Washington and Lee University

Sender: Samuel Adams
Recipient: Richard Henry Lee

On Wednesday last the enemy reinforcd, as it is said, with Marines, marchd from Amboy, through a Road between Brunswick and Elisabeth Town <to> a place called Westfield about 10 Miles, with Design as it is supposd to cut off our Light Troops and bring on a General Battle, or to take Possession of the High Land back of Middlebrook, for which last purpose Westfield was the most convenient Road and it was also a well chosen Spot from whence to make a safe Retreat in Case he should fail of gaining his Point. On this March they fell in with General Maxwell who thought it prudent to retreat to our main Army then at Quibble town from whence Genl W. made a hasty march to his former Station and frustrated the supposd Design of the Enemy. I have given you a very general narrative of the different Situations & Movements of the two armies without descending to the particular, because we have not as yet an Authentick Account, and one cannot depend upon the many Stories that are told. I think I may assure you that our army is in high Spirits and is daily growing more respectable in point of numbers.

We are going on within Doors with Tardiness enough - a Thousand little matters too often thrust out greater ones. A kind of Fatality still prevents our proceeding a Step in the important affair of Confederation. Yesterday and the day before was wholly spent in passing Resolutions to gratify NY or as they say to prevent a civil war between that State and the Green Mountain Men, A matter which it is not worth your while to have explained to you.1 Monsr D Coudrays affair is still unsettled. The four French Engineers are arrivd. They are said to be very clever but disdain to be commanded by Coudray.2 Mr Comr. D - n continues to send us French, German & Prussian officers with authenticated Conventions and strong recommendations. The military Science, for your Comfort, will make rapid Progress in America. Our Sons and Nephews will be provided for in the Army and a long and moderate war will be their happy Portion. But who my Friend, would not wish for peace. May I live to see the publick Liberty restored and the safety of our dear Country secured. I should then think I had enjoyd enough and bid this world Adieu. Yours,

SA

Notes:

Receiver’s copy, American Philosophical Society. A continuation of Adams to Lee, 26 June 1777.

1 Congress debated the request of Vermont for recognition of its independence in committee of the whole on 25, 28, and 30 June, before rejecting the Vermont petition. JCC, 8:497, 507, 509 - 13. See also William Whipple to Josiah Bartlett 7 April, note 2; James Duane to Robert R. Livingston, 26 June, and New York Delegates to the New York Council of Safety, 2 July 1777.

2 Only three French engineers, accompanied by a French lieutenant and a sergeant, had arrived in Philadelphia. Lewis Le Begue Du Portail, Obry Gouvion, and Bailleul La Radiere, bearing a 13 February 1777, contract signed by Benjamin Franklin and Silas Deane, were commissioned in the Continental Arrny on 8 July 1777. The fourth engineer, M. de Laumoy, who had been delayed by sickness in the West Indies, was appointed a lieutenant colonel in the Continental Army on 2 October 1777. See Wharton, Diplomatic Correspondence, 2:269 - 70; N.C. State Records, 11:486, 492 - 95; and JCC, 8:525 - 26, 538 - 39, 760.