George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General John Sullivan, 5 September 1778

From Major General John Sullivan

Head Qrs Providence 5th 78 Septr

Dear General

Since my last, Two N. Hampshire Volunteers (who were capturd in Rhode Island & since exchangd) have brought out a Newport Gazette containing the following Intelligence—“That Sir Harry Clinton with the Troops arrivd there on Tuesday last & saild again on the 2d Instant[”]1—I have it likewise from General Cornell who is station’d at Tiverton, that the British Fleet had saild passd Newport & were turning Seconnet Point, steering eastwards—Their destination not known—General Clinton from every Account is on board—I have the honor to be with great Respect, Yr Excellencys Most obedient & hble sert

Jno. Sullivan

P.S: Those Gentlemen Volunteers likewise assure me, that one hundred and Six Waggons were brought into Newport after the action, With the wounded. that the smallest Number killd (by their own Accounts) were three hundred (that including both their Loss amounted to 1000 or 1500[)]2—J.S.


1The preceding Tuesday was 1 September. The Newport Gazette was established by John Howe in January 1777 and ceased publication in October 1779.

2On 10 Sept. the Continental Journal, and Weekly Advertiser (Boston) reported information given at Boston by exchanged prisoners “Captains Hart and Fernald, and Mr. Neal McIntyre of Portsmouth … that 306 of the enemy were killed in the late engagement there, and about 700 wounded. They also say … that Gen. Clinton had arrived there from New York, but instead of leaving a reinforcement, he took away some of the best troops on the island.” The “Captains” were privates John Hart and William Furnald of Capt. John Langdon’s Company of Light Horse Volunteers, to which McIntyre also belonged (see Hammond, Rolls of Soldiers description begins Isaac W. Hammond, ed. Rolls of the Soldiers in the Revolutionary War, 1775, to May 1777. . . [vol. 1]; Rolls of the Soldiers in the Revolutionary War, May, 1777, to 1780 . . . [vol. 2]; Rolls and Documents relating to Soldiers in the Revolutionary War . . . [vols. 3-4]. New Hampshire Provincial and State Papers, vols. 14–17. Concord and Manchester, N.H., 1885–89. description ends , 2:579; and New Hampshire Gazette. Or, State Journal and General Advertiser [Exeter], 18 Aug. 1778).

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