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Letter from Edmund Quincy to Colonel Mifflin

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EXTRACT OF A LETTER FROM EDMUND QUINCY TO COLONEL MIFFLIN, DATED STOUGHTONHAM, APRIL 1, 1776.

A Captain and two seamen, that were taken by the men-of-war, deserted on Friday from the fleet. They say the first division, consisting of the Fowey and Nautilus, with sixty-eight transports, sailed for Halifax last Monday. The second division, Admiral Shuldham, in the Chatham, the Centurion, and the Lively, with sixty-two transports, sailed Thursday. From all they could learn, they were bound to the southward, not half manned, and had been at short allowance fourteen days.

The Renown, of fifty guns, the Senegal, of twenty-eight guns, and the Hope, of sixteen guns, moved from their station in King' s Road, off the Light-House, for fear of our fire-rafts; but it is determined they shall put to sea speedily.

The Niger sailed Friday, with six transports, for Halifax. Had it not been for six transports that came from Halifax with fresh provisions, killed a month ago, they could not have gone to sea for some time, unless forced by our fire-rafts, under the command of Major Tupper.

It is said, by a vessel from London to the fleet, that fifty sail of merchantmen, loaded, were hound to Boston. It is to be hoped that Captain Manly will give some account of them.

The whole that sailed, Mr˙ Nutton says, had not three weeks' provision left. I hope the Philadelphia Fleet will speak with those gone southward.

A large mortar (thirteen and a half inch) was fished up near Mr˙ Row' s wharf; where was also discovered, at low water, a great quantity of shot, shells, &c.

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