Elizabeth Town May 21st 1782
Mr Skinner, whose immediate departure did not afford me an opportunity of writing upon the subject, has without doubt reported to your Excellency the circumstance of the detention of Mr Lenox Depy Commissary of naval prisoners, his vessel and the hands as prisoners, agreable to your Excellency’s orders communicated by a letter to Colonel Dayton some time since. They will be continued at this place until I have the honor of receiving your Excellency’s further directions.
The fleet of which I made mention to your Excellency in my last letter, sailed immediately, and another much larger is now preparing and falling down consisting of all the square rigged vessels in New York harbour which are fit for service. They are, I believe with certainty, intended for the removal of the army and stores from South Carolina & Georgia and are to be convoyed by all the largest ships upon this station. A great number of men were impressed on Saturday night and even in the day time which were supposed to be wanted for manning the transports that compose this fleet.
The militia of the city were ordered upon duty and relieved the regular troops on Sunday, who are preparing to be reviewed by Sir Guy Carleton. This order has occasioned great confusion and discontent, the more so as it too plainly indicates what they may be made to expect should their situation become more serious or more dangerous—The only reason for this, (from what I can collect) is, that the army may be in a more collected state for reviewal, which I believe to be a temporary matter only. I have the honor to subscribe myself with the greatest respect, Your Excellency’s very obedt hum. sert
DLC: Papers of George Washington.