George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., 11 August 1775

From Jonathan Trumbull, Sr.

Lebanon [Conn.] 11th Augt 1775


Yesterday 12 O’clo. received your Letter per Majr Johnson.1

Immediately gave the necessary Directions, Some Companies I ordered to New London; others to New-Haven—Colo. Webb with the Companies that way if not marched to take his Station at Greenwich2—Same day at 11 O’clo. received a Letter from Brigr General Wooster, dated the 9th at the Oyster Ponds on Long Island, he had with him 450 men besides Militia, designing to preserve the Stock at that Place—The Ships were then plundering Gardiner’s Island—The People on the Island had left it—He applied to me for 300 lb. Powder3—before I had made my Answer and Order for the Powder—which I gave notwithstanding Our exhausted Condition—On receipt of your’s inserted an Extract from it for his Observation.

I am informed a Quantity of Powder for the Camp is to be at Hartford this Evening, and more to follow Soon4—We have none lately arrived, which is daily expected—I request your Direction that of the Next quantity that comes to Hartford there may be lodged there so much as you shall judge Expedient—If what is expected do arrive in the mean Time Shall have no occasion to use your Allowance. I am, most respectfully Sir—Your most Obedient very humble Servant

Jonth. Trumbull

ALS,, DLC:GW; LB, Ct: Trumbull Papers.

1The letter was the one that GW wrote to Trumbull on 9 Aug. 1775. Obadiah Johnson served as major of the 3d Connecticut Regiment from 1 May to 16 Dec. 1775. He was lieutenant colonel of Col. Andrew Ward’s Connecticut state regiment between May 1776 and May 1777 and later became a colonel in the Connecticut militia.

2For a fuller account of Trumbull’s stationing of various companies from Col. Charles Webb’s and Col. Jedediah Huntington’s regiments along the Connecticut coast to oppose any possible British landing there or at New York, see Trumbull to GW, 15 Sept. 1775.

3“By the request of the Provincial Congress of New York,” David Wooster wrote to Trumbull on 9 Aug. 1775, “I yesterday embarked from New York with four hundred and fifty men, and this afternoon arrived here [the Oyster Ponds], We find that the Inhabitants are in great need of powder—There is none in New York, I spared two Hundred weight from my own Stock which was forwarded from New York to this place for the use of the York Provincials who were stationed here, of consequence our Stock is reduced to about twenty rounds a man—The Regulars have taken the Cattle Sheep &c from Fishers Island & this day have employed themselves in the same business on Gardner’s Island, when they have got through with that we may expect them upon this—I beg that your honour would with the greatest expedition possible forward to me, three hundred weight of powder, which I hope will be sufficient for the present exigency both for our own Troops and the Militia here” (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 , 1:1105). The Oyster Ponds were near Orient Point on the eastern end of Long Island.

4This was the 6½ tons of gunpowder which the Continental Congress on 25 July ordered to be sent from Philadelphia to Cambridge. See Richard Henry Lee to GW, 1 Aug. 1775, n.3, and Trumbull to GW, 8 Aug. 1775, n.3. For the arrival of the gunpowder at Cambridge, see GW to Schuyler, 14 Aug. 1775.

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