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as truth. I much fear that the melancholy tidings of the death of the amiable and worthy Dr. Warren, will prove true. How many and what men have you lost? Yesterday I rec'd a line from
he remembers you; the doct’r is going; must not add; my hearty compliments to Capt. Chester, and squeeze his hand for
Adieu! My Dearest Sam’l.
C. WHITING. Lieut. S. B. WEBB.
Comfort Sage's letter to Lieut. Sam’l B. Webb.
MIDDLETOWN, 14th July, 1775. DEAR SAMMY:
Sir:-It gives me the greatest pleasure & satisfaction, to hear of your good conduct and Behaviour at all times; more especially, in the late action at Charlestown, where you played the man in such a manner, that your friends and acquaintances frequently spak of it with pride and pleasure. I pray God Almighty if you should be called to action, that He would protect and preserve you in Battle & Crown you with Success. I should be glad to hear from you at all opportunities.
Little or no news here. Last Monday, the King Fisher went up the Sound after a vessel from Sea, and sent her Barge with 16 men on shore at Branford. A number of people collected and cut her off, & took the Barge with the people. The Bearer, Capt. Warner from Newport, has taken shelter with his family, together with three other familes from there, in that place. He is a Gentleman of fortune & Character; and I should esteem it a particular favour if you'll notice him accordingly. He is accompanied by my son Eben'r, who has been ill about six weeks. He made a pretty good voyage.
On their return I expect to set out for the Camp. I am with esteem,
Your real friend & ob't s'v't,
COMFORT SAGE. My best respects to all friends and acquaintances.
Jerry Wadsworth’s Letter.
HARTFORD, June, 1775. D'R SAM:-Have only a minute's time to tell you I rejoiced to hear you are well. What an unhappy affair! the Massachusetts Bullys turned tail too. They have the Curses of every good man. Your Captain and you, have gained immortal honour. Go on and prosper-Heaven will protect you. The Brave have everything to hope. Joe tells me, you have no paper; I have two Ream at your service. Here comes a quire.
Tell Chester I remember him and mean this for him as well as you. Mr. Deane's letter says, General Washington will be very soon with you. We all rejoice at this; and intend some of us, to be with you soon. I hope myself to be with you in a week. Adieu. Sunday Morn'g-Post.
Col. Chester to Maj. Sam’l B. Webb.
ROXBURY CAMP, August 11th, 1775. DEAR SAMMY:-I perceive by General Orders, that the General proposes honouring those gentlemen who behaved well in the action on Bunker Hill. For my part, as I am determined not to tarry longer than the time I first thought of, and am not anxious for promotion; & if I was, I imagine there is no vacancy nor like to be for me.
But two things have determined me to write to you & request your advice on this subject. And first-By the way I am no preacher & never intend to be one—I say then firstly: Will not a censuring world say, in case we make no representation of our behaviour on Bunker Hill after so fair an opportunity given us by the General, that we fear to have our conduct looked into, & that we cannot make good our pretensions, & the story we have told of our conduct?
Again: Would it not be doing injustice to our subalterns & under officers, not to represent their behaviour and good conduct? For whatever you or I might think of the matter, they all are desirous of it & hope for promotion or notice in some way or other, in consequence of what the General has published.
I have conversed with them and know their opinions in the matter.
Now if you think best, after what I have said, to say anything to ye
General about the matter, I should be much obliged to you to do it. I am free to ask it of you as you are on the list, & as you are perfectly well acquainted with the whole matter & can do it to as good advantage as any man.
A certain big bellied General, will make the most of his great doing, I very well know. I wish his conduct could be fully known.
The Blins have had 10 lashes each, this morning, for desertion.
With Regard to rank, &c.,-had I best try to make any advantage of my commission at home as Major, or justice, or having been sundry times, a member of assembly, &c., &c. Write me & tell me how you do & how you go on at Cambridge, & if you have a convenient app'y, come and bring it yourself. Thereby you'll greatly gratify your friend & most obliged humble serv't,
Jos. Webb's letter after receiving intelligence of his brother's gallant conduct in the battle of Trenton.
WETHERSFIELD, January 4, 1777. MY DEAR BROTHER:-Yours of the 27th Ulto. was handed me on Thursday Morn'g. I opened it at Breakfast, and never was more pleased in my life. It was agreeable and unexpected news. Joy overcame us so much that scarcely one of us could finish our breakfast. Col. Knox's Lady was in Comp'y. She has been at our house these several days on her way to Boston. Heavens be praised for this lucky, happy and Important turn in our favour. Nothing in life, could happen at a more critical juncture-in every place and almost every face, you may see almost a surprising alteration-tho' no one was willing to own any doubts or fears before.
I must own New England has fewer Tories than I think Jersey or Pennsylvania has yet we have some. Good God! has his Excellency met with any Misfortune? My Blood chills at the very Reflection. Heaven reward and preserve him. I believe Jack will accept under Shelden; he seems pleased with it, and I think Jack will make a very genteel, good officer. Blagden is Major. Belding has accepted a Lieutenancy. I think this bids fair to be a very genteel corps. Accept my sincere thanks for your attention in writing me; I acknowledge myself under the Greatest Obligation for 'em. Your Chest & Baggage are at Jere Wadsworth’s—the needful shall be done. The Bearer is waiting, cannot add.
Except that I am affectionately yours,
in writing, on acc't of the uncertainty of the times, which you must excuse. Its a remarkable Healthy time, and our connections are well.
Col. John Chester's letter to Col. Samuel B. Webb, Aid-de-Camp to General Washington, Morristown.
WETHERSFIELD, January 17, 1777. MY DEAR FRIEND:- We all congratulate you on the place of honour you have lately shared in the victories over our common enemy, and pray for a continuation of successes, till they may be obliged to quit the Land or Kneel to Greet George the American. You cannot conceive the joy and raptures the people were universally in, as we passed the road. "Tis good to be the messenger of glad tidings. We were the first that brought the news to Peekskill, of ve Trenton affair. Gen'l Heath thought it a matter well worth forwarding by Express to Boston, which he did. We have such vague, uncertain accounts of these matters in general, that I cannot but think that it would richly pay the expense of forwarding accounts of this kind by Express. They make an amazing alteration in the faces of men and things.
Our assembly are determined, at all events, to fill up their 8 Battalions, if possible. They have granted a bounty of £10 Sterling in addition to the encouragement given by Congress; which, if money will induce men to en ge, one would think was sufficient. The good news we have lately heard is worth £100,000 to Connecticut only in raising.
Report says that the Gen'l has desired you to ride into Connecticut to stimulate your Brethren in the good old cause; & that you declined leaving him at this critical season. How is it? I wish you to transmit us the earliest accounts of any
actions that may happen; we shall, in all cases, be able to improve them to good advantage. So many lies circulate that we are loath to believe the truth unless it comes well authenticated, from under hand and seal from headquarters.
Thos. Wooster has lately been with me, on his road to Boston, and begs me to write you about a Grenadier Regiment he heard you talk of; & which, he thinks, will be raised and hopes not to be forgot.
I am told that the assembly (which, by the way, have now been sitting more than 4 weeks at Middletown) have at last formed the Militia into Brigades and appointed their General officers. Great doings in Connecticut. Col. Juliez Huntington is appointed Major-General; Col. Dyer Saltinstal, Erastus Walcott, Oliver Walcott, Gen'l Wadsworth & Col. Sullivan are appointed Brigadiers. Old Gen'l Wooster takes command of them all as Major-General. I wish & hope, that it may answer some good purposes; tho’I much despair of the Militia's doing any great things, after my last Summer's experiences. Your humble servant has the honour to be appointed Lieutenant-Colonel under Col. Belding, Col. Talcott having resigned. But sooner will he go in the Ranks than submit to be Commanded by those who he has threatened to Court Martial, & call’d them all the lifeless, stupid, dull souls, that could be thought of.
The inhuman treatment our prisoners met with while in New York, is beyond all description. Humanity cannot but drop a tear at sight of the poor, miserable, starved objects. They are mere skeletons, unable to creep or speak in many instances. One vessel lost 27 in her passage from York to Milford, & 7 died the night they were put ashore; & they are dying all along the roads. Most who have got home in the neighboring towns, are taken with the small pox, which undoubtedly was given them by design-all this does not seem to discourage the few surviving ones. They pray that God would only give them health and strength again, & they are determined to have sweet revenge, & all swear they will never be taken again. Is this a proof of the much boasted humanity of Britons? Is this a generous return for the kind and hospitable treatment their prisoners have rec'd at our hands? Do they think by these mean, low arts to dishearten our countrymen? Depend on it, they have universally a contrary effect; for men who determined never to fight are bent upon it now. Write us the news of the day. Mrs. Chester & family, join me in compliments to you. Your sincere friend & humble serv't,