Sender: Francis Lightfoot Lee
Recipient: Edward Hand
Reading Sepr. 23d. 1777Sir,
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.
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.