Vice Admiral Samuel Graves

to Philip Stephens1

Preston Boston 22 June 1775

In consequence of our being deprived of all Communication by Land, fresh Beef for the Squadron cannot be procured. Once we have had a Supply from Nova Scotia, but, almost this whole Country being our Enemies from Principle, it is with the greatest difficulty any Refreshments can be got; the few who from inclination or the Prospect of gain, are willing to supply us being very severely handled when discovered. Captain [John] Linzee in the Falcon, while he was at Tarpawlin Cove, procured about One hundred and eighty Sheep and hired a Brig to bring them hither, but being five days on their passage, with a very small quantity of Hay, fifteen of them died, and we have lost several since they were landed on Lovells Island in this Harbour.

On the 17th I received several Letters from Capt. [Andrew] Barkley dated from the 5th to the 16th of June, Copies of two only and of one referred to are inclosed; the whole Correspondence between him, Governor [John] Wentworth and myself prove that all legal authority in New Hampshire is entirely at an End, and that their Necessities and the impoverished state of the Country alone prevent their taking a more active part in the Rebellion. They will I am sure attempt to drive away or destroy the Scarborough, and I think, after planting Guns against their Governor's house and obliging him to retreat, firing at the Men of Wars boats and preparing to destroy the Kings Ship, little can be said in their favour. It is impossible but a few Individuals must suffer in a general punishment, but the necessity of sending all the provisions we can to Boston is plain; It deprives Rebels of the means to keep together, and supplies the King's Army, which in the present state of this Country must supersede all other Considerations . . .

Early in the morning of the 17th instant the Lively discovered several thousands of Rebels on the Hills over Charles Town who had thrown up an Intrenchment the preceding Night. Captain [Thomas] Bishop instantly fired among them and upon his Alarm they were attacked from Copse Hill Battery on Boston side. Preparations were also immediately made to dislodge them. The Troops accordingly landed in the Afternoon under cover of his Majesty's Ships Lively, Glasgow and Falcon, a Transport, a Sloop, and some Scows fitted by the General, but manned and supplied with ammunition from the Squadron. They attacked the Rebels and after a very obstinate defence carried their Intrenchments with great Slaughter. The King's Troops are now encamped on the heights of Charles Town, and the Rebels are digging Intrenchments and erecting Works at some distance, apparently with a View to dispute every foot of Ground . . .

In obedience to their Lordships Commands I send the Cerberus to England with the Governor and my publick Dispatches, for which, on account of the late transactions, she has waited beyond the time first intended for her sailing . . . I am &c.

Sam Graves

1. Graves's Conduct, I, 121-125, MassHS Transcript
Source: Naval Documents of the American Revolution, I, 739-40