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Under these circumstances of preparation, the King had entertained a well grounded hope that an early and effectual impression would have been made, either in New-England or New-York; and that the supplies which have been sent out would have arrived in time to have enabled you to have maintained yourself at Boston until a force was collected adequate to some decisive blow. The failure of these supplies is a very unfortunate event; but, though in you situation at Halifax, you will, for a time, bo further removed from those places where the force you have under your command must ultimately be employed, yet, as I see you have taken the proper measures, in leaving cruisers off the coast of New-England, that the ships which may arrive from England may still join you with security, you will soon, I trust, have it in your power to carry on operations to the southward.
This change in your situation appearing in your letters to have been adopted for the temporary purpose of convenience, and the better to enable you to disengage yourself from the embarrassment that might obstruct a more decided operation, will, therefore, induce no alteration of the plan to send the Hessians and Guards to Rhode-Island, according to my instructions to Lieutenant-General Heister; and they will of course take post there (if practicable) if they find no orders from you to the contrary. As they cannot, however, be supplied from hence with a sufficient quantity of artillery and intrenching tools, you will endeavour to send them what you think adequate to that service. The Hessians have their regimental field-pieces. Some light three-pounders are on board an ordnance store-ship that sails with them; and the number of cartridges, which I understand is about thirty rounds per man, will be made up to sixty out of the stores at Portsmouth; but they must depend upon you for intrenching tools, though every effort will be made to collect what can be procured at Portsmouth and the Tower, and to put on board the transports as much as they can receive.
By the intelligence we receive from time to time of what is passing at New- York, it seems as if the Rebels had determined to oppose a landing at that place, and for that purpose to collect a large force there; but of this, it is most likely you will receive certain and better accounts than we can get. I send you, however, the latest intelligence we have from that quarter, because it points out the particulars of the defence the enemy are preparing to make, and it may, in that respect, be of some use to you. The plan you propose for attacking New- York as soon as possible, is becoming that spirit and vigour with which you always act; but as such large reinforcements are going to you, I wish they may arrive before the time of carrying it into execution, that your force may be so increased as to render your success more certain.
GENERAL LEE TO GENERAL WASHINGTON.
Williamsburgh, May 4, 1776.
DEAR GENERAL: I am just returned from Suffolk, and the posts below, and the post is just going out; so that this must rather be considered as an apology for not writing than as a letter. In a few days I shall set out for Carolina, but before I set out shall send you a full description of our state and situation. We want arms, medicines, and blankets, most cruelly; indeed, we want some battalions. I wish, dear General, you would prevail on the Congress to increase the pay of our Engineersit is too wretched; no men qualified for the business will serve on the terms. Enclosed is an uncouth return of our force.
Adieu, dear General. Yours respectfully, and affectionately,
VIRGINIA COMMITTEE OF SAFETY TO PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.
[Read May 13, 1776.]
Williamsburgh, May 4, 1776.
SIR: We have your favour of April 23d, with several resolutions of Congress, commissions for the officers of our Army, and instructions and bonds for those who shall apply for letters of marque and reprisal; to all which we shall pay due attention.
Feeling, as we do, the warmest resentment for the unmerited and repeated severity meditated against America, by a despotick and unrelenting Administration, fully manifested, had any doubts remained of it, by their last act retrospectively sanctifying every instance of rapine, violence, and plunder, without distinction of circumstances, provided an American was the suffering object, we shall not fail to strain every nerve for defeating their cruel attempts, and, as far as may be in our power, to carry into execution the several resolutions of Congress to effect this purpose.
For, and by order of the Committee of Safety of Virginia, I have the honour to be, sir, your most obedient servant,
To the Honourable John Hancock, President of Congress.
MARYLAND COUNCIL OF SAFETY TO COLONEL SIM.
SIR: Enclosed we send you a copy of Edmund Pendleton, Esq.s letter to us relative to the prisoners from North-Carolina. We request you would give the necessary orders for conveying those intended for Pennsylvania through Prince Georges County to Queen Annes, where a proper guard will be appointed to receive them and conduct them to Baltimore town. Those twelve intended to be kept in custody in the Province, we think it would be best to have them sent under guard by water to Georgetown, and request you would give the necessary orders for that purpose. There Colonel Magruder will receive and convey them to Fredericktown, and deliver them to the Committee of Observation for the Middle District of Frederick County, to whom we have likewise written on the occasion. The Province will be answerable to you for reasonable expenses.
We are, &c.
To Colonel Joseph Sim.
P. S. In case any letters or papers should come for us by the guard, send them forward by express.
MARYLAND COUNCIL OF SAFETY TO GEORGE WOOLSEY.
SIR: We contracted with you on the 9th of February last for the brig Rogers, to proceed on a voyage to the foreign West-Indies on account of this Province, and advanced you one thousand eight hundred pounds towards purchasing a cargo of flour for her. We have not since then heard from you on that subject, nor doth it appear to us that you have done anything therein; we therefore request you would acquaint us, by the return of Captain Fulford, what you have done in this matter; and oblige, sir, yours, &c.
To Mr. George Woolsey, Baltimore Town.
PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS TO GENERAL SCHUYLER.
Philadelphia, May 4, 1776.
SIR: Since writing the foregoing, (see letter April 26th,) I have it further in charge from Congress to desire you to inform them whether the Continental commissions sent to you for the officers of the troops raised by Connecticut the last campaign, were delivered or offered to them, or any and which of them, and whether any and which of them accepted or refused the same; and particularly, whether commissions were offered to Colonel Waterbury and Colonel Easton, and whether they refused accepting them; and also to desire you, in case Major Douglass declines to take the command of the vessels on the lakes, that you appoint Captain Wynkoop to that command, and inform Congress thereof by the first opportunity.
I have the honour to be, &c.
JOHN HANCOCK, President.
To Major-General Schuyler, at Albany.
PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS TO THE NEW-YORK COMMITTEE OF SAFETY.
Philadelphia, May 4, 1776.
GENTLEMEN: I am commanded by Congress to request you will inform them whether the Continental commissions which were sent to you, for the officers of the troops raised by Connecticut the last campaign, were delivered or offered