George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Joseph Chew, 17 July 1758

From Joseph Chew

New London [Conn.] July. 17th 1758

Dear Sir:

I was on a Vissit over to Long Island a few days agoe and unexpectedly Came here.1 shall Return in the morning for New London.

am Very sorry to give an Accot of the Repulse our Forces met with before Tiondoroga[.] we Landed on the 7th near that Fortress with the Loss of abt 30 men. but what was Very Fatall, the Gallant Lord How there Lost his Life, we drove the Enemy from all their out Posts and killed an took abt 400 Prisoners—the 8th our army attacked the Retrench’d Camp before The Fort sword in hand, there is so many Various Reports of the attack and Loss; that it is Very hard to Come at the truth, however we met with a Very Warm Reception, the Enemy were ⟨trebly⟩ intrenched to their Teeth, how Long the attack lasted I cannot Say but the General has Retreated in good order to the Placee where Fort William Henry Stood with the Loss of near 1600 men killed missing and wounded[.] it is Said 97 officers are killed missing & wounded[.]2 their is as yet no Returns, or List Come to hand theirfore I can give you the Names of but Very few and them only of the greatest Note—Vizt

Lord How. Colo. Donaldson. Colo. Beaver, Majr Proby Majr Rutherford, Majr Tulithen, these most People agree are Certainly amongst the Slain[.] wounded, Colo. Gage. Colo. Delancy of the Yorks Colo. Grant Majr Ayers, Mr Clark Enginere, & I am Very Sorry for an occassion to give you any accot of this kind but as it is so wish it was in my Power to give you a more Particular one, of this severe and unexpected blow.3

I Sincerely hope we shall have a Better story to tell Very soon from you in the neighbourhood of Fort Duquesne, where may he who governs the universe have you under his Peculiar Care and send you back Loaded with Honnour a thing you have always so much merrited. Please to give my Love to my Brother. I have not time to write to him. Excuse this scrawl being in great haist and accept of my most sincere wishes for your safety & welfare and assure your self that I am my Dear Sir Your affectionate

Jos. Chew

our Friend Beverley is at Albany wth Govr Delancey his Dear good woman and Prety Boys are Very well—if Doct. Thomas Walker is with you Pray give my best Respects to him. I greatly thank him for his kindness to my Brothers.


1The postscript suggests that Chew wrote this letter in New York City where he saw the family of his friend Beverley Robinson.

2On 4 July Gen. James Abercromby with about six thousand regulars and ten thousand provincials sailed up Lake George to attack the French at Fort Carillon (Ticonderoga). After Abercromby’s army landed at the head of the lake on 6 July, his second in command, George Augustus, Lord Howe, colonel of the 55th Regiment, was killed; and on 8 July the French led by the marquis de Montcalm repulsed the British attack on Ticonderoga, inflicting heavy losses on the British regulars. Abercromby reported on 12 July to William Pitt 464 men killed, 29 missing, and 1,117 wounded. Fort William Henry at the south end of Lake George was destroyed the year before by Montcalm.

3Among those Chew names here as killed or wounded at Fort Ticonderoga are: John Donaldson and Thomas (or James) Proby, lieutenant colonel and major respectively of Howe’s 55th Regiment; John Tulleken (who in fact survived), major in the 60th Regiment; Samuel Beaver, lieutenant colonel of the 46th Regiment; Thomas Gage (who was unhurt), lieutenant colonel of the 44th Regiment, and William Eyre, major of that regiment; Francis Grant, lieutenant colonel of the 42nd; John Rutherfurd, formerly of an Independent Company in New York and more recently of the 60th Regiment; James De Lancey, Jr. (who survived), of the New York forces; and Matthew Clark, an engineer.

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