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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 2


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Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0264

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-08-25

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Yours of Aug. 12 and 13,1 came by this Mornings Post.
A letter from Cheasopeak Bay, dated Yesterday Morning, informs that the Enemy had not then landed.2
This Morning General Nash, with his Brigade of North Carolina Forces, marched thro the Town with their Band of Musick, their Train of Artillery, and their Bagage Waggons, their Bread Waggons, travelling Forges &c.
General Washingtons Army encamped last Night at Derby. Sullivans Division is expected along in two days.
Our Intelligence of the Fleet has been as good as could be expected—they have been 6 Weeks at sea.
If our People do not now turn out and destroy Burgoines Gang root and branch, they may justly be reproached as lost to Honour and to Virtue. He is compleatly in our Power. Gates writes to congress, that Burgoine is lessened 1200 Men by the Bennington Action.
I inclosed Needles from Turner to Hardwick lately. But Turner is gone home and reached it eer now.
1. A single letter, above.
2. For the letters mentioned here and below as received by Congress this day, see JCC , 8:670, and note.

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0265

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-08-26

John Adams to Abigail Adams

[salute] My best Friend

Howes Army, at least about 5000 of them besides his Light Horse, are landed, upon the Banks of the Elke River, and the Disposition he has made of his Forces, indicate a Design to rest and refresh both Men and Horses.1
General Washington was at Wilmington last Night, and his Army is there to day. The Militia are turning out with great Alacrity both in Maryland and Pensilvania. They are distressed for Want of Arms. Many have none—others have only little fowling Pieces. However, We shall rake and scrape enough to do Howes Business, by the favour of Heaven.
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Howe must have intended that Washington should have sent his Army up to fight Burgoine. But He is disappointed.
The Kindness of Heaven, towards Us, has in nothing appeared more conspicuous, than in this Motion of Howe. If the Infatuation is not so universal as to seize Americans, as well as him, it will prove the certain Destruction of Burgoines Army.
The New England Troops and N. York Troops are every Man of them at Peeks Kill and with Gates. The Massachusetts Regiments are all with Gates.
Gen. Washington has none but Southern Troops with him, and he has much the largest Army to encounter.
If My Countrymen do not now turn out and do something, I shall be disappointed indeed. One fifth Part of Burgoines Force has been totally destroyed by Starks and Herkermer. The Remainder must be shocked and terrified at the Stroke. Now is the Time to strike.—New Englandmen! strike home.
RC (Adams Papers). A large sheet which served as a wrapper for this letter (and possibly for one or more of the immediately preceding letters from JA to AA ) is in Adams Papers and was subsequently used by AA for her draft letter to James Lovell, 24 June 1778. On this wrapper appear the following address, frank, and postmark: “Mrs. Adams Braintree Mass. Bay free John Adams [PHI]LA. AUGUST 26.”
1. Howe's army landed on the 25th at Head of Elk (modern Elkton, Md.), as far up as ships could go on the Elk River, a tributary of Chesapeake Bay pointing toward Wilmington, Chester, and Philadelphia.