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Letter from Colonel Barnes to the Council of Safety



St˙ Inigoes, July 13, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: I received information on Friday, the 12th of July, that there was a considerable number of ships and small vessels between Smith' s Point and Point Lookout, on which I ordered five companies of Militia to repair there as fast as possible, and immediately set out to the Point myself, in order to get further information. On my arrival there, I found about forty sail of vessels; they were then about twenty-five miles off the Point, in the Bay, where they continued till in the night. In the morning about fifty-eight sail were discovered opposite Smith' s Creek in Potomack, and eight in the Bay, on which I gave orders to call the companies of my battalion immediately to march to Potomack, in order to prevent their landing in the district of the Twenty-first Battalion. We have had two small vessels driven on shore from the fleet; on board of one of them were three whites and two negroes, three of whom now have the small-pox on them. One of the white men informed us the fleet was Dumnore' s, and that Governour Eden was on board the Fowey, and that he heard it surmised that they intended to take possession of St˙ George' s Island; since which the Fowey and her tender have come to in St˙ Mary' s River; and I don' t doubt but the greatest part, if not all of the fleet, will be there in the morning. We have between two and three hundred of our Militia stationed in different places, and I have just sent off an express to Colonel Jordan to supply me with one or two hundred men of his battalion, if possible.

From the above affair, I think it would be proper Captain Beall' s company from Drum Point should be ordered here, and their place there supplied with the Militia of the County. I should be glad of your advice and assistance. I should have written you more particularly, but have been marching from place to place, from the morning till now, which is twelve o' clock in the night, and am much tired.

Mr˙ Hugh Hopewell has promised me to hire an express in Calvert to carry this to you, should therefore be glad you would pay him.

I remain, gentlemen, your humble servant, RICHARD BARNES.

To the Hon˙ the Council of Safety of Maryland.