My dear Sir,

The inclosed resolve is now sent principally with a view of rectifying some Typographic errors that the copy formerly sent you contained. I am again, in the name of Congress, to desire your Excellency will detain the flower in Virginia until further directions, that Mr. Commissary Trumbul had sent Vessels from the eastward to remove.1 The reason you assign, of danger from the enemies Cruisers, is conclusive with Congress for staying this provision a while.

Since I wrote you last, few occurrences have happened worth noticing. Skirmishes often happen, in which we generally succeed. The enemy with 4000 men & 4 Gen. Officers surprised our post at Bound Brook and carried off a few prisoners with 2 pieces of Cannon. But they quickly retired and not without loss. To revenge this insult, Gen. Stephen attacked one of their picket guards and drove it in, killing 7 and making 16 prisoners. It seems to be the opinion of all men that 10, or 12000 men in the Jersies might quickly decide the fate of our enemies before reenforcements arrived to them. The Eastern Troops are all to undergo inoculation before they join the Army. Our Southern Troops that have arrived here ill all recovered & recovering from the Small pox having had the distemper very favourably, & as far as I have heard, without loss. We have accounts just now that 2 of our Privateers have
taken and sent into Statia and Martinique nine sail of Transports on their way to N. York-and two Guinea Men bound to the West Indies. These transports were to call at the West Indies for rum for the Army & to avoid as much as possible the Eastern Privateers.

Deserters come out in numbers and say the enemies Army is very sickly and that the Men dye fast.

I am, with great esteem, dear Sir. your most affectionate & obedient.

Richard Henry Lee

His Excellency Patrick Henry, Esq., Governor of Virginia.


NOTES:

Receiver’s copy, American Philosophical Society. Printed in William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry, 3:66. Printed also in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 1, 1762 – 1778, pp. 282 – 83.

1 On 20 May Congress authorized Deputy Commissary General William Aylett to decide when these vessels, which he had loaded with flour for the army, should sail. JCC, 7:208 – 9, 373. Concerning this subject, see also Aylett’s letters to President Hancock, dated 11, 13, 18 April, and 9, 13 May in PCC, item 78, fols. 69 – 86.

 

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