<br /> Lee Letter: n377

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Patrick Henry

Dear Sir:

The slow but sure moving Gates has not yet sent us his glorious Inventory.
However, the intelligence of Burgoyne’s surrender comes to us through
such good channels that we do not doubt its truth, but impute Genl.
Gates’ silence to his necessary attention to the great business of
disposing properly of so many prisoners &c., &c. I lately wrote
Mr. Page1 that the enemy had quitted
Philadelphia. This came to us from the D. Quartermaster General, Col.
Lutterlock, but it seems the motion of the enemies army was only from
German Town, within their lines that cross the Common of Philadelphia
from Delaware to Schuylkill. The body that crossed Schuylkill when Howe
was supposed to be retreating was 1,500 as convoy to 150 Waggons sent
to Chester for provisions. The narrowing their lines, and sending for
provisions, evidences a design to keep Philadelphia if they can. But
how they can, the inclosed letter from an Aid of Gen. Green will best
satisfy you,2 for if they cannot get their
ships up, it is not possible for them to remain at Philadelphia I am
just now well informed that Gen. Washington intended to move his army
to the Chester side of Schuylkill, in order to cut off the enemies’
intercourse with their Ships, and the better to aid the Fort on
Delaware. That a Strong body of Militia will be left above German Town
to prevent evil disposed persons from sending provisions to the enemy.
I hope Burgoyne’s surrender will be followed by that of Howe.

I am dear Sir affectionately yours,

Richard Henry Lee

[P.S.] We have detained the Express from Col.
Mason3 to carry the authentic news about

Mud Island is that on which our fort is placed.


Printed in Henry, Patrick Henry, 3:107 – 9. Printed also in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 1, 1762 – 1778, pp. 342 – 43.

1 Not found.

2 Lee enclosed a copy of Maj. John Clark’s 24 October letter to Daniel
Roberdeau reporting the repulse of Hessian attacks on Forts Mifflin
and Mercer, which is in Henry, Patrick Henry, 3:108 – 9.

3 David Mason’s 6 and 9 September letters requesting money and supplies for
Virginia troops marching northward were read in Congress on 21 October and are in PCC, item 78, 15:257 – 59, 261 – 62.