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March Date, Sunday, Sept. 17th

Homestead Headquarters

Greetings all Friends and Patriots.......

Again, tis another tardy missive to be dispatched to you. We are over busy with moving along to the southward and now have a respite in the Town of Annapolis, in the Marylands. Tis a joy but to set a spell and try to catch up on all rumor and fact. The encryption code device has been giving us a bit of madness in this last week, but perhaps all is well now.

If memory serves, when last we wrote, on or about the 9th Sept., we had just heard of that turncoat bastard, Arnold, and his depredations at the Port of New London, and the Fort at Groton. The army has grumbled for some miles and days over that horrible event. The initial outrage has slowly, ever so slowly, turned to a seething rage, boiling just beneath the surface of the countinence of the men. It is talked of in low terms, and hateful language. Most of that not to be repeated here, lest it suffice, that action will not go un-answered.

So, while that event has steeled our resolve, we must needs to keep our feet movng to the southward, and thus we do. More dispatches have arrived in the camps, some we have heard of, some filled with rumor, some filled with dread, but southwards we go.

On or about Sept 6th, Washington arrived at Head of Elk, followed by the American Army, with the French army arriving two days later, on the 8th. Some 2,000 of the troops, half American, half French, embarked on boats there and were to be headed to Williamsburg. We are told that Lauzon's infantry, and companies of Chasseurs and Grenadiers took the water passage, with the rest of the army striking onward to Baltimore.

On the 9th Sept., the good Generals moved off to Washington's home at Mt. Vernon. Much to our surprise, we have learned that is not yet put to the torch. The General has not been there in some 7 years. General Rochambeau is a day behind Washington, and no doubt they will council there. We are informed (fact or fiction?), that the Generals have left Mt. Vernon, to continue on southward. All forces of the Universe seem to be converging in, on, or near the Chesapeake.

Apparently, on the 10th, de Barras arrived at Williamsburg, from Newport, with the siege guns and the food. Bless the food and ammo.........we would be naught without either. Also, the soldiers from Head of Elk, were told to wait at Annapolis, awaiting until the outcome of the de Grasse and Graves battle coud be determined

Now it seems that there are two British fleet operating in the area, leading to some confusuion in the telling about the camp fires. It seems that de Grasse, on Sept 12th established a blockade of the Chesapeake, that the fleet under British Admiral Graves did not, could not, or would not challenge. That was on the 13th Sept. It seems that de Grasse and Graves had been in a stalemated battle formation some days before that. Oh, the versions of this story are so many....... of course, the Generals were in a bit of a dither, not knowing just what was happening at seaward. Perhaps the entire army was in flux, as well, with the wondering of it all. None-the-less, tis' confirmed that the good Generals left Mt. Vernon, on this day, to continue their way to the southwards.

We have learned that the good Generals have reached the peninsula, just two days ago, on the 15th. We have also learned the de Grasse, and the fleet have also returned after turning back the British fleet.

The clouds are many, the storm gathers force, the winds are blowing.... the evening damps are falling as the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer, tis a chill coming in the air... who shall have the favor? Until again, soonest.....

I Remain,
At Your Service,
Richard Swartwout