From Lieutenant Colonel John Laurens
Lebanon [Conn.] 23d July 1778.
I delivered Your Excellencys letter to Governor Trumbull this evening1—his deep affliction on account of his sons death seems to incapacitate him for public business—his council is to be convened to morrow and he desires me to assure you that the militia will be collected and marched with the greatest expedition—Pilots he thinks will be found in great abundance at Providence—As there is a deposit of continental horses at Colchester, it will be very easy to establish a proper chain of stationary expresses, for the speedy communication of intelligence, and the Governor has undertaken to give immediate orders for the purpose.
General Sullivan has written in the most pressing terms to the Governor for a reinforcement of Militia, in consequence of intelligence which he has received from Rhode Island, and which no doubt is contained in his letter to you2—the account I received of the Fleet & Troops which he alludes to, was totally different—it was that only four hundred effective men were on board—the rest were sick and wounded, sent to Hospital at Rhode Island—and that the fleet returned after having landed them—Genl Greenes brother gave me this information & said it came from one of four Seamen who deserted & brought off a captain of a transport with them. I have the honor to be with the greatest respect Your Excellencys most obedt Servt
2. Laurens was alluding to Maj. Gen. John Sullivan’s letter to Trumbull of 22 July (Hammond, Sullivan Papers description begins Otis G. Hammond, ed. Letters and Papers of Major-General John Sullivan, Continental Army. 3 vols. Concord, 1930-39. In Collections of the New Hampshire Historical Society, vols. 13–15. description ends , 2:102) and Sullivan’s letter to GW of the same date.