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Col. G. Saltonstall to Col. Jabez Huntington



New-London, August 31, 1775.

SIR: Your favour of yesterday, with the two barrels of powder, came to hand two o' clock this morning; and it is in my store, and shall be improved in the best manner for the publick. Your favour of this day is before me; the ships have not fired, as I can learn, since about five o' clock last evening. The last account I can get of the beginning of the hostilities is, that two packets employeed by Rhode-Island


to land two hundred men at Block-Island, from Stonington, after much hazard from the men of war and transports round Block-Island, landed their men there, and pushed back for Stonington, being pursued by two tenders into harbour; then the tenders took two vessels lying at anchor, and went to the wharf to take more vessels, and after prohibition from so doing, and threats no doubt on both sides, they persisted in their robbery; and then, it appears probable to me, the Americans fired, and killed some men-of-war' s crew. The tenders then fired a few shot, and put out; met Captain Wallace, in the Rose, off Watch-Hill; they returned with him into Stonington harbour, and fired upon the houses. A flag was sent on board Wallace, about noon, to know why they fired on them; he showed the flag four dead men of his ship' s crew, and one with his hand shot off, and said he was on the defensive, and would blow the Town down; and as soon as the flag returned he renewed the cannonading with the utmost vigour. We had one man mortally wounded in the neck, and one other slightly wounded. The country are gone from the northward to their assistance. Major Latimer' s detachment of two hundred men arrived there early in the evening. At eleven o' clock last night, Thomas Mumford, Esq˙, left the ships in Stonington harbour; am told, whilst he was there writing a letter, a cannon ball passed through the room he sat in. I have not seen him. The transports, it is apprehended, will not be able to take Block- Island stock; expect they will try Montreal and its neighbourhood. General Wooster is there, and the Committee of Suffolk — who were notified by express from hence last Friday of the advice Governour Trumbull communicated to us from, General Washington — therefore they will no doubt be ready to receive them. The stock is said to be off Gardiner' s and Plumb Islands; suppose it is so. Our stock of powder and ball is all delivered out; how it is at Groton, don' t know; but as the messenger from Stonington to us yesterday was after powder, presume Groton could not supply it.

Your most obedient humble servant,


To Colonel Jabez Huntington, Esq.