The finest Revolutionary War letter.
(September 30, 1777)
George Washington's letter to Major General William Heath reporting on:
Dear Sir.Headquarters, September 3oth, 1777
I have been duly favored with yours of the 10th inst. with respect to supply of the Continental delegates with ammunition from the continental magazines. As I have not copies of the letters you mention with me. I am not certain how far they may have authorized the measure, but I entirely approve of your granting the necessary supply from them. The frigates ought not to want so essential article and I know of no other way in which they could be furnished with equal propriety - if at all.
I am glad to hear of the valuable prizes that have been lately brought into your port. We shall stand in need of all our activity - to increase our supplies by these means, and render them, as far as possible, adequate to our numerous and pressing wants.
The aspect of our Northern affairs is extremely pleasing, particularly by our last accounts, which give us to hope that Ticonderoga, ere this, has fallen into our hands and that General Burgoyne after an unsuccessful attack, has
been obliged to retreat under circumstances that threaten his ruin. It is of the utmost importance, that these favourable prospects should be speedily realized.
Probably before this reaches you, you will have heard that General Howe after much maneuvering, marching and countermarching has at length gained possession of Philadelphia. Many unlucky incidents prevented, in a great measure, the opposition he would have received before he accomplished his purpose notwithstanding our misfortune on the Brandywine. But though matters have taken a turn different from what we could have wished, I am in hopes it will not be long before we are in a situation to repair the consequences of our success and give a more happy complexion to our affairs in this quarter.
I wrote to you some time since to forward with all dispatch the three additional regiments from your state to this army. I trust you have expected this business, in a manner, suitable to the urgency of the occasion, but if anything remains that can serve to hasten their coming I beg it may be done.
Two large holes with only a few letters lost, but the remainder of the letter is in excellent shape.