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LORD STIRLING TO PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.
New-York, March 14, 1776.
DEAR SIR: In consequence of a message I sent yesterday afternoon to the Convention of this Province, a Committee was appointed to confer with me on the necessary measures for the defence of this city, the result of which is contained in the enclosed papers. From every circumstance, it appears probable that General Washington will not have occasion for more powder than what he was possessed of when the express left him, and the six tons which passed through this place last week, and some small parcels arrived at Eastern ports. The quantity of powder at this place does not exceed three tons.
These considerations, and the probability of a visit from the enemy, have induced me to stop seven tons of powder which arrived here yesterday evening, under the care of George Tudor, on its way to Cambridge . This measure is the occasion of my sending this express, in order that, if I have done wrong, it may be rectified as soon as possible, and another provision of powder be made for this place. However, not much time will be lost by this measure; for the powder is in a most shameful conditionthe casks, many of them, have their heads stove in, and the staves all racked asunder. One half of it would be lost before it could proceed fifty miles in its present state. I have order-ed the whole of it to be put in good, dry, tight casks. I now also send a copy of the orders I have issued since I received General Washingtons letter, which will best show the steps taken for the defence of this place. I intended this morning to have begun the fortifications on Bayards Hill and at the Hospital; but the storm at present prevents our proceeding. As soon as the weather permits, those works, and barricading the streets, will employ us.
I am, most respectfully, your most obedient humble servant,
Regulations agreed to for the defence of the City of NEW-YORK, between Lord STIRLING, General of the Continental Troops, and a Committee of the Provincial Congress of the Colony of NEW-YORK.
Lord Stirling has already ordered Colonel Dayton, with the Third Regiment of New-Jersey Troops, and also six companies of the Second Battalion of Pennsylvania Troops, immediately to proceed to this city. He has also written to the Chairman of the Committees of six Counties in New-Jersey, to send at least three hundred picked men, well accoutred, from each; and has informed the President of the New-Jersey Congress of the intelligence received from General Washington, concerning the embarkation of the Ministerial Troops at Boston, and requested him to give us all possible assistance, on the supposition that those troops are destined hither. He has also ordered all the artillery to be put in the best order possible.
THINGS TO BE DONE.1st. That all the inhabitants capable of fatigue be immediately employed on the fortifications of this city, as well as all the Negro men in the City and County of New-York.
2dly. To this end, that the commanding officer of each corps draw out his respective corps, and parade on the common at nine oclock to-morrow morning, without arms, but provided with as many intrenching tools as they are possessed of, and that they take care to have all the Negro men in their respective districts turned out, provided in the same manner.
3dly. Lord Stirling informs the Committee of the arrival of a quantity of powder in this city, and that another quantity of powder is soon expected, both directed by the Continental Congress for the service of the Army at Cambridge . It is agreed that the forwarding the said powder be deferred till further orders of the Continental Congress; and that an express be immediately despatched to them by Lord Stirling on the subject.
4thly. It is agreed that it be recommended to the Provincial Congress to issue an order to the General Committee of New-York, to make immediate report of all the provisions and iron in town, and to prevent the exportation of either of those articles from the City and County of New-York, till further orders.
5thly. The Provincial Congress immediately authorize Dr. John Jones and Dr. Treat to purchase all the necessary Hospital medicines, and medicinal stores, and apparatus, in this city, which they shall think necessary, and make report of their doings without delay, and possess themselves of all the Hospital stores in the possession of Mr. Commissary Curtenius.
6thly. The Provincial Congress to issue immediate orders to the Committee of Kings County, to order the inhabitants of that County to give assistance in fatigue to Colonel Ward, by turning out for the service at least one half of their male inhabitants, Negroes included, every day, to work at the fortifications in that County, and to take with them their spades, pick-axes, and hoes, and to begin work on Friday next.
7thly. That a guard of six of the Troop of Horse of the said County, under such persons as shall from time to time be appointed by the Provincial Congress, shall be constantly posted at some convenient height, near the west end of Nassau-Island, to reconnoitre the entrance of any enemy into Sandy-Hook, or appearing on the coast, and give immediate intelligence to the Congress, or commanding officer of the Continental Troops at this place, as occasion may require.
8thly. That the Provincial Congress issue an order to the Committee for Cow-Neck and Great-Neck, for a like number of horsemen from Queens County, to keep a look-out at Thomas Cornwalls, at Rockaway, for the same purposes.
9thly. That orders issue to the Colonels of the regiments in Orange, on the South side of the mountains, to draft out of their regiments one hundred men, to be immediately sent to this city, armed and accoutred in the best manner possible.
l0thly. That the like orders issue to the Colonels of Westchester, for two hundred men, for the like purposes.
11thly. That the like orders issue to the Colonels of Dutchess, for two hundred men, for the like purposes.
Head-Quarters, March 15, 1776.
Ordered, That the Commissary of Artillery Stores do direct cartridges to be filled, to complete ten rounds for all heavy cannon fit for service, and twenty rounds for the field artillery. That all the case-shot that can be got for the several sizes be collected, and a return thereof be made.
That Captain Badlem do direct as many of the cannon as possibly can be completed, to be furnished with every necessary service.
Mr. Anthony Griffiths is appointed to direct the Laboratory, and he is to employ as many of the most expert persons he can procure, as he thinks necessary to carry on that department.
Ordered, That all the boats be suffered to pass and repass as usual.
The Town-Major, to-morrow morning, is to remove the prisoners, Vernon O. Craig, at the lower Barracks, and Gidney, Purley, Van Hazen, and White, from the upper Barracks, to close confinement in the city Jail, and to place four sentries around the prison from the upper Barracks for their security.
The Brigade Major of the New-England Troops is to increase the guards at the upper Barracks in proportion, to answer the above purpose.
All orders from the Head-Quarters are, by the Town-Major, to be communicated to the Chief Engineer and commanding officer of Artillery. An orderly man from the Artillery is to attend each of them.
All Field-Officers are to attend the parade; and whatever party consists of two hundred men, are to be inspected and attended to by a Field-Officer; who is requested to see the men of his party are kept alert at their duty, and to execute the work designed, which will be communicated through the Chief Engineer.
New-York, March 13, 1776.
SIR: You are hereby ordered to direct all the companies of the Second Battalion of the Pennsylvania Troops, of which you are Lieutenant-Colonel, which are not yet embarked for Albany, to proceed immediately to this city, where quarters shall be provided for them. You are to remain at this place till further orders.
To Lieutenant-Colonel Allen, of the Second Regiment of Pennsylvania Troops