Knox, Henry (1750-1806) to Mrs. Howe
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Informs a bereaved wife of her husband's death on the James River on 20 September 1781 from a stomach ailment. Discusses the circumstances of his death and burial, offers condolence, and mentions who will gather and transport his belongings. The deceased officer was Captain Lt. Baxter Howe (1748-1781) of Lamb's Artillery Regiment. The Continental Army was then engaged in the siege of Yorktown.
Camp before York in Virginia 2d October 1781
It is with great pain madam, that I find myself under the disagreeable necessity of informing you [struck: of] that [the] partner of your Life, was obliged to pay his last debt to nature, on the 20th of last month in James River, where his body lies buried at a place call'd Newport News. [Struck: His disease wa] His death was [struck: extreme] very sudden. [Finding] [struck: himself with] a pressure on his stomach he took an emetic & died under the operations of it in about two hours. This afflictive dispensation of divine providence robs you of an affectionate husband & the public of a faithful servant.  Heaven I hope will furnish you with a sufficient degree of fortitude to sustain the severity of its decree & [strikeout] certainly you will not want some means of consolation - the rectitude and amiableness of his [struck: of it] conduct, by which he acquired the love of all his brother soldiers, and the [strikeout] lively zeal in the cause of his country are subjects which will give you a [struck: pleasure] [inserted: satisfaction] in reflecting upon, & [inserted: a] melancholy [struck: from] pleasure which may be soothing to your wounds -
Captain Lt [Hubbill] [inserted: Paymaster of Regt.] holds to the charge of the effects of Capt Howe, and according to the custom of the Army to [struck: was] [inserted: to present loss] sold them to his brother officers who were eager to have some tokens of remembrance  he will transmit to you as soon as possible an account of them, with the proceeds & [inserted: as [certificate]] the pay which is still due to him from the public
I am madam with every sentiment of sympathy your
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