George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major John Clark, Jr., 29 November 1777

From Major John Clark, Jr.

Radnor [Pa.] November the 29th 1777—Six oClock A.M.

sir

Your Favor of the 27th I received last Night and will pay a particular attention to your request—By a Gentleman of veracity (a worthy Friend) who left Philadelphia the Evening before last, I am informed that General Howe is Billeting his Troops on the Citizens, two to every Housekeeper, which has occasioned a universal murmur among the Citizens—By a person who left the City Yesterday Evening, I am further informed the Enemy a few Days ago lost a Ship & a Brig (richly laden) in passing the Chevaux de frize1—no more Ships of force have got up—’tis strange that the Enemy still say Lord Cornwallis is wounded & lying in Jersey—he had not returned when my informant came away, & many of the Officers were exceedingly uneasy about him—they give out that they intend making an Attack on your Army but have made no preparation,2 they confess they’ve lost 30 Men at Gloucester in embarking.3

A Baker who lives in the City assured my Friend when the Troops were all in the City he baked for them by order of Genl Howe (four Days rations) 40000 lbs. of Bread including his Officers & followers of the Army—I forget his name but credit the account—they have removed all their Horses from Province Island. I am your Excellency’s Most Obedt

Jno: Clark Junr

P.S. I expect three Spies from the City any moment.

ALS, DLC:GW.

1Capt. James Wallace of H.M.S. Experiment writes in his journal entry for 23 Nov.: “Our Boats Employ’d assisting the Crawford Transport She having run on the Chiveux De frize. Do: Hawled her aShore. full of Water” (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 , 10:582; see also Döhla, Hessian Diary description begins Johann Conrad Döhla. A Hessian Diary of the American Revolution. Translated and edited by Bruce E. Burgoyne. Norman, Okla., and London, 1990. description ends , 60).

2Clark first wrote and then struck out the word “great” before the word “preparation.”

3British sources indicate that during the embarkation of their troops at Gloucester, N.J., on 27 Nov. their casualties were negligible (see Lydenberg, Robertson Diaries description begins Harry Miller Lydenberg, ed. Archibald Robertson, Lieutenant-General Royal Engineers: His Diaries and Sketches in America, 1762–1780. New York, 1930. description ends , 157–58; Döhla, Hessian Diary description begins Johann Conrad Döhla. A Hessian Diary of the American Revolution. Translated and edited by Bruce E. Burgoyne. Norman, Okla., and London, 1990. description ends , 61; André, Journal description begins John André. Major André’s Journal: Operations of the British Army under Lieutenant Generals Sir William Howe and Sir Henry Clinton, June 1777 to November 1778. 1930. Reprint. New York, 1968. description ends , 66). Clark may be including casualties from the engagement of 25 Nov., for accounts of which see the letters from Nathanael Greene and Lafayette to GW of 26 November.

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