Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Patrick Henry

Dear Sir

I congratulate you most sincerely on the very important intelligence that I have now the pleasure to enclose you, which came express this morning to the President in a letter from Colo. Trumbull the deputy paymaster General.1 We every moment expect an express from Gen Gates with a more full account of this glorious victory. Gen Clinton having received a reinforcement and knowing Burgoyne’s critical Situation, was urging his way up Hudson River to relieve him, and had actually taken Fort Montgomerie on the Highlands, after a severe conflict and much loss. Gens Putnam and Parsons were between Clinton and Albany with some continental troops and a large body of Militia. This last General will now be compelled to return to his hiding place in the Island of York. The enemy have been foiled in various attempts to possess themselves of Fort Mifflin on Deleware, and were lately driven from Province Island by the Gallymen with the loss of 53 men and 2 officers taken, and a 32 pounder brought there to annoy our Fort.2 Since the battle of German Town they have evacuated Billingsport, and it is now in our possession, where we have placed some large Cannon to stop their Ships. The General has sent a party to secure Red Bank, almost opposite the Fort, so that we have great expectations of preventing the enemy from getting to Philadelphia, in which case, Gen. Howe’s situation must be a dangerous one. Our troops are now in possession of the Country all around Philadelphia and the enemy, so that their distress for provisions must soon be very great. What the people in Town will do, God knows. Sour flour sells already for 30/ hard money a hundred. In a short time I hope to send you more important news both from this quarter and the North. Our army is in high spirits, and advancing upon the enemy who are entrenching themselves. I am with great regard, dear Sir, sincerely,

Richard Henry Lee

Notes:

Printed from Henry, Patrick Henry, 3:102 - 3. Printed also in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 1, 1762 - 1778, pp. 330 - 31.

1 Jonathan Trumbull, Jr.’s 10 October letter to Eliphalet Dyer, which was read in Congress this day, apparently contained the first report received by the delegates of General Gates’ 7 October victory over Burgoyne’s troops at Bemis Heights. See JCC, 9:808: and James Lovell to the Massachusetts Council, this date.

2 An account of this action was included in the 11 October letter of William Bradford and John Hazelwood to Washington, a copy of which was enclosed with Washington’s 13 October letter to Hancock. See Fitzpatrick, Writings of Washington, 9:356n, 364.