George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lieutenant Charles Pond, 19 June 1776

From Lieutenant Charles Pond

Sloop Schuyler fire Island [N.Y.]
June 19th 1776

I have the Pleasure of Informing His Excellency of our taking two Prises one A Ship of 250 Tons Burthen the Sloop 35 Tons Bound to Sandy hook the Ship from Glasgow with one Compy of the 42d Regt Who was taken by one of Admiral Hopkins’s fleet who took the Soldiers on Board & Sent the Ship for Rhode Island Soon after was Taken by the Cerberus Frigate & Sent her under Convoy of the Above Sd Sloop for Sandy hook.1 Remaining on Board the Ship 5 Commission’d officers with 2 Ladies & 4 Privates, Prisoners Total 20.2

Stores on Board the Ship Crawford 13 tierces of Beef 11 Do of Pork, 3000 Wt of Bread 4 Puncheons of Rum, 100 barrels of Coal, 10 firkins of Butter 1 Cask of Cheese.

On Board the Sloop 15 Cask of Molasses 2 Chests of Dry Goods 1 Tierce & 1 Barrel of Cags of Powder 1 Case of flints, Some Salt Petre.

The Ship is part of the way In the Inlet but at Present is Aground Pray Send Direction About the Prisoners as I am Short handed.

Charles Pond Capt:


Charles Pond (1744–1832), a first lieutenant in Col. Charles Webb’s 19th Continental Regiment, served as captain of the Continental armed sloop General Schuyler from June to December 1776. A merchant shipmaster in Milford, Conn., before the war, Pond joined Webb’s 7th Connecticut Regiment in July 1775 as an ensign and became a first lieutenant in the 19th Continental Regiment on 1 Jan. 1776. He was made a captain in the 6th Connecticut Regiment on 1 Jan. 1777 and remained in the army until April 1779 when he resigned to take a commission in the Connecticut navy. After commanding the snow Lady Spencer for a short time, he became captain of the galley New Defence. About 1 Feb. 1780 the New Defence was captured by the British in Long Island Sound, and Pond and his crew were confined on prison ships in New York Harbor.

Fire Island is a long barrier island off the south coast of Long Island.

1The Continental brig Andrew Doria captured the British transports Oxford and Crawford near the Grand Banks on 29 May. The Crawford, which was manned by a Continental prize crew, was recaptured on its way to Newport on 12 June by the British warship Cerberus, but the transport again became an American prize several days later when it and the unidentified sloop escorting it were taken by the General Schuyler near Fire Island.

2Many of these prisoners are named in an undated document in DLC:GW that is docketed in Samuel Blachley Webb’s writing “List of Scotch Prisoners taken back of Long Island.” Included are Capt. John Smith and Lt. Robert Franklin of the 42d Regiment; Capt. Norman MacLeod and lady, Lt. Roderick McLeod, Ens. Colin Campbell and lady, and surgeon’s mate Robert Boyce, all of the 71st Regiment; John McAlister, master of the Crawford; Norman McCullock, a passenger; and several servants.

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