George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General William Heath, 4 August 1777

From Major General William Heath

Boston Augst 4th 1777

Dear General

This will be Handed to you by the Count de Puluski General de Larme de la Republique de Poloigne, who has Come over to Serve in the great american Cause.

Since my last we have Sent on near Three Hundred full Barrels of Powder, and a number of arms to Brookfield, A number of Shells 10 and 8 Inch with Some other Heavy articles are at Cambridge the Removal of which far by land will be very Expensive, should wish to Know your Excellency Pleasure, as to the removal of them to Brookfield or Springfield, or whether they shall remain where they are.

we have heard nothing of the Enemys Fleet Since I last wrote—our Coast is much Infested with Cruisers a valluable Prise was retaken a few Days Since after being drove on shore on Rye Beach, she had upwards of Three Hundred Hhhds of Rum of Board.1

Mr Miller has lately luckily got in a Quantity of Salt, on Board one of the Vessels were a few Barrels of Fresh Limes Two Barrels are on the Road to Colo. Trumbull, in order to their being Presented to your Excellency I hope they will arrive in Good Condition.

we have A Confirmation of the Disagreable news of Commodore manlys being Taken in the Hancock Frigate.2

a number of our Militia are ordered to reinforce Genl Schuyler. I have the Honor to be very respectfully your Excellencys obedient hume Servt

W. Heath

ADfS, MHi: Heath Papers.

1Heath is referring to the recapture of the British ship Argus from the Americans at Rye Beach, N.H., by H.M.S. Amazon on 31 July 1777 (see Capt. Maximilian Jacobs’s entry in the journal of H.M.S. Amazon, that date, in 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 , 9:355).

2The 32–gun Continental naval frigrate Hancock was captured at Cape Sambro, Nova Scotia, on the morning of 8 July after being chased since the previous afternoon by H.M.S. Rainbow, a 44–gun vessel commanded by Sir George Collier (see journal entry of H.M.S. Rainbow, that date, and Collier to Philip Stephens, 12 July, ibid., 239, 269–73). The Hancock was carried into Halifax, where it was taken into the Royal Navy and renamed the Iris, and some of the Hancock’s 277 men, including Capt. John Manley, were sent to New York as prisoners (see the extract of a letter from Collier to Lord Howe, 12 July 1777, ibid., 273–74). Drawings of the Hancock’s positions at various times during the chase were made by Capt. Hector McNeill from the Continental naval frigate Boston, which was in company with the Hancock but escaped capture, and are reproduced in ibid., 989–99.

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