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Letter from Major Hawley to the Massachusetts Council



Northampton, July 23, 1776.

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR HONOURS: The Councils favour of the 15th instant, I received by Mr˙ Cranson, enclosing an order to Brigadier Fellows, directing him to march his brigade by the way of No˙ 4 to Lake Champlain; which order I make bold to enclose and remit, concluding, (as the lawyers say,) improvide emanavit. I judge so, because I know that Mr˙ Fellows' s brigade was originally destined to New York; and although his command might be since varied, yet I find it expressed in the same letter, which enclosed the said order, that Brigadier Briskett commands the reinforcement destined to Crown Point; which Mr˙ Cranson also confirms by word of mouth.

Your Honours have been pleased to send me orders for inlisting Hampshire' s quota of fifteen hundred further recruits; but as your Honours have not been pleased to send any money to me, or to any other of the Committee for that purpose, we are at some loss how to proceed without further instructions.

The levies for the Hampshire battalion, in the northern part of the County, have succeeded beyond expectation. Two companies proposed to march this day, and another company of ninety-eight men, effective and well equipped, are to march on the morrow. I believe several of the companies from this County, without any express license from the Committee, will presume to march by Bennington, and not by No˙ 4, because they are informed by Mr˙ Farnsworth, that he is scarce able to provide rations at No˙ 4 for the troops of this Government, exclusive of Hampshire County men, and that he has great plenty of stores at Bennington. I saw the orders of the General Court to the Captains, but say nothing to divert them from their purpose; for I believe there is no provision to pay the men their mileage at No˙ 4, and very scanty provision for their rations. I fear there will be great complaints in that quarter. Besides, there is a great plenty of small pox there at No˙ 4, and none the other way, and all the accounts now are that the Bennington route is much the most feasible. The men will run the risk of going with but little ammunition, rather than run the risk of the small pox and submit to the other inconveniences there is a prospect of in the No˙ 4 route. The Field-Officers of this battalion being in the small pox, the whole business is devolved on the Committee.

I am your Honours' respectful, and most obedient servant,

To the Honourable Council.