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    A Rare Account of Battle of Germantown by a British Officer.

    (Battle of Germantown) Partial Autograph Letter by an unknown British Officer, two pages, 8" x 12.5", "Camp at German Town Near Philadelphia", October 14, 1777 to a relative discussing the Battle of Germantown (October 4) and the death of General James Agnew. He writes in part: "...I should not trouble you at present having already sent up a Packet for my Lord Darlington, with a sort of Journal of everything that has happen'd since my last letter to you form the head of Chesopeak [sic] Bay after the Army landed there towards the end of August... I can't help breaking thro' my rule upon this occasion to let you know it directly form myself that I am within this last week Lieut Colonel to the 44th Regt. However I dare say that you would as I should have been as well pleas'd that the Vacancy has been made in a different manner, for it was the lot of my predecessor Genl. Agnew to be kill'd in a general action which we had on the 4th inst; when the Rebel Army having receiv'd some reinforcements since their former defeat on the 11th of Sept. and ours having detach'd thirteen Battalions upon different services three of these too [sic] Grenadier the flower of our Army, Mr. Washington to our great astonishment prevail'd upon his people to attack us; but when his whole army was beat back and oblig'd to retire by a few battalions of the British; which but for a very thick fog would have been render'd a compleat Victory and probably decisive by getting possession of all their artillery & Baggage; On this account only the pursuit could not be so rapid altho' we follo'd them above eight miles from the field of Action. Genl. Agnew poor Man! As a brave & gallant officer paid the tribute this day to Nature & his Profession, which we must all sometime or other submit to, but which none can in the ideas of a Soldier do in a more creditable way. To me it was a lucky day in every sense having not only escap'd with whole bones, but received my preferment from the Commander in Chief as a consequence of it in the most flattering manner I could have wish'd; as I am the only exception he has made at this time, having given every other preferment to the Seniors of the Line in general and not by Regimental Succession, which has brought me in before six or seven seniors actually with this army... What our next operations will be I can't tell you but should imagine that when every impediment to the Fleet; coming up to Philadelphia is effectually remov'd & that the Town is put into a posture of defense, both which ends a few days will probably effect, one more attempt will be made this Campaign to bring Mr. Washington to an Action..." The British, however, had a much more difficult time than anticipated clearing the Delaware River -- the American forts on the River were not taken for another month. However Washington was reluctant to engage his forces with the British again for the season after suffering nearly 1000 casualties. In late November he would order his army into winter quarters at Valley Forge. Provenance: Emily Driscoll, 1961. Light foxing, marginal chipping with minor losses affecting a few words, else fine. A wonderful eyewitness record of true history. From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2006
    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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