30 July 1781
McDougall, Alexander (1732-1786)
Autograph letter signed
Title: to Henry Knox
McDougall signs as "Brutus," a pseudonym often attributed to him related to his involvement in the Newburgh Conspiracy. Writes a cryptic and critical letter, questioning plans made for the Continental army and the authority of Congress. Expresses eagerness to "reduce New York," but admits that the Continental force is too weak to undertake such a venture. Complains that his garrison is "every sixth day without meat." Refers to the "Duke of Roxbury" (McDougall's nickname for William Heath) and "Ignatius Loyola," (evidently, from context, a reference to Benjamin Lincoln). Mentions the new mission of General Benjamin Lincoln. Demands to know if Congress has ruled to give officers of the army half pay, questioning the "authority of Congress to... promise us any pay at all." In a post script, praises the recent operations of General Nathanael Greene.