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Letter from General William Livingston to William Hooper



Camp at Elizabethtown Point, August 29, 1776.

Dear Sir: I received yours of yesterday' s date just after I had got into my new habitation, which is a markee tent in our encampment here. You would really be astonished to see how grand I look, while at the same time I can assure you I was never more sensible (to use a New England phrase) of my own nothingness in military affairs. I removed my quarters from the town hither, to be with the men, and to enure them to discipline, which, by my distance from the camp before, considering what scurvy subaltern officers we are like ever to have while they are in the appointment of the mobility, I found it impossible to introduce. And the worst men (was there a degree above the superlative) would be still pejorated, by having been fellow soldiers with that discipline-hating, good-living loving, "to eternal fame damned," coxcombical crew we lately had here from Philadelphia.

My ancient corporeal fabrick is almost tottering under the fatigue I have lately undergone: constantly rising at two o' clock in the morning to examine our lines, which are — and very extensive, till daybreak, and from that time perpetually till eleven in giving orders, sending despatches, and doing the proper business of Quartermasters, Colonels, Commissaries, and I know not what.

I have not been able to learn the particulars of Colonel Zedtwitz' s crime. The report here is, that he was bribed by Governour Tryon to poison the well in the fortress he commanded, and that the letters were intercepted, and the poison was actually found in his chest; but it is folly to depend upon reports. When I can learn the particulars in a manner authentick, I shall be happy in finding an excuse for troubling my friend with another letter from your most humble servant,
Wil˙ Livingston.

To William Hooper, in Congress.