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Edmund Pendleton to Richard Henry Lee



Virginia, November 27, 1775.

DEAR SIR: For want of a Committee sitting, and as it is impossible to judge what will be the sentiments of the Convention on the several points, previous to an application to the Congress for assistance to this Colony, I can say nothing on the subject of your joint letter of the 14th, but that I will lay that and former letters before the Convention, at their meeting on Friday next. In the mean time I will mention what has happened below, according to the loose accounts I have had, which, perhaps, may be more fully related in the papers which will accompany this.


Eight companies, with some baggage, had passed the river at Jamestown, and were waiting at Cobham for the remainder with Colonel Woodford, who were obliged by the navy to go up the river to pass, and did not get over till Sunday sen' night. In the mean time, Colonel Joseph Hatchings, and some others in Princess Anne, raised about one hundred and seventy men, and were marching to meet and join Woodford' s corps. The Governour, hearing of this, inarched out with three hundred and fifty soldiers, lories and slaves, to Kemp' s Landing, and after setting up his standard, and issuing his proclamaiion, declaring all persons Rebels who took up arms for the country, and inviting all slaves, servants, and apprentices, to come to him and receive arms, he proceeded to intercept Hatchings and his party, upon whom he came by surprise, but received, it seems, so warm a fire, that the ragamuffins gave way; they were however rallied, on discovering that two companies of our militia gave way, and left Hutchings and Dr˙ Reid with a volunteer company, who maintained their ground bravely, till they were overcome by numbers, and took shelter in a swamp. The slaves were sent in pursuit of them; and one of Colonel Hutchings' s own, with another, found him. On their approach, he discharged his pistol at his slave, but missed him, and was taken by them after receiving a wound in his face with a sword. The numbers taken or killed, on either side, is not ascertained. It is said the Governour went to Dr˙ Reid' s shop, and after taking the medicines and dressings necessary for his wounded men, broke all the others to pieces. Letters mention that slaves flock to him in abundance, but I hope it is magnified. Young Goodrich, who brought in the powder, is sent to Boston. They have also taken the old man near the Capes, in his passage to the West-Indies, and, ' tis said, used him very ill; but I had not particulars. We are told Matt Shripp was in Hutchings' s party, and fought bravely, so that I hope he is not really fallen off. Present my compliments to your worthy colleagues, and to Dr˙ Shippen.

I am, dear sir, your most humble servant,


To Richard Henry Lee.