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    "The Grand Army of the Rebels is now in New York & its environs."

    [Battle of Bunker Hill] and [New York Campaign]. British Officer Mungo Campbell Autograph Letter Signed, four pages, 8.25" x 13", with the original transmittal cover. Staten Island; July 8, 1776. A letter to Duncan Campbell replete with news about British troop movements beginning with the Battle of Bunker Hill, up to the arrival of the Continental Army in New York. In small part:

    "... The Rencounter of 17th June 1775, so honourable to the British troops, had however diminished their number so considerably that a great addition from Europe was necessary to keep a footing at Boston, and by the advanced tempestuous season, such as had embarked from Ireland in the months of September & October were dispersed to & from in the Atlantict, were drove back to the West Indies except the Two Regiments vizt the 17th & 55th. Which had embarked under my command at Corke, and which except A Comp. I carried into Boston in January after passage of 15 weeks & being tossed south in the sultry eschalation of the Torrid Zone, and North, to the congeald blasts of Acadia.

    This reinforcement, tho' small, was of service in maintaining a Post surrounded by such numerous bands of desperate Ruffians, but insufficient for the purpose of pervading a line of ramparts strong & impervious, and so well man'd as to be impenetrable from our low & disadvantageous situation, the means of getting off with safety, our troops & our Navy was a measure of great importance & was ably conducted by our General of the 17th of March without the loss of a man. On the 2d of April the Fleet arrived in Halifax...

    The Army under General Howe left Halifax the 10th of June... and landed on this Island (a few miles from New York) the 3d of July without any opposition. Where for the first time since I left Europe, I have had refreshment & repose. The Rebels are intimidated & deserting to us by companys. The General expecting daily, that his Brother will arrive with the Fleet & Troops under his command, wisely postpones taking any decisive steps till then."

    The next page of the letter sends details about the various activities of the generals, and that the recipient's son has been captured and is listed as a prisoner. He also shares that he has turned down a prestigious appointment as he does not want to leave General Howe.

    He closes his letter with news of the arrival of the Continental Army: "The Grand Army of the Rebels is now in New York & its environs. The have fortified themselves as strongly as the nature of the place admits of. But it's doubtfull with me whether, however superior they are in numbers, they will stand a Blockade or hazard a Battle. I am clear of opinion that the affair will be decided finally before the 1st of October. & once New York falls, and that Army completely routed, our future operations will be very easy, and from the distraction in their councils & the ardour & unanimity of our Troops. I think it very likely we will succeed."

    Campbell was correct in his assessment that the British would succeed against Washington's troops in New York, but underestimated the final outcome. Campbell died the following year during the Battle of Forts Clinton & Montgomery.
    The letter is accompanied by the original transmittal cover addressed to "Duncan Campbell Esquire of Glenuit by Edinburgh & Inveraray / N Britain." The cover has various postal fee markings and cancellations.

    Letter has the usual mail folds with only a few tiny separations occurring. Some wear at edges, and a chip of paper loss at center integral fold, not affecting any words. Cover has heavy wear, and tape repairs resulting in staining.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2016
    5th Tuesday
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