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That the Metropolis of your Colony is now relieved from the cruel and oppressive invasion of those who were sent to erect the standard of lawless domination, and to trample on the rights of humanity, and is again open and free for its rightful possessors, must give pleasure to every virtuous and sympathetick heart; and being effected without the blood of our soldiers and fellow-citizens, must be ascribed to the interposition of that Providence which has manifestly appeared in our behalf, through the whole of this important struggle, as well as to the measures pursued for bringing about the happy event.
May that Being, who is powerful to save, and in whose hands is the fate of nations, look down with an eye of tender pity and compassion upon the whole of the United Colonies; may He continue to smile upon their councils and arms, and crown them with success whilst employed in the cause of virtue and of mankind; may this distressed Colony and its capital, and every part of this widely extended Continent, through His divine favour, be restored to more than their former lustre and once happy state; and have peace, liberty, and safety, secured upon a solid, permanent, and lasting foundation.
INSTRUCTION AND ORDERS TO MAJOR-GENERAL PUTNAM.
As there are the best reasons to believe that the enemys Fleet and Army, which left Nantasket-Road last Wednesday evening, are bound to New-York, to endeavour to possess that important post, and, if possible, secure the communication by Hudsons River to Canada; it must be our care to prevent them from accomplishing their designs. To that end I have detached Brigadier-General Heath, with the whole body of Riflemen, and five battalions of the Continental Army, by the way of Norwich, in Connecticut, to New-York. These, by an express arrived yesterday from General Heath, I have reason to believe are in New-York. Six more battalions, under General Sullivan, march this morning, by the same route; and will, I hope, arrive there in eight or ten days at farthest. The rest of the Army will immediately follow in divisions, leaving only a convenient space between each division, to prevent confusion and want of accommodation upon their march.
You will, no doubt, make the best despatch in getting to New-York. Upon your arrival there, you will assume the command, and immediately proceed in continuing to execute the plan proposed by Major-General Lee for fortifying that city, and securing the passes of the East and North Rivers. If, upon consultation with the Brigadier-Generals and Engineers, any alteration in that plan is thought necessary, you are at liberty to make it; cautiously avoiding to break in too much upon his main design, unless where it may be apparently necessary so to do, and that by the general voice and opinion of the gentlemen above-mentioned.
You will meet the Quartermaster-General, Colonel Mifflin, and the Commissary-General, at New-York. As they are both men of excellent talents in their different departments, you will do well to give them all the authority and assistance they require; and should a council of war be necessary, it is my direction they assist at it.
Your long service and experience will, better than any particular directions at this distance, point out to you the works most proper to be first raised; and your perseverance, activity, and zeal, will lead you, without my recommending it, to exert every nerve to disappoint the enemys designs.
Devoutly praying that the Power which has hitherto sustained the American arms may continue to bless them with His divine protection, I bid you farewell.
Given at Head-Quarters, in Cambridge, this 29th day of March, 1776.
NATHANIEL SMITH TO MARYLAND COUNCIL OF SAFETY.
Baltimore, March 30, 1776.
GENTLEMEN: When I had the honour of seeing you last in Annapolis, you desired I would commit to writing what would be necessary to have done about the Fort (that the Committee refused to do)a Magazine, Hospital, and Laboratory; which, in my opinion, no Fort or Garrison ought to be without. Those would not cost more than three hundred pounds. The Hospital sufficient to hold fifty sick or wounded men; the Magazine to hold ammunition for a months siege; the Laboratory sufficient for ten or twelve men to work inmaking cartridges, &c.
I was mentioning a seine for catching fish; but, if it cannot be allowed without deducting any part of the soldiers rations, would not desire it, as their allowance is full small for a hearty man to subsist on.
I understand there has been application to you for Captain of the Fort, or Fort-Majors. I do not know that there would be any necessity for such an officer at this time, but hope, gentlemen, you will not put another over me, unless you think him more fit to fill the station; and, in that case, shall submit with pleasure.
I am, gentlemen, your most obliged, humble servant,
To the Honourable the Council of Safety of Maryland.
MARYLAND COUNCIL OF SAFETY TO CAPTAINS KENT AND HENRY.
GENTLEMEN: We send this by express, with three hundred pounds to defray the expenses of your march to your respective Counties, as well as others you may necessarily have incurred in the service; and hope it will be found adequate to the purposes for which it is designed. If, however, it should not, you shall be immediately reimbursed any money you may be obliged to expend. We sent to Philadelphia, upon the receipt of your letter of the 28th of February, for the Continental regulations relative to wages and victualling, and desired our Deputies, if an opportunity should offer, to convey them directly to you; which, we apprehend, has been done, as they have not been transmitted to us; but, lest they should not have sent them, we will endeavour to inform ourselves of the pay, and lodge an account of it for you with the Treasurer of the Eastern-Shore.
We are much obliged to the people of Accomack and Northampton Counties for the civilities you have experienced from them, and the pains taken by their Committees to render your time as easy and agreeable as circumstances would admit of; and we request you will make our grateful acknowledgments to them for their favours.
We wish you a happy return; and are your most, &c.
To Captains Kent and Henry.
MARYLAND COUNCIL OF SAFETY TO CHARLES COUNTY COMMITTEE.
GENTLEMEN: When we requested your Committee to furnish Calvert County with one barrel of powder, we had not any fund so convenient, or yet so well supplied, as that in Charles. Your intention of complying with the order, at a time when you apprehended it could not be well spared, is in confirmation of all your other actions hitherto manifested in promoting the general welfare.
We have wrote to Colonel Joshua Beall to inform us how much musket powder is at Bladensburgh. As soon as we are informed thereof, a due proportion shall be sent to Charles County. One ton of bullets from Frederick we expect is, by this time, with you; part of which you will spare to St. Marys and Calvert, should those Counties be in want. Port-Tobacco is the place appointed for part of Captain Bealls Company to be stationed at; and we request that you will assist him in providing proper houses and firewood for his men, as well as supplying them with provisions and other necessaries till they are furnished by the contractor, which, we imagine, will be in a few days.
We are, &c.
To the Committee of Observation for Charles County.
TO THE PEOPLE OF PENNSYLVANIA.LETTER V.
In my fourth letter, some notice was taken of the dangerous proposition held up to us by the author of Common Sense, for having recourse to foreign assistance, and mixing the virtuous cause of these Colonies with the ambitious views of France and Spain, even allowing that they are either able, or that we could make it their interest, to enter into a war with Great Britain and her allies on our account. History