George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lieutenant Colonel Loammi Baldwin, 4 August 1775

From Lieutenant Colonel Loammi Baldwin

Chelsea [Mass.] Augst 4th 1775 5 oClock P.M.

May it please your Excellency

This covers the Observations as Usual.1

Capt. Morton2 who came out of Boston yesterday in the afternoon informs that a little before he came away the Generals went over the ferry to Bunker Hill to consult (as it was said) upon the propriety of taking possession of a considerable eminence in this Town a little West of Winnisimmit Ferry commonly known by the name of Greens Hill; and I am informd by some persons who left Boston this morning that the Soldiers told them as they was coming away that they ware Fools to go to Chelsea for tomorrow they (the Regulars) ware a going to take possession of that Place & burn & distroy all before them, and this it was said was to be done in consequence of the determination of the Council of War held yesterday on Bunker Hill.

This Intiligence is Just as I Received it & your Excellency will pay what attention to it you think Proper.3

I feal my Self under Indispensible Obligations to transmit to your Excellency all the Intiligence I can get from our Enimy and you will be pleased to Excuse it if I Should Sometimes trouble you with imperfect accounts & matters of Little consequence as I cannot tell what may or what may not prove true.

I am this moment Informd that a Man of War & one Schooner (the schooner commanded by Cap. Dawson) is Just Come in with two Sloops & one Schooner which I supose they have Piratically Seized and made Prizes of.

hope I Shall be able to give a more full account of this affair tomorrow.4

Nothing further Extraordinary I Subscribe myself your Excellencys most Obediand Servnt

Loammi Baldwin Lieut. Colo.


1“A Return of the observations of the Day august the 4th” in Joseph Leach’s writing is in DLC:GW.

2Capt. Morton may be Thomas Morton, a Boston shipmaster.

3John Trumbull replied to Baldwin on behalf of GW in a letter of this date: “His Excellency Receiv’d yours of this Day Informing the Intention of the Enemy to take Possession of Green’s hill; he is very glad of every Information with regard to their Movements & thanks you for your Attention, but cannot think, that, if any such Affair was on foot the Soldiers would be allow’d to know any thing of it—& therefore concludes we need not be under any Apprehensions On that Score” (MH: Baldwin Papers). British troops did cross the Mystic River on 6 Aug. and burn a house at Penny ferry near Green Hill (Baldwin to GW, that date).

4Lt. George Dawson commanded the British armed schooner Hope, which sailed from Boston for the Bay of Fundy between 19 and 21 July and did not return until 10 September. Baldwin’s intelligence may be a delayed report of Dawson’s earlier captures of two sloops and a schooner laden with firewood. See Samuel Graves’s narrative, 1 July 1775, and Simeon Turner’s statement, 20 July 1775, in Clark, Naval Documents description begins William Bell Clark et al., eds. Naval Documents of the American Revolution. 11 vols. to date. Washington, D.C., 1964—. description ends , 1:796, 936–37.

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