George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Matthias Ogden, 23 May 1782

Bottle Hill 23rd May 1782

I enclose your Excellency the latest accounts I have from the Enemy, with some New Papers; which I should have sent the 21st Inst., but was disappointed by the Person engaged to carry my Letter.

In a line from Col. Smith, I was advised that your Excellency, has been in great measure disappointed; in not receiving so frequent information from this quarter, as from circumstances you had a right to expect: particularly in the list I was to have furnished—I am exceedingly sorry your Excellency’s expectations have not been answered; ’tho I cannot charge myself with remisness; especially when I reflect upon my own disappointments on this score, arising from the unpunctuality of those Persons whom I have to deal with. These characters I have ever found, more ready to promise; than punctual to execute. Perhaps some things might have escaped me when necessaraly absent at Philadelphia on business for my Regiment; which at this time demands my particular attention, that it may take the Field with credit; which [I may hope will be the case.]

Immediately on the reciept of your Excellencys Letter, I employed two Persons either of whom, I am certain was equal to procure the list refered to. This I have daily expected for two weeks past, & have been as long disappointed; ‘tho I hope to have it soon, & accurate.

The danger of committing that to paper which might endanger the safety of Characters concerned; induces me to engage my Brother, Captn Ogden to hand this to your Excellency; he will be able to give information respecting certain matters I mentioned to Col. Smith, & the reason why a certain matter was not attempted in the small way, that circumstances would not have justified, the putting in practice agreeably to the first plan.

Capt. Ogden will ask of your Excellency permission for me to put a small affair in execution; & just mention a few matters that may possibly lead to the formation of a plan; which if practible to execute, I think can be done by myself; no other Person having so good an opportunity. I am with the utmost respect your Excellencys humble servt

M. Ogden

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


Bottle Hill 23rd May—82

I have accounts through many different channels that near 100 Transports have fallen through the Narrows, with two fifty Gun Ships & four Frigates, it is believed, & (indeed I have not a doubt) that they are bound for Charles Town, to take on board the Garrison of that place, & of Savannah. This Fleet had not sailed the day before yesterday; a very hot press, has continued for several days, for Seamen to Man the fleet about sailing, ’tho I imagine they are ultimately intended for Rodney.

There is a report that three hundred Army Horses have been lately dismissed from service, & that a body of Troops, are under marching orders—in the last Fleet a few Invalids were, bound for Europe.

It is certain the Enemy have discontinued their working parties on the lines beyond the Town, altho they are not finished—The Militia have for a few days past done the Garrison duty of the Town, the reason given for this is that Sir Guy intends assembling the Army for a review.

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