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Letter from Colonel Woodford to the Virginia Convention



Great-Bridge, December 10, 1775.

A servant belonging to Major Marshall, who deserted the other night from Colonel Scott' s party, has completely taken his Lordship in. Lieutenant Batut, who is wounded, and at present my prisoner, informs me, that this fellow told them not more than three hundred shirt-men were here, and that imprudent man caught at the bait, despatching Captain Leslie with all the regulars, (about two hundred,) who arrived at the bridge about three o' clock in the morning, joined about three hundred black and white slaves, laid planks upon the bridge, and crossed just after our reveille had beat; and lucky time for us, and, you will say, rather an improper season for them to make their push, when, of course, all our men must be under arms. The above lieutenant commanded the advanced party, and Captain Fordyce, of the Grenadiers, led the van with his company, who, for coolness and bravery, deserved a better fate, as well as the brave fellows who fell with him, who behaved like heroes. They marched up to our breastwork with fixed bayonets, and, perhaps, a hotter fire never happened, or a greater carnage, for the number of troops. None of the blacks, &c˙, in the rear, with Captain Leslie, advanced further than the bridge.

I have the pleasure to inform you that the victory was complete, and that most of their dead and wounded, with two pieces of cannon, were carried off under cover of their guns from the fort. We buried twelve besides the Captain, (him with all the military honours due to his rank,) and have prisoners Lieutenant Batut and sixteen privates, all wounded; thirty-five stands of arms and accoutrements, three officers' fusils, powder, ball, and cartridges, with sundry other things, have likewise fallen into our hands. This was a second Bunker' s Hill affair, in miniature, with this difference, that we kept our post and had only one man wounded in the hand.