George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Captain Richard Dodge, 26 August 1775

From Captain Richard Dodge

Chelsea [Mass.] Augest the 26th 1775


I would in form your Exelencey tha[t] as Soun as I Could after I Recd your orders to Send a Partey of men to Dear Island I Proc[ee]ded and Sent Leut. Feirfeild1 with a Bout 20 or 30 men and he Proceded and Reportes as folowth (viz.) the Sumer-Set lyes a gainest the Island and tow Tranes Portes and a Small Ship that is mr Hanckock.2 when they furst got thare No Person on the Island tow Bearges Landed a Bout a: 11 of the Clock Stad a litle while and Returned Douing nothing He is in formed that thay have Cut and thrashed and Cared of the Litle grain that was on the Island. Further Saieth not I would in form your Exelency that the Reason of my Sending sow Lait is I wated for the a Bove Return wich came Sun a Bout on our hy I [am] your Exelencies most Humble Servent at Comand

Richd Dodge Capt.


1Matthew Fairfield (b. 1745) of Wenham, Mass., joined Col. Samuel Gerrish’s regiment as a first lieutenant on 19 May 1775. During 1776 Fairfield served in the regiment commanded by Col. John Greaton, and on 1 Jan. 1777 he was promoted to captain in the 13th Massachusetts Regiment. Fairfield resigned from the army in November 1777.

2The British warship Somerset was ordered about this time to go to Halifax “to stop her leaks” (Disposition of H.M.’s Ships and Vessels in North America, 17 Aug. 1775, in Davies, Documents of the American Revolution description begins William Bell Clark et al., eds. Naval Documents of the American Revolution. 11 vols. to date. Washington, D.C., 1964–. description ends , 11:75–76). The small ship apparently belonged to John Hancock.

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