Page images
PDF
EPUB

a preponderancy to the one or the other scale,— those minute details will, it is presumed,- be far from unacceptable, as furnishing him with that species of information, upon which alone he can venture to ground a decisive opinion, and which he might elsewhere seek in vain.

The inclosures, frequently referred to in these volumes, would still further contribute to set every circumstance in a clearer and stronger light; and it was the editor's original intention that they should have accompanied the letters to which they respectively belong. Obstacles however, at present insurmountable, stand in the way of their immediate publication: but, when these are removed, the papers alluded to shall make their appearance in form of an Appendix,—such parts of them at least, as are of a curious and interesting nature.

Meanwhile the reader will observe that it was deemed as yet premature to publish certain passages of these letters: some omissions have of course taken place, which are every where pointed out by asterisks, and which will be supplied at a proper season, probably not far distant.—On the other hand, in perhaps half a dozen instances, a single word has been hazarded on conjecture, to sill up a chasm, where either the original or the copy happened to be torn or defaced; in which cases, the supplemental words are inclosed within crotchets and printed in Italic.—A k\v entire letters, moreover, as appears by reference made to them in subsequent ones, arc here wanted to complete the chain of correspondence. These the editor can give no account of, as the originals appear to have been lost from the files of office.

About a dozen letters, written by the general's secretary *, are here inserted;—a sew from the general himself to the board of war, or committee of Congress,—one to the president of the NewYork Convention, and one to R. Morris, esquire, in the department of finance. These it was thought improper to omit: not did it seem worth while, on account of a few exceptions, to make any alteration in the general title of the book.

* Mr. R. H. Harrison, respecting whom, the reader is requested to correct an error in Vol. I. page 240, line 6, where, instead of' aides,' he should read 'secretaries'.—Another mistake occurs in page 26 of the fame volume, line 32, where 'fourth* should be read instead of 'fourieeuth*

OFFICIAL LETTERS

PROM

GENERAL WASHINGTON
TO CONGRESS.

To the Honorable Members of the Continental Cmgress, at
Philadelphia*

X' Gentlemen,.: New-York^ June 24, 1775,

* A HE rain on friclay afternoon and saturday,—the advice of several gentlemen of the Jerseys and this city, by no means to crofs Hudson's river at the lower serry—and some other circumstances, too trivial to mention, prevented my arrival at this place, until the asternoon of this day.

In the morning, aster giving general Schuyler such orders, as, from the result of my inquiry into matters here, appeal' necessary, I shall set out on my journey to the camp at Boston, and shall proceed with all the dispatch in my power* ^Powder is so essential an article, that I cannot help again repeating the necessity of a supply. The camp at Boston, from the best account I can get from thence, is but very poorly supplied. At this place, they have scarce any. How they

Vol. I. B are * *. *•"

are..pTovftled a*t general Wooster's camp, I have not been

•jjbl^.ver to learn.

. * Governor Tryon is arrived, and general Schuyler directed to advise you of the line of conduct he moves in. I sear it will not be very favorable to the American cause.

I have only to add, that I am, with great respect and regard, gentlemen, your most obedient and obliged humble servant, , G° Washington,

To John Hancock, Esquire, President of Congress.

New'York, sundaj, 24th June, 1775, 5 o'clock, P. As.

Sir,

UPON my arrival here this asternoon, I was informed that an express was in town, from the-provincial camp in Masfachusetts-Bay; and having seen, among the papers in his possession, a letter directed to you as president of the Congress, I have taken the liberty to open it. I was induced to take that liberty, by several gentlemen of New-York who were anxious to know the particulars of the affair of the seventeenth instant, and agreeable to the orders of many members of the Congress, who judged it necessary that I should avail myself of the hest information in the course of my journey.

You will sind, sir, by that letter, a great want of powder in the provincial army, which 1 sincerely hope the Congress will supply as speedily and as effectually as in their power. One thoufand pounds in weight were fent to the camp at Cambridge, three days ago, from this city; which has lest this place almost destitute of that necessary article ; there heing at this time, from the best information, not more than four barrels of powder in the city of New-York.

I propofe to set off for the provincial camp to-morrow, and will use all possible dispatch to join the forces there.

Please to make my compliments to the gentlemen of the

Congress j Congress; and believe me to be, sir, your obliged friend and hurnble servant, . Q. W.

[graphic]

[N. B. All the subsequent Utters, mt otherwise expressly directed, are addressed to the President of Congress for the time being.]

V Sir, Camp at Cambridge, "July 10, I775.

I Arrived sase at this place on the third instant, aster a journey attended with a good deal of fatigue, and retarded by necessary attentions to the successive civilities which accompanied me in. my whole route.

Upon my arrival, I immediately visited the several posts occupied by our troops; and, as soon as the weather permitted, reconnoitred thofe of the enemy. I found the latter stronglyintrenched on BuokerVhi.il, about a mile from Charlestown, and advanced about half a mile from the place of the late action, with their centries extended about one hundred and sifty yards on this side of the narrowest part of the neck leading from this place to Charlestown. Three floating batteries lie in Mystick river Hear their camp, and one twenty-gun ship below the serry place between Boston and Charlestown. They have also a battery on Copse-hill, op the Boston side, whic.h much annoyed our troops in the late attack. Upon the neck, they have alfo deeply intrenched and fortisied. Their advanced guards, till last saturday morning, occupied Brown's houses, about a mile from Roxbury meeting-house, and twenty roods from their lines,: but, at that time, a party from general ThQWas's camp surprised the guard, drove {hem in, and burned the bouses. The bulk of their army, commanded by general Howe, lies on BunkerVhill, and the remainder on Roxbtiry-neck, except the light horse, and a sew men in the .town of Boston.

On our side, we have thrown up intrenchments on Win

« PreviousContinue »