Letter from Thomas Burke to Richard Caswell
Burke, Thomas, ca. 1747-1783
Volume 11, Pages 549-550
DR. THOS. BURKE TO GOV. CASWELL.
[From Executive Letter Book.]
Philadelphia, July 30th, 1777.
Altho. I expected by this time a very active eventful scene yet I have scarcely anything to communicate to you worth your attention; for a week past the enemy have been expected here, and preparations have been made for effectively opposing them, but there is yet no appearance of them. What gives rise to the apprehension is that a fleet of men of War and Transports amounting to upwards of two hundred sail departed from Sandy Hook on Tuesday last, and steered southeast, having on board Troops, horses, artillery &c in great quantity. This appearance has convinced all who deemed this City their peculiar object, that their destination was for the River Delaware, and even such as have always thought otherwise feel their opinions now wavering: they can see no other probable object, and are therefore constrained to admit that it must be Philadelphia. For my own part, I am still of opinion that they will cooperate with their Forces from Canada in endeavouring to effect a junction and establishing a line for communication between the sea and the Lakes, so as to divide the Continent' and bar all succours from one part to the other, while their operations are carried on against either.—But why should I trouble you with my conjectures? Time alone can discover what they intend; and as neither we nor they can govern events, there is no foreseeing
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what they will do. No new accounts have arrived from the Northern Department since my last. Our affairs there give us great uneasiness. The loss was certainly occasioned by the want of sufficient well appointed force, and as the Eastern States were to supply the Troops for that station, they are very solicitous that it should be thought the fault of the officers, who in reality could not have done more than they did with the force in their hands. They are unwilling that it should be thought they have not the force they have always pretended to; and altho' it must be and is admitted they have exerted themselves as much as any State, yet they are very unwilling to admit that any of our misfortune has happened through a weakness which they only share in common with the rest. The result I suppose will be, that the officers must be unjustly disgraced. Upon the whole of our affairs, they bear rather a promising aspect, and could we, by general taxing, or any other means, establish the credit of our money, every campaign would give us more command of the war. I shall not trouble you, Sir, with any more at present. I have the honor to be with the greatest respect & esteem,
Your obt. Ser't.,