George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General John Sullivan, 6 October 1778

From Major General John Sullivan

Providence October the 6th 1778

Dear General

I take this oportunity by an Officer of Colo. Cranes (who goes upon Business of the Regt) to Inform your Excellencey that Every thing Remains Quiet in this Quarter we have an Account which I fear is but too true That the Rawley is Taken She was first Ingaged with a Frigate & a forty gun Ship hove in Sight Came up & after giving her a few Broadsides She was oblidged to Strike1—prizes Come in to Boston Every Day, but The prices of Articles Remain the Same as formerly. I had the honor of Receiving your Excellenceys favor of the first Instant am Exceeding Sorry for Colo. Baileys misfortune & the Loss this Stroke must be to the Army.2 I am in hast Dear General your Excellenceys most obedt & very Humble Servant

Jno. Sullivan M.G.


1The Continental frigate Raleigh, commanded by Capt. John Barry, was captured off the Maine coast on 26 Sept. after a seven-hour running engagement with the British warships Unicorn and Experiment. By beaching the Raleigh before its capture, Barry was able to escape with part of his crew. They reached Boston on 7 October. For an American account of the engagement, see the extract of a letter from the Commissioners of the Navy Board at Boston to the Marine Committee of Congress, 7 Oct., in the Pennsylvania Packet or the General Advertiser (Philadelphia) for 22 Oct.; see also GW to Henry Laurens, 14 October. For a British account, see Whinyates, Services of Francis Downman description begins F. A. Whinyates, ed. The Services of Lieut.-Colonel Francis Downman, R.A., in France, North America, and the West Indies, between the Years 1758 and 1784. Woolwich, England, 1898. description ends , 85.

2Sullivan is referring to Col. George Baylor, whose 3d Continental Light Dragoon Regiment had been surprised by the British near Old Tappan, N.J., on 28 Sept. (see Charles Stewart to GW, 28 Sept., and note 1 to that document).

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