From Brigadier General William Maxwell
Acquackinac [N.J.] 8th Octr 1778
I have to inform your Excellency that last evening I recd a Letter from Major Howell dated the 4th Inst. says that on the 1st Inst. a Fleet of four Ships & eight Brigs Schooners & Sloops sailed to the Southward, designed as they imagined for Egg harbour;1 Several Signal Guns was heard on the 3d in the Morning and they were again seen off—Same day two Ships went in & one the day before. I wish he had been a little more explicite where the three Vessels went into but I suppose it was into N. york. and what sort of sized Ships was in the Fleet, I suppose they were all small as Coll Dayton writes me by same conveyance, that I may Ashure your Excellency that the English Fleet had not left Sandy Hook three days ago.2 The Major says further that it is reported that a General Albemarl is arived at N. york. Two Deserters from the 2d Battn Light Infantry at the new bridge this moment came in, says that the 42 & 15th Regts on the Forraging party was to set off this morning to go to N. york there to Embarque for Hallifax that 9 or 10 Regts was to embarque in a few days for the W. Indias that prev[i]ous to that the Granadiers & Light Infantry would Joyn their Corps3 they say it is thought that the Forrag’g party is finished or nearly so. I am your Excellencys Most Obedient Humble Servt
1. For accounts of the British expedition to Little Egg Harbor, N.J., see Stirling to GW, 7, 14, and 22 Oct., and the notes to those documents. Richard Howell’s letter to Maxwell has not been identified.
2. Elias Dayton’s letter to Maxwell has not been identified.
3. The 15th Regiment of Foot was one of the ten British regiments commanded by Maj. Gen. James Grant that embarked for the West Indies between 25 and 28 Oct., and sailed from Sandy Hook on 3 November. The 42d Regiment of Foot went into winter quarters on Long Island on 4 Nov. (see Kemble Papers description begins [Stephen Kemble]. The Kemble Papers. 2 vols. New York, 1884-85. In Collections of the New-York Historical Society, vols. 16–17. description ends , 1:165).