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Letter from Major Price to the Council of Safety



St˙ George' s Camp, July 26, 1776.

SIR: The enemy come on St˙ George' s Island in the day time to get water and wood, and in the evening retire on board their ships. They have no manner of fortifications on the Island.

The fleet lies from the northeast side of St˙ George' s River about a mile, the depth of water, as I imagine, about three fathom. The Island lies from the main land about a hundred yards. The water, at low tide, about knee deep, where we threw up a small intrenchment. There are three pieces of cannon on Cherryfield Point, (about a mile from the Fowey,) one a nine-pounder, one a four, the other three. I have another on the northwest side of the river, (the narrowest water between the land and main,) a four-pounder. I have about four hundred men (half of whom are well armed, the other half poorly) placed on each side of St˙ George' s River. I have good reason to think, with the force I have, I can prevent the enemy' s landing or plundering the inhabitants. I yesterday morning sent one hundred on the Island about half after two o' clock. They marched silently through the Island till day appeared, and then lay hid till they came from the, ships to water. The advance party being rather eager, was too soon discovered, and the whole enemy ran to their boats, my people then pursuing them with all speed, and firing on them as they were getting into their boats, when our people say they killed three or four, that they saw fall, and several wounded, and one taken prisoner. The Fowey then fired on them, and compelled them to retire. After destroying their water casks and filling up a well, (the best on the Island, for they have no springs,)


they returned to the main without loss. By the best advice I can get from the prisoners and many deserters, the whole fleet does not intend to stay here longer than those up the Potomack come down, which they expect every day. Captain Beall, who was wounded in the first engagement, is recovering fast. I am, &c˙, THOS˙ PRICE.

N˙ B˙ I yesterday sent under a small guard a prisoner to Annapolis, taken yesterday, and three deserters, one of them an officer of Dunmore' s, who made his escape with an old man who is very sick and not able to travel. I believe they are well pleased they have made their escape. One of them went from Annapolis, who says Caton was privy to his and others going on board the Fowey while she lay there.

Please to pay this express.