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You will select a sufficient number of men, least capable of marching, or others, to take care of your Camp.
I am, Sir,
Your Most Obed't Serv't,
General Washington to Col. Webb.
25 Feb'y, 1779. DEAR SIR :-Agreeable to my promise when you were at Headquarters, I have had a calculation made from the last returns of the Commissary of prisoners of the number of privates which, upon the several propositions that have been made by the enemy, we should have to give them in a general exchange of our officers for officers and privates of the Convention troops. By submitting this to Congress, if necessary they will be the better able to decide on the propriety of adopting the measure solicited in the memorial which you have been appointed to present.
am, with great regard,
General Washington to Colonel Webb.
HEADQUARTERS, Nov. 11th, 1772. SIR -As there has been no official report made to me of the arrangement of the Connecticut Line, I cannot interfere in the matter, nor would I choose to make alterations in it before the first day of January, when it is to become final, if there does not appear to have been some deviation from the principles contained in the act of Congress of the 7th of August, are injurious to the public interest.
The good of the service, I hoped, would have been the governing principle in arranging the officers, and I cannot but flatter my
self the agreements among the several grades of officers may yet be rendered subservient to that end.
As soon as Colonel Jackson shall be able to join the Light Corps (which it is expected will be the case in a few days) I shall have no objection to your attending to the particular interests of your regiment in the Line.
I am, sir,
Your most obedient servant, Colo. WEBB.
Morgan Lewis's Letter.
NEW YORK, 4th September, 1775. DEAR SIR :- After a Journey of cight Days, we last Wednesday arrived in safety here. The Badness of Col. Gadsden's Horses prevented us from traveling with any great Expedition, and must have rendered our Jaunt very disagreeable, had not a variety of pleasing anccdotes and pretty Girls we met with in every part of the country proved a sufficient Compensation. We reached Wethersfield on Saturday Noon, where we staid till Sunday Morning, and notwithstanding we were treated very politely and experienced many civilities from your Brother and Mr. Deane, you will excuse me if I tell you I could have wished we had made our stay there much shorter, I need hardly inform you that on Saturday evening at Mr. Deane's Politicks was the General Topick. New York was, according to custom, lugged in Head & shoulders by Col. Gadsden. I was determined to remain neuter, but being at last provoked by the frequent epithets of rascally, infamous, &c., repeatedly applied indiscriminately to the Inhabitants of this Province, I held myself bound in honor to defend the Characters of some Individuals, and accordingly engaged in a very unequal conflict with Messrs. Salstonstal, Deane & Gadsden. The Disputes ran very high, till finally Mr. Deane, I believe, was induced (and as I think without reason) to stigmatize me for a Tory. I could wish that Charity was a distinguishing Characteristic of a Whig. However, thank God, many of them are blest with it, who I hope will never banish so Christian a Principle from their Breasts till they conceive it dangerous to the Liberties of their Country.
You doubtless have by this time heard that the Asia, ship of War, c't Vandeput, has fired eight and twenty cannon, besides
grape and cannister shot, into our City in consequence of our People moving some cannon from off the Battery by virtue of an order from the P. Congress. Our People returned the salute with their Musquetry, by which means one of their People was killed and (as we supposed) several others were wounded. Three of our People were wounded, none killed. But how will you be surprised when I inform you that our pusillanimous Congress, notwithstanding these daring Insults, have been driven by their fears to a compromise, and have promised to supply the ship as usual with provisions. But we have more virtue out of doors than in the Cabinet. The People, roused by a just sense of their injuries, have burnt two long boats that were seen coming from the Man of War, and yesterday had the pleasure of taking a large sloop with twelve Tories on board, who were supplying one of the Transports with provisions for Boston. The scene was really diverting, and our taking her with so much case rather providential.
A very heavy gale came on Saturday evening which lasted till Sunday morning ten o'clock, about which time the sloop parted her cables, and the wind blowing hard up the River, after several fruitless attempts to reach the Asia, she bore away before it. Our People immediately pursued her in small Boats. The Asia's tender with about 70 marines besides seamen pursued them. But Vandeput, seeing us mounting some 12 pounders upon two sloops and manning them very strong, guessed at our intentions and prudently hove out a signal for the Tender's return, which to our great mortification she instantly obeyed. After a ten mile chase they came up with the Boat, and altho' every man on board was doubly armed, took her without exchanging a single shot. When they got her to the shore, it being very wet and cold, their compassion induced them to set her on fire, by way of warming the Passengers’
We yesterday received an account here that our People had been fortifying plowed Hill, that the Regulars had the next day attacked the Lines upon said Hill, were three times repulsed with great slaughter, & that an Aid-de-Camp of G. Lee's was killed. Pray inform me of the Truth of it.
Agreeable to promise, I shall expect from you, my dear sir, an impartial account of every Public Transaction at Cambridge, for by the time that any intelligence reaches this it becomes so adulterated with Lies and Embellishments that a man must be endowed with a spirit of Divination to make Head or Tail of it.
To avoid therefore Impositions of this kind, and to hear from one I much esteem, induces me to request of you a relation of every public affair that turns up. My best respects to the worthy Gentleman you have the Honor of being Aide-de-Camp to and to every Gentleman in general of my acquaintance at Cambridge, but particularly to Messrs. Melcher, Griffin & Randolph. Accept, sir, of the good wishes of one who shall ever esteem it an Honor to subscribe himself, with the utmost sincerity,
Your real Friend,
William Coit to Colonel Sam'l B. Webb.
PLYMOUTH, Nov. 7th, 1775. SIR :Since I parted with you, I have made blackguard snatch at two of their provision vessels, and have them safe at Plymouth, and if you were where you could see me and did not laugh, all your risible vaculties must perish. To see me strutting about on the quarter-deck of my schooner !—for she has a quarter-deckAh, and more than that too—4 four pounders, brought into this country by the company of the Lords Say and Seal, to Saybrook when they first came. A pair of cohorns that Noah had in the Ark; one of which lacks a touch-hole, having hardened steel drove therein, that she might not be of service to Sir Edmund AndrosSix swivels, the first that ever were landed at Plymouth, and never fired since.
Now, that is my plague; but I can tell you somewhat of my comfort. My schooner is used to the business, for she was launched in the spring of 1761, and has served two regular apprenticships to sailing, and sails quick, being used to it. Her accommodations are fine ; five of us in the cabin, and when there, are obliged to stow spoon fashion. Besides, she has a chimney in it, and the smoke serves for bedding, victuals, drink and choking. She has one mast too, which is her foremast; she had a mainmast, but it was put in so long ago, that it has rotted off in the hounds. She has a deck, too. When it was first made, it was new ; and because it was ashamed of being old, the first time we made use of a clawed bandspike, it broke a hole through ; notwithstanding, the wench knew it was directly over the magazine. Upon the whole, if there comes peace, I would recommend her and her apparatus, to be sent to the Royal Society; and I dare eat a red-hot gridiron if ever they have had, or will have, until the day of judgment, any curiosity equal to her. I havn't time to give you her character in full, but, in short, she is the devil. But while I can keep the sea and light only on unarmed vessels, she will do very well. But if obliged to fire both guns of a side at a time, it would split her open from her gunwale to her keelson.
Pray make my compliments to all friends. Tell friend White, Plymouth is better than all the Rhode and Newport to boot. My mast will be finished to-morrow, I hope, and then away goes your most humble servant, To Major SAMUEL B. WEBB,
WILLIAM Cort. A. D. C. to General Putnam, Cambridge.
James Watson's Letter.
WETHERSFIELD, Feb'y 9, 1779. DEAR COL :-I am happy to hear that a prospect of your being exchanged appears so promising. Your friends here wish as earnestly for the arrival of that happy moment as you possibly can.
I have had the pleasure of seeing many of the Officers of the Reg't this winter, who are universally anxious for your return, and their impatience is the best proof the love & esteem which they have ever had for you.
I have sent you a few papers, and should acknowledge it as a particular favor if you could return some of the New York papers by the Flag
I am sir, with the greatest esteem,
And very Humb). Serv't, COL. WEBB.