From Major General William Heath
Boston April 26th 1777
This will be handed to you by Colonel Conway lately arrived from France & engaged by Mr Dean to enter the Service of the United States of America1—He is accompanied by Two other Gentlemen viz. Capt. Balme and Monsr Danmours2—The Three appear to be Officers of Abilities—They inform me that Mr Dean promised them that their Expences should be born to Philadelphia &c.—I must confess I scarcely know what to do with them, & wish Direction, I have advanced to Col. Conway, as advance pay 150 Dollars to enable him to proceed to Philadelphia—And to Capt. Lewis Fleury 50 Dollars—The latter is engaged as a Capt. Engineer.3
The Old General De Borre grows uneasy that he does not hear from Congress or Your Excellency, and even talks of Returning—I think something should be determined respecting them or the Cause may be injured.
I have ordered the 25 Cases of Arms lately arrived here to be sent on to Springfield as the Honble Mr Langdon thought himself not at Liberty to deliver those at Portsmouth but to the Order of the Board of War—as I mention’d in a former Letter.4
I think it is highly necessary, that not only part of the Cannon, but the Muskets, Flints, powder, Tents, & lead ball, the latter of which are of the proper Size for the new Arms, should be immediately forwarded to Springfield, in Order to their being conveyed to the Army—I intend to morrow morning again to send to Mr Langdon to desire, if he still thinks that he cannot deliver the Stores to the Commissary, but by Order of the Board of War that he would himself send them on & deposit them in some place more safe; and also more Convenient to the Army.5
Genl Wayne has wrote down for sundry Stores to be sent on to Ticonderoga—Such as nails, Cordage, Painters Colours &c., which we shall procure and forward.6
The State of Connecticut have determined to fill up their Regts by Draughts—The same mode is under Consideration here—And a Vote passed the Council this day in favor of it—whether it will be concurred by the House I cannot tell.
A number of Artificers skilled in making and repairing Gun Carriages &c., are come over with the Cannon, and I think would be very serviceable in the Labratory at Springfield.
The Assembly have promoted Lt Col. Vose of late Patterson’s Regt to the Command of it—Majr Vose of the same Regt to be Lt Col.—and Capt. Cogswell of Wesson’s to the Majority7—In my next I will forward to your Excellency, the best return of the state of the Regts that I can obtain. I have the honor to be Your Excellency’s Most humble Servt
LS, DLC:GW; ADfS, MHi: Heath Papers; copy (extract), enclosed in GW to Hancock, 9 May 1777 (first letter), DNA:PCC, item 152; copy (extract), DNA:PCC, item 169. The extracts contain only the first paragraph of the letter.
1. Thomas Conway (1733–1795), a native of Ireland who had been educated in France, joined the French army in 1747 and attained the rank of colonel in 1772. Recommended by Silas Deane “as one of the most skilful Disciplinarians in France,” Conway arrived at Portsmouth, N.H., aboard the Amphitrite on 20 April (Deane’s second letter to the Secret Committee of Congress, 29 Nov. 1776, DNA:PCC, item 103). Congress on 13 May appointed Conway brigadier general, and six days later GW gave him command of a Pennsylvania brigade (see JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 7:349, and GW to Conway, 19 May). Relations between GW and Conway soon deteriorated. In October GW opposed Conway’s effort to gain promotion on the grounds that his “merit . . . exists more in his own imagination than in reallity” and his advancement over senior American officers would threaten the continued existence of the army (see GW to Richard Henry Lee, 16 Oct. 1777, ViHi). Congress, nevertheless, on 13 Dec. 1777 named Conway inspector general with the rank of major general, and on 23 Jan. 1778 it appointed him second in command of a proposed Canadian expedition (see JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 9:1026, 10:87). GW meanwhile learned that Conway had criticized him indirectly in a letter to Horatio Gates (see Stirling to GW, 3 Nov. 1777 and GW to Conway, 9 Nov. 1777, DLC:GW; GW to Gates, 4 Jan., 9 Feb. 1778, NHi: Gates Papers). That revelation sparked apprehensions in GW’s mind during the winter of 1777–78 that Conway was involved in a conspiracy to undermine him and make Gates commander in chief (see GW to Lafayette, 31 Dec. 1777, DLC:GW; GW to Henry Laurens, 31 Jan. 1778 [second letter], NNPM; GW to John Fitzgerald, 28 Feb. 1778, DLC:Digges-L’Enfant-Morgan Papers). Although the so-called Conway Cabal had no real existence, Conway by the end of the winter was stigmatized in the army and Congress as an dangerous intriguer. He resigned his commission in April 1778 (see JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 10:399). After being wounded in a duel with Gen. John Cadwalader in July 1778, Conway returned to France and rejoined the French army. He became colonel of a regiment in India in 1781, and he served as governor of French India from 1787 to 1789 and Île de France (Mauritius) from 1789 to 1790. Dismissed from the latter office by the revolutionary government, Conway spent the last years of his life as a Royalist exile. In 1794 he became commander of an Irish regiment in British service.
2. Charles-François-Adrien Le Paulmier, chevalier d’Annemours (d’Anmours; 1742–1807), a native of Normandy, France, who had engaged in trade in the West Indies and the mainland American colonies for many years and who had become fluent in English during an extended stay in Britain, came to America from France at this time as an unofficial, unaccredited French agent. During the next year and a half d’Annemours reported on American affairs to the French foreign minister Vergennes. In the fall of 1778 d’Annemours was appointed provisionally as French consul in Baltimore, and in December 1779 that appointment was made permanent. The chevalier d’Annemours remained consul at Baltimore with jurisdiction over all the southern states until 1793 when he was dismissed by the revolutionary government in France. He spent the remainder of his life in New Orleans.
3. François-Louis Teissèdre de Fleury (1749–c.1814), who had entered the French army as a volunteer in 1768 and had become a sous-aide-major in 1772, was one of several young officers sent to America by Du Coudray. Congress on 22 May resolved to forward Fleury to GW as a captain of engineers (see JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 8:380). Assigned initially as a volunteer to a corps of riflemen, Fleury proved his bravery in September at the Battle of Brandywine where his horse was shot under him (see ibid., 8:739) and in October at the Battle of Germantown where he was wounded in the leg. Fleury also proved himself highly useful in a variety of ways. GW on 3 Oct. 1777 appointed Fleury brigade major to Pulaski’s corps of light dragoons (see General Orders, that date), and on 4 Nov. 1777 GW ordered Fleury to Fort Mifflin on the Delaware River to serve as an engineer (see John Laurens to Fleury, that date, DLC:GW). Wounded when the British attacked the fort on 15 Nov., Fleury was promoted to lieutenant colonel by Congress on 26 Nov. (see JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 9:967), and on 27 April 1778 GW appointed him a subinspector under Inspector General Steuben (see General Orders, that date). On 15 June 1779 Fleury was named commander of a light infantry battalion (see General Orders, that date). A month later he led one of the two light infantry detachments that attacked Stony Point, in honor of which Congress voted him a silver medal, the only one authorized for a foreign officer during the war (see JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 14:890; see also GW to John Jay, 25 July 1779, DLC:GW). In September 1779 Fleury obtained a leave of absence to go to France (see JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 15:1111). Although he did not resign his American commission until 1783, he resumed his commission in the French army and was appointed major of the Saintonge Regiment in March 1780. Fleury returned to America in the latter capacity with Rochambeau’s army in July 1780 and served as a French officer in the Yorktown campaign the following year. Sailing from Boston in January 1783, Fleury went back to France, and in January 1784 he became colonel of the Pondichéry Regiment. He was named maréchal de camp in 1791, and he was wounded during the retreat from Mons, Belgium, in April 1792.
5. See Heath to John Langdon, 27 April, MHi: Heath Papers.
6. See Anthony Wayne to Heath, 18 April, and Heath to Wayne, 25 April, MHi: Heath Papers.
7. Joseph Vose replaced John Paterson as colonel of the 1st Massachusetts Regiment because Paterson had been promoted to brigadier general on 21 Feb. 1777. Joseph Vose’s younger brother Elijah Vose became the regiment’s lieutenant colonel. Thomas Cogswell, a leather dresser from Haverhill, Mass., served as a captain in Col. Samuel Gerrish’s Massachusetts regiment during 1775, the 26th Continental Regiment during 1776, and the 9th Massachusetts Regiment during the first months of 1777 before his promotion to major of the 1st Massachusetts Regiment. He was appointed lieutenant colonel of the 15th Massachusetts Regiment in November 1779, but shortly thereafter the state of Massachusetts revoked his appointment and in March 1780 Cogswell asked GW for a leave of absence. He became wagon master general in September 1780. Cogswell later lived in Gilmanton, New Hampshire.