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Letter from Major Price to the Council of Safety



Upper Camp, St˙ George' s, July 23, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: I arrived at this place the 21st instant, with one of the four-pounders; the other two I left at Leonardtown till further orders. After inspecting this camp, and giving the necessary orders, I went over to the lower camp, commanded by Colonel Barnes, who is stationed much nearer to the fleet than to this camp. I think a nine-pounder could reach the Fowey from one of the points, though I doubt our doing her much damage. The rest of the fleet lay outside of her. They are very quiet, and give us no disturbance. The Roebuck, and three or four large ships, went up the river the evening before I got here, since which a number of cannon have been fired, as I suppose, near the mouth of Nanjemoy. I have ordered the other two pieces of cannon to the lower camp, and shall, as soon as the nine-pounder arrives, order that there; and, if intrenching tools, which I have sent after, can be had, throw up an intrenchment as near the Fowey as possible. I find great difficulty in providing necessaries; it is the poorest part of the country I ever was in. I suppose there are not three spades and shovels to be had within ten miles.

We have several deserters from the enemy, most of them in the small pox. A valuable negro made his escape from us last night, he not being so well guarded as he ought to have been, owing to the people' s being afraid of the small pox. The shores are full of dead bodies, chiefly negroes. I think, if they stay here any time, they must be ruined; for by deaths, desertions, and the — , I think their business must be done completely. The officers who have been here some time, imagine about fifty corpses have been thrown on the shores.

Upon my arrival here, I was informed that General Dent had ordered a flag of truce on board the Fowey, to request a passage for Mr˙ Daniel Wolstenholme to go to England with his property; and this was done in consequence of a passport Mr˙ Wolstenholme obtained from the Committee of this County; and that he expected a boat every day to take him on board; but as matters are circumstanced, I thought it advisable not to suffer Mr˙ Wolstenholme to leave the Province, until your knowledge and approbation could be had relative to this business; therefore hope for your instructions by the return of this express, who promises to return immediately.

I am, gentlemen, your most obedient servant,

To the Council of Safety for the Province of Maryland.

P˙ S˙ The Fowey and Otter, with about fifty sail of vessels, are still here. This express to be paid by your Board.