George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Artemas Ward, 9 June 1776

From Major General Artemas Ward

Boston 9 June 1776


Yours of the twenty eighth of May, I received last evening, and shall give immediate attention to all your Directions. I sent forward the first of last week under the care of Genl Putnam’s Son to be forwarded to New york, five hundred Barrels of powder, five hundred Carbines, and all the other articles which were wrote for.1 The remaining three hundred Carbines to compleat the eight hundred I shall forward as soon as possible. All the remainder of the ordnance stores taken in the Hope, were deposited and secured in the manner you recommend, as soon as possible after their arrival.

Yesterday a Ship from Scotland was taken and brought into Marblehead by the Continental armed Schooners Warren and Lee. she had on board a Company of Highlanders consisting of near an hundred privates, one Captain three Subalterns and two Volunteers. They inform that thirty two sail of Transports came out with them under convoy of a Frigate of thirty two Guns with three thousand Highlanders on board all bound to Boston. They brought no papers nor letters of any consequence and can give no intelligence of importance. The Transport is said to be a very good Ship, of one hundred and thirty tuns burthen, had on board four carriage Guns, the arms and baggage belonging to the Company, some tents and cloathing, and provisions. The Captain’s name is Maxwell who commands the Company, and is Brother to the Dutchess of Gordon.2

As my Health declines more and more daily I must request to be relieved as soon as possible. I am Your Excellency’s Obedient Humble Servant

Artemas Ward

LS, DLC:GW; LB, MHi: Ward Papers; copy (extract), enclosed in GW to Hancock, 16 June 1776, DNA:PCC, item 152; copy (extract), DNA:PCC, item 169; copy (extract), DLC: Hancock Papers.

1For the sending of these items, see Artemas Ward to GW, 6 June 1776. Capt. Israel Putnam, Jr., supervised their transportation to New York (see Israel Putnam to GW, 27 May 1776).

2The British transport Anne, which was taken on 6 June by the armed schooners Warren, Lee, and Lynch, was bringing troops of the 71st Regiment of Foot (Fraser’s Highlanders) from Greenock, Scotland. The Anne was separated from its escorting frigate the Flora and the other transports in its convoy during a storm soon after the convoy sailed from Scotland on 29 April. Unaware of the British evacuation of Boston, the master of the Anne, John Denniston, was attempting to enter Boston Harbor when his vessel was captured. Three other transports from the convoy were taken under similar circumstances during June. Capt. Hamilton Maxwell commanded the light infantry company of the 71st Regiment’s 1st Battalion (Archibald Campbell to William Howe, 19 June 1776, in Clark and Morgan, 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 , 5:619–21; see also Jonathan Glover to Artemas Ward, 8 June 1776, ibid., 423, and an extract of a letter from Hamilton Maxwell, no date, ibid., 6:610). Jane Maxwell, (c.1749–1812), daughter of Sir William Maxwell, married Alexander Gordon, duke of Gordon, in 1767, and by 1775 she was a prominent figure in Tory political and social circles in Great Britain.

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