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JACOB BAMPER TO JOHN McKESSON.
New-York, March 14, 1776.
HONOURED SIR: I am very sorry that I am so troublesome to you; but my inclination is so bent on going into the Army, that if you will be so kind as to recommend me to the gentlemen of the Congress for a Captains or Lieutenants commission, I will take it as a particular favour, and will do my best endeavours to serve in defence of my country. The reason of my troubling you is, because I know that a gentleman like you can do a great deal towards getting a commission for me. I dare to say that I can get a company in a little while; and remain your humble servant,
To the Honourable the Provincial Congress, held for the province of NEW-YORK:
The Petition of WILLIAM GANDELL, of the City of NEW-YORK, Mariner, humbly showeth:
That your Petitioner was born in, and still is an inhabitant of the City of New-York, and has followed the sea, both as master and mate, out of this port for some time last past.
That your Petitioner is well affected to the cause of his country, and is out of employ on account of the distressed times; and seeing no probable way of getting into business again to maintain his wife and children until matters are accommodated; and your Petitioner understanding that there is a vacancy for a Lieutenant in one or more of the Artillery Companies raised in this City, as also Masters and lieutenants in the vessels on the Lakes, and likewise in those that are building up the North-River, he offers himself as a proper person to fill up either of the said vacancies.
Your Petitioner, therefore, humbly prays that this honourable House will take his case into their most serious consideration, and grant him a commission in either of the above-mentioned vacancies, as they in their wisdom shall think most proper. And your Petitioner, as in duty bound, shall ever pray, &c.
New-York, March 14, 1776.
GENERAL WASHINGTON TO THE OFFICER COMMANDING AT NEW-YORK.
Head-Quarters, Cambridge, March 14, 1776.
SIR: I have stronger reasons, since I last wrote you, to confirm me in my opinion that the Army under General Howe is on its departure. All their movements pronounce it; but, lest it should be a feint, I must continue on my guard, and not weaken my lines too much, until I have a certainty of their departure. It is given out that they are bound to Halifax; but I am of opinion that New-York is the place of their destination. It is the object worthy their attention; and it is the place that we must use every endeavour to keep from them; for, should they get that town and the command of the North River, they can stop the intercourse between the Northern and Southern Colonies, upon which depends the safety of America. My feelings upon this subject are so strong, that I would not wish to give the enemy a chance of succeeding at your place. I shall, therefore, despatch a regiment and some independent companies of riflemen this day; and to-morrow, or as soon as it conveniently can be done, five more regiments will set out from this camp. I cannot part with more while the enemy remains in sight; but I have written to Governour Trumbull to send you two thousand men as soon as he possibly can. If you can get one thousand from New-Jersey, with the Militia of the country called in, (if not repugnant to the Congress,) I think you can make a sufficient stand until I can, with the main body of this Army, join you, which you may depend upon will be as soon as possible after I can, with any degree of certainty, tell their route. The plan of defence formed by General Lee is, from what little I know of the place, a very judicious one. I hope, nay, I dare say, it is carrying into execution with spirit and industry. You may judge from the enemy keeping so long possession of the town of Boston, against an Army superior in numbers, and animated with the noble spirit of libertyI say you may judge by that how much easier it is to keep an enemy from forming a lodgment in a place, than it will be to dispossess them when they get themselves fortified. As I have in my last told you that the fate of this campaign (of course the fate of America) depends upon you and the Army under your command, should the enemy attempt your quarter, I will dwell no more thereon; though the vast importance of the subject would make an apology for repetitions needless.
I have the honour to be, sir, your most obedient humble servant,
To the Officer commanding the American Forces at New-York.
GENERAL WASHINGTON TO GENERAL LEE.
Head-Quarters, Cambridge, March 14, 1776.
DEAR SIR: I am indebted to you for your three several favours, which I should have acknowledged sooner, had not the great hurry and bustle we have been in for several days past prevented. You have doubtless heard, before this time, of our being in possession of Worchester Hill, which important business was executed in one night, without any loss. The enemy were thrown into the utmost consternation when they perceived, the next morning, what had been effected the preceding night, and made preparations to dislodge us. Three thousand men, under the command of Lord Percy, were drafted for this service; but a very heavy storm of wind and rain frustrated their designin my opinion the most fortunate circumstance for them, and unfortunate for us, that could have happened, as we had everything so well prepared for their reception, that I am confident we should have given a very good account of them.
I was just about to congratulate you on your appointment to the command in Canada, when I received the account that your destination was altered. As a Virginian, I must rejoice at the change; but as an American, I think you would have done more essential service to the common cause in Canada. For, besides the advantage of speaking and thinking in French, an officer who is acquainted with their manners and customs, and has travelled in their country, must certainly take the strongest hold of their affection and confidence.
You mention nothing of the guard that went with you from hence. Mr. Palfrey tells me you intend to take them with you. As it will create great confusion in the regimental accounts, and they can be of no great service, to you, I must beg you will let them remain at New-York, where they will be soon joined by their respective regiments. I am much pleased with your plans for the defence and security of New-York. What you may leave unfinished, I shall order the commanding officer to complete as soon as possible. Lest the enemy should meet with favourable winds on their passage, and get there before our Army, I have written to Governour Trumbull, desiring him immediately to forward two thousand men, and have also requested one thousand from the Jerseys. This, with the force already there, I hope will be able to keep the Ministerial Army at bay until I can arrive with the main body. I most sincerely wish for your increase of health, and every blessing, and am, dear sir, your most affectionate friend and humble servant,
To Major-General Lee.
GENERAL WASHINGTON TO MESHECH WEARE.
Cambridge, March 14, 1776.
SIR: Your favour of the 12th instant I just now received, and beg leave to assure you that the approbation which your honourable Council are pleased to express of my conduct respecting the operations against the town of Boston, afford me the highest satisfaction.
I am exceedingly sorry that it is not in my power, at this time, to comply with your requisition for powder, and to make a return of what was generously lent for the Continental use. The low state of stock of that article will not allow me to spare the smallest quantity; but, hoping that I may get a further supply before long to enable me to do it, I shall be much obliged if you will favour me with an account of what you have furnished, that it may be replaced as soon as circumstances will admit of it.
I am, sir, with much respect, your most humble servant,
To the Honourable Meshech Weare, President of the Council of New-Hampshire.