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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from George Washington to Patrick Henry
Washington, George, 1732-1799
March 31, 1777
Volume 11, Pages 436-437

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Head Quarters, Morris Town, March 31st 1777.


Captain Deshield of Mr. Buchanon's ship, from Baltimore who was taken by the enemy & carried into York, made his escape from thence on Saturday evening. He informs that three thousand Troops British & Hessians embarked about ten days ago from the

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city & Staten Island on board transports which were lying at the latter when he came away; he adds that the enemy had built & are building a number of light flat-bottomed boats, about seventy of which were finished. Capt. Deshield says it seemed to be the general opinion and conversation, that this embarkation was for Chesapeake Bay, with a view of making a descent on the Eastern Shore, or that the Troops were to proceed to the head of Elk, taking Annapolis & Baltimore in their way: there were some who thought it probable they were to go up the North River & attempt the Highland Fortifications. I have written to General McDougal & Clinton desiring them to make the best preparations that circumstances will admit of in case the latter should be their object. Capt. Deshield being in company with the Captain of the packet, but unknown to him, heard him say that a war with France was much expected when he left England which was about the beginning of February.

I have the honour to be with respect, Sir,
Your most obed't. Serv't.

[Above enclosed in Gov. Henry's letter of Apr 11, post.]