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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letters from William Alexander [Extracts]
Alexander, William, 1726-1783
November 15, 1778 - November 23, 1778
Volume 13, Pages 326-327

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Extract of a letter from Lord Stirling dated 15th Novr. 1778.

The fleet which dropped down to Sandy Hook on the 12th remained yesterday evening. The winds have been either ahead or too high to put to sea. They have on board their fleet the whole of the 71st Regiment Highlanders, two Battalions of Hessian Grenadiers, two Battalions of Delancy's, two of Skinner's new Levies, three companies of the 34th and two of the 33rd. They were convoyed by the Vigilant and three Gallies; it is said are watered for a fortnight only and talk of coming back soon, but from a variety of circumstances I think their destination is East and West Florida. Col. Campbell now a Brigadier commands them.

Extract of another of the 20th.

All the alteration on board the fleet is that they have taken in more water and some large Cannon from W. Whitehall and the Convoy is augmented with the Experiment and Phœnix and three Gallies or Gun Boats. Gen. Gray's baggage was yesterday put on board the Labsiene, Frigate, but whether he goes with the fleet or to England is uncertain. The fleet will sail this day or to-morrow. Their destination uncertain.

-------------------- page 327 --------------------

21st November.

I am informed that the 71st Regiment were yesterday disembarking on Staten Island.

23rd November.

The fleet of Transports &c. remain at the watering place, within the narrows, it is said waiting the return of an express, sent to Rhode Island. I fancy Count de Estaing going to the Southward puzzled them. It is certain that they have within a few days embarked a good deal of Cannon at New York. Two of the Transports which lay at Sandy Hook in the storm of the 13th were blown off in the gale, at N. W. and have not been heard of since. Col. Isaac Allen is on board with five Companies of his Regiment.