Washington and Lee University

Sender: Francis Lightfoot Lee
Recipient: Edward Hand


Mr. McClure delivered your Letter for the board of war, to me here. Congress having been obliged by the movements of Genl. Howe to leave Philadelphia, will meet in a few days at Lancaster, when your Letter shall be laid before them, & an answer as soon as obtaind shall be sent to you.1 Our affairs at the northern Lakes are in a very prosperous situation. The campaign here is likely to be very warm. It will be necessary to keep a very watchful Eye over the tories in your fort & neighbourhood. I am Yr. very hble Servt.

Francis Lightfoot Lee


Receiver’s copy, Connecticut State Library.

1 General Hand’s letter is not in PCC, but it probably concerned the offensive he was currently planning against the Ohio Indians. Fearing that an all - out Indian war was imminent, Congress had appointed Hand commander at Fort Pitt in April 1777, shortly after promoting him to brigadier general. In his 6 August letter to the Board of War, Hand had reported increased Indian depredations and had called for additional troops, provisions, and rifles in order to secure a post in the Indian country prerequisite to attacking Indian settlements, but neither local militia nor Continental troops could be spared. When the necessary provisions and military forces could not be collected Hand reluctantly abandoned his planned offensive and asked in his 24 December letter to the Board of War to be recalled for service in the regular army, a request that was belatedly granted the following May. See JCC, 7:213, 252; PCC, item 159, fols. 415 - 17, 423 - 26; and George M. Waller, American Revolution in the West (Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1976), pp. 34 - 41.