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Letter from Colonel Moylan to the New-Hampshire Committee of Safety



Cambridge, March 9, 1776.

SIR: I have it in command from his Excellency General Washington to inform you that, in consequence of his determination to possess himself of the Heights at Dorchester, a cannonade and bombardment was begun on Saturday night last on the town of Boston, continued on Sunday night and on Monday night. A vast number of shot and shells were thrown into that town, under the cover of which the intended purpose was effected. On the enemy' s perceiving, next morning, that we had taken post, they were all hurry and bustle, embarking their troops, as was expected, and wished to attack us; but the violent storm which came on that day prevented them, and disappointed us, who were prepared to give them a warm reception.

The possession of these Heights are preparatory to our forming a fort upon Nuke-Hill, which commands the south of Boston, and to which their shipping will be much exposed. This they seem to be well aware of, and are now making every preparation for moving off. Captain Irwin, of Salem, who escaped from town the night before last, assures us that this is their intention. It is corroborated by a message from the Selectmen in that town to his Excellency, a copy of which you have enclosed.

These informations will not prevent the General from proceeding in his advances to the town; so that, if they do not move off, he is determined to force them to a battle, by making that town so hot that they will leave but little rest therein.

His Excellency has good reason to imagine that New-York will be the place of their destination; but lest that should not be the case, it behooves every place where a fleet can lie, to be upon their guard. The General therefore recommends the utmost vigilance may be observed by the good people of your Province; and if they should make an attempt to land therein, he doubts not that every opposition will be given thereto, and an express sent off immediately, that he may come or send to your assistance.

I have the honour to be, sir, your most obedient servant,


To the New-Hampshire Committee of Safety.