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Knox, Henry (1750-1806) to Lucy Knox

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.00713 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: Monmouth, New Jersey Type: Autograph letter Date: 29 June 1778 Pagination: 4 p. : docket ; 24.1 x 19.6 cm.

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.00713 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: Monmouth, New Jersey Type: Autograph letter Date: 29 June 1778 Pagination: 4 p. : docket ; 24.1 x 19.6 cm.

Summary of Content: Describes the Battle of Monmouth (28 June 1778) in detail. As the British marched away from Philadelphia toward Shrewsbury, New Jersey, Continental troops under General [Charles] Lee attacked the British rear. In the ensuing battle, "My brave Lads behaved with their usual intrepidity & the Army give the Corps of Artillery their full proportion of the Glory of the day. Indeed upon the whole it is very splendid- the Capital Army of Britain defeated, and oblig'd to retreat before the Americans who they despise so much." Estimates the number of British casualties to be three times the number of Americans who were killed. Because the British intend to depart from Sandy Hook, New Jersey, Knox's troops are marching toward the North River (the Hudson). Remarks that Sir Henry Clinton is "very ill calculated in my opinion to be at the head of a large Army." Relates that his friend Harry, possibly Colonel Henry Jackson, participated in the battle.

Full Transcript: June 29th 1778 near Monmouth Court House
My dearest Love
I wrote you some few days ago that a day or two would determine whether we should have an engagement with ...the Britons - Yesterday [inserted: at about 9 oClock A.M.] Our advanced parties under General Lee attak'd their rear while on the march towards Shewsbury upon which their whole army except the Hessians came to the right about and after some fighting oblig'd him to retire to the main Army under his Excellency G. Washington, which was about two miles distance. The Enemy advanc'd with great Spirit to the attack and began a very brisk Cannonade on us who were form'd to receive them. The Cannonade lasted from about eleven untill [struck: six] Six oClock at which time the Enemy began to retire [strikeout] [inserted: in] all quarters [2] and left us in possession of the field of Battle. We have several field officers kill'd and a Considerable number of others. Colo Ramsay Mrs Ramsays husband was taken prisoner and this morning releas'd on his parole - I have had several Officers kill'd and wounded. My brave Lads behav'd with their usual intrepidity & the Army give the Corps of Artillery their full proportion of the Glory of the day. Indeed upon the whole it is very splendid - the Capital Army of Britain defeated; and oblig'd to retreat before the Americans who they despise so much. I cannot asscertain either our or the enemies Loss, But I really think they have lost three times the number we have. I judge [struck: of] [inserted: from] of the field of Battle which to be sure is a field of Carnage and Blood, three to one of the british forces [3] lie there - the Britons confess they have never received so severe a check. Colo Monckton who commanded their first Battalion of Grenadiers and a considerable number of other officers belonging to them were left dead on the field of action. The Enemy took a strong post about a mile of the place of action, to dislodge them from which as it was dark would cost too many men, and by which they cover'd the retreat of their Army. After having been fighting all day, [struck: in] one of the hottest I ever felt they decamp'd in the night and march'd off with the utmost precipitation leaving a great number of their wounded both officers and men in our hands. We have sent out large bodies in pursuit but I believe they will not be able to come up with the [4] main body. They intend to embark at Sandy hook, and as soon as we have collected our parties in and given over the pursuit and refresh'd our men we shall begin our march for the North River - The number of deserters since they left Philadelphia must exceed eight hundred, this much has prov'd to them a most destructive one and is very ill calculated to give Sir Wm Clinton any eclát - he may storm Fort Montgomery but is very ill calculated in my opinion to be at the head of a large Army - My friend Harry cros'd over from Philadelphia & was in the unfortunate part of the day. I saw him once on the field for a moment, he appeared much fatigu'd. his regiment had a few killed and wounded and is reported to have behav'd well - I hope in a few days to have the superlative happiness of being with you. Give my most respectful Compliments to Mr & Mrs [Lot] [text loss] Mrs Livingston and the Young ladies and present to them my congratulations on our Victory

[docket]
Monmouth
Monmouth June 29th 1778.
See More

People: Knox, Henry, 1750-1806
Knox, Lucy Flucker, 1756-1824
Lee, Charles, 1732-1782
Clinton, Henry, Sir, 1730?-1795

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: ArtilleryBattle of MonmouthBattleBraveryContinental ArmyDeathGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyMilitary HistoryNavyRevolutionary War GeneralRevolutionary War

Sub Era: The War for Independence

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