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Letter from General Ward to General Washington, June 16



Boston, June 16, 1776.

SIR: The 13th instant, at evening, I ordered five hundred men, with proper officers, a detachment of the train, with a thirteen-inch mortar, two eighteen-pounders, and some small cannon, under the command of Colonel Whitcomb, to take post on Long-Island, to annoy the enemy' s ships. The necessary works were thrown up in the night, and the next morning our cannon and mortar began to play upon the pirates, which soon drove them all out of the harbour. The fleet consisted of about thirteen in number — the Renown, of fifty guns, several smaller ships of war, and some transports with Highlanders on board. As near as we could judge, there were about eight hundred troops on board the transports. They blew up the Light-House as they went off, and then put to sea with their fleet. I think it probable they will leave some frigates to cruise in the bay.

A number of the Colony troops and Militia were to have thrown up some works the same night on Pettick' s Island and Nantasket Head, but by some unfortunate obstructions, they did not get their cannon ready in time; however, they gave the enemy a number of shot as the ships passed through the channel. Our shot cut away some of their yards and rigging, and several went into the ships' sides, but the shells from the mortar terrified them most. They returned a few


shot from the Commodore' s ship without any effect, and got under sail with all expedition.

P˙ S. June 11th. — I have just received information that the Continental privateers have taken and brought into Nantasket, in this harbour, a ship and a brig from Glasgow, with two hundred and ten Highlanders on board, with their baggage. The ship mounted six carriage-guns, and fought the privateers some time before she struck. We had four men wounded; the enemy had three privates killed, and a Major and eight or ten men wounded. The prisoners are coming up to town, among whom is a Colonel. Any further particulars that may be of importance I shall forward as soon as I can learn them.