<br /> Lee Letter: n426

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Francis Lightfoot Lee

My dear Brother,

I wrote you four days ago by Mr. Armstead who promised to send the letter
1 to Mount Airy by his Servant from
Fredericksburg. Since that we have had a more accurate account of the
battle in the Jersies from Gen. Washington. The number of the enemies
dead buried by our people was 252, and several graves besides on the
field in which they had buried their dead during the Action. Upon the
whole, the battle was fairly won by our Army, & the best troops of
Britain beaten in an open field. The whole loss of the enemy in killed,
wounded, & deserters is at least 3000 since they left this City.
The American Army is now at Brunswick and will presently proceed to the
North river. Gen. Conway came here the other day, and having been
informed of some disrespectful words spoken of him by Gen. Cadwallader,
the former challenged the latter and they met on the Common yesterday
morn. They threw up for the first fire & Cadwallader won it. At the
distance of 12 paces he fired and Shot Conway thro the side of the
face, on which he fell & was carried off the field. He is supposed
not to be in danger unless an unforeseen inflamation should produce it.
We had a magnificent celebration of the anniversary of Independence
yesterday, when handsome fireworks were displayed. The Whigs of the
City dressed up a Woman of the Town with the Monstrous head dress of
the Tory Ladies and escorted her thro the Town with a great concourse
of people. Her head was elegantly & expensively dressed. I suppose
about three feet high and of proportionable width, with a profusion of
curls &c. &c. &c. The figure was droll and occasioned much
mirth. It has lessened some heads already, and will probably bring the
rest within the bounds of reason, for they are monstrous indeed. The
Tory wife of Dr. Smith, has christened this figure Continella, or the
Dutchess of Independence, and prayed for a pin from her head by way of
relic. The Tory women are very much mortified notwithstanding this. As
we have left York, and Dunlap publishes a Gazette here, I have entered
your name with him instead of Hall & Sellers, & I shall pay him
for your years papers. 1 have directed him to send me your paper
weekly, whilst I stay, that I may inclose it to you. We have heard
nothing from the English Commissioners since our answer from York, and
I suppose they conclude us less liable to be amused since the late
drubbing we have given their Army. I this day went round the enemies
lines. They pass from Delaware to Schuylkill so as to include Govr.
Hamiltons House about 200 yards within the line, and consist of very
strong redoubts at a quarter of a mile distant from each other, and the
spaces between guarded by very thick Abbatis made of Apple Trees fast
staked down, and the ends of the twigs sharpened. All the houses,
except Bush Hill, for a considerable distance without & within the
lines are burnt down. My love to Mrs. Lee and kind remembrance to all
friends in Richmond. I am most affectionately yours,

Richard Henry Lee


Lee PapersVirginia Historical Society

Another copy is in the Lee Papers, University of Virginia Archives. Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 1, 1762 – 1778, pp. 420 – 22. Addressed to Lee at Manokin, Richmond County, care of the postmaster at Leeds town, to be conveyed by the “Chantilly Rider.” A printed extract in M. D. Conway, Edmund Randolph (p. 40), is mistakenly attributed to “his brother Ludwell.”

1 Not found.