George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lieutenant Colonel Loammi Baldwin, 28 July 1775

From Lieutenant Colonel Loammi Baldwin

Chelsea [Mass.] July 28th 1775 half after 4 oClock

May it Please your Excellency

Agreable to your order I Send the following observation taken by the Century posted upon Powder Horn Hill, from about 7 oClock A.M. to 2 oClk P.M. one Ship gone out, three Ships & two Tenders Coming in, about 12 Boats passd from Boston to Charlestown Light Loaded, or almost Em[p]ty, three Boats passd from Charlestown to Boston Very heavy Loaded with Men.

I would beg leave to ask your Excellency whether it was the intent & meaning of your Orders to Send an Express to Head Quarters Every day when there is nothing more Occurs than has for two days passd. These from your Excellency’s most Obediant Servent

Loammi Baldwin Lieut. Coln.


Loammi Baldwin (1745–1807) of Woburn, Mass., was a member of the Middlesex County convention in August 1774, and in April 1775 he joined Col. Samuel Gerrish’s regiment as major. He became lieutenant colonel of that regiment on 16 June, and when Gerrish resigned his commission in August, Baldwin succeeded him as regimental commander. Baldwin fought at the Battle of Trenton in December 1776, but ill health obliged him to retire from the army soon afterwards. An experienced surveyor and engineer, Baldwin undertook in June 1775 to survey some of the terrain between the lines at Boston. During the latter half of this year, he was the senior officer at Chelsea and oversaw the defense of that area and the important intelligence gathering activities that were conducted there. Except for about two weeks in late August when he was home sick, Baldwin wrote regularly to GW between this date and the middle of November, enclosing daily reports by Joseph Leach on ship traffic in Boston Harbor. Baldwin also relayed intelligence to GW from a spy in Boston and from the numerous refugees who came out of the city by way of Winnisimmet ferry. See Baldwin to GW, 29 July 1775, nn. 1–3, and 31 July 1775, n.2.

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