George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Samuel Huntington, 28 April 1780

To Samuel Huntington

Head Qrs Morris Town April 28th 1780


I have the Honor to acknowledge Your Excellency’s dispatches of the 15th, which have been duly received. Colo. Ward, whose appointment to the Office of Commissary of prisoners they communicate, went to the Eastward soon after he returned from philadelphia. It is probable Your Excellency was acquainted with this circumstance; however I have thought it material to mention it, that you might know in case You were not, where to write to him upon the subject. From Colo. Ward’s assiduity and his great and uniform zeal for the service and interest of the States, there is every reason to believe, if he accepts the appointment, that he will give satisfaction and fully answer the expectations of Congress.

I inclose Your Excellency a New York paper of the 25th, which probably contains later advices from the Southward than You have received.1 If these Accounts are true, Our Affairs in that quarter are in a disagreable situation. I have the Honor to be with the highest respect & esteem Yr Excellency’s Most Obedt servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DNA:PCC, item 152; Df, DLC:GW; copy, DNA:PCC, item 169; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Congress read GW’s letter on 1 May (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 16:400).

1GW likely enclosed The Royal American Gazette (New York) for 25 April, which printed an item under the heading “NEW-YORK,” same date: “Yesterday morning a fleet of forty-seven sail, under convoy, arrived at Sandy-Hook from Savannah … they left Charlestown Bar the 8th instant, on which day Vice-Admiral Arbuthnot, in his Majesty’s ship Roebu[c]k, with the Renown, Romulus, seven frigates, and a number of gallies, passed the rebel batteries on Sullivan’s-Island, and sailed into Charlestown harbour. The Richmond frigate led the van, and as they were favoured with a fresh breeze of fair wind, sustained very little if any damage by the fire from the rebel batteries. His Excellency General Sir Henry Clinton with the Royal [A]rmy was advanced to within less than 300 yards of the rebel lines on Charlestown-Neck, and had strongly fortified all his posts, so that the place was compleatly invested by land and water, and the rebel garrison precluded from all possibility of escaping. On the night of the 7th instant the rebels kept up an incessant fire from their lines, but after the shipping got up it partly ceased, and it was not doubted that as soon as the army and navy commenced a joint attack upon the town the garrison must surrender at discretion or be buried in its ruins. Health and plenty prevailed throughout t[h]e British and Hessian encampments, also in the fleet, and every department vied with each other in alacrity to promote his Majesty’s service.”

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