January 13, 1776

British Admiral Molyneaux Shuldham reports to the First Lord of the Admiralty Lord Sandwich that he will be “surprised to learn how fast the armed vessels of the rebels have multiplied lately, how many of our store ships and victuallers they have taken, and how successfully they have defeated all our forces.  In Narragansewtt Bay, Rhode Island, the Royal Navy at Newport sent sailors on raids of local towns, where they engaged with local militia in a three hours fight.

unknown-5In the meantime, George Washington writes to the Massachusetts General Court about the lack of arms:  It is exceedingly painful to me, to give you so much trouble as I have, and am like to do in the support of our Lines, and the Arrangement of the New Army—But my difficulties must, in their consequences, devolve trouble on you.

To my very great Surprize I find, that the whole number of Arms which have been stopp’d from the discharg’d Soldiers, amt to no more than 1620, and of that number, no more than 120 are in store, the rest being redeliver’d to the Recruits which have come In. I also find from the report of the Recruiting Officers, that few Men are to be Inlisted who have Arms in their hands, and that they are reduced to the alternative of either getting no Men, or Men without Arms—Unhappy Situation! What is to be done, unless these Governments will exert themselves in providing Arms from the sevl Towns, or in such other manner as to them shall seem speedy & effectual?

Bow Tie Tours.

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