Primary tabs

Andrew McClary to the New-Hampshire Congress



Cambridge, April 23, 1775.

HONOURABLE GENTLEMEN: Being in great haste, but beg leave to give you some broken intelligence relating to the Army that is now assembled here. The number is unknown at present, and as there is a Council of War now sitting, their result is still kept a profound secret. The Army has already provided a number of Cannon, (there is more still coming,) and is providing a great plenty of war like stores, implements, and utensils. There are now about two thousand brave and hearty resolute New-Hampshire men, full of vigour and blood, from the interiour parts of the Province, which labour under a great disadvantage for not being under proper regulations, for want of Field Officers. In our present situation we have no voice in the Council of War, which makes a great difficulty. Pray, gentlemen take these important matters under your mature consideration, and I doubt not but your wisdom will dictate and point out such measures as will be most conducive to extricate us from our present difficulties. The conduct of a certain person belonging to New-Hampshire will have a vast tendency to stigmatize the Province most ignominiously. Yesterday it was reported throughout the New-Hampshire Troops, that one Mr˙ Espy, who appeared in the character of a Captain at the head of a Company, had


been to the General, and received a verbal express from him that all New-Hampshire men were dismissed, and that they might return home; and by the insinuation of him and his busy emissaries, about five or six hundred of our men inconsiderately marched off for home. Captain Cilley and I were three miles from Cambridge when we received the intelligence, which was, to our unspeakable surprise, for us to return before the work was done. We immediately repaired to the General to know the certainty of the report, and on making application to him he told us that it was an absolute falsehood, for he never had any such thought; whereas he very highly valued New-Hampshire men, always understanding them to be the best of soldiers, and that he would not have any of them to depart for home on any consideration whatever till matters were further compromised; and strictly inquired for the man in order to have him confronted. We replied the man was departed, and therefore we could not conform to his request. But since we understand that his conduct hath stopped a number of men from coming in, and some officers that tarried have sent for their men to return back. Pray, gentlemen, don' t let it always be reported that New-Hampshire men were always brave Soldiers, but no Commanders. The desertion of those men causes much uneasiness among the remaining Troops, for we are obliged to use our utmost influence to persuade them to tarry. Gentlemen, I am, with all imaginable respect, yours and the Country' s most obedient and humble servant,