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Situation of the Main Armies

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol I. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

September 8. –By intelligence from the grand army, we learn that General Washington’s head-quarters were at Wilmington on the first instant, and the main body of the army encamped on the heights, on the environs of the town; that strong parties of light troops and militia were advancing towards the enemy; that frequent skirmishes ensue, though of but little consequence.

That the enemy landed about four miles below the head of Elk, and in a day or two advanced their van to Grey’s Hills, where they remained inactive. That their cavalry suffered very much during the voyage for want of forage, (having on board only enough for three weeks, whereas they were out six weeks;) many of them died before they were landed, and many more have been ruined by being turned into corn-fields, so that we may presume Mr. Howe will not be in a capacity to act vigorously very soon. Deserters come in daily, and our people frequently pick up small parties of prisoners. The American army is in high health and spirits, and eager for action.

We hear from Poughkeepsie, that about a week ago, seven Tories were committed to jail there, charged with robbing several houses, and putting the families in fear. It is said, when taken, they were all painted and dressed like Indian men, but that five of them proved to be women, three of whom are a mother and two daughters. Thus do the infernal designs and proceedings of the court of Great Britain assimilate to their own character all those who espouse their cause; not only seducing them to become base, treacherous thieves, robbers, murderers, &c., but divesting them of humanity, and converting them into savages and perfect devils in human shape.1


1 New York Journal, September 8.

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