George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Captain Lewis J. Costigin, 13 December 1778

From Captain Lewis J. Costigin

N. Yk 13 Decr [17]78


Since my last,1 nothing having turn’d up untill this day. A fleet of Jamacia Men about thirty sail are geting into the North river and are to sail in a few days under convoy of a frigate—the Emerald Tomorrow the Amazon of 32 Guns sails for England, a number of Passenge<rs> among whom, is Colo. Wm Bayard, Colo. Campbell of the 22nd Regt the Major of 16th Dragoon’s name unknown, and a Parson stringer from Phila.2

As yet no Acct of the three fleets sail’d under Command of Major Genl Grant. Genl Cambell and Lieut. Colo. Campbell, of the 71st now appointed a Brigr by the Commander in Chief: it is believ’d by all that Grant is gone to the West India: Genl Campbell being appoint’d Governor of Pensacola it cannot be a secret his destination: Colo. Campbell seem’d of more importance; I have paid ev’ry Attention to his line, and find he has from 3000 to 3500 Men, call’d here a pretty Command, and from the best Judges and men entituled to know ev’ry thing transacted. I am of Opinion they are intended for Georgia: from which they have high expectation’s not only from the weakness of the place, but likewise friendship of the Citizen’s of that Province—I this day saw Go’vernor Tryon in the City <he> having been very Ill with the Gout is retu<rned> but cannot learn who is left in Command <of> the bridge. I this day also learn that the Light Infantry from Jamacia, with the 17th Dragoon’s, and Cathcarts Legion, from Jerico, are Order’d to South and East Hampton’s and as they <take> no Provission with them, it is believ’d they will sweep all that Country.

Bread with the Army is exceedingly <short> but large Quantities of Rice have been taken which serve as a Substitute—the Opinion of an evacuation still prevails among numbers of the Inhabitants—but I must say I cannot as yet see any Probability of it.



2The major of the British 16th Regiment of Dragoons was Francis Edward Gwyn (Gwynne; d. 1821). He had been appointed a lieutenant in the 17th Dragoons in January 1764, was promoted to captain in the 3d Dragoons in January 1766, transferred to the 16th Dragoons in June 1769, and became a major in August 1775. After returning to England, Gwyn continued to rise in the British Army, attaining the army rank major general in December 1793 and becoming colonel of the 25th Dragoons, also known as Gwyn’s Hussars, in March 1794. He became colonel of the King’s Dragoon Guards in February 1820, and also served as governor of Sheerness in England.

Rev. William Stringer arrived in Philadelphia in August 1768 and became rector of St. Paul’s Anglican Church. His outspoken loyalism after the British occupation of the city outraged his flock, and he was forced to resign, returning to England the next year.

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