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Extract of a Letter to Captain Gardner


Extract of a Letter to Captain GARDNER, Aid-de-camp to General BURGOYNE, at BOSTON, dated at CORK, SEPTEMBER 10, 1775.

I arrived here this day, and never was mortal more hurried than I am at present, but a Yankee schooner just going to leave this for Boston' s great township, I ought not to let slip the opportunity.

I enclose in this a letter to Colonel Pigot, which when you have read, seal it and deliver it to him. If you have any interest with him you will employ it in my favour, for you must know there is a damned strong Scotch party in our Regiment, which would be glad to deprive me of the paymastership. I should have been a Major before this, if it had not been for this cursed rebellion, but every thing is for the best; perhaps I may soon get that rank without purchase, if I escape the blazing irons of the saints, for I am eldest Captain in the Regiment, except Major Gray. General Burgoyne' s letter to him, [General Lee,] is deservedly much admired, and though short, I believe has made more converts to sound policy than any other production that has appeared upon the subject. The King' s Proclamation has greatly confounded the turbulent, miscalled patriots.

"Strike off their pensions, by the setting sun,
"All England, if not Europe, is undone.

Some of my old acquaintances, the Skiragathry' s, should be let slip upon the back settlements; I am convinced they would not desire better sport, and likewise convinced that nothing would sooner bring those liberty-mad gentry to reason. Your present situation must be very disagreeable, to be cooped up by such a set of dirty ragamuffins as I know they are: however, this may comfort you, the fiddle is tuning for them, and early next spring they will have such a dance as I hope will bring them to themselves. Believe me, dear Harry, to be affectionately yours,


P˙ S. The transports for the Seventeenth, Twenty-Seventh, and our Regiment, sailed for this the 28th of August. You may depend that we shall have early next spring twenty thousand Russians.

Adieu! laurels and life to you.