be received from Congress, as to the number which they may judge ncccssary to be kept here for these or any other purposes. I could wish to have their commands upon the Sub. ject and in time, as I may be under some degree of embarrass. ment as to their views.

Congress having been pleased to appoint Col. Thompson a Brigadier General, there is a Vacancy for a Colonel in the Reg~ ment he commanded, to which I would beg leave to recom mend the Lieut. Col. Hand. I shall also take the Liberty of recommending Captain Hugh Stevenson of the Virginia Rifle. men to succeed Col. Hand & to be appointed in his place as Lieut. Col. (there being no Major, Magaw the late one being appointed Lt. Col. of one of the Pennsylvania Battalions and gone from hence) He is in my Opinion the fittest person in this Army for it, as well as the oldest Captain in the service, having distinguished himself at the Head of a Rifle Company all the last War and highly merited the approbation of his superior officers.

Col. Mifflin Informed me to day, of his having received Tent Cloths from Mr. Barrett of Philadelphia to the amount of 7,5¡¡£ of Pennsylvania Currency and applied for a Warrant for Payment of it. But our Fund being low & many demands against it, which must he satisfied and our calls for Money will be exceedingly great, I could not grant it, thinking it might be convenient for payment to be made in Philadelphia by your order, on the Treasury there. I have the Honor &cat