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Letter from Colonel Stuart to Major Small


Intercepted Letter transmitted to Congress by General Washington, with his Letter dated December 18, 1775.


St˙ Augustine, October 2, 1775.

DEAR SIR: I was extremely glad to learn, by our old friend, Captain Barker, of the 16th, who arrived here yesterday, that you was well when he left Boston. I congratulate you upon a very narrow escape, where so many fell. The St˙ Lawrence, armed schooner, is safe moored in this harbour; she sailed in, at half flood, without touching. This I mention because I understand that it was apprehended her coming in would be attended with much difficulty; on the contrary, there was not one thing taken out of her, and she did not want the assistance of a boat. I have again been disappointed in a supply of ammunition. I had twenty-five hundred pounds of powder on board a ship bound from London to Georgia; about fourteen days ago she arrived, and the Rebels seized her powder, as they had before that in Captain Maitland' s ship. However, I borrowed from the ordnance stores about four thousand pounds; which, with some I have purchased, will be a supply.

This will be delivered by an unfortunate gentleman named Cameron, who has been obliged to leave his country on account of an affair of honour, in which his antagonist fell; he is desirous of becoming a volunteer, and begged of me to mention him to some officer in the army. I have, therefore, taken the liberty of troubling you upon the occasion, to beg your good offices, so far as you can with conveniency; and you must blame yourself for this, for if you had not made your own character remarkable by benevolent and good-natured actions, I should not now have applied to you, as I do with hopes of being pardoned by you for taking a liberty which nothing else could warrant. I have no particular news of any sort. Our communication with all parts of America is difficult, and dangerous to any person residing


in any of the disaffected Colonies. Our Carolina neighbours have threatened to pay us a visit; however, I doubt much of their putting their threats in execution. By the detachments sent from the Fourteenth Regiment this garrison is much weakened. Before the arrival of the St˙ Lawrence, the second detachment of troops to Virginia embarked, and left only thirty-five men fit for duty. I shall bring down some of my friends to stay with us here also. I shall find it extremely difficult to find provisions.

I most sincerely wish you success and safety in all your enterprises; and am, with sincere regard, dear sir, your most obedient humble servant,