George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Benjamin Lincoln, 5 June 1779

From Major General Benjamin Lincoln

Near the 13 Mile House Stono1 [S.C.]
June 5th 1779

Dear General

I had the honor of receiving your favr brought to this State by Colonel Laurens2 but have not had the pleasure of seeing him, nor an opportunity of showing him those civilities, to which your recommendation so justly entitles him, he being wounded in the flesh part of his arm almost immediately upon his arrival here which occasioned his removal to Charlestown.3 I wish I had it in my power to give you a more favorable account of our situation in this department than that what is really the case—matters wear a very serious aspect here—Our numbers, mostly militia, instead of being superior are, if what is said of the enemys strength is true, much inferior to theirs should they receive reinforcements as is generally expected, and not more attention paid to us in this quarter, I tremble for this4 State as there will be great danger of it being lost.5

By the 10th of August there will be but very few troops in the field unless reinforcments arrive before that time, which I have little reason to expect—As Major Rice one of my aids a gentleman of great merit will do himself the honor of waiting on you with this I must beg leave to refer you to him for a perticular state of matters and that you will excuse my not entering into them. I have the honor to be with the highest respect & esteem Dear General your affectionate humble servant

B. Lincoln

ALS, DLC:GW; LB, MHi: Lincoln Papers.

1Stono was a small community in Charleston County, S.C., about thirteen miles west of Charleston.

3Lt. Col. John Laurens, GW’s aide-de-camp, had gone in March to defend his home state of South Carolina (see GW to John Rutledge, 15 March). Laurens received his wound during an engagement along the Coosawhatchie River on 3 May.

4Lincoln wrote “the this” on the ALS. Only “this” appears in the letter-book copy.

5For recent operations involving Lincoln’s command, see GW to John Jay, 26 May, n.1. Lincoln’s tone is quite different from the optimistic reports then current in the north of an overwhelming American success in the south. These reports ultimately proved erroneous (see John Jay to GW, 4 and 7 June, and GW to James Clinton, 13 June; see also GW to John Augustine Washington, 20 June, and n.7 to that document.

Index Entries