George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Joshua Davis, 10 September 1776

From Joshua Davis

Norwick [Conn.] Septr 10 1776

I tak liberty to Inform your Excy of my Safe arival Into Norwick last Evning, With two Sea Mortors after A long Detention in giting up the Sound by Reason Of the Enemy & Contarary Wind, altho I have Indavord to Mak all despach in my power, & from The best advice I Can git hear togather with my one [own] Judgment think it Not prudent to Com any farther By Warter Am Now making Preparation to Bring them by land, With all Possabel Expedition. Persuant to my orders from the Honrbl. Majr Ginerl Ward As I Expectd when I left boston to Com up to york By Warter not Knowing the Sound was blocked up Did not bring money to pay the Vessels pilots & Sundary Othe[r] Chargs that will arise if your Exelency Think proper, plas to order me one hunrd Pound, or if more, for which I mirst [must] give an Account, I hop to your Sattisfaction.1 any orders your Exelency Shall be plasd to Send, Shall be Thankfully Recived & puntually obayd By your Most obedant huml. Sert

Josha Davis

P.S. Capt. Burbeck Compy with Earghtean of ginl Lees gard is with me which I belive will be Serfictiant help. The Rest of the troops I Shall Send forward.

Sene I Wrote the Above I understand thare is Danger On Som Part of the Road from this to Newyork As I find it Vary Difugalt to provid for one hunrd & thirty men Being out of provition I Send parte Forward, & Keek [keep] only What is Mentioned above only Serfitiant to hoist a mortor Submit thar farther Safty to yr Exely Better Judment.

ALS, ViMtvL; Sprague transcript, DLC:GW. Although Robert Hanson Harrison docketed the ALS, “Col. Joshua Davis’s Letter 10 Sepr 1776 Ansd 12th,” the reply of that date has not been found. The Sprague transcript does not include the postscripts.

1Gen. Artemas Ward’s aide-de-camp Joseph Ward wrote Davis on 18 Aug. directing him to “convey two Sea Mortars with their appertenances across the land from Sandwich to Buzzards Bay” and from thence by water to New York (Clark and Morgan, Naval Documents description begins William Bell Clark et al., eds. Naval Documents of the American Revolution. 11 vols. to date. Washington, D.C., 1964–. description ends , 6:222). Davis informed General Ward on 2 Sept. that he had arrived with the mortars at New London the previous day and was disappointed to learn that two British warships and two tenders recently had gone up Long Island Sound toward New York. “I am in Greait Consarn—But None Discurregd,” Davis wrote Ward. “I am Now Waiting for a Wind am Deturmined to Push up the Sound as far as I Can With All Possabel Safty & Despach the Communecation being Intierly Cut of by Warter betwen this place & N. york.... In Som Way or annothe Will Persew the Matter untill I land the morters if possabel” (MHi: Artemas Ward Papers). On 12 Sept. GW issued a warrant for $333⅓ to pay Davis’s expenses in bringing the mortars from Boston (warrant book no. 2, DLC:GW).

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