Letter from [John] Peter [Gabriel] Muhlenberg to Nathanael Greene

  • Image 01
    [[John] Peter [Gabriel] Muhlenberg to Nathanael Greene February 24, 1781 [RvW Box 2 Folder 48; MSS. – A.L.S.]] Camp near Suffolk Febry [February].. 24th..1781 Dear General I should have done myself the Honor to write you a Line long before this time, but I have been unable to perceive a Safe conveyance; but as I understand, you are at this time in the [?] of Virginia, I thought it my duty to give you a Little Sketch of our proceedings in this Quarter – On the 13th Inst. intelligence of the arrival of a French Fleet in our Bay, consisting of one 64 [and] two Frigates of 36 each; as it was conjecture their stay would be fleet, it was thought necessary, to press the Enemy as mu[ch] as possible, [and] to prevent their Foraging in the lower Counties to effect this I marchd on the 17th.. with 600 Riflemen [and] 500 Musketry, with which we form'd an Ambuscade about one mile [and] a half from Portsmouth, [and] in the morning of the 18th.. a party of Horse was ordered to charge the Pickett, which was posted within Short of their Redoubts. The Horse charged [and] took the Pickett, consisting of a Sergt. Corporal [and] 12 without having a shot fired at them. two Yagers were kiled [sic], three Pioneers one Waggon [and] Six Horses taken; we remaind [sic] in Ambush for three Hours, but finding Arnold did not chase to venture out [and] not caring to risk an Action in the night with my Riflemen I movd back to a place of Security; where I remaind untill [sic] the 20th.. when having rec.d intelligence, that you were hard pushd by Cornwallis, I took possession of a Strong Camp in the rear of Suffolk, where I intended to Leave 900 Militia Men [and] selected 600 Riflemen [and] 400 Musketry, to March to your Assistance if necessary. Should it be found unnecessary, I sho[uld] [End Page 1] move down again upon the Lines imediately [sic] – Enclosd I do myself the Honor to transmit you a pretty exact Account of The Enemys Line in this State – I must acknowledge it is derogatory to the Honor of the State to suffer such a handfull of men to retain possession so long – but what my Dear General is to be done – They are strongly fortified – I have near two Thousand men, among the whole about 300 Bajonetts [and] two Brass Six pounders, with Such a Military apparatus we Cannot think of Attacking the works by regular approaches, [and] all my hopes at present are, that I shall be able to coop up Arnold so close, that he will be obligd to make an attempt to dislodge us – General Gregory of the North Carolina Militia is now moving down on the east side of the Dismal Swamp with about 700 Men, in order to cut off Arnolds Communication with Princess Ann County – Should any thing Materiel occur I shall do myself the Honor to give Sir imediate [sic] Notice: I have the Honor to be with great respect Dear General Your humbl [and] Obedt Servt [Your humble and Obedient Servant] P.Muhlenberg [Peter Muhlenberg] [Addressed:] Honble Major General Greene Commander in Chief of the Southern Army Muhlenberg [End Page 2] [Endorsed through the address:] from Genl [General] Muhlenberg Feb: [February] 24th, 1781 [Endorsed upside down]: from Genl. [General] Mughlenberg [sic] February 24th 1781 [End Page 3]
  • Image 01
    [[John] Peter [Gabriel] Muhlenberg to Nathanael Greene February 24, 1781 [RvW Box 2 Folder 48; MSS. – A.L.S.]] Camp near Suffolk Febry [February].. 24th..1781 Dear General I should have done myself the Honor to write you a Line long before this time, but I have been unable to perceive a Safe conveyance; but as I understand, you are at this time in the [?] of Virginia, I thought it my duty to give you a Little Sketch of our proceedings in this Quarter – On the 13th Inst. intelligence of the arrival of a French Fleet in our Bay, consisting of one 64 [and] two Frigates of 36 each; as it was conjecture their stay would be fleet, it was thought necessary, to press the Enemy as mu[ch] as possible, [and] to prevent their Foraging in the lower Counties to effect this I marchd on the 17th.. with 600 Riflemen [and] 500 Musketry, with which we form'd an Ambuscade about one mile [and] a half from Portsmouth, [and] in the morning of the 18th.. a party of Horse was ordered to charge the Pickett, which was posted within Short of their Redoubts. The Horse charged [and] took the Pickett, consisting of a Sergt. Corporal [and] 12 without having a shot fired at them. two Yagers were kiled [sic], three Pioneers one Waggon [and] Six Horses taken; we remaind [sic] in Ambush for three Hours, but finding Arnold did not chase to venture out [and] not caring to risk an Action in the night with my Riflemen I movd back to a place of Security; where I remaind untill [sic] the 20th.. when having rec.d intelligence, that you were hard pushd by Cornwallis, I took possession of a Strong Camp in the rear of Suffolk, where I intended to Leave 900 Militia Men [and] selected 600 Riflemen [and] 400 Musketry, to March to your Assistance if necessary. Should it be found unnecessary, I sho[uld] [End Page 1] move down again upon the Lines imediately [sic] – Enclosd I do myself the Honor to transmit you a pretty exact Account of The Enemys Line in this State – I must acknowledge it is derogatory to the Honor of the State to suffer such a handfull of men to retain possession so long – but what my Dear General is to be done – They are strongly fortified – I have near two Thousand men, among the whole about 300 Bajonetts [and] two Brass Six pounders, with Such a Military apparatus we Cannot think of Attacking the works by regular approaches, [and] all my hopes at present are, that I shall be able to coop up Arnold so close, that he will be obligd to make an attempt to dislodge us – General Gregory of the North Carolina Militia is now moving down on the east side of the Dismal Swamp with about 700 Men, in order to cut off Arnolds Communication with Princess Ann County – Should any thing Materiel occur I shall do myself the Honor to give Sir imediate [sic] Notice: I have the Honor to be with great respect Dear General Your humbl [and] Obedt Servt [Your humble and Obedient Servant] P.Muhlenberg [Peter Muhlenberg] [Addressed:] Honble Major General Greene Commander in Chief of the Southern Army Muhlenberg [End Page 2] [Endorsed through the address:] from Genl [General] Muhlenberg Feb: [February] 24th, 1781 [Endorsed upside down]: from Genl. [General] Mughlenberg [sic] February 24th 1781 [End Page 3]
  • Image 01
    [[John] Peter [Gabriel] Muhlenberg to Nathanael Greene February 24, 1781 [RvW Box 2 Folder 48; MSS. – A.L.S.]] Camp near Suffolk Febry [February].. 24th..1781 Dear General I should have done myself the Honor to write you a Line long before this time, but I have been unable to perceive a Safe conveyance; but as I understand, you are at this time in the [?] of Virginia, I thought it my duty to give you a Little Sketch of our proceedings in this Quarter – On the 13th Inst. intelligence of the arrival of a French Fleet in our Bay, consisting of one 64 [and] two Frigates of 36 each; as it was conjecture their stay would be fleet, it was thought necessary, to press the Enemy as mu[ch] as possible, [and] to prevent their Foraging in the lower Counties to effect this I marchd on the 17th.. with 600 Riflemen [and] 500 Musketry, with which we form'd an Ambuscade about one mile [and] a half from Portsmouth, [and] in the morning of the 18th.. a party of Horse was ordered to charge the Pickett, which was posted within Short of their Redoubts. The Horse charged [and] took the Pickett, consisting of a Sergt. Corporal [and] 12 without having a shot fired at them. two Yagers were kiled [sic], three Pioneers one Waggon [and] Six Horses taken; we remaind [sic] in Ambush for three Hours, but finding Arnold did not chase to venture out [and] not caring to risk an Action in the night with my Riflemen I movd back to a place of Security; where I remaind untill [sic] the 20th.. when having rec.d intelligence, that you were hard pushd by Cornwallis, I took possession of a Strong Camp in the rear of Suffolk, where I intended to Leave 900 Militia Men [and] selected 600 Riflemen [and] 400 Musketry, to March to your Assistance if necessary. Should it be found unnecessary, I sho[uld] [End Page 1] move down again upon the Lines imediately [sic] – Enclosd I do myself the Honor to transmit you a pretty exact Account of The Enemys Line in this State – I must acknowledge it is derogatory to the Honor of the State to suffer such a handfull of men to retain possession so long – but what my Dear General is to be done – They are strongly fortified – I have near two Thousand men, among the whole about 300 Bajonetts [and] two Brass Six pounders, with Such a Military apparatus we Cannot think of Attacking the works by regular approaches, [and] all my hopes at present are, that I shall be able to coop up Arnold so close, that he will be obligd to make an attempt to dislodge us – General Gregory of the North Carolina Militia is now moving down on the east side of the Dismal Swamp with about 700 Men, in order to cut off Arnolds Communication with Princess Ann County – Should any thing Materiel occur I shall do myself the Honor to give Sir imediate [sic] Notice: I have the Honor to be with great respect Dear General Your humbl [and] Obedt Servt [Your humble and Obedient Servant] P.Muhlenberg [Peter Muhlenberg] [Addressed:] Honble Major General Greene Commander in Chief of the Southern Army Muhlenberg [End Page 2] [Endorsed through the address:] from Genl [General] Muhlenberg Feb: [February] 24th, 1781 [Endorsed upside down]: from Genl. [General] Mughlenberg [sic] February 24th 1781 [End Page 3]
Title:
Letter from [John] Peter [Gabriel] Muhlenberg to Nathanael Greene
Creator:
Muhlenberg, John Peter Gabriel, 1746-1807
Date:
1781-02-24
Description:
Letter from [John] Peter [Gabriel] Muhlenberg to Nathanael Greene regarding the arrival of the French Fleet in the Massachusetts Bay and an account of the ongoing skirmish with the British in Massachusetts.
Collection:
Charleston Museum Collection of Revolutionary War Letters
Contributing Institution:
The Charleston Museum Archives
Media Type:
Manuscripts
Personal or Corporate Subject:
Muhlenberg, John Peter Gabriel, 1746-1807--Correspondence, Muhlenberg, John Peter Gabriel, 1746-1807--Military service, Muhlenberg, John Peter Gabriel, 1746-1807, Greene, Nathanael, 1742-1786--Correspondence, Greene, Nathanael, 1742-1786--Military service, Greene, Nathanael, 1742-1786--Military leadership, Greene, Nathanael, 1742-1786
Topical Subject:
War, armed forces, and society
Geographic Subject:
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783, United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783--American forces
S.C. County:
Charleston County (S.C.)
Internet Media Type:
image/jpeg
Digitization Specifications:
600 ppi, 24-bit depth, color, Epson Expression 10000XL, Archival Masters are tiffs.
Copyright Status Statement:
Public domain.
Access Information:
For more information contact The Charleston Museum, 360 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29403.