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Letter from Governour Trumbull to Lord Stirling



Lebanon, March 21, 1776.

MY LORD: I received your favour of the 17th, the last evening, by Lieutenant Betts. I have now, on the commencement of a correspondence, to congratulate you on your late appointment; and from your known zeal in the great American cause, and your abilities to serve it, I cannot but form pleasing expectations. I have also to congratulate. you on the shameful retreat of General Howe and his Army from Boston, which city they have actually abandoned, and a detachment of General Washington' s took full possession the last Sabbath day. They have left it in a less ruinous situation than was expected — their own works entire, about thirty large cannon spiked up, and a considerable quantity of wheat; and are now lying in the road, (supposed for a wind,) very probably designing a descent on New-York, or parts adjacent. I am extremely pleased to hear that you are taking every step in your power to be prepared for their reception. It is of vast importance to prevent their establishing themselves there.

His Excellency General Washington, well aware of their designs, had, by his letter of the 14th, earnestly requested me to throw in two thousand men from this Colony for the same purposes mentioned and requested by your Lordship, until he could arrive there with the Army under his command, large detachments of which are now on the march. In consequence of which, I had, with the advice of my Council of Safety, despatched orders, on the 19th, for nearly that number of our Militia to march forthwith from the nearest frontiers of this Colony to New-York, under the command of Colonels Silliman and Talcott. It is not time yet to hear what progress they have made; but I hope and believe as good as the nature of the thing will admit, and that they will very soon be with you. Thus I have, and doubt not but you will have, much pleasure to find your request anticipated.

I am happy to hear that our regiments now with you have done themselves the honour to meet with your approbation, and have no doubt but they, and our men in general, will continue to do so, and to serve their country well, while they meet with generous usage from their commanders; and have no doubt but they will ever experience it from a nobleman of your distinguished generosity and politeness.

I expect and depend that Colonels Waterbury and Ward' s Regiments will remain in the service, or the greater part of them, till they can be properly relieved and spared, and have written them accordingly; you will please to repeat to them my request for that purpose, and that, in the highest probability, a great part of the main Army will soon be there.

The troops now sending from us, you will perceive, were requested by the General for such term till they might be relieved by his Army. If it should be necessary to have a regiment raised and stationed there for this season, you may rely on it that nothing in my power shall be wanting to serve this great and just cause in this or any other way. Colonel Dyer and Colonel Williams, (two gentlemen of my Council,) will wait on you next week, on their way to Philadelphia, and will be instructed to confer with your Lordship on this or any other subject you may think proper, whereby the important common interest of this much injured country may be promoted.

I have the honour to be, with sentiments of great esteem, your Lordship' s most obedient and very humble servant,


To the Right Honourable the Earl of Stirling.