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Knox, Henry (1750-1806) to Lucy Knox

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.01277 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: Yorktown, Virginia Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 31 October 1781 Pagination: 3 p. + docket

Summary of Content: Received Lucy's letter via Martha Washington and is glad to hear his daughter is in good spirits. Hopes to see her in ten days. He has to prepare to transport ordnance in the aftermath of the siege of Yorktown. Mentions that the French army will winter at Yorktown. All the Continental troops south of Pennsylvania, including Knox's, will join General Nathanael Greene. Encloses his brother William Knox's last letter (see GLC02437.01270). Reports that the British ships intended to relieve Lord Cornwallis have just arrived at the Capes too late to help. Comte de Grasse plans to attack them, and Knox opines that "It would end the campaign gloriously to take five or six Ships from the imposing english."

Full Transcript: Camp near York 31 October 1781
Your favor by Mr Washington I received, and it gave me inexpressible pleasure to find that my Lucy, the joy of my heart was in good ...Spirits. I hope to have the sweet felicity of embracing you in ten days from today and perhaps sooner. The duty which I have to execute is so extensive and from circumstances so embarrasd that [my] time is as fully employ'd at present as in the moment of the siege we are now making the disposition of the numerous cannon, arms, and other trophies, in order to place them in a state of security when we shall depart. The French Army will winter here and in the vicinity - all the troops belonging to the states south of Pennsylvania inclusive will march to join General Greene [2] all the troops from Jersey inclusive will in a day or two commence their march by land northward except the Artillery who go by Water. I enclose the last letter from our good friend and Brother William - you will see by it he is just on the point of setting off - God bless him. I shall have a light Waggon and shall bring the bag you have mentioned with me.
The British fleet of 26 ships of the line including 2 of 50 Guns, have at last made their appearance at the Capes in order to releive Lord Cornwallis - they have come too late, and too weak for [such] an attempt. Count de Grasse has or will attack them with 35 sail of the line the moment the [3] wind shall serve - But the english will be too cautious for him I fear. It would end the campaign gloriously to take five or six ships from the imperious english.
I have receivd no other letter from Biddle than the one I mentioned or enclosed to you - dear little Girl I long to see her - as I do her infinitely dearer mother - How is Hal? cannot you impress his memory [so] powerfuly [sic] with the taking of lord Cornwallis as to make the little fellow tell it to his children?
Adieu, my partner, friend
and highest hope
I have sent the bag.
Mrs Knox
Gen Knox
Mrs Knox
31 Oct 1781
See More

People: Knox, Henry, 1750-1806
Knox, Lucy Flucker, 1756-1824

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: First LadyFranceWomen's HistoryBattle of YorktownChildren and FamilyRevolutionary WarRevolutionary War GeneralArtilleryAmmunitionMilitary CampGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyNavyMount Vernon

Sub Era: The War for Independence

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