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Extract of a Letter from a Lady in Boston to her friend in England


Extract of a Letter from a Lady in BOSTON to her friend in CHESTER, (ENGLAND,) dated AUGUST 10, 1775.

We are subject to continual alarms and cannonadings, the Provincials being very audacious, and advancing near to our lines, since the arrival of General Washington and Lee to command them. Believe me, I welcome the dawn of the day every morning, upon finding the Town is not in flames. The night of the 29th ultimo, at Charlestown Neck, whore General Howe commands, an attack was made on our out-posts, and seven of our soldiers were killed and missing. Eighty Provincials attacked twelve of them. Two thousand men from New-York, and as many from Virginia, have joined the Provincial Army in New-England. The enemy' s intrenchments are extended many miles, one beyond another, two or three deep. They have plenty of fresh provisions, but want salt to season it. They were short of ammunition, but have got a supply of that and artillery, above forty pieces of cannon, and several mortars. It is said they are very sickly; the putrid fever, small-pox, and dysentery prevail amongst them. The transports which were expected are arrived, and General Grant came in the last on the 29th ult. Every body that can is quitting this place. Many families are embarking for England to settle there.

We were roused about one o' clock in the morning of the 31st ult˙, by the most dreadful cannonading I ever heard. It seemed to be a general attack on all sides round us. It is impossible to convey an idea how terrible it was in the dead of night, with the apprehensions that naturally seize every one, either of the enemy breaking in, or the Town being set on fire. It appears that they attempted again to cut off our out-posts, upon which General Howe attacked their intrenchments with cannon and bombs on that side; and we attacked them in several places besides at the same time, all in the dark. Our loss is small, the enemy' s much greater. They have destroyed (a second time) the Light-house this morning, and taken above fifty men from thence. It is said they killed the commanding officer there in cold blood. — London, October 7, 1775.