George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Brigadier General William Maxwell, 15 March 1779

From Brigadier General William Maxwell

Elizth Town [N.J.] 15th March 1779

Sir

I have the pleasure to transmit to Your Excellency one of the latest papers from New York.1 I have had an account from Statten Island of several Letters being received there from Georgia mentioning many of the new Corps being kill there in a late Engagement: but I could not find that any of our friends saw the letters. They mention further that they were all lying close by their Shiping and expected to embark in a few days they hoped for new York. I hope we may soon have it confirmed.2 I have had a hint that they are preparing at New york for another Expedition; it cannot be more than a night one or I think I should have got it throug another channel. I think it is rather an emajinary one.3 I am Your Excellencys Most Obedient Humble Servant

Wm Maxwell B.G.

ALS, DLC:GW.

1The enclosed New York newspaper has not been identified, but see Maxwell to GW, 26-27 Jan., and n.3 to that document.

2Maxwell may have heard reports of the battle at Kettle Creek, Ga., fought on 14 Feb., in which a Loyalist force of several hundred men newly raised in North and South Carolina was attacked and beaten by a smaller number of Patriot militia under Col. Andrew Pickens. The defeat blunted a British attempt to extend control northward after their capture of Savannah on 29 Dec. 1778 and dampened the enthusiasm of Loyalists in the South (see Augustine Prevost to Henry Clinton, 1 March, in Davies, Documents of the American Revolution description begins K. G. Davies, ed. Documents of the American Revolution, 1770–1783; (Colonial Office Series). 21 vols. Shannon and Dublin, 1972–81. description ends , 17:68–70). The British force in Georgia included Loyalist New York volunteers, who most likely penned letters to Staten Island and entertained hopes of leaving the South for New York (see Archibald Campbell to Henry Clinton, 4 March, in Davies, Documents of the American Revolution description begins K. G. Davies, ed. Documents of the American Revolution, 1770–1783; (Colonial Office Series). 21 vols. Shannon and Dublin, 1972–81. description ends , 17:73–76).

3For the British strike into New Jersey on the night of 24 Feb. that provides Maxwell’s reference point, see Maxwell to GW, 25 and 27 February.

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