<br /> Lee Letter: n341

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Francis Lightfoot Lee
Recipient: Adam Stephen

Dear Sir,

An hundred times have I been going to write to you, & as often been
interrupted. I hope you will not punish me too severely, by ceasing to
let me know, now & then, what you are doing. We hear there are some
appearances of the Enemy quitting the Jerseys, will you let them get
off unhurt? Considerable reinforcements are coming forward, near 2000
are now marching from hence.

Great exertions will be made against us this campaign, our exertions must
be proportioned; but I am sure it will not avail us much to have
numbers in the feild, if they are not under proper discipline, of which
I almost despair, so very shamefull has been the conduct of our
Officers for some months past. Unless the Generals take extraordinary
pains & examine minutely into every particular relative to the
troops, disease & despondency will make them an easy prey to the
Enemy. Cleanliness in lodging & diet, just payments, and martial
exercises will make them invincible. Tis true your troops are at
present raw; but you may remember that Epaminondas soon bro’t his
disheartend Countrymen to beat the best troops, then in the world; by
his excellent discipline, & frequent judicious skirmishes. I know I
incur the ridicule of the Orator who discoursed of war before Hanibal
but I cant help it, the subject lies too heavy upon my mind. The stake
we play for is not a common one.

Tis a pity so many of our stores were laid up in that nest of Tories at
Danbury & its environs; the loss will not easily be repaired, &
the disgrace is injurious. These things hurt us exceedingly with our
own people, & have a bad influence abroad. God send you may soon
give us something to put on the other side of the Account.

The Lottery managers informed me, they had sent Tickets to camp, so that I
suppose you are supplied. May the genius of Liberty attend your steps
& render you victorious over all its Enemies.


Francis Lightfoot Lee


Receiver’s copy, Rosenbach Museum and Library, Philadelphia.