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Letter from Lord Dunmore to General Howe


Proceedings of a General Court-Martial of the Line, held at Head-Quarters, at Cambridge, by order of his Excellency GEORGE WASHINGTON, Esq˙, Commander-in-Chief of the Forces of the UNITED COLONIES, DECEMBER 1, A˙ D˙ 1775.

Brigadier-General Sullivan, President; Colonel Bridge, Colonel Sergeant, Colonel Greaton, Lieutenant-Colonel Cleveland, Lieutenant-Colonel Marsh, Lieutenant-Colonel Reed, Lieutenant Colonel Brown, Lieutenant-Colonel Vose, Major Poor, Major Wood, Major Woods, Major Johnson; W˙ Tudor, Judge Advocate.

The Court, being duly sworn, proceeded to the trial of Lieutenant-Colonel Enos, of the Twenty-Second Regiment, under an arrest for leaving the detachment under Colonel Arnold, and returning home, without permission from his commanding officer.

Lieutenant-Colonel Enos, being arraigned on the above charge, says, that true it is, he did return without permission from Colonel Arnold, his commanding officer; but the circumstances of the case were such as obliged him so to do.

Captain Williams. At the Great Carrying-Place, I heard that the men ahead were in want of provision. About two-thirds across the Great Carrying-Place, I met Major Bigelow coming back with ninety-five men, who said they wanted provision; I dealt out to them a barrel of pork and one of flour; I delivered Major Bigelow six barrels more of provision. We proceeded forward, and met several parties returning home, and we had orders to supply them with provision to reach the English settlements. When I came up with Colonel Enos, I was informed by Major Bigelow there had been a Council of War, and that it was settled that, for want of provisions, the whole detachment under Colonel Enos should return. Colonel Enos proposed to go forward, and let his division return; but as there was a large number, besides those which belonged properly to our division, and as we had several invalids to bring back, and were very short of provision, (for we had but three days' provision, and were above one hundred miles from the English settlements) I thought it was absolutely necessary for Colonel Enos to take the command of the party back, and protested against his going on to join Colonel Arnold; at the same time, not knowing that Colonel Enos had any orders from Colonel Arnold to join him. That division which went on to join Colonel Arnold had not more than five days' provision. We supplied Colonel Greene' s division with most of their provision, and left ourselves but three days' provision.

Captain McCobb. About fifty miles up the Dead River we held a Council of War, at which I assisted as a member; and it was agreed that the whole division under Col˙ Enos should return, there not being sufficient provision to carry both divisions through. Colonel Greene' s division being some way ahead, it was found that we should save two days' time by letting that division go forward, and time was too precious and provision too scarce to enter into disputes. It was thought best for the service, that Colonel


Greene' s division should proceed, and we left them with about five days' provision, and returned with three ourselves. Lieutenant-Colonel Enos was for going forward without his division; but, for the same reasons which have been mentioned by Captain Williams, I protested against his going on.

Captain Scott confirms all that Captain McCobb deposes, and adds, that he himself protested against Colonel Enos' s going forward; that he thought, and is now confirmed in the opinion, that the presence of Colonel Enos was very necessary to preserve the harmony and order necessary to secure the safe retreat of the men who were ordered to return.

Lieutenant Hide. I assisted at the Council of War up the Dead River. We found, by the best computation, that it would take fifteen days to reach any French inhabitants, and that it would be impossible for both divisions of Greene' s and Enos' s to go through, the provision being so short. It was adjudged that there was about four days' provision for those who went forward, and we returned with three. I protested against Colonel Enos' s going on to join Colonel Arnold, his presence being necessary for our safe retreat, as we had a number of invalids, and a considerable number of men who did not belong to either of the Companies in our division.

Lieutenant Buckmaster confirms what Lieutenant Hide deposes; and adds, that it was the opinion of all the officers of Colonel Enos' s division, that he should return with his division, as we had one hundred and fifty men who did not belong to our division, who had only a subaltern to command them, and whom it would have been impossible to manage without Colonel Enos' s presence.

The Court being cleared, after mature consideration, are unanimously of opinion, that Colonel Enos was under a necessity of returning with the division under his command, and therefore acquit him with honour.


A true copy of the proceedings.

Attest: W˙ TUDOR, Judge Advocate.