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Parsons, Samuel Holden (1737-1789) to Thomas Mumford

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00496.075.04 Author/Creator: Parsons, Samuel Holden (1737-1789) Place Written: Peekskill, New York Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 23 October 1777 Pagination: 4 p. : docket ; 19.5 x 15.4 cm.

Summary of Content: Written by General Parsons to Mumford as a merchant in Groton, Connecticut. Says he has doubtlessly heard of the Convention between General Gates and General Burgoyne. The Convention delineated the terms of surrender for General Burgoyne. Mentions the action at the Battle of Germantown on 4 October 1777. Explains that due to fog, the battle with General William Howe ended prematurely. Says the Americans were close to victory before the fog settled on the field. Mentions casualties of generals. Says General Clinton embarked before he could attack. Says his numbers are few and now fears an attack from General Clinton. Says it would be best for 1,400 troops drafted in Connecticut to join General Putnam. Parsons says the militia under him have left. Says he has asked the Connecticut assembly to mobilize 1,800 militia, one-half heavy dragoons and one-half light horse. Hopes if the assembly allows it that he can have access to a considerable body of troops quickly. On last page are several calculations.

Background Information:

Full Transcript: Peekskill 23d Octr. 1777
Dear Sir
The Convention between Genls Gates & Burgoine you have doubtness seen, though tis not so full as we could wish tis much better than we had ...Right to expect & infinitely more advantageous than our Deserts
The Action of ye with Genl Howe was near & very Severe for Two Hours & ones Right wing for Two Hours & forty minits & we Seem'd for Two Hours in full Possession of Victory when a thick Fogg & Smoke arose So hat it became so that it became impossible to See Twenty Yards, this appears to be the Cause of our not compleating the Victory at that Time many advantages arise from that action & by Letter of ye 13th From that Camp, Genl. Howe [2] was in a most Perilous State; five attempts have been made to weigh the Chiveaus de Frize in Delaware with no Success but very great Loss. Genl. Vaughan commands The Enemys Troops up ye. River, near Esopus which They have Burnt with Circumstances of their Usual Barbarity
Genl. Clinton in my neighbour, we prepared to attack him last Monday but he Prevented Us by a Sudden Embarkation of his Troops which are Still in ye River. The Enemy in ye. action of ye. 4th lost Genl. Agnew kild. Genl. Grant mortally wounded & Since dead.
Genl. Sniphausen wounded - & many other Officers of Distinction -
I am left with the Command of this Post my Numbers are few. I am not concernd for myself I think I am Safe but Should Mr Clinton land his present Force [3] I am not in a Condition to Fight him Would it not advisable to send the 1400 Men, drafted from ye. Lside of Connectt River, to join Genl. Putnam? his Intentions I cannot pretend to know but believe we are not to remain inactive if he is furnishd with Men who will remain with him any Length of Time - The Militia from this Post are dismisd their uneasiness being To great that they [strikeout] could not be prevailed on to stay longer: about 100 Deserters before whose names will be sent to ye. Governor.
The Regulation of your Militia I hope will be an Object your Assembly will attend to in earnest I have proposd. Arming about 1800 one half heavy Dragoons the other half Light Horsemen: that one half their Body should always be under, marching Orders, in this way a Considerable [4] Body could suddenly be thrown in to old any Post Attack.
I am Dr Sir
In [illegible] yr Ob Serv
S. H. Parsons

[docket]
Genl S. H. Parsons
23 October 1777
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People: Parsons, Samuel Holden, 1737-1789
Mumford, Thomas, 1728-1799
Howe, William Howe, Viscount, 1729-1814
Clinton, Henry, Sir, 1730?-1795

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: Battle of GermantownRevolutionary WarMilitary HistoryGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyConvention ArmyBattleBattle of SaratogaSurrenderMilitia

Sub Era: The War for Independence

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