Sir: I had the Honor to address my self to you the 8th. instant by Captain Macpherson, since which I have an Account of a Schooner laden chiefly with firewood, being brought into Marblehead, by the Armed Schooner Lee, Capt. Manly. 94
[Note:Capt. John Manley. ]
She had on board the Master, a Midshipman, two Marines and four Sailors from the Cerberus Man of War, who had made prize of this Schooner a few Days before and was sending her into Boston.
Inclosed you have a copy of an Act passed this Session by the Honr. Council and House of Representatives this Province. 95
[Note:Sparks states that this act was the first passed by any of the Colonies for fitting out letters of marque and reprisal and for establishing a court to try and condemn prizes. He refers to Austin's Life of Elbridge Gerry (vol. 1, pp. 92, 505), also to the Acts and Resolves of Massachusetts (vol. 5, PP. 436, 515). ]
[Note:Ford prints the following notes at this point:
"These N. England men are a strange composition. Their commonalty is undoubtedly good, but they are so defective in materials for officers that it must require time to make a real good army out of 'em. Enclosed I send you the address of the generals to the soldiers. You must know that some officers who are discarded from the service are suspected of exerting themselves to dissuade the soldiers from reenlisting. To counteract their machinations was the design of this paper." -- Charles Lee to Robert Morris, Nov. 22, 1775.
"We were some time apprehensive of losing every thing from the backwardness of the men in enlisting. It is supposed that the discarded officers labored to render the soldiers disaffected; but the men really have public spirits and recruiting goes on most swimmingly." -- Charles Lee to Robert Morris, Dec. 9, 1775.
"The zeal and alacrity of the militia who were summon'd on the supposition that our lines would be degarnished, prognosticate well, and do much honor to these Provinces. There is certainly much public spirit in the bulk of the people and I think they merit public eulogium. The N. England delegates I am told have lately received so many rubs that they want a cordial. I beg therefore that you will administer one to those who are of your acquaintance in my name. I never saw a finer body than this militia." -- Charles Lee to Benjamin Rush, Dec. 12, 1775.
"The task [of disbanding army and forming new] was rendered very difficult by the reduction of eleven regiments and the discharge of such a number of officers who have done every thing to obstruct and retard the filling of the new army in hopes to ruin the establishment and bring themselves into place again." -- General Greene to Governor Ward.
"By letters from camp I find there is infinite difficulty in reinlisting the army. The idea of making it wholly Continental has induced so many alterations disgusting to both officers and men, that very little success has attended our recruiting orders. I have often told the Congress, that, under the idea of new modelling, I was afraid we should destroy our army. Southern gentlemen wish to remove that attachment, which the officers and men have to their respective colonies, and make them look up to the continent at large for their support or promotion. I never thought that attachment injurious to the common cause, but the strongest inducement to people to risk every thing in defence of the whole, upon the preservation of which must depend the safety of each colony. I wish, therefore, not to eradicate, but to regulate it in such a manner, as may most conduce to the protection of the whole." -- Governor Ward to his brother, Nov. 21, 1775. ]