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them. The Chevalier D'Aboville and his brother, Monsieur D'Aboville, are the only persons who Mr. St. John can at present mention to the General. Mr. St. John is sorry that he was not at home when the General did him the honor of calling upon him.
Major Benjamin Talmadge's Letter.
Nov. 13th, 1777. DEAR SIR :—Retired from duty a moment, I am set down to give you the current news of the day, the whole of which summed up amounts to but little; so that, on the whole, this letter will contain subject matter for expectation, rather than of past occurrences.
The noble defence lately made at the important post on the Red-bank you have doubtless been apprized of. By a gentleman from Philadelphia I am told that nothing could equal the mortification and disappointment of the enemy on that repulse, as they expected but little resistance would have been made, and on setting down and counting the cost it has been the amount of about five hundred men to them.
The greatest preparations are making by the enemy to attack our forts both by land and sea. They have cut down sundry small sloops, which are to carry one or two heavy guns, and float over the chevaux de frise. These are preparing below, near Fort Chester. Above the fort, and at the city, they have built floating batteries, which, with the Delaware frigate, is to pull down and attack the gallies on that quarter. A 6 gun battery of 32 pounders has been lately opened on Province Island, which fired about 200 shot the first day without wounding a man of ours. The plan proposed (if accounts be true), is that the shipping and batteries should play on the fort incessantly, and if possible dislodge our people; this failing, they are determined to storm it. How difficult a job this may be they will be better able to judge when they make the trial, but I rest in hopes they will not succeed. Everything almost depends on our maintaining those forts, and unless they can obtain them it is evident their visit in Philadelphia can be but of short duration.
In front of their army is a chain of redouts, connected together by a continued piquett or abattis, from river to river. Though they are formidable (I mean the redouts), yet if they draw off much of their force to act below, I hope and think the General will try the strength of them.
A constant firing is kept up below, and we in turn are almost every day taking off their piquetts advance in front of their works. Gen. Potter with one brigade is on the other side of the Schuylkill. General Varnum has crossed the Delaware, and lies on the Jersey side, and the main body of the army, with his Excelelncy, is in the rear of Germantown. Thus you have the disposition of the army, which in this part is encamped in two lines, from which we defy General Howe with double his number of Invincibles to drive
Colonel Livingston, I am told, is a prisoner. Unfortunate man! I pity him much, but his amiable lady more ; because I really believe she will be more concerned for him than he feels for himself. His zeal for our cause, and determination not to hear it ridiculed may, perhaps, bring him into trouble, but his connections in New York and the British army will be of great service to him.
Make my compliments to Major Huntington and all the officers of your regiment. If my old friend David Humphreys is with you, give him also the benediction of
Your friend and humble serv't, Col. WEBB.
BENJ. TALMADGE. 17th Nov.-I am sorry to inform you that we have just received intelligence that our people were yesterday obliged to evacuate Fort Mefflin, having sustained a very heavy cannonade for many days, both from the enemies batteries and shipping. I am told that we brought off most of the cannon and stores; wish I could give you the particulars, but am not able, as the news has just reached us. Colo. Samuel B. Webb, Prisoner, New York, or on Long Island.
Major Tallmage's Letter.
BEDFORD, Oct. 6th, 1778. DEAR SIR :--Enclosed I send you per flag two half joes and some Guinea money, left in my hands by Capt. Buckley, of your
Regt, which I am desired to transmit to Lieut. Riley, of your Reg’t. Thinking it more probable that Lieut. Riley will get the money by directing it to you than himself, I have ventured to trouble you on the subject, and beg that you would forward the same to him by the first opportunity.
I am, Dear Sir, with sincerity,
Your obed't and humble serv't Col. S. B. WEBB.
Major Tallmadge's Letter.
WETHERSFIELD, March 6th, 1780. DEAR SIR :Just about the time of your departure from this place our Committee were obliged to memoralize the Assembly on the subject of recognizing the general and staff officers belonging to this State as part of the Conn. Line. In consequence of this Wadsworth, of the Assembly Committee, and Swift, Smith and myself were called before the House. This afforded the very opportunity which I long wished for of exposing the Jesuitical conduct of a man who has rendered himself odious in the
every honest man. After answering the questions proposed by the House we had the opportunity of laying before the House sundry letters signed by General W --h in behalf of the Committee, which being designed for answers to questions of moment proposed by your Committee, we were not able to find any meaning or honest principle in them, and of course (to the great disappointment of a certain person) we laid them before the Assembly as a sample of the candor with which, under the auspices of W
-h, the settlement was like to be conducted. Unfortunately, the Assembly were as much puzzled to explain the letters as our committee. In the pause of our observations before the House, Mr. W- -h was handled sometimes without mittens. Indeed, the House, I believe, suggested that his objections to our proceedings were rather captious than otherwise. I have not seen their last resolution in consequence of our application, but I am told they have taken all the staff officers into the Con- -t Line and excluded the general officers. This appears to be an odious distinction, but
I am convinced the Generals will do better with the Continent than this State. I hope we have now got almost over embarrasments.
Since you left us we had an agreeable hop at Mr. Lockwood's A choice collection of ladies attended. As usual, the number was rather too great.
We have no news of moment from the Eastward. Our Assembly rose last Thursday. If I should attempt to tell you what business they had done, I should be as long in telling you what they needed; as they repealed almost the whole acts of the session. When you reflect that every paragraph of a bill can be debated and passed the House, and then the whole be negatived, I need not enter into a more particular description of their proceedings. I am told they have determined to make good the £10 notes issued in ’77. Of this you may take advantage, and I wish you would purchase as many as you can find in your travels for yourself and me. Some of them have doubtless been carried into N. Jersey, and the possessors would be glad to get rid of them.
Make my compliments to General Green, Colonel Huntington and friends, and be assured that I am
Yours sincerely, Col. S. WEBB.
Major Benjamin Tallmadge's Letter.
CRAMPOND, July 6th, 1780. DEAR SIR :—Since my arrival at camp (which was on the third day after I left you), a variety of avocations has prevented my writing to my friends as often as I could have wished.
I have just returned from H'dqu’rs at West Point, where I found and left your brother Jack in health and happy.
Since the arrival of Sir Harry from Carolina, and the alarm which spread thro’ the country in consequence thereof, on acc't of your fortresses on the North River, I am happy to assure you that our affairs at the garrison wear a promising aspect. Much credit is due to the State of Connecticut for their exertions in forwarding supplies, and I believe more to Governor Clinton for the seasonable reinforcement which he sent to the fort. From a government so modelled, and a Governor so zealously engaged in our cause, everything within the reach of human exertions may be expected. Did you not know the spirit of the Constitution of this State, and particularly the powers of the Governor in military matters, I would relate to you some of his proceedings toward the militia in the late alarm, where pecuniary satisfactions will not atone for breaches of military orders, and the rich are obliged equally with the poor to take their tour of duty or suffer military sentence and execution, no man hopes to escape, and of course all are willing to assist.
General Washington has retired or advanced from the Clove down to the Kachet ’tis said on account of forage.
We have this day been informed that the French fleet have arrived at Rhode Island. God grant it may be true, as I long to be in a more active sphere. I am to-morrow going on an enterprise down to the Line with a very respectable command of horse or foot. I hope the next account you hear from me may relate some achievement.
Being on an advanced post, our duty is, of course, severe, subject to frequent alarms and little rest. I have often wished for Miss Webu's faculty of living without sleep, that duty might not affect me.
My best wishes attend Mr. Webb and lady, Miss Webb, Miss Abby, and our friends at Chester-Hall. I am happy at camp, but a sight of them all would make me happier still. Adieu, my friend, and believe me,
P. S.-Compliments to Mr. Deane ; should write, but have not time.
P. S.-My love to little Sally Ab- The enclosed parody or answer to the song called the banks of the Dee, please to present to Miss Chester, as she may probably take the trouble to learn it.