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Letter from Benjamin Mackall to Maryland Council of Safety



Calvert County, March 15, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: I left the mouth of Patuxent on Wednesday, where I saw Captain Thomas, who requested me (as he had no materials then to write with) to inform the Council of Safety that he thought a Virginia Pilot-Boat, which was stopped by our guard some days ago, would be very useful either for conveying the troops from Calvert to St˙ Mary' s, or taking any small tenders which might come in our river; that the owner was very desirous of selling her; and that he would take a reasonable price, sooner than return to Virginia, as he was apprehensive of being taken. If you should be of opinion that such a vessel will be of any advantage to the Province, hope you will inform me or Captain Thomas by the first opportunity.

The Committee of Observation of this County met on Monday last, in consequence of your last letter, and empowered me to appoint a number, not exceeding one hundred men, to watch our coast; and as the man-of-war and tenders then lay at anchor off the cliffs, I thought it necessary to station a guard of seventy-eight men, exclusive of officers, to prevent their landing. Those men continued under arms till Wednesday, when I discharged all but two Lieutenants and twenty-five privates, who are now stationed at Drum Point, there to remain until Captain Beall' s Company of Regulars comes down. The man-of-war and tenders passed the mouth of Patuxent on Tuesday evening.

I am, with great respect, gentlemen, your most obedient servant,


To the Honourable the Council of Safety of Maryland.