May it Please Your Excellency:
Your Two Favours recd. & was very Happy in your Excellency's advice respecting the maintaince of the post I Commanded and of the assurance you gave me of the Train that measures was in for the equipment of the Halifax Militia, but Since this a favorable event has taken place, of the enemy's Evacuation of Portsmouth and Proceeding to the town of York in Virginia which makes it unnecessary in my Opinion for the militia to Continue merely a few days to Co-operate with Col. Parker in Reducing such who may be disaffected or putting into execution any measures which may tend to the benefit of the United States, after which I shall think it my duty to discharge the militia unless some incident Should happen, which might make it necessary to alter my present Resolutions. The Small pox is violently raging in and about Portsmouth and induces me to dismiss the Militia, thinking them not altogether Safe. Various are the reasons which have been offered in respect to the Manouver of the enemy in evacuating Portsmouth. None seems to be more Probable than that they Conceived themselves unsafe from a Superior army as it Could annoy them both in their land and Naval force.
The enemy have left a great number of Negroes and Horses, tho' they have destroyed from the best accounts, about Two hundred of the Horse. The Negroes are down with the Small pox, and are left in a most inhuman manner and in such a Situation as tends to disgrace the Character of a Civilized nation, as they were Left without Sustenance & would be altogether without Support if they did