Table of Contents List of Archives Top of Page
Previous   Next

dry, as well as your Paymaster’s; but hope they will both be soon replenished.

My attention has been taken up by the late movements of the enemy at Boston, and their appearance of evacuating the town, and removing (as is supposed) to New-York, the Jerseys, or Long-Island, to order eighteen hundred of our Militia to maintain the important post of New-York. (Being destitute of bills to exchange for silver or gold, I have made no attempts for that purpose, and fear but little can be done here.) Besides this number, Colonels Waterbury and Ward, with two battalions from Connecticut of seven hundred and fifty men each, have been some time at that place. I yesterday afternoon received letters from the honourable Continental Congress and from Lord Stirling, requesting to do what was ordered the day before; that is, to send forward a number of our Militia. The works in that quarter are now going on briskly, and hope they will soon be in readiness to prevent the mischievous operations of our enemies.

Forty-one of the old gun-barrels you sent me from Ticon-deroga were fitted up and sent forward to General Washington. They make very good arms. The great difficulty is to get gun-locks for them; but shall, notwithstanding, make out of the one hundred and eighty about one hundred and seventy that prove good. If more old barrels are to be had from Crown-Point, as I am told, and many parts of gun-locks, I shall be glad to receive as many of both as can be had.

I do most sincerely congratulate you on the success of General Washington. The enemy evacuated Boston last Sunday. Boston is now open. The poor inhabitants are greatly emaciated from their want of provisions, and rejoiced for their happy deliverance. The most of the Tories are gone off with the troops. The cattle remain in the enemy’s hands, but hope they will soon be in ours. They have carried off the unhappy prisoners, it is said, in irons. Is it not time to retaliate? They have done all the mischief in their power. Hitherto the Lord hath helped us. May we ever thankfully acknowledge his mercies.

I am, with great truth and regard, sir, your obedient, humble servant,


To Major-General Schuyler.


Braintree, March 21, 1776.

MAT IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY: Nothing less than an inveterate nervous head-ache has prevented my paying, in person, those compliments of congratulation which are due to you from every friend to liberty and the rights of mankind, upon your triumphant and almost bloodless victory, in forcing the British Army and Navy to a precipitate flight from the capital of this Colony. A grateful heart now dictates them to a trembling hand, in bumble confidence of your favourable reception.

Whilst the faithful page of history records the British codes of blood against America, carried into execution by military murderers, to the utter destruction of the British empire, and the eternal infamy of those who devised them; you, sir, must be happy, I hope, in the unenvied certainty, in the unrivalled glory of having your name handed down to posterity with the illustrious character of being the Saviour of your country! God grant that the success of your future endeavours for its safety and prosperity may be equal to the past, and an adequate reward to your merit in both.

Since the ships and troops fell down below, we have been apprehensive of an attack from their boats, in pursuit of live-stock; but yesterday, in the afternoon, we were happily relieved by the appearance of a number of whale-boats stretching across our bay, under the command (as I have since heard) of the brave Lieutenant-Colonel Tupper, who, in the forenoon had been cannonading the ships with one or more field-pieces from the east head of Thompson’s Island, and I suppose last night cannonaded them again from the same place, or from Spectacle-Island.

This judicious manoeuvre had its genuine effect; for, this morning, the Admiral and all the rest of the ships, except one of the line, came to sail, and fell down to Nantasket-Road, where a countless number is now collected. In revenge for their burning the Castle last night, were we provided with a sufficient number of fire-ships and fire-rafts, covered by the smoke of cannon from a few row-galleys, this night might exhibit the most glorious conflagration that was ever seen upon the watery element; and the probable consequence of it, a period to the present war. Otherwise, humanity revolts at the destruction of so great a number, even of our enemies.

If my wishes must not be gratified, either in a visit to, or from your Excellency, the best I can form will constantly attend you, whilst memory and reflection are continued to your Excellency’s faithful and obedient, humble servant,


To General Washington.

By His Excellency GEORGE WASHINGTON, Esquire, General and Commander-in-Chief of the Forces of the Thirteen United Colonies.

Whereas the Ministerial Army have abandoned the town of Boston, and the forces of the United Colonies, under my command, are in possession of the same:

I have, therefore, thought it necessary for the preservation of peace, good order, and discipline, to publish the following Orders, that no person offending therein may plead ignorance as an excuse for their misconduct.

All Officers and Soldiers are hereby ordered to live in the strictest peace and amity with the inhabitants; and no inhabitant, or other person, employed in his lawful business in the town, is to be molested in his person or property on any pretence whatever. If any Officer or Soldier shall presume to strike, imprison, or otherwise ill treat any of the inhabitants, they may depend on being punished with the utmost severity. And if any Officer or Soldier shall receive any insult from any of the inhabitants, he is to seek redress in a legal way, and no other.

Any non-commissioned Officer, Soldier, or others under my command, who shall be guilty of robbing or plundering in the town, are to be immediately confined, and will be most rigidly punished. All Officers are, therefore, ordered to be very vigilant in the discovery of such offenders, and report their names and crime to the commanding Officer in the town as soon as may be.

The inhabitants, and others, are called upon to make known to the Quartermaster-General, or any of his Deputies, all stores belonging to the Ministerial Army that may be remaining or secreted in the town. Any person or persons whatever that shall be known to conceal any of the said stores, or appropriate them to his or their own use, will be considered as an enemy of America, and treated accordingly.

The Selectmen, and other Magistrates of the town, are desired to return to the Commander-in-Chief the names of all, or any person or persons they may suspect of being employed as Spies upon the Continental Army, that they may be dealt with accordingly.

All Officers of the Continental Army are enjoined to assist the civil Magistrates in the execution of their duty, and to promote peace and good order. They are to prevent, as much as possible, the Soldiers from frequenting tippling-houses, and strolling from their posts. Particular notice will be taken of such Officers as are inattentive and remiss in their duty; and, on the contrary, such only who are active and vigilant will be entitled to future favour and promotion.

Given under my band, at Head-Quarters, in Cambridge, this 21st day of March, 1776.



Cambridge, March 21, 1776.

SIR: I received your favour of the 18th instant, and concur with you in opinion, that their women and children, with the Tory families, will most probably go to Halifax. This is what I meant and alluded to, having never suspected that they (especially the latter) would go to New-York.

I am extremely obliged by your friendly hint, and shall ever receive them with pleasure. But I do not think that they were apprehensive of an attack from our side, but

Table of Contents List of Archives Top of Page
Previous   Next