George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lieutenant Colonel Roger Enos, 9 November 1775

From Lieutenant Colonel Roger Enos

Brunswick near Kennebeck [District of Maine]
novr 9th 1775


I am on my Return from Colo. Arnold’s Detachment. I Brot up the Rear of the Whole, Capt: McCobb, Williams & Scots Company’s were assind to my Division.1 We proceeded as far as 50 miles up the Dead River & there were obliged to Return for the want of Provision when we Arrived to the Great Carying Place, By what I cou’d Learn from the Division forward that Provision was Like to be Short, I wrote to Colo. Arnold & Desired him to take an Account of the Provision forward, he wrote me word that there were 25 Days provisions for all the Divisions, A head. But to my Surprise before we got over the great Carying place, Majr Bigelow with 90 men was Sent back from Col: Green’s Division, to Mine for Provision.2 I Let ’em have all I cou’d Spare. I continued my march with all Expedition & When about 50 Miles up the Dead River overtook Col: Green with his Division Entirely out of Provision & by Reason of men being Sent back, with Orders from Col: Arnold for me to furnish them with provision to Carry them to the Inhabitants, my Division was Reduced to about 6 Days provision.3 Col: Arnold was gone ahead, the Chief of the Officers of Col: Green’s Division & Mine was together, When we took the Situation of our Divisions into Consideration & upon the whole for Several Reasons it was thot best for my Whole Division to Return & furnish those that proceeded with all our provisions, Except 3 Days to bring us back, wch I did without Loss of time.4 A More particular Account shall be Able to Give When I Return to Cambridge. Shall Lose no time if able to Ride I have for many Days been Unwell. Expect the whole of my Division at this place to Morrow, When shall Set out on our March for Cambridge.5 I am your most Obedient Humb. Servant

Roger Enos

ALS, DLC:GW; copy, enclosed in GW to Hancock, 19 Nov. 1775, DNA:PCC, item 152; copy, DNA:PCC item 169; copy, NjMoHP.

1Samuel McCobb (d. 1791) of Arrowsic Island, District of Maine, had fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill before raising men for Arnold’s expedition. Capt. Thomas Williams served in Col. John Paterson’s Massachusetts regiment before the expedition. Captain Scott has not been identified.

2See Arnold to Enos, 17 Oct. 1775, in Roberts, March to Quebec description begins Kenneth Roberts, ed. March to Quebec: Journals of the Members of Arnold’s Expedition. New York, 1938. description ends , 74–75.

3Enos caught up with Lt. Col. Christopher Greene’s division on 25 October. Arnold wrote to Enos on 24 Oct.: “We are now reduced to 12 or 15 days [of provisions]. . . . We have had a council of war last night, when it was thought best, and ordered to send back all the sick and feeble with three day’s provisions, and directions for you to furnish them until they can reach the commissary or Norridgewock; and that on receipt of this you should proceed with as many of the best men of your division as you can furnish with 15 day’s provision; and that the remainder whether sick or well, should be immediately sent back to the commissary to whom I wrote to take all possible care of them. I make no doubt you will join with me in this matter as it may be the means of preserving the whole detachment, and of executing our plan without running any great hazard, as fifteen days will doubtless bring us to Canada. I make no doubt you will make all possible expedition” (ibid., 75–76).

4For the council of war held by the officers of Enos’s and Greene’s division on 25 Oct., see Isaac Senter’s and Simeon Thayer’s journal entries for that date, ibid., 210–13, 256–58.

5Enos reached Cambridge on 25 November. For his arrest and court-martial, see General Orders, 27, 30 Nov. and 4 Dec. 1775.

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