Letter from General Woodhull


A Letter from General Woodhull, dated this day, was received and read, and is as follows, that is to say:

"Jamaica, August 28, 1776.

"GENTLEMEN: I wrote two letters to you yesterday, one by express and another by Mr˙ Harper, and also sent my Brigade-Major to you to let you know my situation; and I expected an answer to some of them last night, but my express informed me he was detained till last night for an answer. I have now received yours of the 26th, which is only a copy of the last, without a single word of an answer to my letters, or the message of my Brigade-Major.

"I must again let you know my situation. I have about seventy men, and about twenty of the Troop, which is all the force I have or can expect, and I am daily growing less in number. The people are so alarmed in Suffolk, that they will not, any more of them, march; and as to Colonels Smith' s and Remsen' s Regiments, they cannot join me, for the communication is cut off between us.

"I have sent about eleven hundred cattle to the great fields of the plains yesterday. About three hundred more are gone off this morning to the same place, and have ordered a guard of an officer and seven privates. They can get no water in those fields. My men and horses are worn out with fatigue. The cattle are not all gone off towards Hempstead. I ordered them yesterday, but they were not able to take them along. I brought yesterday about three hundred from New-Town. I think the cattle are in as much danger on the north as on the south side, and have ordered the inhabitants


to remove them. If you cannot send me an immediate reinforcement, I am afraid I shall have no men with me by to-morrow night, for they consider themselves in an enemy' s country; and if I can have no reinforcement, I beg you will send very particular directions what I shall do with the stock: whether I shall kill them or leave them, for I shall not be able to get them all together, and tend them, if the men I have will all stay with me. I beg you would immediately send at least two members, as a Committee, that I may have their advice, for unless you do, I must quit, for I hope the Convention does not expect me to make brick without straw.

"I am, gentlemen, your most obedient servant,


Ordered, That Mr˙ Hobart and Mr˙ James Townsend, as a Committee of this Convention, be, and hereby are, directed to repair to General Woodhull with such instructions as the Convention shall think proper to give, and to assist him with their advice.

And Ordered, That General Woodhull and the said Committee be, and hereby are, instructed that they cause all such Stock and all such Grain in Queen' s County and the western part of Suffolk County as may be in danger of falling into the enemy' s hands, and cannot be removed to places of safety, to be destroyed.

Ordered, That the said Committee be, and they hereby are, empowered to impress horses, boats, and persons to convey themselves to General Woodhull with the utmost despatch.

And Resolved, That the Convention will defray the expenses of the said Committee in the premises.