Sir: I had the honor of addressing you on the 18th. and 25th. Instant, by Mr. Hooper, since which nothing material has occurred.
We are making every necessary preparation for taking possession of Dorchester Heights, as soon as possible, with a view of drawing the Enemy out. How far our expectations may be answered, Time can only determine: But I should think, If any thing will induce them to hazard an engagement, It will be our attempting to fortify these Heights, as on that Event's taking place, we shall be able to command a great part of the Town and almost the whole Harbour and to make them rather disagreeable than otherwise, provided we can get a sufficient supply of what we greatly want.
Within three or four days, I have received sundry Accounts from Boston of such movements there, such as taking the Mortars from Bunker's Hill, the putting them with several pieces of heavy Ordinance on board of Ships, with a quantity of Bedding: the Ships all taking in Water, the baking a large Quantity of Biscuits &ca, as to indicate an embarkation of the Troops from thence. A Mr. Ides, who came out yesterday, says that the Inhabitants of the Town generally believe that they are about to remove either to New York or Virginia, and that every Vessel in the Harbour on Tuesday last was taken up for Government Service, and two month's pay advanced to them. Whether they really intend to embark, or whether the whole is a feint, is impossible for me to tell: However I have thought it expedient to send an express to General Lee to Inform him of it, in order that he may not be taken by surprize, If their destination should be against New York, and continued him on to you.
If they do embark, I think the possessing themselves of that place and the North River, is the Object they have in view, thereby securing the communication with Canada, and rendering the Intercourse between the northern and Southern United Colonies exceedingly precarious and diffcult. To prevent them from effecting their plan is a Matter of the highest Importance,
Since I wrote by Mr. Hooper, 1 some small parcels of Powder have arrived from Connecticut, which will give us a little assistance.
[Note:William Hooper, Delegate from North Carolina to the Continental Congress. ]
On Thursday night, a party of our Men at Roxbury made the Enemy's out Sentries, consisting of a Corporal and two Privates, Prisoners, without firing a Gun or giving the least Alarm.
I shall be as attentive to the Enemies motions as I can, and obtain all the Intelligence in my power, and if I find 'em embark, shall in the most expeditious manner detach a part of the light Troops to New York and repair thither myself, If circumstances shall require It. I shall be better able to Judge what to do, when the Matter happens; at present I can only say, that I will do every thing that shall appear proper and necessary.
Your Letter of the 12th. Instant, by Col. Bull came to hand Yesterday evening, and shall agreeable to your recommendation pay proper Notice to him. The supply of cash came very seasonably, as our Treasure was just exhausted, and nothing can be done here without it. I have the Honor etc.
P.S. This Letter was intended to have been sent by Express but meeting with a private Conveyance the Express was Countermanded. 2
[Note:In the writing of Robert Hanson Harrison. Unsigned. ]