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Mumford, Giles (1759-1795) to Thomas Mumford

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00496.075.02 Author/Creator: Mumford, Giles (1759-1795) Place Written: Peekskill, New York Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 26 August 1777 Pagination: 5 p. : address : docket ; 31 x 20 cm.

Written by Giles Mumford as a soldier under Lieutenant Colonel Meigs to his father Thomas Mumford, a Groton, Connecticut merchant. References his father's letters of 11 and 13 August 1777. Says he has not received his powder puff, nor his cups, but that if they are returned he does not need them since there is a barber where he is. Says Colonel Samuel Webb has given him the liberty to keep a horse, as long as it is outside of camp. Says that in his last letter he informed his father that General Parsons and Colonel Webb went on a secret expedition to Long Island with 600 men. Says the most current information he can find out is that it came to nothing. Says that General Varnum undertook a feinting movement at East Chester, but that the British received intelligence of Parson's move and were able to counter it. Giles goes on to describe the East Chester engagements in detail. Mentions success of the Americans in the north. Says General Benedict Arnold has destroyed a large amount of enemy boats because of intelligence from the Indians. Mentions that attack at Fort Stanwick was repulsed. Says the British have cannonaded Baltimore and that they might land and attack Philadelphia soon. Mentions the price of some supplies and hopes his father can send him shoes and stockings. Also if possible to send a pair of saddle bags and his boots. Says General Parsons is not back at camp after being slightly wounded in the arm. Last page says he received his father's letter of 17 August 1777 and that he feels better. Says British have started to march on Philadelphia. Hopes militia can gain honor in the north since they did not gain any where he is. Says news is poor and the post is slow, but that all his friends are doing well. Red wax seal partially extent. Major tears to address leaf are repaired, leading to slight text loss.

[excerpt]
… I inform'd you in my Last that Gen.l Parsons Col.o Webb and about 600 Men was gone upon a Secret Expedition, they have been upon Long Island, by the best Information I can get they have Effected nothing at all, 4 days after Gen.l Vernum with the Remainder of our Reg.t Col.o Angels being Join'd by about 1,000 Militia Marched to East Chester [2] to draw the Attention of the Enemy so as Gen.l Parsons might Effect his Purposes, unhappy for us the Enemy got Intelligence of his Going upon the Island, also that Gen.l Vernum was coming to East Chester, as soon as he had got there. the Enemy sallied out upon him in two Columns about 3,000 in Numbers, there was immediately two Scouting Parties Called for a Captain & fifty Men each, Cap.t Alden of Lebanon who I was under was to take one of them, he was Immediately Ordered to go & cover the Retreat of a Party of our Light Howe and defend a Pass about 11/2 Miles from Fort Independence, he went with 15 Men from our Regiment the rest was Militia, after he had cover'd the Retreat of the Horse he was ordered to Retreat, he Ordered his Men to keep in Orders & not brake this Ranks he soon found that the two Columns that Sallied had almost surrounded him upon which he saw that [inserted: there] was no chance hardly to get away hr Ordered his Men to make the Best of their way off upon which they ran, the Militia (some of them) threw away their Guns, Flasks, some throw away all but their Shirt an Trousers, they are disgrac'd to the Last degree…[3]…Gen.l Sullivan went on to Staten Island the same time & brought [inserted: off] 300 Hundred Prisoners, the Rear Guard consisting of 100 Men, was Obliged to stay till the Boats cou'd be sent back, they was not very Quick with the Boats & there was 500 Men, upon the other End of the Island [inserted: that our People did not know off] which came upon the Rear Guard & made them Prisoners, also five field Officers which stay'd behind to eat Water Melons with some Ladies they was also made Prisoners, they thought there was no Danger for they search'd all that part where they Landed & took them Prisoners…[4]…I shou'd think that we have killed & taken off the Enemy near two thousand…

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