From Jonathan Trumbull, Sr.
Lebanon [Conn.] 7–8 December 1776. “The Genll Assembly of this State sensible of the vast Importance of supporting the great Cause in which You are so nobly strugling, Have at their Session of the 19th of Novr last, made Provision for raising by Inlistment four Battalions to serve under Your Command untill the 15th of March next, before which Time I have strong Hopes our Quota of the Continental Army will be compleated.1 and I Do earnestly recomend it to the brave Officers & Soldiers of this State now in your Army, freely & chearfully to undertake in Defence of so great, so just & so good a Cause.2. . . P.S. 8 Decr since writing the above, the Enemys Fleet have quitted N. London Harbor, without attacking that Place, & were yesterday above 100 Sail, between the Island of Cononnicut & the Main steering directly to Providence, & about 30 Sail going into Newport Harbor, & have doubtless attacked Them before this & our Militia are turned that way, & We expect an Army must be established in N. England also.”3
LS, DLC:GW; LB, Ct: Trumbull Papers.
2. The omitted text is a long patriotic exhortation, which, although Trumbull does not say so, appears to be designed to be read to the Connecticut troops in the army in order to persuade them to reenlist for three years or the duration of the war, or failing that, to extend their present terms of service until the new Connecticut quota of men was enlisted.
3. The British fleet carrying Gen. Henry Clinton’s expedition anchored on 7 Nov. about four miles north of Newport, and on this date Clinton’s troops landed and took possession of the town (see Mackenzie, Diary description begins Diary of Frederick Mackenzie Giving a Daily Narrative of His Military Service as an Officer of the Regiment of Royal Welch Fusiliers during the Years 1775–1781 in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York. 2 vols. Cambridge, Mass., 1930. description ends , 1:122–24; see also Nicholas Cooke to GW, 8 December).