Head Quarters Bergen County 8 Sepr 1780
I have recd your favors of the 31st ulto and 3d instant. I should have been very glad had the situation of the Works, which Count de Rochambeau is constructing for the defence of the Island, admitted of the immediate dismission of the three months Massachusetts Militia, but as it does not, and the Count seems very desirous of compleating them, we cannot but consent to their staying out their term of service, should it be necessary.
I make no doubt but the State will do every thing possible to accommodate the French Troops should circumstances require them to take up their winter quarters in Rhode Island.
We have received accounts of a very disagreeable nature from the Southward. General Gates does not enter into particulars, but only mentions that the Army under his command had been totally defeated on the 16th Augt near Camden in South Carolina. It is much to be feared that the whole of the Maryland line have either fallen or been taken, as the Militia broke upon the first onset, and left them exposed to a very superior force. I am Dear Sir Your most obt Servt
MHi: Heath Papers.