From John Bondfield
Nantes 22 April 1780
This day arrived from Baltimore a small Schooner which port she left the 15 March.
General Clinton with the remainder of the transports saved from the general despersion, arrived at Savannah to the Number of 44 or 45 Ships.1 General Gates was sent to Command at Charles Town.2 No movements had been made since the Arrival of the Troops In Georgia, all the Enemys Horse were thrown overboard. The American Frigates Boston Providence & Ranger were at Charles Town, and they report every preparation were making to prevent the British Troops penetrating into Carolina, with respect I have the Honor to be Sir your very hhb. Servt.
RC (Adams Papers).
1. This is the first definite report JA received regarding the fate of Clinton’s stormtossed southern invasion force. For an account of the voyage and the early stages of the siege of Charleston, see Thomas Digges’ letter of 3 March, note 6 (above).
2. This report was supplied by Capt. W. Kindy of the schooner Dove from Baltimore (from Joshua Johnson, 22 April, below). Maj. Gen. Benjamin Lincoln was in command at Charleston until the surrender of the city and his army on 12 May. Congress did not appoint Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates commander of the southern department until 13 June and he did not take command in the field until 25 July (Robert Middlekauf, The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763–1789, N.Y., 1982, p. 442–443, 448, 453; JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 17:508). For JA’s use of the information regarding Gates, see Joshua Johnson’s letter of 22 April, note 1 (below).