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Lord Sterling to Gen'l Webb.
Abm. Skinner's Letter. Im Cruinton uros
H'd Q’R, Oct. 1st, 1780. MY DEAR COLO :- I am happy in the opportunity of telling you that the result of the last negotiation of Exchange, has produced a letter from Gen'l Lincoln to his Excellency Gen'l Washington, who means to refer it to Congress. I think this the Critical Moment. I shall set off to-morrow or next day for Phila. with the despatches from Headquarters on this important subject & could wish to see you before they are delivered. I am sure much depends on the success that may attend them, and your weight & influence with Congress is of the utmost Consequence.
The enemy are threatening to send the Privates to Halifax or West Indies, but say nothing of the officers. God only knows what may be their fate; it may be worse than it is, but their present situation is intolerable. I need not say any more. Your own feelings will suggest the rest. I am with unalterable esteem and friendship.
Your obd't humble Serv't,
Com. Gen'l Pris.
Abm. Skinner's Letter. m a ídles DEAR COLONEL :—I congratulate you on the good news from the Southward, and I am happy also to find you have your Permission from New York. Agreeable to your wish, I forwarded it to you yesterday thro’ the hands of my friend Adams.
Loring is desirous of your bringing a few extra Turkeys, as your Sea Stores, & I have provided him to get you to do it—he has behaved so politely on this occasion that I think we should not be behind hand with him.
I shall pass thro' Brunswick on Sunday when I hope to have
Your Mo. ob’t Hble Serv't,
Mr. Edw'd Seaman's Letter. M aaidley
New YORK, Jan’y 23, 1779. Mr. Edwd Seaman's respectful compliments to Colo. Webb. And has sent him under cover a Philadelphia paper of 21st ulto., just received by Miss Schemerhorn from Morristown, containing a piece under the signature of “plain truth,” being strictures on the address of common sense to Mr. Deane, which he thinks a very candid, masterly and unanswerable performance, much to Mr. Deane's credit, and highly exposing the author of common sense which it's more than probable Colo. Webb has already been furnished with, as it's of an old date. However should he not it will give Mr. Seaman pleasure of sending the Colo. any papers that have a tendency to remove the prejudices that have been attempted to be raised against the character of a gentlemen so nearly related to him as Mr. Deane.
Mr. Seaman was extremely mortified that he happened not to be at home when the Colo. was kind enough to call and see him when last in town, and hopes the next time he will not be deprived of that happiness. The ladies join in Compliments to the Colonel.
Colo. S. B. WEBB.
Richard Stanwick's Letter.
NEW YORK, May 5th, 1779. SIR :- I am in hopes by means of the obliging letters given to me when I last saw you to see my dear wife here ; and it will further add to the kind obligations if you press the matter upon any of your brother officers going out that by means of united and generous interest I may obtain the much wished for sight of my dear wife.
I have obtained for you and Mr. Willing two hampers of the best London porter, which will be delivered to the bearer of the enclosed note whenever called for. I am seeking some other necessary things for you and Mrs. Willing, of which I shall ere long inform you.
Services done to my unhappy wife cannot fail to engage my warmest gratitude, and hence it is that I wish for opportunity to render any acceptable services to you or any of your brother officers, to whom I beg my compliments, being very respectfully Sir,
Your most obedient,
Very humble serv't,
Please to tell Captain Willing to send to Peter Lenox's Tavern, near the ship yards, for two jars of excellent pickled oysters there for him.
Mr. St. John to Gen’I Webb. mu. Laidler
NEW YORK, 22d Dec., 1783. Mr. St. John presents his compliments to General Webb. He feels himself much honored by the General's very polite attention to the French nation through him. Mr. St. John's short residence in this city has not yet given him an opportunity of knowing all the gentlemen of that nation who may at present be in this city, and therefore he cannot, with propriety, point out to General Webb such as may be worthy of the compliment the General means to pay
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. 5 ; 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 us. 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
Your friend and humble serv't,
Major Tallmage’s Letter.
e . Laidley
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