Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Patrick Henry

My dear Sir,

On the 11th instant at Chads ford on the Brandywine about 10miles above Wilmington we had a most bloody battle with Gen. Howes whole Army which ended after 4 hours engagement in the enemies keeping the field and our Army retiring. But Gen. Howe may say with Pyrrhus, such another victory will ruin me. Every account of Officers and Country people who have been in the field since the Action say the enemies loss in killed & wounded must be between 2 & 3000. Nothing proves this more strongly than their remaining yet upon the field of battle, when every interest called upon them to push. Our loss in killed & wounded scarcely comes up to 500. The Militia were never engaged, nor was a strong division of our Army much in battle. The Virginia Troops have gained immortal honor. No capital Officers are lost and none wounded except the Marquis Fayette in the Leg & Gen. Woodford in the hand, but neither badly. Our Army is now the greatest part between Darby & Schuilkill - Two Brigades on this side - All in high spirits and wishing for another trial with the enemy. We are collecting reenforcements with all diligence and hope yet to give a good account of Gen. Howe. Gen. Smallwood with 1500 Maryland Militia is coming fast upon the enemies rear.

Farewell dear Sir,
Richard Henry Lee


Receiver’s copy, Maryland Historical Society, Middendorf deposit. Printed in William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry, 3:96. Printed also in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 1, 1762 - 1778, pp. 322 - 24.