I am now to answer, or rather acknowledge the receipt of, your favour of the 10th ultimo as being but a few days here. I shall rather give you a sketch of present appearances and things to be
The French troops (expected to be about eight thousand, including Marines) are not yet arrived, tho' daily expected either into the Delaware Bay or at Rhode Island. Of the land forces, 5,000 is said to be the nearest mark; these, in conjunction with ours, augmented by militia to the number of 40,000 men, are thought of to form a blockade against N. G. This effort, if made, will try our finances and other resources (I mean provisions, storage, waggons, &c.) to the very bottom. The treasury is already empty or nearly, and of the Interest of money lent the publick, not one shilling can be had. Yet it is said yt. the foreign troops must be imployed when they come, and that to decline the Object mentioned above will set us in a bad point of light with our allies, &c. The Marquis Le Fayett, who is now in Camp, I find is very fond of it. This business, in my opinion, cannot be attempted till after harvest. This morning bro't us the depressive intelligence of the fall of Charlestown, by letters from Mr. Laurens, dated at Wilmington, which gives the surrender a greater appearance of truth than former accounts had done, yet not fully ascertained, but as good as granted on all hands. The expectation of the French troops, well known to Sir Henry Clinton, may favour the residue of our Southern possessions by recalling their force to New York. The demands of the Southern Gentlemen you may be sure are very urgent upon Congress for farther aid to that Country, and the Legislature of Virginia in a late address hath conjured us to that purpose. What may be proper to be done cannot so well be determined until the reinforcement arrive and the further movements of the Enemy to the South become evident. On perceiving that a motion would probably be made for sending you to the South, I moved your being sent for to this City, urging the propriety of every assistance in forming the arrangements of the Campaign, &c. From one quarter I was opposed with the immediate necessity of your taking the command of the Southern Militia, with the Maryland line, &c., for the defence of those States. This I thought proper to parry for the present with—the approach of Sir John Johnston, who is fortifying in that Country, and may have, or expect, a much greater force in his rear than the Six hundred at present appears—the indigested state of our affairs and
I am better pleased with the simplicity and temperance of the Chevalier's table than I expected, except the innumerable Sweetmeats and desserts, of which there is a great redundance. Johnston I believe will be repelled by the York line of the army and some Militia of that State gone up for that purpose.