George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lieutenant Colonel Loammi Baldwin, 16 August 1775

From Lieutenant Colonel Loammi Baldwin

Chelsea [Mass.] Augst 16th 1775
Wednesday Evening

May it Please your Excellency

I have Receivd a Letter which I Supose came From Mr J. C. by the Hand of the Gentlemen Expected, who says he is going to Head Quarters in the morning to see about the Sheep that were brought off from Puding Point which I have wrote to the adjutant General about.1

I am informed by a person that had it from the Pilots Mouth this day that the Ships that come in yesterday Brought 2000 Sheep and about 140 Head of Horn Cattle Hogs & Poultry in plenty[.] how true it is I cannot Say[.] I saw a Large number of Sheep & a few Cattle grazing upon Charlestown Heights this afternoon.2

I would Inform your Excellency that for three afternoons passd when the people were onloading the ferry Boat a Number of Men of war men come down upon Noddles Island over agains the Ferry ways & keep almost a Constant fire for 2 or 3 hours at a time[.]3 we have returnd the fire till I am Sattisfied that Small arms will Signify little or nothing altho. Several of ther Ball Struck within a yard or two of me[.] one of these balls Struck in a house I was at—with so much Force as to bury it Self in the Board.

Som of the Rifle men prehaps could Shoot with more exactness, as our Ball we could plainly See went far enough beyond them, there Language & Behaviour is Very Insulting[.] Should be glad to be revengd on them.

Inclosed is the observations,4 I did not Send this afternoon, Expecting to have an Oppertunity to Send by a Faithfull Hand Early in the Morning the Horses not being in good Order.5 This From Your Excellencys most Humbe & Obediant Servnt

Loammi Baldwin Lieut. Colo.


1“Mr J. C.” is John Carnes, the Boston grocer who was supplying intelligence for the Americans. See Joseph Reed to Baldwin, 28 July 1775, in Baldwin to GW, 29 July 1775, n.3. For the removal of livestock from Pullen Point, see General Orders, 13 July 1775. Baldwin wrote in his letter of this date to Adj. Gen. Horatio Gates: “We . . . meet with some dificulty about the Sheep that were brought away from Pudding Point[.] Inclosd, is a Short Representation of the affair, which together with this I suppose will be delivered by one of the owners of the Sheep who will Inform you furthe[r] about the matter” (DLC:GW). The enclosure was apparently Baldwin’s letter of this date which he addressed: “I know not to whoom this Should be directed Prehaps to the Commissary General.” In that letter Baldwin explained: “The sheep that were lately Brought off from Pudding-Point are now in Pound[.] I have Just Sent desireing that they may be Enlarg’d Informing the Trespassed that I would write to Head Quarters and if possable procure the General Pleasure with regard to them, they are become Very mischevious, The grazeing land to which it was preposed that they Should be confined too is so bare of feed that the Sheep are becom very poor and som have actuaally died there are Scarcely any among them that are in any measure fit to kill. I know not the conditions upon which they were brought from the Point, Neither who Superintends the affair, I Beg your Honour would direct this to him be it whoom it may. I hope I Shall Receive som directions Should think if the Sheep are taken for the Use of the Army that som of them had better be Sold to the Farmers as store Sheep so that the remainder might faire the Better” (DLC:GW).

2These vessels had recently raided Gardiners and Fishers islands. See Norwich Committee of Safety to GW, 7 Aug. 1775, and Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., to GW, 7 Aug. 1775, n.2.

3This action occurred near Winnisimmet ferry.

4“A Return of the observations of the Day august 16th” in Joseph Leach’s writing is in DLC:GW.

5For an account of the difficulties with one of the express horses, see Richard Dodge to GW, 19 Aug. 1775.

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