Otho Holland Williams Papers, 1744-1839, MS. 908

Otho Holland Williams Papers, 1744-1839(Part 1/8)

Maryland Historical Society


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Otho Holland Williams Papers, 1744-1839(Part 1/8)

Maryland Historical Society

Contact Information:

Manuscripts Department
Maryland Historical Society Library
201 West Monument Street
Baltimore MD 21201-4674
Fax: 410.385.2105


Descriptive Summary

Calendar of the General Otho Holland Williams Papers at the Maryland Historical Society, 1744-1839

MS.908 (Part 1/8)

Maryland Historical Society

Baltimore MD 21201-467

The Maryland Historical Records Survey Project

November 1940

*Note: This Collection has eight parts*

Work Projects Administration



Howard O. Hunter, Acting Commissioner

Francis H. Dryden, State Administrator

Harry D. Williar, Jr., Deputy State Administrator

Division of Profossional and Service Projects

Florence Kerr, Assistant Commissioner

Emma F. Ward, State Director

The Historical Records Survey Program

Sargent B. Child, Director

Walter F. [UNK], State Supervisor


Hall of Records Commission

Dr. Morris L. Radoff, Archivist


The Historical Records Survey was established in Maryland in 1936 as a part of the Federal Historical Records Survey, under the national direction of Dr. Luther H. Evans. Pursuant to an Act of Congress, the Federal Historical Records Survey, with other Work Projects Administration federal projects, was terminated August 31, 1939; its work in Maryland since that date has been continued by the Maryland Historical Records Survey, sponsored by the Hall of Records Commission. Mr. Sargent B. Child succeeded Dr. Evans as Director of Historical Records Survey Projects March 1, 1940. The project in Maryland has operated since July 6, 1936 under the general administrative supervision of Dr. Emma F. Ward.

In December 1936 the Committee on Historical Source Materials of the American Historical Society discussed with the National Director the question of bringing the manuscript resources of this country under control. On the basis of this discussion, the manuscripts survey was begun. The survey of manuscripts was not undertaken in Maryland until January 1939, and this is the first calendar to be issued by the Maryland Survey. It has been compiled from the original letters and papers of Otho Holland Williams and his sons, which are preserved in the vault of the Maryland Historical Society.

The greater portion of this calendar embraces the papers and correspondence of Otho Holland Williams himself, while the latter part, after 1794, the year of Williams' death, includes the correspondence of his family, particularly of his eldest surviving son, William Elie Williams. The Williams papers [UNK] the Historical Society represent only a portion of Otho Holland Williams' original collection. While still in the army, he anticipated writing a history of the campaign in the South, and to that end he collected numerous letters, papers and documents. Some of these were lost before he returned to Baltimore; others which he lent to William Gordon, the Boston historian, were not returned. Even some that survived Otho Holland Williams are not now in the Williams' collection. A dozon or so pieces that desconded to his son, Edward Greene Williams, were given by that son's wife, Mrs. Ann (Gilmor) Williams, to her uncle, Robert Gilmor; these can be found in the Gilmor Papers at the Maryland Historical Society (Vol. III, sec. 3, nos. 17-27). Some of the letters which Osmond Tiffany must have had in 1851 when he wrote the sketch of Williams for the Society are not there now.

There are described in this calendar some twelve hundred pieces of manuscript. They came to the Maryland Historical Society as a gift from the estate of Miss Susan Williams, daughter of William Smith Williams, granddaughter of William Elie Williams, and great granddaughter of Otho Holland Williams. They were repaired, mounted, bound and cased by the National Society, Daughter of Founders and Patriots. Now they stand on the steel shelves of the fireproof part of the Maryland Historical Society building. Because the chronological order is maintained throughout, the volume and sheet numbers of the pieces to which the entries relate have not been given.

The calendar has been prepared by Dr. Elizabeth Morritt, in accordance with the instructions of the Washington office of the Historical Records Survey. Detailed editorial comment and criticism of the book have been made by Margaret Sherburne Eliot, Assistant Archivist in charge of the Manuscript Inventories, in Washington.

A word about the spelling of proper names is in order. In the period covered by the calendar, such spelling was governed by fancy and not by rule, and then as now fancy was often wayward. Nathaniel Ramsey spelled his surname R-a-m-s-e-y, but his brother, Dr. David Ramsay, the South Carolina historian, wrote R-a-m-s-a-y. That much can be determined from the signatures of the brothers. But not even a signature of Col. Josias Carvol Hall is positive proof whether he wrote C-a-r-v-e-l or C-a-r-v-i-l. Williams himself would in the course of a long letter write the same man's name in two or three different ways. Names have been indexed under what seems the best spelling according to the weight of evidence, but they should be looked for under every conceivable version.

Where the state in which a place was located could be determined with certainty, it has been inserted; where it could not be determined, a question mark in brackets[?] has been supplied. This has, however, not been done in two instances: in cases of cities of the first rank, such as New York and Philadelphia, it was not thought necessary to supply the state, and since so large a part of the places mentioned are in Maryland, the state has not been inserted. Orange, Eutaw, Ceresville, Frederick, and Washington County are all in Maryland.

In accordance with the latest Government Printing Office manual, periods and commas at the end of a quotation are always placed within the quotation marks, even when they are not found in the matter [UNK].

Appreciation for cooperation in this work is due particularly to Raphael Semmes and other officers and staff members of the Historical Society.

Publication of this calendar has been made possible by the generous cooperation of Dr. Louis H. Dielman whose interest in the work has ever been an encouragement. To him we are exceedingly grateful.

Information as to the whereabouts of other Williams papers would be very welcome to the Maryland Historical Society.

A list of completed publications of the Maryland Historical Records [UNK] may be found on the last page of this volume. Requests for information concerning these publications should be addressed to the Survey at 34th and Frisby Streets, Baltimore.

November 1940

Walter F. Meyer, State Supervisor

Maryland Historical Records Survey Project



Otho Holland Williams was born March 1, 1749 in Prince George's County, Meryland, possibly at Upper Marlboro, the county seat. He was the eldest son of Joseph and Priscilla (Holland) Williams. In 1750, Joseph moved his family up from Southern Maryland to the mouth of the Conococheague Creek in Washington, then Frederick, County. Here, before Otho was thirteen, Joseph and Priscilla both died, leaving seven young children and only a small estate to support them. Young Otho got a job in the office of the county clerk at Frederick and later took charge of the office. About 1767, when he was eighteen or nineteen, he moved to Baltimore and got a position. He was tall and strong and good-looking, with a winning manner. In 1774 he returned to Frederick and went into business there.

With the outbreak of the Revolution, he joined Thomas Price of Frederick in raising a company of riflemen which, with Price as captain and Williams as lieutenant, marched to Boston and took part in the siege. Price was soon wounded or promoted, and Williams became captain. Just before the Declaration of Independence, he was commissioned as a major in Stephenson's Maryland and Virginia Rifle Regiment, and in that capacity led his men against Fort Washington on the Hudson in November 1776. There he was wounded by the Hessians and made prisoner. At first he was on parole on Long Island, and then he was confined to the Provost's jail in New York City on the charge that, in violation of his parole, he had communicated information to General Washington. He and the well-known Ethan Allen of Vermont shared the same cell, a room sixteen feet square with little air and no sanitation. From the indignities, cruelties and deprivations of this time, he never recovered. While he was still imprisoned, he was made colonel of the Sixth Maryland Regiment, and he took command of it in January 1778 when he was freed by an exchange of prisoners. He took part in the Battle of Monmouth, and in one of his letters to Dr. Philip Thomas, he has left a full eye-witness account of that battle.

Sometime after Monmouth, he was transferred to the Southern Department, where General Heratio Gates, commander-in-chief, made him deputy adjutant general. When General Nathanael Greene succeeded Gates, he trusted Williams as Gates had done and made him adjutant general. Williams served efficiently and brilliantly at Guilford Court House, Hobkirk Hill and Eutaw. On May 9, 1782, he was made brigadier general.

After the fighting was over, Williams returned to Baltimore and was appointed by the Governor and Council as naval officer for the Port of Baltimore, a position that was worth at least a thousand guineas to him. At this time he resigned from the army, for he could not be a collector of revenue unless he did so. When the federal government was set up in 1789, the position of naval officer under the state government was abolished, and President Washington appointed Williams as collector of the Port of Baltimore. The office was essentially the same as the

naval office, though it carried with it, Williams thought, more work and less money. The collectorship he retained until he died.

On October 18, 1785, Williams married Mary, daughter of William Smith, a wealthy and patriotic merchant of Baltimore who later served one term in the House of Representatives. Although Williams had been a sad fellow with the ladies before his marriage, he loved his Polly devotedly. His wife adored him, so much that, when in 1792 Williams left on a trip to the Barbados in the hope of improving his health, Polly seriously considered making the voyage, even though it terrified her, in order to be with him; but to the day of his death she addressed him as her dear General Williams, and when she had been married to him for less than three months, she could write to him that he was the first gentleman she had ever honored with a letter.

By 1789 Williams' health was becoming his chief concern, for he had never recovered from the hardships of his imprisonment. When in October he was confined to his house, he wrote to his friend and physician, Dr. Philip Thomas, that he had the influenza as he did every year; but it was probably more than the flu. Two days before Christmas, a slight fit of coughing brought on a serious hemorrhage, which Dr. Brown and Dr. Falls sought to cure by more bleeding. More and more the work of Williams' office fell on his deputies. In the winter of 1792-93, he went to the Barbados for his health. The trip did him no permanent good, and while he was there, his eldest son, Robert, a boy of five and a half, died in Baltimore. From the time of his return to Baltimore in May 1793, it was only a question of how long he could live; he was not going to get well and he knew it. In the early summer of 1794, he started for the Sweet Springs at Bath in Virginia to escape the heat of summer as he had so often done. This time when he got as far as Millar's Town, Virginia, he could not go on, and there on the morning of July 15, 1794, he died. He is buried in Riverview Cemetery at Williamsport, the place he founded, the place he once briefly hoped might be the seat of the government of the United States.

The Otho Holland Williams Papers have a sweep of interest even for one not interested at all in the man whose name they bear. A great many of the letters, especially those from William Smith, member of Congress and Williams' father-in-law, and from Elie Williams, his brother, show the struggles which attended the setting up of the federal government, sometimes in most homely detail. Many of them tell about the controversy over the location of the seat of government and the entirely practical politics played in connection with the assumption of state debts. There are long eye-witness accounts of the battles of Monmouth and Eutaw Springs and Hobkirk Hill. There are a dozen or so letters from the Polish patriot, Thaddeus Kosciuszko, who, besides being a good military engineer, had an eye for the pretty girls and a way of dealing with them. Scattered through the letters are incidents that show, most often unconsciously, how life was lived in Baltimore and in Western Maryland when the largest city in the state had a population of loss than eight thousand and the houses had no numbers on them. They reveal a great deal about the treatment of

disease as it was practiced by the best physicians in the country at the end of the eighteenth century. One of Williams' physicians, Dr. Thomas of Frederick, was also his familiar friend, and the letters between them are full of detail.

Important for their descriptions of events and characters well known in American history, the Williams papers are even more valuable in showing the career of a man who was a gentleman, business man and soldier. Even in an era that saw George Washington, Otho Holland Williams was a notable man.

Elizabeth Merritt, Editor

Maryland Historical Records Survey Project



Prepared by

The Maryland Historical Records Survey Project

Division of Professional and Service Projects

Work Projects Administration


List of Works Consulted During Preparation of the Calendar

Andrews, Matthew Page, History of Maryland: Province and State, New York, 1929.


Archives of Maryland, XLVIII, Baltimore, 1931.


The Chevalier D'Annemours, Maryland Historical Magazine (March 1910), V, 38-45.


Gilmor, Robert, Recollections of Baltimore, Maryland Historical Magazine (September 1912), VII, 233-242.


Greene, George Washington, Life of Nathanael Greene, III, New York, 1871.


Griffith, Thomas W., Annals of Baltimore, Baltimore, 1824.


Johnson, William, Sketches of the Life and Correspondence of Nathanael Greene, Charleston, 1822.


Johnston, Christopher, The Tilghman Family, Maryland Historical Magazine (December 1906), I, 373.


McSherry, James, History of Maryland, Baltimore, 1849.


Maryland Journal and Baltimore Advertizer (Baltimore), July 25, 1794.


A Militant Surgeon of the Revolution, Maryland Historical Magazine (December 1923), XVIII, 309-323.


A Muster Roll of Captain Thomas Price's Company of Rifle-Men in the Service of the United Colonies, Maryland Historical Magazine (September 1927), XXII, 275-283.


Naff, John H., Recollections of Baltimore, Maryland Historical Magazine (June 1910), V, 104-123.


Purviance, Robert, Narrative of Events... in Baltimore... during the Revolutionary War, Baltimore, 1849.


A Revolutionary Purveyor, Maryland Historical Magazine (September 1912), VII, 304-306.


Scharf, J. Thomas, Chronicles of Baltimore, Baltimore, 1874.


-----, History of Maryland, Baltimore, 1879.


-----, History of Western Maryland, Philadelphia, 1882.


Tiffany, Osmond C., Sketch of the Life and Services of General Otho Holland Williams, Maryland Historical Society Pre-Fund Publication, vol. I, no. 12, Baltimore, 1851.


Thompson, Henry F., The Chevalier D'Annemours, Maryland Historical Magazine (September 1906), I, 241-246.


Williams, T. J. C., History of Frederick County, Hagerstown, 1910.


-----, A History of Washington County, Maryland, Hagerstown, 1906.


Calendar of the Otho Holland Williams Papers


1744 Nov. 28

Peter DENT [deputy surveyor]. To [William BERGH?] Upper Marlboro.



Plat of Berghs Delight made for William Bergh of Prince George's County.

Signed. 15.5 cm. × 19 cm.

Endorsed: The Platt and Certificate of Berghs Delight. In different hand: Novem[b]er 28, 1744. Exam[ine]d and past. B. Young Exam[ine]r.




1764 Apr. 10

Memorandum: June 28, 1731 Reserve by his Lordship of all vacant land within 3 miles of any of his manors; April 10, 1764 Reserve by his Excellency [Governor Sharpe] of 10,000 acres for a manor beyond Fort Cumberland; Conegocheigo Manor, dated October 25, 1736, recorded in Liber E.J. 5, folio 580. Certificate to T[homas] Cresap assigned and recorded in Mr. [John] Callahan's office.



1 p. 8 cm. × 21 cm.

On verso: Mem. of Conegoch Manor, etc.




1775 June-Sep.

A muster roll of Captain Thomas Price's Company of Rifle-Men with Service of the United Colonies. July, August, September, 1775; dates of appointment or enlistment; discharges; desertions; deaths.



3 pp. 32.5 cm. × 20 cm.

Published in Maryland Historical Magazine, XXII: 275-278, September 1927.




1775 Oct. 12

John CAR[EY, Frederick Loyalist], Frederick. To Otho Hol[lan]d WILLIAMS [Roxbury, Mass.?].



Thanks Williams for a letter of September 21 [1775]; Williams, now an officer, should not risk his life unnecessarily; he [Carey] is and old R - - - 1, and Williams a young one; the unnatural dispute will lead to a great rise in Williams' station in life; has decided not to write to General [Horatio] Gates, but asks that Williams or Captain [Thomas] Price tell him [Gates] that his Lady and Son are well; he [Carey] will write to Mrs. Gates that her husband is well; Williams' brother [Elie] has been ill; his [Elie Williams'] wife has got a very fine son [Otho Holland Williams]; all Williams' letters are in Common to all your friends; we [in Frederick] had one little Brush but without Blows, in which Jack Key behaved himself manfully; just saw Williams' letter of September 18 to Mr. Young.

A.L.S. 3 pp. 30.5 cm. × 19.5 cm. Signature partly torn.

Endorsed by Williams: From my respected Friend Mr. John Carey. Mr. Carey did not approve of the Declaration of Independence and after that time was unfriendly to the cause of America.




1775 Oct. 14

Oth[o] H[ollan]d WILLIAMS, Camp at Roxbury [Mass.]. To Dr. Philip THOMAS, Fred[eric]k Town, Maryland.



Letter from Dr. Philip Thomas by Dr. Wilkinson was put into my fist yesterday; concerned at convulsed condition of Frederick; sorry for difference between Thomas and `Peter' ; ready to meet `a young fellow... with a pert facetious Grin and Branded' if he comes his way; this is his fifth or sixth letter to Thomas; Hanson and Mungan are gone for the gown, regimentals would be as good; thought from what Dawson had said that the Devil had not had time to raise a lie on him [Williams]; nothing happened since Mr. Boyd had given him [Thomas] the news; man-of-war under [Capt. Sir James] Wallace fired on Bristor and took 20 sheep, d-d Tories there; place not worth defending; doubts report that the Lively and some other vessels were taken; [Maj.] Gen. [Joseph] Spencer told him the enemy had burned Fallmouth [Maine] and a small town on the Kennebec; no enemy fire on camp since October 6, though one of our floating batteries fired on them in Cambri[d]ge recently, the night the play house in Boston opened; cannon burst, wounding 8 or 10 and killing one; nothing more worth writing about.

A.L.S. 4 pp. 32 cm. × 19.5 cm.

Superscription: Doctr. Philip Thomas. Fredk. Town, Maryland, favor of Captn. Brown.

October 1775. Endorsed [by Dr. Thomas] from Lieut. O. H. Williams, Oct. 1775.




[1775] Sep.-Oct.

Pay Roll of a Company of Rifle Men in the service of the United Colonies commanded by Captain Thomas Price for September and October 1775. Total -328.10.8.



4 pp. 32.5 cm. × 20 cm.




[1775] Oct.-Dec.

A Muster Roll of Captain Thomas Price's Company of Rifle Men in the Service of the United Colonies, October-December 1775; dates of appointment or enlistment; discharges; desertions; deaths; etc.



4 pp. 32 cm. × 20 cm.

Published in Maryland Historical Magazine, XXII: 275-278, September 1927.




1776 Apr. 11

Otho H[olland] WILLIAMS, Statin [Staten] Island [N.Y.]. To Elie WILLIAMS, Frederick County, Maryland.



Wrote to Elie, Williams' brother, from New York by Mr. Hall and Mr. Tolley of Maryland; has since been transferred, along with Captain [David] Stephenson, to this beautiful island; many of its hills are natural fortifications; heard that Parliament is sending 25,000 mercenaries to New York this spring; the city is well-fortified; redoubts already marked out on the island will be thrown up as soon as men are available to do the work; last Sunday (Easter) the British vessels sent 25 men ashore to get water, with the Savage a ship of war and the James (a Pilate Boat to the Phoenix) for protection; Captain Stephenson's and Williams'

companies beat them off and captured ten men, a barge, 29 barrels, a standard, a musket, and more small articles; Stephenson is leaving today for Virginia, and [Lt. Col. Moses] Rawlings is stationed on Jersy shore, so Williams is in command.

A.L.S. 2 pp. 32 cm. × 19 cm.

On same sheet as entry 9.




1776 Apr. 11

Otho H[ollan]d WILLIAMS, Statin [Staten] Island [N.Y.]. To Sister [Mrs. Mercy STULL, Frederick County].



Captain [David] Stephenson, who is to deliver this letter, refuses to burden himself with more than one sheet from me, so she must be content with a short note annexed to his letter to their brother Elie; last Sunday they had a short little skirmish with the enemy; hopes to be home for a visit before the end of next harvest.

A.L.S. 1 p. 32 cm. × 19 cm.

On same sheet as entry 8.




1776 June 27

The DELEGATES of the UNITED COLONIES, Philadelphia. To Otho Holland WILLIAMS.



Commission to be Major of the Regiment of Rifle Men whereof Hugh Stevenson Esq[ui]re is Colonel.

Signed by John Hancock, President, and Charles Thomson, Secretary. 1 p. 22.5 cm. × 35 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: Major Williams Commission 27th June 1776. This Commission was stain'd... by the blood... from a wound... received in an action on York Island 16th November 1776 when He was made prisoner.




1777 Jan. 16

J[ohn] H[ANSON, President of the Congress of the United States], Frederick Town. To the Board [of War].



Col. [Charles Carbery] Griffith has resigned his commission, and Hanson begs leave to recommend Major Otho Holland Williams as a gentleman well quallifyed to Succeed Colo[nel] Griffith; when the flying Camp was organized, Williams was appointed Colonol of this Battalion, but doclined the appointment; Hanson believes he would accept it now; Lieut. Col. [Moses] Rawlings will probably succeed Col. [Hugh] Stephenson, who is dead; officers of the battalion wish Williams appointed to command them; appointment would give impetus to the recruiting service which has been lagging; Hanson has a personal regard for Williams.

A.Df.S. 2 pp. 34.5 cm. × 21.5 cm.

Endorsed [by Dr. Philip Thomas, Hanson's son-in-law]: Copy of Mr. Hanson's recommendation in favor of Major Williams... found in one of Mr. H's books 3d. Apl. 1788.

Despite the endorsement of this as Copy, it is in Hanson's hand; it is scratched and corrected as a draft would be, and as, presumably, a copy would not be - Editor's note.




1777 June 17

Extracts from the Minutes of Congress.



Repeals certain designated sections of the Articles of War; allows officers and men to bring eatables into the forts, etc.; permits officers to appeal for redress of [UNK] makes certain provisions for the execution of sentences of courts martial.

Printed. 1 p. 39 cm. × 25 cm.

Endorsed: Resolves of Congress including an Addition to Articles of War.

In broadside case.






1777 Dec. 29

Elie WILLIAMS. To the [American] Board of War.



Deeply concerned by the distress of his brother [Otho Holland Williams], captured at Fort Washington [N.Y.], paroled on Long Island till September when [Joshua] Loring, commissary of prisoners, confined him in New York in the Provost Guard; man charged he had seen a letter which Otho Holland Williams wrote directing the rescue of prisoners on Long Island; Otho Holland Williams has not been tried or heard; inconsistent with his character that he should break parole; Elie Williams begs that the Board of War will give him a letter to Col. Burdinott [Elias Boudinot] authorizing him to send a British officer of equal rank who will return if the British do not free Otho Holland Williams; Elie Williams is on his way to camp to send his brother some money, and therefore would be glad to have the Board's answer as soon as your Honours can make it Conven[ien]t.

A.L.S. 2 pp. 34 cm. × 20.5 cm.

Endorsed: Petition Elie Williams.




1778 Mar. 16

O[tho] H[olland] W[ILLIA]MS, Frederick Town. To Governor Thomas JOHNSON [Annapolis].



Thanks the Assembly of the State of Maryland for the very Honorable appointment it had made him; has not yet been able to get an official report on the regiment he is to command, but hears that there are not more than a hundred men in camp, and that they are badly clothed; laws on recruiting and equipping men are deficient and not even well executed; asks the Governor where he can get cash and how he is to care for his men until they are fit for duty; better to have a Reg[imen]t without a Col[onel] than... a Col. without a Regt.

Copy in hand of Otho Holland Williams. 1 p. 32.5 cm. × 20.5 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: To His Exc[ellenc]y Thos. Johnson Governor of Maryland. Copy ltre [letter] 16 Mar 1778.




1778 June 29

Otho H[olland] WILLIAMS, Camp Monmouth Meeting House [N.J.]. To Dr. Phil[ip] THOMAS, Fred[eric]k Town, Md.



Detachments from our main Body have hung close upon the rear of the Enemy several days... yisterday about nine in the forenoon... a severe cannonade was commenced and continued till about 11 o'clk then the Marquis LaFiate [LaFayette] attacked the rear... [and] was repulsed but other detachments

under [Maj. Gen. Charles] Lee, [Brig. Gen. Charles] Scott and [Brig. Gen. Anthony] Wayne taking the Field and being covor'd by the whole Army the fight was continued `till ab[ou]t 5 in the evening leav[in]g us masters of the field; it was nothing like a general action, for the main enemy army had retired with the baggage, leaving only about 3000 of their best troops; against them [the Americans] had some 1500 picked troops with reinforcements from the main army; losses are as yet not known, but it is remarkable that more officers in proportion to privates fell on both sides, than at any time since the commencement of the present dispute; Col. [Henry] Moncton [Monckton] of a Grenadier regiment, and Col. Hide [?] of the Guards were killed, and Major [William Schaw] Cathcart was mortally wounded; other British officers of unknown names and ranks were left on the field; on our side, [Lt.] Col. [Rudolph] Bonner of New England [Pennsylvania], Maj. [Edmund B.] Dickinson and Capt. [Henry] Fontleroy [Fauntleroy] of the 1st. Virginia regiment were killed; Col. [James] Weston [Wesson, of Massachusetts] was dangerously wounded; Lt. Col. [Nathaniel] Ramsey of Maryland covered the retreat of his party and stood the attack of a body of horse; he [Ramsey] kill'd the first man with his sword but finding himself hew'd at all quarters [UNK] their Broad Swords and receiving the full charge powder andc. of a pistol aslant his right cheek surrender'd prisoner of war; Ramsey was paroled and just now came in, The General [George Washington] sent me with his Comp[liments] to Col. Ramsey; Lt. [Owen] Haymond, of Williams' own regiment [6th Maryland] died of a ball through his head near the enemy line; our Great good General [Washington] in person led the fight and was the whole time exposed to the fire of the Artillery; Some neglect render'd the Victory incomplete -- I'm told Courts of enquiry will be among the Conseq[uen]ces; many of our men fainted from the intense heat but Vinegar and water kept me from a similar fate; the troops are now resting and the generals are reconnoitering; prisoners and the whole Companies of Deserters say Sir Harry [Sir Henry Clinton] has a very earnest desire... to git snugly off; bids Thomas tell his [Williams'] particular friends any news in his letters; Col. [John] Stull could be told that Capt. [Daniel] Stull fought bravely yesterday and is well; his brother [Elie Williams] came to see him in camp the other day on his way to East New Jersey; wishes joy to Thomas' judicial Brother in Law [Alexander Contee Hanson] on his marriage [June 8, 1778, to Miss Rebeca Howard]; Dr. [Alexander] Skinner is fat and healthy; Lord Holland's son, Capt. Fox [?], was killed.

A.L.S. 3 pp. 32 cm. × 20 cm.

Endorsed: From Colo. O. H. Williams June 29, 1778 Battle of Monmouth.




1778 July 6

Oth[o] H[olland] WILLIAMS, Camp New Brunswick [N.J.]. To Elie WILLIAMS, Washington County, Md.



Surprised that Elie, his brother, went directly on to Philadelphia without stopping at Camp to see him, but knows that Elie could not neglect him in the slightest instance imaginable; refers Elie to his [Otho's] letter to Col. [John] Stull for his account of the recent action [Battle of Monmouth] and to the newspapers for a better account of it; the army had a celebration of the anniversary of American independence; that evening [July 4] the generals and the officers commanding brigades dined with his Exc[ellenc]y [George Washington]; July 5, a number of field officers did the same, and Williams was glad to see the old Warrior in very fine spirits; two-thirds of the army have gone away toward the North River, and tomorrow morning the remainder follows them; Williams must stay behind, because he is a member of a general court martial for the tryal of Major Genl [Charles] Lee... [who] is charged with disobedience of orders in retreating unnecessarily, and in showing disrespect to the Commander-in-Chief; trial is the most important that has occurred so far, but Elie is warned not to draw conclusions from newspaper accounts; Adam Ott told Capt. [Daniel] Stull in Philadelphia that Col. [John] Stull intends to keep tavern in Hagars Town -- Forbid it prudence.

A.L.S. 2 pp. 33.5 cm. × 21.5 cm.

Endorsed: Northern Army July 1778.




1778 Aug. 7

Oth[o] H[olland] WILLIAMS, Camp White Plains [N.Y.]. To Elie WILLIAMS, Washington County, Md.



Elie's letter of July 18 was handed to Otho a day or two ago by Capt. [John] Ghiselin, and he is glad Elie got safely back home; thanks Elie for his offer of his own fine horse, but cannot accept it; asks Elie to send him his two hair trunks and the case of boots that are still at Frederick; Governor [Thomas] Johnson unnecessarily detained the cloth that Capt. Ghiselin got for Williams' regiment, so he does not know when Elie will be able to send it; nothing much going on now, but the British garrison at Newport [R.I.] is expected to surrender soon for [Brig.] Gen. [John] Sullivan and Count [Charles-Hector] d'Estaing have effectively blockaded it; is going to write to Sister [Mrs. John] Stull; the court martial of Gen. [Charles] Lee is not yet dissolved.

A.L.S. 1 p. 35 cm. × 22 cm.

On same sheet as entry 19.




1778 Aug. 10

Otho H[olland] WILLIAMS, North Castle [N.Y.]. To Elie WILLIAMS, Washington County, Md.



July 29, the sloop King Fisher and two gallies of the English fleet were set on fire to keep them from falling into American hands; a few days ago, a 36-gun frigate, the Venus, two 28-gun frigates, the Appollo and the Larke, and a large transport were driven into the straits between Connecticut

and Rhode Island and were burned to keep them from falling into the hands of Count [Charles-Hector] d'Estaing; apparently the tents and the spare baggage and some heavy guns were loaded onto those burned vessels, since the enemy garrison has been withdrawn into a very small space in the middle of the island [on which Newport is], leaving all their outworks an easy acquisition to our people; today General [John] Sullivan with a force of 12,000 will descend on them with the help of the French fleet and a body of 3,000 French soldiers; of the 4500 enemy troops, nine regiments are Hessians; a drummer, caught in his attempt to swim from Newport Island [R.I.], says that the garrison there is greatly discouraged, that the foreign troops are dissatisfied and uneasy, and that the officers keep up the courage of the men by saying that Admiral [John] Byron [grandfather of the poet] would soon arrive with a fleet superior to the French fleet; deserters and prisoners from the British lines say that the Hessians in Newport are given up as lost; [Admiral] Lord [Richard] Howe sailed from New York very slily on the 6th or 7th of August; he is said to have on board a large force of light troops with which he may intend to aid the garrison in Rhode Island; this seems a little improbable, since he must fight the French fleet before he can make a landing; The whole of this intelligence however is derived from the best authority.

A.L.S. 1 p. 35 cm. × 22 cm.

On same sheet as entry 19.




1778 Aug. 14

[Otho Holland WILLIAMS], Camp White Plains [N.Y.]. To Elie WILLIAMS, Washington County, Md.



Has resumed command of his regiment, since the court martial [of Gen. Charles Lee] is over; Col. [Thomas] Price sets off today for Philadelphia to collect evidence for his [Price's] trial on charges preferred by [Col. John] Gunby and [Col. William] Richardson; word received from Rhode Island last night is that Gen. [John] Sullivan succeeded in getting a foothold on Newport Island [R.I.] on August 9; a British fleet appeared off the island and Count [Charles-Hector] d'Estaing, leaving three frigates to keep up the blockade, stood out after them; both fleets seem now to be a good distance from the continent.

A.L.S. 1 p. 35 cm. × 22 cm.

On same sheet as entries 17 and 18.




1778 Oct. 8

Oth[o] H[olland] WILLIAMS, Camp Fish Kill [N.Y.]. To Doctor Philip THOMAS, Frederick Town, Maryland.



Thanks Thomas for a flattering letter of September 11; enemy about to leave New York; Gen. [Charles] Lee is suspended; Williams in a predicament; Col. [Thomas] Price in uneasy situation, acted without advice; army to move tomorrow to a more commodious situation with good forage and and provisions; regards to his friends.

A.L.S. 4 pp. 35 cm. × 13 cm. and 27 cm. × 13 cm. Left third of both sheets torn away.

Endorsed [by Thomas]: Col. O.H.W. Octo. 8, 1778.




1778 Nov. 29

Sam[uel] SMITH, Philadelphia. To Otho Holland WILLIAMS, Camp, 6th Md. Reg.



Miss De Visme is a sweet girl; they were received with great politeness by the most excellent family [the Provosts]; Mrs. Provost's good disposition and elegant manners make up for her want of beauty; if Hall [?] knew that family, he would be convinced that there can be mirth and pleasure without the conversation of his Marquis [de LaFayette]; they tore themselves away from Elizabeth [N.J.] after three days there; Smith admires but could not love the elegant Lady Kitty; Dr. [Samuel K.] Griffith enquired particularly about Williams and Smith asked him his reasons; Miss [Maria?] Ogden had come from [New?] York especially to see Williams and they were to be married; Smith told Griffith as much as Williams would have wanted him to tell; the girl has no fortune, so that will prevent anything from happening; Edward forwarded the Letter to Maria, who had flown to Morris, with a feigned intention of going at once to New York; Mrs. Houston, who was Miss Bradford, received Williams' letter through her father; marriage now would ruin Williams; his year's pay would not pay for clothing for himself and a wife; Smith himself, engaged to a girl he loves, cannot get married for want of money; his father [John Smith] who was once wealthy, has now very little; Smith has made friends for Williams in addition to those his acquaintance and his character had already given him; would be of infinite service, but very expensive for Williams to be on the spot; [William] Carmichael, to whom Smith encloses a letter of introduction, is in favor of him, and [John] Henry already knows him; mentioned Williams for the post of secretary to France; half pay for life will not be granted; officers are much Caress'd here; [Benedict] Arnold has been much injur'd... he likes the Tory ladies and so would Williams; not a thought of [William] Smallwood's promotion, for Smith spoke his mind about him, and was thanked for it; Smith has mentioned Williams for a vacant place on the Board of War, and hopes he gets it; Carmichael also favors him for it; he [Williams] may keep his rank and pay, and will get the pay of the position also.

A.L.S. 3 pp. 37 cm. × 23.5 cm.

Enclosure missing.





O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS.



Operations for the Fleet; the Fleet being arrived at Sandy Hook [N.Y.], the first object of Count De Estaing sho[ul]d be to make himself master of Staten Island; the army should take possession of the heights of Brooklyn, and then the fleet can enter the harbor, burn the shipping and

if necessary, bombard the city; the principal object of the army should be to make themselves masters of Long Island [N.Y.]; as soon as the French Ships appear in the [Long Island] Sound, all the vessels from Massachusetts and Connecticut should take their appointed places; if the city [of New York], being summoned to surrender, refuses to do so, my advice is to burn the City without any Hesitation; [Frederick William Augustus, Baron von] Steuben thought so, too; Steuben was his intimate acquaintance and taught him how to exercise and discipline an army; the plan of operations he has here laid down is as correct as his ignorance of the country in which it is to be applied permits.

A.D.S. 4 pp. 36 cm. × 21.5 cm.




1778 [1779] Jan. 16

Sam[uel] SMITH, Balt[imor]e Town. To Otho H[olland] WILLIAMS, Camp [?].



Glad to hear, by a recent undated letter, that Williams is well; thinks [William] Grayson [of Virginia] made a mistake in rejecting an appointment to the Board of War; Col. [Benjamin] Ford has not gone back to camp, so that Williams cannot be in the City [New York?] as soon as he expected; had fully determin'd to postpone my Happiness... but... the thoughts of giving my dear Girl a Moments uneasiness determin'd my fate... and I am supremely happy; by a recent state law, corn and flour in the hands of engrossers are to be seized for the army, and the engrossers are to be paid the market price and punished for engrossing; another law is very severe against gambling which had been going to excess; an Assembly decision about the rank of officers is very cruel; Major [Daniel Jenifer] Adams and some others will keep their rank, no matter how unjust it may be to some; unless times mend soon, money will buy nothing; cloth is [UNK]30 a yard, and linen [UNK]5; was married the last day of the old year, to evade the proverb that you cannot marry and do well in the same year; [Gen. Mordecai] Gist had a son [Independence] born a few days ago, but his wife [Mary Sterett] is unlikely to recover; asks for [Gen. William] Smallwood, for [Josias] Carvel [Hall] and for [Capt. Thomas] Price; sent [Capt. Edward] Norwood's publication to Carvel [Hall] by [Col. Nathaniel] Ramsay [Ramsay], but has no Hand in it [the publication].

A.L.S. 3 pp. 33 cm. × 21.5 cm.

Endorsed: from Smith Jany. 78.

Despite the clearly written 1778, the date is 1779. The date in the marriage records of the marriage of Samuel Smith and Margaret Spear, and the date of the birth of Independence Gist establish it beyond doubt - Editor's note.




1779 Jan. 26

O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS. To [Samuel] SMITH.



Answered Smith's letter which spoke of a letter of introduction enclosed, and of the postponement of Smith's marriage; received no answer to this from Smith, and was

on the point of writing again when Col. [Nathaniel] Ramsey and his wife came to camp and said Smith was already married; sends congratulations and compliments; congratulates [Mordecai] Gist on his promotion [to Brig. Gen., Jan. 9, 1779]; Col. [Thomas] Price will come home soon; [Josias Carvel] Hall is uncertain; Smallwood is to be made Major General, and Smith knows what Hall has resolved to do in that case; another promotion to Brigadier [General] is rumored, and Hall, who should have it, is not certain to get it; [Col. William] Richardson may get it, though Williams doubts that he will; he [Williams] would be satisfied with his present position if the pay were better; as soon as Col. [Benjamin] Ford comes back to camp, he [Williams] will come down to Maryland, to see his friends and to get some clothes which are in his trunks down there.

A.L.S. 2 pp. 33.5 cm. × 21 cm.




1779 Feb. 16

Sam[uel] SMITH, Balt[imor]e Town. To Otho H[olland] WILLIAMS, Camp, 6th Md. Regiment.



If you love me, never direct [any letter] to the married Man; [John Eager] Howard carried to Williams a letter which Smith thinks he will like; keeping company with members of Congress will not cause Williams to be called a courtier, unless he stoops, and that he need not do; his [Williams'] regiment put him far above the average; only [Josias Carvel] Hall now stands between Williams and a brigadiership, for [William] Richardson must surely resign, and [John Hoskins] Stone will not serve if [John] Gunby outranks him, as he will do; wishes [Col. Thomas] Price would resign and would be glad to have his place; asks Williams to do what he can for him there; March 3, when the Assembly is to meet, would be a good time for Williams to come to Maryland; Baltimore merchants have given [UNK]30,000 to fit out vessels against the privateers infesting the capes [Cape Charles and Cape Henry]; the governor [Thomas Sim Lee] is co-operating with the merchants; perhaps Philadelphia and Virginia will follow the example of Baltimore; twenty gentlemen of Baltimore have subscribed [UNK]1,000 each; one of them was [Capt. Thomas] Yates, formerly of Smith's own [4th Md.] regiment; most of the subscribing merchants have been heavy losers; John and Robert Purviance have lost [UNK]35,000 since November 1; Small piccaroons have had the audacity to take prizes as high up as Potomack; some good news... not yet made public... has effected the prices of principal commodities. Rum fell in Philad[elphi]a from Twenty to Twelve D[ollar?]s, from which I conclude the News to be very good and to have been transfer'd to a few; Williams' brother [Elie] is in town, and [his sister] Mrs. [John] Stull is well; Col. [Robert Hanson] Harrison has been in town, paying unsuccessful, but exceedingly assiduous attention to Miss N.B.; begs Williams to push the matter of military rank; tired of serving as lieutenant colonel, though his colonel was agreeable enough; if Smallwood is made major [general], Hall should be made brigadier [general] at once.

A.L.S. 3 pp. 33.5 cm. × 22 cm.

Endorsed: Smith 1779 Feby.




1779 Feb. 24

Otho [Holland WILLIAMS]. To Elie WILLIAMS, Washington County, Md.



Has a chance to send a letter by his faithful Patrick Lemon, who, after having been an honest faithful servant, is now going to try being his own master; wishes Lemon well, but is afraid that his love of society and of liquor will keep him from thriving; has but little hope of seeing Elie before the beginning of the next campaign; Gen. [Mordecai] Gist's appointment [as Brig. Gen., Jan. 9, 1779] has led Col. [Thomas] Price to quit our line; Col. [Josias Carvel] Hall will not serve while Gen. [William] Smallwood commands the division of Maryland troops; [Col. William] Richardson is absent now, so that the command of the Second Brigade devolves upon him [Otho Holland Williams]; Lt. Col. [Benjamin] Ford could have prevented him from being in this disagreeable situation if he [Ford] had come to camp last December, as he should have done; the little Fellow has behav'd unworthily; is uneasy because Elie has not written; asks Sister [Mrs. John] Stull to send him three handsome Ruffled Shirts and a Couple prs Worsted Stockings; would like all his baggage but scarcely sees how Elie can send it; would like all the cash Elie can get for him, since he must settle his public accounts with the auditor.

A.L.S. 2 pp. 35 cm. × 21.5 cm.

On same sheet as entry 27.




1779 Feb. 26

Otho [Holland WILLIAMS]. To Elie WILLIAMS, Washington County, Md.



About three o'clock yesterday morning, the Enemy landed a Body of Light Infantry on the Salt marsh of New Ark Bay about two miles above Elizabeth Town [N.J.] and another Body at Eliz[abe]th Town point... to surprise Brigad[ie]r Genl. [William] Maxwell... but the Old Batchelor was alarmed... and retired a little way out of Town.... The Enemy Surrounded Governor [William] Livingston's House... but His Excellency had fortunately gone to Morris Town [N.J.] the Day before. They Burnt One or two Guard Houses, a small Stock of Barracks, and a Public School House (or Wooden College) and set fires to many more Houses which were Extinguished...; not yet known how many of the enemy there were; Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania troops marched toward the town, but a little way from it, they learned the enemy had re-embarked by twelve o'clock; troops marched back to camp that same day, making a Total of ab[ou]t 20 miles in one afternoon; the enemy drove a great many cattle down to the beach, but could not get them on board because Maxwell and the Jersey militia were hard after them; five or six of the enemy were killed in this trifling expedition.

A.L.S. 1 p. 35 cm. × 21.5 cm.

Endorsed: Northern Army Feby 1779.

On same sheet as entry 26.




1779 Mar. 16

Sam[uel] SMITH, Balt[imor]e. To Otho H[olland] WILLIAMS, Camp 6th Md. Reg.



Just received Williams' letters of January 20 and February 13; [Mordecai] Gist says he will join you the first [of] April; [Josias Carvel] Hall should not be in Doubt; [Col. William] Richardson cannot succeed, even though [William] Smallwood has used all his influence for him; as soon as Smallwood is made Major [General], another Brigadier [General] will be appointed; Smith doubts that this will happen during this campaign, and [if it does not happen] on what pretext can Richardson remain in the service now that Gist is promoted; urges Williams to push the matter of the adjustment of rank, as he [Smith] wants a regiment which cannot be without a Settlement of Rank; your expenses to Maryland will cost you at least 1000 Doll[ar]s, be you ever so sparing; Williams' [lottery?] tickets were renewed with No. 118 and 119, and Smith hopes his fortune keeps pace with his merits; Col. [Robert Hanson] Harrison is waiting to carry this letter.

A.L.S. 2 pp. 34 cm. × 22.5 cm.

Endorsed: From Smith March 16, 1779.




1779 Apr. 4

Sam[uel] SMITH, Balt[imor]e Town. To Otho Holland WILLIAMS.



Writes sometimes to Williams, sometimes to [Josias] Carvel [Hall], and it serves for both; the Maryland Assembly in a Drunken frolic passed a law like a Pennsylvania one [on the pay and rewards for officers] adding to it 4 Shirts for each officer; John Hall, who was absent that day, met them next day when Sober and persuaded them to rescind all the law save the part giving half pay for lifo; another law obligos all holders of provisions, whether farmer or not, to deliver up all not needed for their families; the price to be paid and the use to be made of them to be fixed by a board of three neighbors; prices of all sorts of provisions are rising, and the distilling of whiskey has been stopped until July; the British fleet is stronger than the Count's [Charles-Hector d'Estaing]; nevertheless a peace is talked of, and Mr. [William] Paca told the Governor [Thomas Sim-Lee] confidently that peace was at hand; 6,000 men are to be sent against Detroit; Smith wishes Maryland troops may be sent, among them, for then they could claim fortunes from that part of the country; Dr. Craig [Dr. James Craik?] is in Haiti.

A.L.S. 2 pp. 33 cm. × 21 cm.




1779 Apr. 15

Sam[uel] SMITH, Balt[imor]e Town. To Otho H[olland] WILLIAMS, Camp, 6th Md. Regt.



Thanks Williams for considering him a man of gallantry, but now finds more pleasure in the love of one woman than he used to find in gaining the hearts of a dozen transient Misses; Williams must not attach himself too much to any one woman, a mistake he [Smith] made with Jane [?]; may have said too much in Williams' favor when he [Smith] was at Elizabeth [N.J.]; hears with regret that his brother James [Smith] has left his rank, and is afraid he will lose him; Col. [Josias

Carvel] Hall's cough continues, he will not be able to take any part in this campaign; expects letters by Cromwell [?] who has just passed by on his way to his mother's; Williams is so polite that he will not date his letters at the top, and forgets to do it at the bottom; wishes he could hear from his friend Stewart, who has forgot his friend in the married man; thanks Williams for what he tried to do for him, and must soon make up his mind whether or not he is going to camp; has a very pretty post in view for himself, if peace comes this summer, as he expects; urges Williams to push the settlement of the matter of rank between [Col. John Hoskins] Stone and [Col. John] Gunby; the decision will go against Stone, and Williams will then have no one to dispute the regiment with him after the war is over; if only one regiment is kept for Maryland, Stone has many friends and might give Williams powerful opposition; fears affairs in Georgia are in a bad way; [Gen. Benjamin] Lincoln's aide, who passed through town last Sunday, says the British may go to Charles Town [Charleston, S.C.] and Lincoln has no army; Laurens went on, to raise two or three regiments of Negroes, who are to receive no pay and no bounty, but are to be emancipated at the end of the war.

A.L.S. 2 pp. 34.5 cm. × 22.5 cm.

Endorsed: From Coll. Sam Smith Apl 15, 1779.




1779 May 16

O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS, Camp. To Elie WILLIAMS, Washington County, Md.



Last letter he had from Maryland was from Sister [Mrs. John] Stull; was about those mortifying circumstances that will prevent him [Otho] from getting home for a visit at this time; I want my blue Cloth and trim[m]ing for a Regimental Coat very much. Those with two or three Shirts and three pr. homespun thread Stockings are all he wants now in the way of clothing; asks Elie to send them, and his [Elie's] Geographical Grammar; affairs in Georgia and South Carolina are in so bad a way that all the men draughted from Virginia and some of the Virginia officers have been sent down there to help; in a day or two, Gen. [John] Sullivan will march toward Fort Pitt [N.Y.] with about 3,000 Continentals and 2,000 Pennsylvania state troops; the purpose of this expedition is supposed to be the reduction of Fort Stanwix [N.Y.] and some Indian towns; no Maryland troops are ordered on either of these expeditions, and he [Otho] is content to have it so.

A.L.S. 3 pp. 31.5 cm. × 20 cm.

Endorsed: Northern Army 79.




1779 June 2

The United States of America In Congress Assembled, Philadelphia. To Otho Holland WILLIAMS.



Commission as Colonel of the 6th Maryland Regiment; to take rank as such from January 1, 1777.

Signed by John Jay, President of the Congress, and by R[ichard] Peters, Secretary of the Board of War. Seal of the United States impressed.

Endorsement, almost illegible, relates to Williams' commissions and appointments.




1779 June 9

G[eorge] WASHINGTON, Head Quarters in the Clove. To Col. Otho WILLIAMS, Camp [unidentified].



Williams' detachment to relieve Col. Stewart and to be relieved 3 days later; to go thence to furnace of Dean and to picket the roads to Fort Montgomery, Kings ferry, etc.; Williams to consult Col. Stewart and especially Col. [William] Malco[l]m; warns Williams not to let enemy get road to Kings ferry and turn his right flank; Virginia division is to send party to road from Junes to Kings ferry; may be useful for Williams to communicate with it; to give officer who relieves him certified copy of these orders, plus any information gained.

D.S. In hand of Richard Kidder Meade [?]. 4 pp. 32 cm. × 19.5 cm.

June 9, 1776 [i.e. 1779]. Endorsed [by Williams?]: Instructions from Head Quarters, June 9, 1776.

Published in The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799, John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., 1931.




1779 July 2

Sam[uel] SMITH, Balt[imor]e Town. To Otho H[olland] WILLIAMS, Camp, 6th Md. Regt.



Has not heard from him since May 27, and reproaches him for that; the enemy is in motion now and an attack is expected any day; his [Williams'] situation is big with importance; he [Smith] and his uncle [William Buchanan?] have taken the consignment of a large French ship, by which Smith will make [UNK]5,000; this will help him set up housekeeping; moves next week into another house; it is Mr. William Buchanan's house, and is on a road that branches left [east] from the road coming from Philadelphia; Williams is to consider it as his own, and Edward [Smith's manservant] will take care of Patrick [Lemon, Williams' manservant]; encloses an order on John Hamilton or the paymaster of the 4th Maryland Regiment for the pay due him [Smith] at the time he resigned; Williams is to use the sum, if he needs it, and, since he was out all winter, he has more use for it than Smith himself has; Williams will please keep his [Smith's] mahogany table, and will give the rest of his furniture to the Misses; no news; only dire necessity forced him to give up the army, for he had lost his own [UNK]6,000, and his father's [John Smith] [UNK]30,000 is so reduced in value that he cannot maintain a family on it.

A.L.S. 3 pp. 26 cm. × 20.5 cm.

Endorsed: From my very particular Friend S. Smith July 2d. 79.

Enclosure missing.




1779 Aug. 20

Nat[haniel] RAMSEY, Flat-Bush [N.Y.]. To Otho [Holland] WILLIAMS, Camp, 6th Mary[lan]d Regt.



Would be a neglect of his friends, were he to fail to write when he has so good an opportunity to send a letter;

will address letter to Williams, but means it equally for all his friends in the camp; will frame his letter on the plan, of one wrote by some of the Apostles, (I think to the Ephisians) when he was in prison; is well and wants for nothing but a sight of his friends and releasement from Captivity; Mrs. Ramsey is sometimes a little non compos, she says all their friends must be dead, or they would have written; then she takes to drinking, and Joshua is called upon, immediately to parade the Tea-Table; defies Mr. [Joshua, 1744-1789] Loring himself to point out any politicks in the letter; adds a note to Mr. John Hamilton, 4th Md. Reg't., saying that he [Ramsey] has not the most distant idea of parting with her [a negro wench] I bought her not to sell, but for my own use... for a kitchen wench.

A.L.S. 3 pp. 23.5 cm. × 19 cm.

Endorsed: Exam[ine]d and allowed J. Keens A.D. Commis[ar]y Prisoners. Endorsed by Williams: frm. Coll. Ramsey 20th April [sic] 1779.




1779 Sep. 21

Otho [Holland WILLIAMS]. To [Doctor Philip] THOMAS.



Depravity of public Virtue keeps pace with or rather precedes that [of the] paper currency; ill with rheumatism and fever; stayed at tavern of the commonest sort; worried about future of his fellow officers; postscript of September 29 acknowledges receipt of letter of September 7 from Thomas.

A.L.S. 4 pp. 33.5 cm. × 21 cm.




1779 Oct. 23

Sam[uel] SMITH, Balt[imor]e. To Otho H[olland] WILLIAMS, 6th Md. Regt. Camp.



Has many unanswered letters from Williams, but that is no reason for him [Williams] to stop writing; returned three weeks ago from Virginia; since his return has been struggling to replace the fortune his country, by the tender law, robbed him of while he was serving it; has also been giving as much cheer as he could to his friends returning from the fatigues of the campaign; expects daily to hear that Count [Charles-Hector] D'Estaing is on the coast; Robert and James Smith are down to the Capes [Cape Charles and Cape Henry] now, with provisions for him; rumor is that the Milice [militia] of every quarter are Call'd out, that ship Carpenters are gone up, in fine that New York will undoubtedly be taken --Mum -- --; Williams' letters may help him [Smith] in his business as well as in his happiness; in Damn'd Haste.

A.L.S. 1 p. 32.5 cm. × 21 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: From my Friend S. Smith 23 Oct. 1778 [sic].




1779 Oct.

Opinion of the Baron [Frederick William Augustus] STEUBEN on the Plan of operation for the... [illegible].



The arrival of the French Fleet with 5 or 6,000

Land Forces is the most promising aid the allies could send in the circumstances; the present campaign has been Glorious for the American Arms, for an army inferior in numbers and in discipline has prevented the enemy from making themselves masters of the North River; the only enemy gain has been Stony Point, and they will have a hard time to keep that when the river closes; in fact, the enemy must prepare for their own defense instead of going on the offensive; our fleet was entirely unprepared for the arrival of the French Fleet and therefore has not at hand the material needed for an expedition against New York; the lateness of the season will not allow time to get ready for it; the enemy have 13,000 men in New York, and will surely draw in the 4,200 men they have in Rhode Island; with the troops of the French Fleet, the Americans have about as many men; in Europe it would be held presumptuous to try to capture an army of 18,000 men in such a situation as New York with 60,000 men; siege or blockade is impracticable, considering how long the enemy could hold out, and how short a time is available; most probable advantage to be derived from the French aid is the destruction of the enemy shipping.

Memorandum in hand of Otho Holland Williams. 2 pp. 35.5 cm. × 22 cm.

Endorsed: Opinion October 79 the Baron Steubens.




1779 Nov. 22

Sam[uel] SMITH, Balt[imor]e. To Otho H[olland] WILLIAMS, 6th Md. Regt., Camp.



Letters from Williams, like those from a favorite son, collect the group of relations and friends to hear them read; is trying to induce his family to name his eldest son Otho, but fears he will not succeed; intends the boy to be a soldier; [Uriah] Forrest wrote to him [Smith] for a copy of a letter from Williams in which was mentioned the action of Pennsylvania in restoring their officers to all the privileges of citizens; an effort is to be made, this session, to have the Maryland Assembly do the same thing, and Col. [John Hoskins] Stone, now President of the Council, will help the effort; a motion of thanks for the conduct of the late governor [Thomas Johnson, Jr.] was opposed by Samuel Chase, and the motion fell through; the House [of Delegates] is now considering ways and means for raising the 15,000,000 monthly ordered by Congress; Virginia has already voted it; Maryland will surely do the same, and this action may cause our money to appreciate; the means taken to throw away the public funds would astonish you.

A.L.S. 2 pp. 33 cm. × 21 cm.

Endorsed: Smith 1779 Nov. 22d 1779.

On same sheet as entry 40.




[1779 after Nov. 22]

------------. To [Otho Holland WILLIAMS, 6th Md. Regt., Camp].



Captain [John Paul] Jones with his little squadron went into Hull [England] burnt 16 Sail and returning fell in with the Baltic Fleet and took the Convoy with a number of merchantmen.

N. 1 p. 33 cm. × 21 cm.

On verso of entry 39.




1778-1779 Winter

Winter Q[uarter]s



[Samuel H.] Parsons, [Ebenezer] Huntingtons and [Thomas] Poors [Regiments] ----- Danbury [Conn.]; [John] Pattersons [Paterson] ----- West Point [N.Y.]; [John] Nixons ----- Peeks Kill [N.Y.]; [Nathaniel] Leonards ----- Fish Kill; [Thomas] Clarks N[orth] Carolina. Clove and West side Kings Ferry; Artillery Park ----- Pluckemin; [William] Woodfords, [Peter] Muhlenburghs [Muhlenberg], [Charles] Scotts, [William] Smallwoods 2d Maryland; [Anthony] Waynes, [James] Erwins [Irvine] 2d Penn[sylvani]a, MiddleBrook New Jersey; [Lewis] Duboise [Du Bois], [Goose] Van Schaicks and [Henry Beekman] Livingstons Regt. ----- Albany [N.Y.]; [Philip Van] Courtlands Regt. ----- Rochester between Minisink and Eusopus; 1st [Theodorick] Blands Dragoons ----- Winchester; 2nd [Elisha] Sheldons ----- do ----- Durham in Connecticut; 3 [George] Baylors ----- do ----- Hagars Town Maryland; 4 [Stephen] Moylands ----- do ----- Lancaster [Pa.?].

Memorandum in hand of Otho Holland Williams. 1 p. 23 cm. × 19 cm.

Endorsed: Cantonment Winter 1778-9.





Officers of the Maryland... To Governor Thomas JOHNSTON [JOHNSON].



Officers of the Maryland Line respectfully represent to Governor [Thomas] Johnson [Jr.] that the provisions made for them by the Legislature have by no means been adequate to their needs; many have used their private means and they are now under the painfull and Humiliating necessity of begging for support; confident that... a generous and gra[teful] state intends to care for them.

Copy. 1 p. 12 cm. × 17 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: ... of the Officers... Senate and Assembly... t... Maryland... [co]py.

Torn fragment.




1780 Jan. 27

O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS. To Baron [Johann] DE KALB.



Is obliged to notice a thing that was said to him this morning; when Capt. [Samuel] King gave him [Williams] the proceedings of the court martial held, by his [De Kalb's] orders, in the Maryland Line, he [King] inquired what had been the practice in the army in cases similar; he [Williams] knew that where commissioned officers were concerned, the proceedings were usually referred to Head Quarters, and he told King so, offering, at the same time, either to publish the sentence as approved by De Kalb, in Division orders, or to send it to the Commander-in-Chief; upon King's request he presented them [the proceedings] to the Commander-in-Chief and they are published in today's orders; observed [to Capt. King] that if the Baron would be pleased to have division

orders communicated through him [Williams] as Division Inspector, they would be attended to more certainly, since the brigade majors knew only about their own brigades and might therefore be at a loss how to comply [with Division Orders]; had no intention of limiting the Baron's authority or of magnifying his own.

A. Df. S. 2 pp. 25.5 cm. × 18.5 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: Private Letter to The Baron De Kalb January 27, 1780.




1780 Feb. 5

A[ncient] F[ree] and A[ccepted] Masons serving in the Military lines of the States of Maryland and Delaware.



Appointment of Mordecai Gist to represent Maryland in Masonic Convention at Morristown [N.J.] February 7, 1780, and O. H. Williams to represent Delaware; convention to ask Grand Masters in respective states to bring about appointment of a Right Worshipful Grand Master to preside over all the lodges in the U. S. A.

Signed by: John Willson, Lodge 18, Del.; Arch[ibald] Anderson, Lodge 5, Del.; Wal [illegible], Lodge 16, Md.; J[ame]s Bruff, Lodge 7, Md.; F. B. Nugon, Lodge 11, Pa.; Elijah Skillington, Lodge 18, Dd.; Edw. Dyer, State Md.; John Lynch, Lodge 6, Md.; John Hamilton, Md., d[itt]o.

2 pp. 34.5 cm. × 21 cm.




1780 Feb. 7

Convention of A[ncient] F[ree] and A[ccepted] M[asons], Morris Town [N.J.]. To the Right Worshipful The Grand Masters of the Several Lodges in the respective United States.



Draft of request for setting up one grand lodge in America; grand masters to nominate a Grand Master for said lodge and to send his name and name of lodge to Grand Mother lodge in Europe.

Signed by: M[ordecai] Gist, P. M. and President; Otho Holl[an]d Williams, M. M., Secy.; John Laurance, P. M.; Jona[than] Heart, M. M.; Jno. Santford, M. M.; George Tudor, M. M.; John Pierce Jun M. M.; Thos. Machin [?] M. M.; Prentice Bowen M. M.; Charles Graham F. C. List of names in Schultz, Freemasonry in Maryland, p. 167.

2 pp. 44.5 cm. × 28.5 cm., 22.5 cm. × 28.5 cm.

Later draft of entry 46.




1780 Feb.

Convention of A[ncient] F[ree] and A[ccepted] M[asons], Morris Town [N.J.]. To The Most Worshipful The Grand Masters of the Several Lodges in the respective United States.



Draft of request for setting up one grand lodge in America; grand masters to nominate a Grand Master of said lodge and to send his name and name of lodge to Grand Mother lodge in Europe.

4 pp. 29 cm. × 19.5 cm.

Earlier draft of entry 45.




1780 Mar. 10

Dan[ie]l MORGAN, Saratoga [Va.]. To Otho [Holland] WILLIAMS.



Received Williams' letter of December 10, and wishes he had the skill of pope or Voltiere or Shakespear to answer so friendly and generous a letter adequately; he was never aware of the neglect of which Williams speaks; upon his word, he wrote Williams a long letter; thinks there are people on the road to camp who intercept letters and break them open to hear the news in them; thanks Mrs. [John] Stull for the favorable account she gave Williams of him [Morgan]; has no news to give, save a rumor that 7,000 of the enemy have landed in Georgia; if so stand clare Charles Town [Charleston, S.C.]; the Virginia troops which are marching to stop them are so few that the enemy will not pay any attention to them; the Virginia assembly has no scheme to raise either men or provisions; the members are doing nothing but striving to get money and land over the Alagana [Alleghany] mountain; has been well since he saw Williams.

A.L.S. 3 pp. 30.5 cm. × 19.5 cm. Half of seal in red wax impressed.

Endorsed by Williams: From my liberal friend Coll. Danl. Morgan 1780.

Endorsed: Rec'd and forwarded by your fr[ein]d and Mo[s]t Ob[edien]t Sorv[an]t Dan Brodhead jr.




1780 June 20

O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS, Fredericksburgh [Va.]. To Elie WILLIAMS, Eliz[abeth] Town [Hagerstown, Md.].



Wrote to Elie on the 18th, telling him about the unlucky state of Col. Beaufort's [Abraham Buford] party in [North and South] Carolina; no official account has come yet, but it is certain the [American] troops were routed; intended to leave here yesterday, but waited a day, in order to dine with Gen. [George] Weedon and his friends; the enemy are out in force at Elizabeth Town, New Jersey, and they have been up as far as Springfield [Mass.]; they burned houses in Connecticut, and committed cruel and wanton acts; Gen. [William] Kniphausen [Knyphausen] commands, in person, a force of 5,000 men, and is trying to force Gen. [George] Washington into a general action before the arrival of the French fleet; his [Otho's] baggage, with a barrell of good flour, wont forward yesterday and he will go today as far as Bowling Green [Ky.], 22 miles south; has no present information where the [American] headquarters are; the cavalry with 2500 Virginia militia and the Maryland Division will make up the Southern Army, till the 5,000 men now being raised by this State [Virginia] join them in a few months.

A.L.S. 3 pp. 25 cm. × 20 cm.

Superscribed: favor Mr. Bannister.




1780 July 5

Sam[uel] SMITH, Balt[imore]. To Otho H[olland] WILLIAMS, North Carolina.



[William Leigh] Pierce delivered Williams' letter from Fredericksburg [Va.] and Mrs. Shaw told them how he was passing his time there; the lack of money is a severe damper on spirits like Williams'; the boat Lively about four weeks ago carried out more than [UNK]1,500, and should be back in three weeks; the Felicity and the Grampus have aboard some [UNK]3,500, and are good risks; if they get back, Williams' money will about double, if not, he will lose no more than if he had not put his money on them; Maryland offered his Excell[enc]y [Washington?] a regiment, and now they do not know how they are going to raise it; the legislature has enacted that state funds in England be sold, and if the bills are not paid, the purchasers are to be reimbursed from the sale of British property in the state; Col. [John Hoskins] Stone and Col. [Uriah] Forrest have both asked for the command of the 2500 militia requested by Washington; thinks from a letter of Dr. [James] McHenry that [Col. Josias] Carvell [Hall] will be ordered to this new regiment; yesterday Lt. Col. [Benjamin] Nicholson asked him [Smith] to take command of the Baltimore militia, and he could not refuse so polite an application; presumes Gov. [Thomas Sim] Lee will give him the appointment; the Jersey militia, with the help of the regulars, drove the enemy out of the Jersey; Philadelphia ladies have raised 300,000 Dolls for the soldiers, and the ladies of Baltimore are doing the same thing.

A.L.S. 3 pp. 23 cm. × 18.5 cm.

Endorsed: My Friend Smith's Letter 12 Aug[us]t 1780.




1780 Aug. 6, 8

Will HETH, Hadrils [Haddrell's] Point [S.C.]. To Otho H[olland] WILLIAMS, South Carolina.



This will be forwarded by Capt. John Blackwell from Newburn [Newbern, N.C.]; Blackwell is going under a flag [of truce] to Virginia to get supplies and to get hard money for those officers whose friends can and will arrange to have it for them; he [Heth] has not a relative this side of the Alleghany mountains, so he will remain independent and not have to thank anyone later for their remembrance of him while he was in captivity; It is monstrous clever to feel one's self free and independant; is at this moment very deeply in love with a married lady; bids Williams ask [Col. Christian] Febiger how his [Heth's] Philadelphia angel is; did Williams ever meet, in the neighborhood of Petersburg [Va.] a most accomplished little Sirene, Miss [Eliza] Briggs of Wales; thanks Col. [Robert Hanson?] Harrison for remembering him, and sends regards to Porterfield and to Febiger; Howde? is now the most polite greeting in the most polite of all the states; is going to seal this with his cypher and if any of our Bretheren open it, they will not get much for their pains; sent his man, John Salter, in to Charleston [S.C.] the other day and Salter escaped, taking with him all the hard money Heth had left; asks Williams to capture Salter and send him back if he can.

A.L.S. 3 pp. 23.5 cm. × 19.5 cm.

Endorsed: From Coll. Heth 6th August 1780.




1780 Aug. 12

Notes of the different Subjects andc. andc. contained in two Memorials to Congress in behalf of the American Army.



Extracts from the minutes (signed) Chas. Thomson Secy.

Contemporary copy. 4 pp. 39 cm. × 24.5 cm.

Endorsed: Augt 12 th 1780.




1780 Sep. 12-15

Proceedings of a Brigade Genl. Court Martial held... by order of Gen[era]l [Mordecai] Gist.



Major [John] Dean, President, Captains [Henry] Dobson, [William Dent] Beall, [Lilburn] Williams, [?] Price and [Nathaniel] Wilson, Lieuts. [John A.] Hamilton, [James] Ewing, [John Jeremiah] Jacob, [?] Hofman, Ensigns [Absolom] Anderson, [Thomas] Boyd, and [Jacob] Crawford, members; William Howe, charged with twice deserting, pleads guilty and is sentenced to 100 lashes on his bare back; Benjamin Dominique, charged with lying about Gen. Gist and saying that the General had taken a horse that he [Dominique] had captured in battle, was declared not guilty; John Hackney, charged with disposing of a horse that belonged to Lieut. [Nicholas] Mangers, pled not guilty and was acquitted.

Signed: John Dean, Pres[ident]. 10 pp. 32 cm. × 20 cm.




1780 Sep. 23

Otho [Holland WILLIAMS], near Hillsborough [N.C.]. To Col. John STULL, Millsborough [Washington County].



When he writes to one, intends the letter for the whole family; encloses a letter for his sister Babby [Mrs. Elie Williams] which his sister [Mrs. John] Stull will read also; [Gen. Horatio] Gates is using him [Otho] in almost every department of the army; would like to decline his extra duties, but Gates will not permit him to do so; is more interested in his own regiment [6th Maryland] than in anything else, for its discipline and its military achievements are the soundest basis for his own reputation; has not yet been able to get tents, blankets or shoes for his men, but they are pretty well armed and they are increasing in numbers, because many escaping captives are coming in; the militia are harrassing the enemy so much that, though superior in numbers, they have not dared penetrate far into the interior; writes to all his brothers and sisters when he writes to one, but does not intend his letters for any one else, even the closest acquaintance; tells Sister Stull he will want three pair of thread stockings by next spring; asks Sister Stull and Sister Babby to teach their young sons to know his name.

A.L.S. 3 pp. 39 cm. × 35 cm.

Enclosure missing.




1780 Oct. 4

Sam[uel] SMITH, Balt[imor]e. To Otho H[olland] WILLIAMS, Southern Army.



Several letters received from Williams remain unanswered because he [Smith] has been ill in Philadelphia; Mr. W[illiam] Smith, who know Williams hand, opened the letters because he was anxious to know the fate of [Col. Josias Carvel] Hall; he [Sam] forgives him [William] for this; he [Sam] has gathered from Hall an unfavorable opinion of Williams' general [Horatio Gates], and thinks Gates ought to ask to be put on trial; Armand [de la Rouverie], who passed through here recently, is said to be going to Congress determined to bring him [Gates] to trial; Armand compares Gates to [Benedict] Arnold; Gates' activities have served to throw more lustre on the Baron [von Steuben] and on the bravery of the Maryland troops; he [Smith] and [Josias Carvel] Hall have had a long conversation; Williams has enemies, of course, but one has refused to answer his [Williams'] letter, the other fears danger, and the remainder are understrappers, unworthy of any consideration; his very honorable command [Adjutant General of the Southern Army] will make... very full amends for any Malice of Individuals; hopes Williams is not thinking of resigning, for the war cannot last long; Col. [John] Andre, late aide to Gen. Clinton in Disguise was receiv'd by Gen. [Benedict] Arnold into West Point, where it was agreed that Arnold should give up the fort and garrison, for which Andre on the part of Gen. Clinton agreed to pay a sum of Money... everything fix'd, but Providentially, a party of Militia at Tarry Town [N.Y.] stopp'd Andre with a Mr. Joseph Smith, a N.Y. Tory, and insisted notwithstanding Arnold's pass that they were spies, and that they would carry them to Col. [John] Jameson of the Horse [Dragoons]... Andre, dreading a strict scrutiny offer'd on the way his purse and watch.... Jameson, elated with taking a Spy,... sent off an Express to Arnold, [James] McHenry and [Alexander] Hamilton had come forw[ar]d to prepare him [Arnold] for the reception of G[eorge] Washington, the french Minister [Anne-Cesar de La Luzerne] and the Marquis [de Lafayette]... they [McHenry and Hamilton] observ'd Confusion in Arnold's Countenance, he guessed who the spy was and went on Board his Boat, the General [Washington] arrived just as the Second Express from Jameson arriv'd, with an acco[un]t of the whole conspiracy, Hamilton was ordered to seize him, too late he had just got on Board the Vulture Sloop of war,... the papers were discover'd in Andre'[s] Boot; Andre has tried to argue that he is not a common spy; Congress is thinking of exchanging him [Andre] for Arnold, and so saving his life; Smith hopes this may happen for Andre is his particular friend; From the Circumstances of the Generals [Washington's] return, it is imagin'd he also was to be betray'd; Arnold's papers, seized in Philadelphia, discover a long Train of Villains, among the Marchants there; Miss S. B. [?], who does not understand Williams, would be sorry to run the risk of any young man's hanging himself; the commercial ventures which Smith undertook for Williams seem to be coming out well; the Lively was taken on this side of Potomac and was retaken and sent in to Philadelphia;

Louis [Smith's son] is wean'd and flourishing; saw [?] Benedict and his deary a few days ago, and he [Benedict] is afraid she is dying; Ramsay [Nathaniel Ramsey] has made a purchase from a New York Tory and will make a good profit; David Har[r]is is married to a Miss [Sarah] Crockett and Major Jack Stewart was damn'd nigh it, How he escap'd I know not... her wedding Cloth[e]s are made, but... poor Kitty Crane, you must hug your sheets; fears this will not reach Williams; is sending it by Mr. Gamble at Richmond; Admiral [George Brydges] Rodney is at New York with 10 sail of the line; an expedition against Portsmouth, Virginia, is said to be pending.

A.L.S. 3 pp. 39 cm. × 26 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: S. Smiths long agreeable Ltre [letter] 4th October 1780.




1780 Oct. 5

The United States of America in Congress Assembled, Philadelphia. To Benjamin FORD.



Commission as Lieutenant Colonel Commandant of the 2nd Maryland Regiment; to take rank as such from April 31 [sic] 1780.

Signed by Sam[uel] Huntington, President of the Congress, and Ben Stoddert, Secretary of the Board of War. 1 p. parchmont. 17 cm. × 27.5 cm. Seal of the United States impressed.

Endorsed by Williams: B. Ford Esqr. Lt. Coll. Com [mandan]t 2d. Maryd. Regt. rec'd a wound in the left elbow in the action of Camden the 25th of April 1781 of which he died at Charlotte [N.C.] the 15th June following.




1780 Oct. 12

O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS. To Gov. [Thomas Sim] LEE, Maryland.



Encloses the most exact return he can get of the Maryland troops; many returned as missing are probably dead or imprisoned; some officers are back in Maryland recruiting, some are in camp waiting for the arrival of more men to be commanded; lost a great many of their arms on the retreat [from Camden, S. C.] besides those taken from 150 of Mary[lan]d and Delaware Troops who were retaken by Col. [Francis] Marion; of the 150 men, only about 60 rejoined their corps, some were sick but most of them just departed; their clothing and tents are now such as to move men to compassion for the naked soldiers; hopes that in November, when he will again report, he will have more supplies; when he [Williams] saw Lee in May, he learned that the Board of War had declined to grant any new commissions, so he did not recommend Mr. Roger Nellson [Nelson]; Nelson served as a volunteer with him [Williams] all this campaign, and was wounded and imprisoned in the late action [at Camden]; would like Nelson to fill the oldest vacancy in the 6th Maryland Regiment.

A.Df.S. 3 pp. 15 cm. × 19 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: Wrote a Similar Letter to Caesar Rodney Esqr. Govr. of Delaw[are] and inclosed an abstract of the Troops of that State.




1780 Oct. 12

[Otho Holland WILLIAMS] Camp Hillsborough, N. C. To Col. [Alexander] SCAMMELL.



His arduous duties and the defeat in a general action will excuse his not sending in the reports he should have sent; lost all their papers except the Gen[era]ls [?]; officers are perplexed and seem unable to give him [Williams] the data he needs] cannot tell who are dead and who are captive, so he is reporting most of them as missing; had no instruction in his duties as inspector, so he had to draw up a form of his own, and likes his form very much indeed; if a form has been officially adopted, asks Scammell to send it to him, along with the resolves of Congress about his duties as Inspector General; Major [John] Armstrong, appointed Deputy Adjutant General for the Southern Army by Congress, has been ill all this campaign, so that he [Williams] has had no assistant ever since he joined, July 7; his duties as commandant of his own regiment are now so much increased that he has got the General [Gates] to relieve him somewhat; some of his friends charge him with condescension, but he is only trying to do everything that is within his powers.

A.Df. 2 pp. 37 cm. × 24 cm.




1780 Oct. 12

[Otho Holland WILLIAMS] Hillsborough [N.C.]. To Baron [Frederick William Augustus] STEUBEN.



Is at last able to make returns of the Maryland and Delaware troops; in the disaster of August 16 [at Camden, S.C.], all musters and inspections, all account books and other papers were lost, save a few regimental muster rolls; these were sent to the Board of War; has had to draw up his own forms for the returns he is now submitting; thinks his abstract of muster and inspection is the simplest, plainest, easiest and fullest he has ever seen; remembers the help he [Steuben] accepted from him [Williams] last year; has received no clothing for the present season, and what they have on their backs is too worthless to render an account of; their baggage and equipment fell into the hands of the enemy, all but some 25 tents and 20 or so camp kettles; asks Steuben particularly to send him the resolves of Congress about the Inspectors Department, and to communicate his commands frequently.

A.Df. 2 pp. 37 cm. × 23.5 cm.

Enclosures missing.




1780 Oct. 19

Alex[an]d[e]r SCAMMELL, Head Quarters Totowa [N.J.]. To Otho Holland WILLIAMS, Hillsborough [N.C.].



Happy to get Williams' letter of [September] 5th, first he has had since Williams left Morristown [N.J.]; return of Williams' division is better than he [Scammell] had hoped from [Gates'] first report, altho he [Gates] rode express himself; first fear was that a general massacre had taken place, so they were all overjoyed to hear that so many had been able to retreat; mourns the dead and captured; congratulates Williams on his glorious laurels; Gen. [Nathanael] Greene will shortly be sent to take command of the Southern

Army; Gen. [Horatio] Gates has been recalled for an inquiry into his conduct; have been trying to draw the enemy out of their lines; lack of forage has obliged Scammell to move from the neighborhood of the enemy lines to this place, and he expects soon to go into wintor quarters; eastern states are beginning to lose some of their old confidence in militia, especially since Gates now no longer trusts in them; states will soon get from Congress and the Commander in Chief the numbers of troops they are to raise, with orders to have them in the field by January 1; believes the army will shortly be rearranged; allies are still blocked up in Newport Rhode Island; combined floot is manouvring mysteriously in the West Indies; a considerable detachment has left New York, presumably for the South; Williams has undoubtedly heard of [Benedict] Arnold's treason and escape; Major [John] Andre was taken and executed as a spy; he [Andre] was one of the most accomplished men of the age; Could the Traitor have been given up, I would willingly have given my vote to pardon the Spy; the light infantry under the Marquis [de Lafayette] are disappointed that they have not got into action; Col. [Richard Kidder] Mead [Meade] has left the General [Washington] today, He is a real loss to the Army; asks Williams to send a return, indicating how many are Maryland troops and how many Delaware; believes affairs will soon be more prosperous; sends compliments to Gen. [Mordecai] Gist.

A.L.S. 3 pp. 33.5 cm. × 21 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: From Coll. Scammell 19th October 1780.




1780 Oct. 21

Resolves of the Continental Congress.



In Congress, October 3d, 1780. Resolved that the regular army of the United States shall consist of certain forces of light dragoons, artillery, infantry, and artificers; resolved, October 21, that the several regiments of infantry... consist of, One colonel... 612 Rank and file; resolved That the officers who shall continue in the service to the end of the war be entitled to half-pay during life, to commence from the time of their reduction; Philadelphia: Printed by David C. Claypoole.

Broadside. 1 p. 42 cm. × 26.5 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: Resolves of Congress 3d and 21st Oct. 80 New Arrangements of the Continental Army.

In broadside case.


Missing from collection




1780 Oct. 26

Otho [Holland WILLIAMS] Camp Hillsborough, N. C. To Col. John STULL, Washington County, Md.



Stull hates to write letters, but Brother Elie... has always the pen in his hand; the Southern Army is making ready to move again against the enemy, waiting only for some shoes, expected this ovening; Lord Cornwallis is retreating toward Charles Town [Charleston, S.C.], for he lost [Col. Patrick] Ferguson, and his rear was prossed by Col. [Daniel] Morgan and Col. [William Richardson] Davie of North Carolina;

the people in South Carolina are determined to oppose his [Cornwallis'] passage of the Santee River; his [Williams'] command is more honorable than ever.

A.L.S. 1 p. 37 cm. × 22 cm.

Superscribed: P[er] Cunningham.




1780 Nov. 2

O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS, Hillsborough [N.C.]. To Capt. [George] ARMSTRONG.



Armstrong is to remain in Hillsborough and take charge of such troops [UNK] are left behind, or such as arrive in a few days; the sick he is to send to the General Hospital, with proper returns of names and companies; he is to apply to the Board of War for shoes for the men who arrive without them; he will call in all who are now on detached duty; Col. [John] Gunby, in charge of the hospital, will give him [Armstrong] any instructions he needs, and will help him collect, arm and clothe any men able to march; commanding officer at Hillsborough will tell him how he is to get provisions on his way, and will give him permission to follow the regiment; on the route, he is to see to it that his men do not desert or maraud or insult the inhabitants of the country side; he will be most careful to keep exact rolls of the men he takes with him, and of those he leaves behind.

A.D.S. 2 pp. 24 cm. × 20-23 cm.

Endorsed: Instructions for Captn. Armstrong.




1780 Nov. 5

[James McHENRY] near Tatawa [Totowa] bridge, [New] Jersey. To [Otho Holland] WILLIAMS.



Northern Army has been inactive, save for one attempt toward the end of October, upon Staten Island [N.Y.]; the light camp moved down to Elizabeth [N.J.], but the boats did not cooperate; the largest part of the army will winter near West Point; the French troops will be in Rhode Island, save the Duc de Lauzun's legion, which will winter in Hartford, Connecticut; cannot help the Southern Army this year, but next year the army voted by Congress will be ready, and more troops will come from France; the enemy have sent 3,000 troops from their New York garrison to Virginia; thinks this division very favorable to the American; Gen. [Nathanael] Greone will command the Southern Army, in place of Gen. [Horatio] Gates, who has been suspended; Greene wanted him [McHenry] to follow him, but certain obstructions, of which Greene will tell him [Williams] made it impossible.

A.L. Signature cut out. 3 pp. 32 cm. × 20.5 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: From Dr. McHenry 5th November 1780.

Authorship verified by comparison with an A.L.S. of McHenry at the Maryland Historical Society (Gilmor Papers, Vol. 3, Div. 3, no. 23).




1780 Nov. 8

O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS, Salisbury [N.C.]. To Gen. [William] SMALLWOOD.



The brigade of Maryland, Delaware and Virginia troops with Capt. [Anthony] Singleton's artillery company marched from Hillsborough [N.C.], Nov. 2, and about 5 o'clock this evening crossed the Yadkin River at Ellis' Ferry; Williams left them on the west bank of the river, and will look tomorrow for a post near here [Salisbury], where he is to wait two or three days for the arrival of Gen. [Horatio] Gates; Smallwood will judge whether he [Williams] needs any instructions from him previous to the arrival of Gates; the Board of War in Hillsborough induced us to believe there were plenty of provisione here, but there are not; they can hardly get a pound of meal per man tomorrow, and they have had only three pounds, six ounces per man since they left Hillsborough; Col. [Benjamin] Ford will give Smallwood details; sends his thanks to [Capt. John Courts?] Jones for his letter of November first.

A.Df.S. 1 p. 31.5 cm. × 19.5 cm.




1780 Nov. 10

Sam[uel] SMITH, Balt[imor]e. To Otho H[olland] WILLIAMS, Southern Army.



Since he wrote to Williams by Gov. [Thomas] Jefferson's express, he has seen Williams' letter of October 23 to [Uriah] Forrest; the enemy have taken possession of Portsm[outh, Va.], and thus have distressed Baltimoreans and Virginians; now the rascals are up the rivers in Maryland, plundering the defenceless inhabitants of [their] Negroes and tobacco; they landed 100 Men near Col. [William] Fitzhugh's place [Rousby Hall, near Solomons] in Patuxent [River, Calvert County] fortified the House of John Par[r]an; the enemy took two vessels laden with tobacco, among which were 40 hogsheads belonging to Smith himself; he [Smith] has also lost a lot at Portsmouth and elsewhere; I Have Interested you [UNK] on Board the Fiery Dragon now very safe at Richmond [Va.]; the session of the Assembly is doing nothing; he [Smith] is pretty deeply engaged in equipping two vessels against the Piccoroons; [Col. Josias Carvel] Hall is in Harford [County], with his wife.

A.L.S. 1 p. 25.5 cm. × 19 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: From my Friend S. S. Balto. 10th Novr. 1780 Reed. Jany. 1781.

Memorandum by Williams on recto: I never reed. the letter s[ai]d to be sent by Gov. Jeffersons Express. I write you once a month.




1780 Nov. 11

O[tho] H[olland] W[ILLIAMS] Salisbury [N.C.]. To Gen. [Horatio] GATES.



Received this morning Gates' letter of yesterday, and will therefore expect him in town tonight; will do everything the short time permits to get provisions and forage for the horses; can get for the troops only a little corn

and that not ground; has 30 or 40 sick, with no hospital and no surgeon unless he leaves a regimental surgeon with them; has no instruments or supplies for the surgeons if they should be called into action; has lost some horses by death, sickness or straying; the horses in general are in very bad shape; wagons and harness need repairs; has been looking for the Deputy Quarter Master General, the Deputy Forage Master General, and the Deputy Waggon Master General, whose presence is most essencially necessary to the Execution of your orders rec'd this Day; has been too ill to leave his quarters since he arrived here, but will omit no practical measure to get the needed supplies.

A.Df.S. 2 pp. 21.5 cm. × 17 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: To Genl. Gates 11 Novr. 1780.




1780 Nov. 12

[Otho Holland WILLIAMS] Camp Salisbury [N.C.]. To Baron [Frederick William Augustus von] STEUBEN.



Marched November 2 with his Maryland and Delaware command from Hillsborough [N.C.], crossed the Yadkin River on the 8th, and on the morning of the 9th arrived here; encloses Steuben an abstract of the troops, with clothing, arms, accoutrements, etc., and another abstract of the effectives; has made up a package of muster rolls for the month of October which he has directed to the Inspector General; has also sent copies of the muster rolls to the Board of War, and copies of each of the abstracts to the Board of War, the [UNK] General and the governors of each of the states to which the corps belong; has not received an answer to his last letter about the form of his returns, the decision of Congress about the officers of Steuben's department or any instructions from Steuben; Copy.

A.Df. 1 p. 34 cm. × 21.5 cm.

On same sheet as entry 68.




1780 Nov. 13

O[tho] H[olland] W[ILLIAMS] Camp Salisbury [N.C.]. To Col. [Alexander] SCAMMELL.



[Same as entry 67 down to the point where Williams has not had from Steuben replies to his questions]; Continuation to Coll. Scammell; the Virginia troops under Col. [Abraham] Buford, and an artillery company with two field pieces brigaded with Williams' command marched with him from Hillsborough [N.C.]; Gen. [Horatio] Gates arrived here on the 11th with some 130 cavalry [composed of] detachments of [Col. Anthony Walton] White's, [Col. William Augustine] Washington's and [Tuffin Charles] Armand's corps, under command of Major [Richard] Call; Brig. Gen. [John] Butler, with two or three hundred militia of this state [N.C.] whose terms of enlistment expire in two or three weeks, has been here for some time; Maj. Gen. [William] Smallwood and Brig. Gen. [Daniel] Morgan with the light infantry of the Maryland, Delaware and Virginia troops, Col. [William Augustine] Washington with the cavalry, and a small body of militia are about 10 miles below Charlotte [N.C.];

Brig. Gen.[Thomas] Sumpter [Sumter] of this state is on the west side of the Catawba River with a small body of militia; recently he [Sumtor] had a little brush with the enemy, in which Major [James] [UNK] [[UNK]] was wounded and captured with 26 of his men by Sumter; [Francis,] Lord Rawdon is still at Camden [S.C.] which he has fortified; [Charles,] Lord Cornwallis is said to be at Winsborough [Winnsboro, S.C.], 45 miles west of Camden; he [Cornwallis] has been dead by report about a month, now he is sick only and if the reinforcements come from Charleston, he will be well, again; their supplies of every necessity for waging war are low, or altogether lacking; has no tents or means of carrying them around; will, however, do and suffer everything rather than give up.

A.Df.S. 2 pp. 34 cm. × 21.5 cm.

On same sheet as entry 67.




1780 Nov. 24

Otho [Holland WILLIAMS], Salisbury [N.C.]. To Sister [Mrs. John] STULL [Washington County].



Heard from his sister yesterday for the first time since the 12th of August; begs her to stop worrying about him; only thing he has to worry about in the news from home is that his brother's [Elie] circumstances are not good; wrote a great many letters home from Hillsborough [N.C.] in October, and remembers writing one to Babby [Mrs. Elie Williams]; Col. [?] Shelby has gone back to Holston [?], else he would be glad to receive... the promises of his God-Daughtor; Col. Isaac Shelby has been in Charlotte [N.C.] and now he has gone home to get men to replace those discharged; Col. [John] Stull has not written from Annapolis; hopes that, if the Assembly does not increase the fees of county clerks, Col. Stull will withdraw from it, so he [Otho] may curse them without makeing an Exception; has had very little time at home since the spring of 1775; had hardly time on his last visit to make an acquaintance with Sister Tere [Theresa, Mrs. Davis]... [who is] very affectionate, very good and very happy, but too grave and restrained; Mrs. [Priscilla Williams] Israel is the most fashionable sister; begs her not to worry about her bad handwriting, for he thinks her one of the best correspondents in the world, partly because her letters are so agreeable, partly because every word is perfectly intelligible to me and... no body else cd. Decypher a Line of them. If you intended to communicate Treason you co[ul]d not do it more securely in Cyphers or Hieroglyphics; [one-line rebus which translates] I would never forget the partiality which my friends Catherine Kimbol and Miss Wickham have for me; wrote to Brother Elie from here about 10 days ago; his old horse Liberty is so gallant in action that he [Otho] is safe from everything but balls; a British officer directed the fire of his platoon particularly at the horse, but he [Otho] crossed the line of fire

and neither was hurt, though he got three balls through his coat; compliments to Rezin Davis; wishes Mrs. Seaton all the happiness Hymen can add to her; compliments to Mrs. [Thomas] Prather; and to the Col.[onel?].

A.L.S. 4 pp. 37 cm. × 24 cm.

Enclosed in entry 70.




1780 Nov. 24

O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS, Salisbury [N.C.]. To Elie WILLIAMS, Washington County, Md.



Received yesterday, from a young gentleman whose name he does not know, Elie's letter of October 24; glad to know his letters have been reaching home; wrote to Elie 10 days ago about the march from Hillsborough [N.C.]; a cold which took its old seat in my Breast got for him [Otho] the permission of Gen. [Horatio] Gates to remain in good quarters in Salisbury a few days, and now he is well; will set off in a day or two to rejoin his command, which is in camp below Charlotte [N.C.] and about 60 miles from Camden [S.C.] where the enemy are fortified; Gen. [Nathanael] Greene is to arrive soon to supersede Gen. Gates; sorry for the good Old man [Gates] who has just learned of the death of his son; Greene is his friend and he hopes to be happy under his command; many preparations must be made on both sides before they can come to blows with the enemy; [Francis,] Lord Rawdon has 600 men in Camden, and [Charles,] Lord Cornwallis has the larger remainder at Wynsborough [Winnsboro, S.C.], 45 or 50 miles west of Camden towards [the town of] Ninety-Six; the partizan corps of Militia of Virginia and the Two Carolinas had a very successful affair at Kings Mountain, where they killed Major Ferguson and a great number of others and took 500 or 600 prisoners; from Hillsborough to Salisbury, he [Otho] commanded a brigade of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware regular troops, and an artillery company with two field pieces, more than 1000 men in all; has been deer-hunting the last three or four mornings; Col. [Josias Carvel] Hall, who cannot be in want of money, will surely pay 3000 dollars, continental, to Elie for him [Otho], if Elie gives him a gentle hint; Peter Shugars, who is a corporal in Williams' regiment, is well and is doing his duty; love to Babby [Mrs. Elie] and the children; gives the interpretation of the hieroglyphics which he put into his letter to Sister [Mrs. John] Stull.

A.L.S. 3 pp. 37 cm. × 24 cm.

For enclosure see entry 69.

Endorsed: Inclosing a Letter for Mrs. Stull.




1780 Dec. 4

Resolution of Congress, changing the additional pay allowed to officers in the Inspectors Department by resolution of October 25, 1780.



Contemporary copy. 1 p. 21 cm. × 21 cm.




1780 Dec. 4

Memorandum of Pay and subsistence allowed by Congress, to Inspectors and the Deputy Adjustant General, 1776-1780.



In hand of Otho Holland Williams. 1 p. 33 cm. × 21 cm.

Endorsed: Memorandum of allowances made by Congress to Insprs andc.




1780 Dec. 18

[Otho Holland WILLIAMS] Camp Charlotte [N.C.]. To Gen[era]l [Nathanael GREENE?].



Encloses [UNK] of a muster and inspection of the Maryland and Delaware troops with a return of the terms of the enlistment of the Marylanders; the Delaware troops are all to serve for the duration of the war; hoped to be able to include the Virginia troops, but they are so deranged that nothing can be got from them; Col. [Benjamin?] Ford mustered them but cannot get their returns; he [Williams] is therefore sending a weekly return of Col. [Abraham] Buford's entire detachment, including the dates expiration of onlistment; these Troops are destitute of Cloathing and consequently dirty and exceedingly deficient in Discipline; has no books or blanks and very little paper, so that since our misfortune in August [at Camden, S.C.] the system of the establishment has not been kept up; needs company and orderly books and copies of the printed regulations and court martial treatises; has personally asked Col. [William Augustine] Washington for the cavalry returns, but has not yet received them; artillery in this department is a detachment of several corps from different states under Major [John] Mazeret of the Virginia State regiment; Mazeret is now at Hillsboro [N.C.] and he [Williams] has written to him there, asking him to send a return of the artillery to the General from there.

A.Df. 2 pp. 18 cm. × 23.5 cm.




1780 Dec. 24

Baron [Frederick William Augustus von] STEUBEN, Manchester [?]. To Maj. Gen. [Nathanael] GREENE.



Asks Gen. Greene to have his adjustant general send in, at once, a return of all the troops of this state, in very exact and specific form; wants also a return of all the Officers of the Virginia line with the Army, and a return of the horses of the two cavalry regiments, after those not fit for the next campaign have been inspected and rejected; needs also a return of the clothing and horse equipment necessary, but with the strict word that nothing is [to be] returned wanting but what is absolutely so; supplies are too hard to get to send out anything not entirely essential.

Copy of extract. 2 pp. 34 cm. × 20.5 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: Extracts from the Baron Steubens Letter to Majr. Genl. Greene 24th Decr. 1780.




1780 Dec. 26

Alex[an]d[e]r SCAMMELL, Windsor [?]. To O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS, Southern Army.



Acknowledges the receipt of Williams' returns for his brigade; glad Williams' health permits him to be so active, and wishes he [Williams] had force and supplies to match his perseverance; presumes [Gen. Alexander] Leslie has joined Cornwallis by now; another reinforcement [for Cornwallis] is sailing or has sailed from New York; men and ships from France are daily expected in Rhode Island, and some may be used to assist Williams; the states are passing spirited resolves to fill up their regiments, and Scammell hopes they will act up to their resolution quickly; the New England troops are posted in the highlands, the New York troops at Albany [N.Y.] and the northern frontier, the New Jersey troops near Pumpton [Pompton?], and the Pennsylvanians at Morristown [N.J.]; hopes for a vigorous and successful campaign in the eastern states; leaves his present office [Adjutant General of the Continental Army], January 1, 1781; his successor is not yet appointed, but he suspects it will be Gen. [Edward] Hand; wishes it could be Williams, for he [Scammell] is sure he could do the job, but the demand is for a man of higher rank than colonel; asks Williams to write to him, despite his leaving the staff of the army; [Alexander] Hamilton and [Richard Kidder] Meade are married; Meade will probably leave the army, but Hamilton, with his Lady [Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton], is expected at headquarters shortly.

A.L.S. 3 pp. 33.5 cm. × 21.5 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: From Coll. Scammell 26 Decr. 1780.




1780 Dec. 31

O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS, South Carolina Camp P[ee] D[ee] River. To Elie WILLIAMS, Washington County, Maryland.



Lt. Col. [William Augustine] Washington, with a small body of light dragoons, approached Col. [Rowland] Rugely's block house some thirteen miles from Camden [S.C.] and found it impenetrable to small arms; thereupon, he had the address to plant the Trunk of a pine Tree upon three prongs so pointedly like a Field Piece that the Garrison, consisting of 400 Officers and men, surrendered on the first Summons; Gen. Lessly's [Alexander Leslie] troops from Virginia landed at Charles Town [Charleston, S.C.] and have advanced some distance; Lord Cornwallis is again in Camden; [the Southern Army] is much divided at present; Gen. [Daniel] Morgan with the Light Infantry and some Light Dragoons is detached to the west of the Catawba River to act as occasion may demand; Gen. [Nathanael] Greene, with the remainder of the army, is on the east of the Pee Dee River in a Camp of repose, a secure position to rest and rediscipline his men and to await supplies; there is a great deal to be done, for we are actually in want of almost every essential thing... But we have very good hopes of Tents and some articles of Cloathing; a doctor who

says he knows Elie and saw him recently in Hagerstown gave Otho H. some news, and on the strength of his claim to an acquaintance with Elie, Otho H. has been very civil to him; is very much hurried at this time and hopes Elie and Sister [Mrs. John] Stull will understand; is as well and as happy as... [he] can possibly be.

A.L.S. 2 pp. 38 cm. × 23.5 cm.

Endorsed by Otho Holland Williams: My Friend Col.

[?] Charlton will cover this.




1780 Dec. 31

O[tho] H[olland] W[ILLIAMS], Camp Hicks Creek on P[ee] D[ee] River, S. C. To Mr. [John] DUNLAP.



Protests to Mr. Dunlap in the belief that his character as a printer is the same as his character as a gentleman and a citizen, against reports recently appearing in his [Dunlap's] paper [The Pennsylvania Packet, Or The General Advertiser]; Dunlap's Packett has been saying that the Southern Army is stronger and in better circumstances than it is, and that the adverse army is weak and starving; such reports are based on ignorance or ill-will, for Our Country men are too easily composed when danger is at a distance and without the support of the people the government cannot take the measures necessary to extirpate the enemies of our independence; glad to see in the papers the official accounts of some British defeats; Dunlap has hoard about the advantage Lt. Col. [William Augustine] Washington gained over Col. [Rowland] Rugely; the trunk of a three-pronged pine tree set up by Washington looked so much like a field piece that Col. Rugely, Major Cook and more than a hundred officers and privates surrendered; has it on very good information that Genl. Lessly [Alexander Leslie] who, with his command, landed from Virginia at Charles Town [Charleston, S.C.] has got as far as Munks Corner [S.C.] and probably intends to join Cornwallis; this is a private letter, and so Williams presents his compliments to Mrs. D[unlap].

A.Df.S. 2 pp. 38 cm. × 23.5 cm.




1781 Jan. 13

O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS, Camp Hicks Creek, S. C. To Baron [Frederick William Augustus von] STEUBEN.



Received this morning Steuben's letter of December 30, and will attend scrupulously to the instructions in it, though he is hindered by lack of blank books and forms; all the business of the Deputy Adjutant General and all that of the Inspector General has to be done in writing; the General [Nathanael Greene] has given him leave to have some blanks printed, but he has been unable to send to New Bern [N.C.], and believes there is no press nearer than that; will enclose copies of the last muster and inspection of the Virginia infantry and a return of all the foot officers from Virginia now with the Southern Army; has found it impracticable to get the cavalry returns for which

Steuben asked Greene, for the corps are on detached commands; he has written to the commanding officers, directing them positively to put an officer at the job of getting the returns until they are finished; will send also the names and ranks of all artillery officers serving with the Southern Army; by a recent resolve of Congress, the officers of artillery are to be adopted and provided for by particular states; Williams has sent with each officer's name the state to which he belongs, not knowing which state will adopt him; thanks Steuben for his favorable opinion of Williams' zeal and ability.

A.Df.S. 2 pp. 37.5 cm. × 23.5 cm.

On same sheet as entries 79 and 80.




1781 Jan. 13

O[tho] H[olland] W[ILLIAMS] [Camp Hicks Creek, S.C.]. To Baron [Frederick William Augustus von STEUBEN].



Asks Steuben to listen to something important to Williams only; when he came down from the North, he came, not by water with the troops of the Maryland Line, but by land through Virginia; by the time he arrived, about July 1st, Charleston [S.C.] had fallen; DeKalb appointed him adjutant general of the Southern Army; he acted as such and also as inspector; when Gen. [Horatio] Gates arrived, he told him [Williams] that he had recommended his friend Major [John] Armstrong to be adjutant general; Armstrong, however, was ill and unfit for duty and had not actually received his appointment, so Williams condescended to serve as acting deputy adjutant general under Gates; the arrival of Gen. [Nathanael] Greene set aside the appointments made by Gates, and so Williams had to be appointed again to the post he had held; only he has done the work since he came into this country; has had much trouble with the officers for lack of being sustained in authority; Congress have resolved that all places in the Inspector General's department shall be confirmed by them; if this were done for him [Williams] as deputy inspector general of the Southern Army, he would not need to be diffident in doing his duty, or fearful that he would be removed by a possible succesor to his friend Greene; needs copies of the Articles of War, of the printed Regulations, of the treatise on Court Martials, of orderly books, and of blank forms of all kinds.

A.Df.S. 2 pp. 37.5 cm. × 23.5 cm.

On same sheet as entries 78 and 80.




1781 Jan. 14

[Otho Holland WILLIAMS]. To [Baron Frederick William Augustus von STEUBEN].



Lt. Col. [Benjamin] Ford, who mustered the Virginia troops of Col. [Abraham] Buford, says that, though it was six days ago, he cannot get fair copies of their muster rolls made out; Williams is therefore sending Ford's report and an abstract of the effectives; sent the dates of the expiration of their enlistments in his letter from Charlotte [N.C.].

A.Df. 1 p. 37.5 cm. × 23.5 cm.

On same sheet as entries 78 and 79.




1781 Jan. 14

O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS, Camp Hicks Creek [S.C.]. To Capt. [Moore] FAUNTLEROY.



Gen. [Nathanael] Greene has ordered him to furnish Baron [Frederick William Augustus von] Steuben with the following returns of the cavalry regiments: A return of all the Officers their names, Rank Dates of Commissions and States... and the Duty they are on if absent; a detailed return of all non-commissioned officers and privates, another of clothing, and another of horses and horse equipage are desired; these must be sent to him [Williams] immediately, and if necessary, an officer must be specially sent to ride around from place to place to collect the information.

A.Df.S. 1 p. 38 cm. × 23.5 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: To Cap. Fauntleroy Com[mandin]g 1st Regt. Lt. Dragoons 14 Jany. 1781.




1781 Jan. 14

Otho [Holland WILLIAMS], Camp Hicks Creek, S. C. To Elie WILLIAMS, Washington County, Md.



Dr. [Nathaniel] Brownson has promised to send his servant for any letters that Otho H. may want to send by him; Capt. [Michael] Rudolph, who saw Elie at Annapolis, says he looked well; the letter Elie made Rudolph promise to deliver, himself, to Otho H. is in his [Rudolph's] portmanteau, but Otho hopes to get it tomorrow; Gen. [Nathanael Greene] has been taking unwearied pains to refresh his men and to gather supplies and improve the general discipline; the army never was more destitute than it is now, but supplies from the north are said to be on the way; many of the men have not one article of clothing to which any sort of name can be given; Greene noticed in general orders the success of Lt. Col. [William Augustine] Washington with the 3d Cavalry and 200 militia against the Tories in the district of Ninety-Six; Washington was detached from Gen. [Daniel] Morgan's command near the Tiger River [S.C.], about a hundred miles from where Otho H. now is; has just had news that the enemy is moving toward Morgan; the arrival of [British] Gen. [William] Phillips in Virginia will have to be taken care of by the Virginians themselves, for, as soon as Cornwallis starts to advance, Greene will need all the troops he has or can get; believes firmly that at this critical juncture, the Southern army is commanded by a man [Gen. Greene] of great abilities; both Greene and the former commander [Gen. Horatio Gates] have given him [Otho H.] as much importance as his rank will permit; is much attached to Greene personally; expects Elie's letter by Capt. Rudolph encloses one from Col. [John] Stull, whose hand Otho H. wo[ul]d rather shake... than read; heard that Catey [Miss Catherine] Kimbol was in Frederick in December; his friend [Miss] Sill - - Wiskha - [name partly illegible] has not been in Hagars Town much lately, he [Otho H.] wishes her a good husband;

sends regards to their old and valued friends, Col. [Thomas] Prather and his wife, and also to Mrs. Clagett; love to [Elie's son] his namesake.

A.L.S. 3 pp. 38 cm. × 23 cm.




1781 Jan. 20

O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS, Camp Hicks Creek [S.C.]. To Baron [Frederick William Augustus von] STEUBEN.



Called repeatedly for the cavalry returns Steuben asked for, and waited for them, but must now send returns he is sure will not be satisfactory; sends the reasons given by the officers for not making suitable returns, that Steuben may know he has done all he could do; with the General's [Nathanael Greene] approval, he has directed the commanding officer of the 1st Regiment to employ an officer constantly in the business until a complete return is made, and will write to Col. [William Augustine] Washington to do the same.

Copy. 1 p. 38 cm. × 23 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: To the Honble M[ajo]r Genl the Baron Steuben 20th January 1781 Copy.




1781 Jan. 23

O[tho] H[olland] W[ILLIAMS], Hicks Creek on Pee Dee [River, S.C.].



Extracts from his notebook; Major Edward Giles, volunteer aide-de-camp to Brig. Gen. [Daniel] Morgan, arrived this evening with the important news of Morgan's victory at the Cowpens [S.C.], January 17, over [Lt. Col. Banastre] Tarleton; Morgan commanded the light infantry of the Maryland and Delaware Lines, 290 Continentals under Lt. Col. [John Eager] Howard, the South Carolina and Georgia volunteers, about 350 men under Col. [Andrew] Pickens, 170 Virginia militia under Major [George] Triplett and the 3rd regiment of Light Dragoons under Lt. Col. [William Augustine] Washington; the victory was complete; Tarleton commanded the Legion, the light infantry and grenadiers of the 7th and 71st regiments, the Royal Fusiliers, the 3rd battalion of light infantry and some new levies, 1150 Regulars and 50 Tories; enemy lost 100 killed, between 200 and 300 wounded, and about 17 officers and 500 non-coms and privates made prisoner; two brass field pieces taken by Morgan at Saratoga [N.Y., Oct. 7, 1777] and retaken by Tarleton from Brig. Gen. [Thomas] Sumter on August 18, 1780, were once more taken by Morgan, along with two stand of colors, a band of music and 800 stand of arms, 35 wagons and much baggage; American loss was only ten killed and 55 wounded.

Copy in hand of Williams. 2 pp. 31.5 cm. × 19 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: For Doctr. Ramsey.




1781 Jan. 23

O[tho] H[olland] W[ILLIAMS], Hicks Creek, S. C. To [Dr. James] Mc[HENRY].



Glad to get McHenry's letter of November 5 from Totowa [N.J.] with its account of the campaign in the north; agrees with McHenry that since the enemy operates in detachments,

they can be easily defeated if the Americans use only common virtue and prudence; doubts that either virtue or prudence will be used; after [Gen. Alexander] Leslie retired from Virginia, the state disbanded her militia and let them take their arms with them; after that, a perfidious Villain [Benedict Arnold], with a very inconsiderable force, landed..., marched 25 miles to the capital... laid her rich inhabitants under contribution, and her Honors in the dust; much personal pride in Virginia, but little national pride; the governor [Thomas Jefferson] is said to boast that he is no military man; if those in high places were not so fond of popularity, Maryland might have a very respectable little military corps; not a single regular regiment among the Maryland, Delaware and Virginia troops, yet those are the only infantry among the Southern Army; the only continental general from those states in the Southern Army is Gen. [Daniel] Morgan; he [Williams] can get no discipline in the Army until the new arrangements are completed; has great need of both food and clothing for his men; everybody was glad to have Gen. [Nathanael] Greene arrive; Gen. [Horatio] Gates was disgraced and unfortunate; Gen. S. [?], the only officer who could hope to succeed Greene, found a way to retire from a difficult field; Gen. M[organ] get a respectable detachment of light troops; Major [Edward] Giles just arrived with the big news that Gen. Morgan defeated and routed Lt. Col. [Banastre] Tarleton, on January 17 near the Cowpens, S. C.; 290 Light Infantry Com[mande]d by Lt. Col. [John Eager] Howard, the 3d Regt. of Lt. Drag[oons] Com[mande]d by Lt. Col. [William Augustine] Washington ab[ou]t 350 from Georgia and So. Carolina Vol[unteers] comd. by Coll. [Andrew] Pickings [Pickens] and 170 Va. Militia comd. [by] Major [Capt. George] Triplet[t] against 1150 British and 50 Tories. The Victory was compleat, Major [Alexander] McArthur and 28 other Com[missione]d officers and 502 Non Comd. and R[ank] and File were made Prisoners between 2 and 300 were left wounded and upwds of 160 kill'd on the Field; Two elegant Standards were taken the 7th [or 71st?] Regt. and the Legion must wear their Coats without facings... the Band of Music of the Legion is ours and the 71st lost their Bagpipes.

A.Df.S. 3 pp. 2 pp., 38 cm. × 23 cm.; 1 p., 29 cm. × 23.5 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: To Doctr. McHenry 23d Jany. 1781.




1781 Jan. 24

[Daniel MORGAN] Sherals [Sherrill's] Ford, N. C. To Otho [Holland] WILLIAMS.



Thanks Williams for the generous sentiments in his letter of January 13; has had a return of the ceatick [sciatic] pain that laid him up for four months last spring; knows his retiring now will have a bad effect, but

to save the continent, he could not stand a winter campaign; asks Williams to speak to [Gen. Nathanael] Greene to give him leave of absence until he is able to take the field again; nothing but the cold bath gives him relief, and he is going to try to get a chair to get home to take the baths.

A.L. Signature cut out. 2 pp. 23 cm. × 18.5 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: From Genl Morgan 24th Jany 1781.




1781 Feb. 2

O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS, Camp Mask's Ferry [N.C.]. To Major [John] MAZARETT.



The General [Nathanael Greene] desires Mazarett to halt the artillery at the forks of the road about two miles below Mountain Creek Bridge; Captain Davis will come to Head quarters for some extra duty; all the men of Captain Finlay's company will be relieved from duty, and their places will be filled by men from the other corps to the number of forty; Capt. Finlay will have two six-pounders, with the best horses procurable, and will be sent to this camp with fifty thousand good musket cartridges; Mazarett will then go to G[u]ilford Court House and receive further orders; he [Mazarett] is authorized to press the horses he needs and to take any corn he finds; the General wishes to see him today if possible; he [Mazarett] will send forward all the good muskets.

A.D.S. 2 pp. 23 cm. × 18.5 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: To Major Mazerett [sic] 2nd Febry. 1781.

On same sheet as entry 94.




1781 Feb. 4

Ben[jamin] WALKER, [aide-de-camp to Baron von Steuben]. To Otho H[olland] WILLIAMS, G[u]ilford Co[ur]t House [N.C.].



The Baron [Frederick William Augustus von Steuben] is on the point of setting out for Cabbin point [?], and asks Walker to acknowledge Williams' three favors of [January?] 7th and 13th Inst., and to say that application will be made to Congress for such an appointment as Williams wishes; will send the books for which Williams asked as soon as he can get them, and will try to get them from the quarter master of this state [?] and from the Board of War; encloses a copy of a resolve [of Congress] about the Department [of the Inspector General].

A.L.S. 1 p. 34 cm. × 21.5 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: From Col. B. Walker Aid De Camp of Baron Steuben 4th Feby. 1781. rec'd 8th Feby. 1781 at Gilford Cot. House.

Enclosure missing.




1781 Feb. 7

James F[rancis] ARMSTRONG, Hillsboro [N.C.]. To [Otho Holland WILLIAMS].



Twenty miles south of Hillsboro he met Col. Thaxton [James Thackston]; Thackston said Capt. Smith with the clothing had expected to find the army at least 15 miles south of Cain's [?] Creek; he [Armstrong] took the liberty of writing to Capt. Smith that Gon. [Isaac] Huger and Williams

intended him [Smith] to send the shirts, overhalls and shoes by pack horse to the army, and to send the wagons, with the spare horses, to Hillsboro; possibly the wagons would fall in with Major Mazarett, who could help them; he [Armstrong] in Williams' name desired Col. [John] Gunby to send on by Pack Horses the Shoes and over Halls here as Capt. Smith has a sufficiency of Shirts. He [?] chooses to wait until Col. [Edward] Carrington, who carries this, arrives at the Army informs the General of his situation, and he receives fresh orders; Armstrong told him [Gunby?] that it was better to have a load of [unnecessary] stores than to let the men suffer [if the stores should prove necessary]; he [Armstrong] can do no more.

A.L.S. 1 p. 35 cm. × 21 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: Doctr. Armstrong. Feby. 7th 81.




[1781] Feb. 7

Abstract of the Effective force of the Army 8th Dec[embe]r [17]80.



Gen. [Nathanael] Greene arrived at Charlotte [N.C.] Dec. 2, 1780, and took command of the army December 4; following is an abstract of the army as of December 8; Continental infantry, Virginia militia, North Carolina militia, artillery, cavalry [numbers, no names of individuals]; abstract of Southern Army which marched from P[ee] Dee river January 29th, 1781, and joined the light infantry and cavalry at Guilford Court House [N.C.] February 7, 1781; questions and answers about the retreat of Gen. [Horatio] Gates, and the retreat of Gen. Greene over Dan river.

Memerandum in hand of Otho Holland Williams. 2 pp. 32.5 cm. × 20 cm.




1781 Feb. 15

Otho [Holland WILLIAMS], Irvins Ferry, Dan River, Va. To Elie WILLIAMS, Washington County, Md.



The enemy have driven them out of the Carolinas and they are now on the other side of the Dan River; inferiority of their forces obliges the General [Nathanael Greene] to retire, and he will probably have to cross Bannister and Stantown [Stanton] Rivers, before he can halt; North Carolina has only about 30 troops in the field and the militia have not joined the General's forces; hopes the Virginia militia will do better; thinks that when they do face about, Cornwallis will have gone too far to retreat; he [Otho H.] commands all the light infantry and cavalry of this army; his friend Gen. [Daniel] Morgan has gene home because of sciatica or rheumatism; [P.S.] thinks the enemy intends to go down the river towards Hallifax.

A.L.S. 2 pp. 32.5 cm. × 20.5 cm.

Endorsed by Otho H. Williams: South 15 Feby 1781. River Dan after the retreat from Gilford No militia andc.




1781 Feb. 21

Otho [Holland WILLIAMS], Irvins Ferry, Dan River, Va. To [Elie WILLIAMS].



Considering the superiority of the enemy, the length of the retreat, the cutting up of the country by creeks and rivers, the amount of their baggage and the scanty means of carrying it, their need of clothing and shoes, the retreat does honor to General [Nathanael Greene]; Lord Cornwallis did not try to pass the Dan river, but, on February 19, faced about and started for Hillsboro [N.C.]; they have 600-800 more militia and are going to recross the river and, in their turn, to push Cornwallis; Col. [William?] Campbell and Col. [Isaac] Shelby, with some rifle men from the back country, will join them [Greene's army] in a day or two; his [Otho H.'s] light troops are now in the act of crossing the river; Dr. Johnson sends his compliments.

A.L.S. 2 pp. 32.5 cm. × 20.5 cm.

Endorsed by Otho H. Williams: 21 February 81. of the Retreat from P.D. to Dan Rivers. face about andc.




1781 Feb. 25

[Alexander SCAMMELL], New Windsor [?]. To Otho Holland WILLIAMS.



Williams' letter of [January] 23rd gave the very welcome news that the Southern Army, instead of retreating before a superior force, had been cutting up the enemy's choicest troops, firing feu de joi, and generally extending its fame; they even hope that Gen. [Nathanael] Greene will be able to take the offensive again soon; does not admit Gen. [Horatio] Gates to any share in the glory; he [Gates] took to himself sole credit for the northern successes, and has sot himself in opposition to the Commander-in-Chief [Washington]; several ships from the West Indies have brought news that Count [Charles-Hector] D'Estaing has taken 6 or 7 ships of the line and between 45 and 95 transports under Commodore [Admiral Samuel] Hood; if this be true, it will be a very pretty preliminary to an honorable and lasting Peace; Northern Army has made only one expedition against the enemy this winter; Gen. [Samuel Holden] Parsons with some 1000 men surprised [Oliver] Delancey's Corps at Mor[r]isania [N.Y.], did much destruction of property and kill'd, wounded and Took about 100 of those villains, with a loss of five killed and 12 or 14 wounded; the Marquis [de Lafayette] has gone into [New] Jersey with about 1000 light infantry; arrival of the 2d Division of the French troops is fully expected; they [the Northern Army] have a comfortable prospect of not lacking food in the next campaign, and expect the states to send into the field their quota of recruits; with the cooperation of the French, their hopes are high, despite the lack of money or credit; Williams asked in his last letter why he [Scammell] had not told him he was leaving the office [of adjutant general of the Continental Army], and Scammell says he did write as soon as he had made up his mind to rejoin his regiment [1st New Hampshire]; will scold all the gentlemen Williams

mentioned in his letter of December 31; expects to be relieved by General Hand this week and retire from head quarters.

A.L. Signature cut out. 3 pp. 31.5 cm. × 19.5 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: From Coll. Scammell 25 February 81.




[1781 Feb.?]

[Otho Holland WILLIAMS].



Gen. [Nathanael] Greene was gone to join the Light Infantry, leaving Major Mazarett with the spare artillery and the heavy baggage; the army, under Brig. Gen. [Isaac] Huger, marched from the Widow Gillespie's up the Pee Dee to Masks ferry; they intended to cross there but a swell in the river and a lack of boats prevented; the artillery later went off to Hillsborough [N.C.] and the army, instead of crossing at Rocky River and going to Salisbury [N.C.], wont to Guilford Court House and joined the Light Infantry.

A.D. 1 p. 23 cm. × 18.5 cm.

On verso of entry 87.


Missing as of 9/22/92




1781 Mar. 10

Otho [Holland WILLIAMS], High Rock Ford on Haw River [N.C.]. To E[lie] WILLIAMS.



Sent by Mrs. [Peter] Bainbridge a long letter to his Sister [Mrs. John] Stull; writes to Elie because he has an opportunity to send a letter; while he [Otho H.] was in Carolina, he got a beautiful old horse named Prodigal, which he sent, by Dory Felmet who drives his baggage wagon, to Prince Edward Court House, Va.; Mr. Cock, an officer of the Maryland State Regiment discharged according to act of Assembly, has offered to take Prodigal home and will hand him over to Elie; Prodigal is old and Elie may, if he likes, exchange him for a younger horse; the women are not to be allowed to ride Prodigal; turns to another [and human] prodigal; young [Peter] Bainbridge, whose imprudence has Exposed him to the Rigours of Martial Law, did not make himself known to Williams, but foolishly deserted the Legion again the day after the surprise of George Town, South Carolina [January 24, 1781]; he [Otho H.] told Mrs. Bainbridge that this morning before she left camp; he can do nothing to help her with the unworthy lad [her son]; [Thomas] Johnson ought in Honor to return the Negroe as I understand matters; young White is not with the Legion, and he [Otho H.] will try to get some easy terms for him, so that he can return to his friends; Sister Stull says the Assembly are still unfair about clerks' fees, and Otho H. hopes this will not worry Elie; reminds Elie that he [Otho H.] has some money in the hands of a friend [Samuel Smith?] in Baltimore, which Elie is to use if he needs it; if Col. [Josias Carvel] Hall has not paid Elie 3000 Dolls for him [Otho H.], Elie is to give him the enclosed note; Mrs. Simms [?] was wise in rejecting the old Catiff; Mrs. Clagett has put Elie and Otho H. under obligation; Otho. H.

does not know when he can return the compliment, but Elie ought to get a Girl and name it Nelly; army has been re-arranged, and he [Otho H.] is free of dangerous duty; parties of observation have been substituted for the light corps; the General [Nathanael Greene] has mentioned him [Otho H.] in general orders often.

A.L.S. 4 pp. 34.5 cm. × 21.5 cm.

Enclosure missing.




1781 Mar. 14

Sam[uel] SMITH, Upper Marlborough. To Otho H[olland] WILLIAMS.



God knows when he has either had a letter or written one; his vessels have met a scene of misfortunes; Williams' risks have done well, save the Cato, a fine brig with -3000 on board, which was driven ashore in the [Chesapeake] Bay; Williams' Fiery Dragon got out with the French ships and will probably fall into the enemies' hands; the enemy got the Statia and may send her cruising for prizes and for information; Williams will profit from a few words squeezed into the law by [Uriah] Forrest; thinks Williams should give a sworn account of the times he has received his monthly payments and should appoint someone to act for him; should do this at once, sending a trustworthy person, if no express offers; he [Smith] is not going to be home, but Forrest will be; glad the state has done justice to her officers, for the certificates will bring high prices; prices of property will be low, since one-fifth of the price must be in hard money, and the certificates are as good as that; the Marquis [de Lafayette] has gone down to Annapolis, with his detachment of 1500 troops, for a convoy of a large part of the French fleet with 2000 French troops from Rhode Island; three French ships en route to Rhode Island took the 44-gun Romulus with 500 troops going to Arndt[?]; report that [Charles-Hector, Count] D'Estaing had taken a part of Hood's squadron is false; thinks, confidentially, that [Col. Josias Carvel] Hall is going to resign; recruits are collecting fast; has another son, who from his size and strength, is intended for the navy; Louis must be the soldier.

A.L.S. 3 pp. 33 cm. × 22 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: From Saml. Smith 14th March 81.




1781 Mar. 16

Otho [Holland WILLIAMS], Speedwell Furnace, N. C. To Elie WILLIAMS, Hagars Town, Md.



Southern Army has once more come off second best in a general action; Gen. [Nathanael] Greene, with some raw recruits as reinforcement, made the best possible arrangement of his men and, for many reasons, decided to attack Cornwallis; the two armies met yesterday about noon at G[u]ilford Court House; North Carolina militia behaved as usual; Virginia militia distinguished themselves by uncommon bravery; regulars also behaved well, but were so inconsiderable in numbers that Greene decided to retire rather than risk a defeat; Cornwallis did not attack their rear; main loss was four pieces of

artillery; lost Major [Archibald] Anderson, an excellent officer, and a few others; action was the longest and severest he [Williams] ever was in; British army was more numerous and better disciplined; does not expect the enemy to follow them far; he [Williams] is exceedingly hearty and but little mortified; his old horse Liberty is alive and behaved delightfully in the battle; much more remains to be said, but he is called to duty.

A.L.S. 3 pp. 34 cm. × 21.5 cm.




1781 Mar. 23

Sam[uel] SMITH, Richmond [Va.]. To Otho H[olland] WILLIAMS.



Wrote to Williams by Capt. [John] Mitchell on his way to Richmond; sent Williams' letter of March 16 to Frederick by Col. [Jonas] Clapham; such a victory [as Guilford Court House] will destroy Cornwallis soon; grieves with him [Williams] at the death of poor [Archibald] Anderson; is setting off for York River [Va.] where he has a very pretty arrival coming if nothing happens; hears, however, that a [British] fleet of 12 sail is just arrived, presumably to intercept the French fleet and have a general engagement; the Marquis [de Lafayette] is at W[illia]ms B[ur]g [Va.], having left 1500 men at An[n]apolis; Capt. [Anthony] Singleton will give Williams more news.

A.L.S. 1 p. 33 cm. × 20.5 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: from Coll. S. Smith 23d March 81.




1781 Mar. 27

Otho [Holland WILLIAMS], Rocky River, N. C. To Elie WILLIAMS, Washington County, Md.



Ten to one this letter never comes to hand; is exceedingly well and in good Spirits; the enemy, fortunate at G[u]ilford Court House on the 15th [of March], was so severely managed that he has had to retire towards Cross Creek on Cape Fear River, leaving seventy odd wounded behind; the Americans are following him, taking prisoners every day; Cornwallis has already gone sixty miles; things are so precarious that he [Otho H.] is none too sanguine of signal success; trusts in the favor of Providence and the abilities of his general [Nathanael Greene]; [P.S.] if Captain [Cornelius?] Cock has arrived with his [Otho H.'s] old horse Prodigal, Elie will take care of him; Otho H. has probable, if not sanguine, hopes of being able to get to Maryland this summer; wants to see his old horse Liberty in the pastures at Millsborough [Washington County].

A.L.S. 2 pp. 33 cm. × 20.5 cm.

Endorsed by Otho H.: 27 March 1781. Camp Rocky river following Lord Cornwallis from Gilford.




1781 Apr. 2

Will HETH, Wales [Va.]. To Otho [Holland WILLIAMS].



Heth in heaven... with one of the most divine little cherubims and cannot take time to write letters; glad to hear from W[illiams?]; head of Heth family feels neglected because Williams has not written; he [Heth] beseeches Williams to do so; Williams requested to seal the enclosed and forward it to Cornwallis' army and to return the package which Mr. Higgins delivered to him.

A.L.S. 4 pp. 23 cm. × 19 cm.

Enclosure missing.

Signature illegible; determined from similarity to others in the collection.




1781 Apr. 19

Resolves of Congress.



Extract from the Journals of Congress on pay and subsistence to be allowed officers returned from captivity.

Contemporary copy [in hand of Otho H. Williams?]. 1 p. 24.5 cm. × 20.5 cm.




1781 May 4

Otho [Holland WILLIAMS]. To Mrs. M[ercy, Mrs. John] STULL.



The Southern Army is now on the west side of the Wateree River about six miles from Camden [S.C.], and 600 miles from Antietam; soon after the bad affair of [April] 25, [1781, at Hobkirk's Hill, S.C.], he wrote Brother Elie about it; the army lost many killed and wounded, and lost also the best possible chance to take the town and the garrison stores; would have succeeded if the troops had behaved as they should have; have been beaten in three major actions and many skirmishes, but are further advanced into South Carolina than ever before; the Southern Army may have to help in Virginia; is in good health and spirits tho' a little like my Coat, grown old in Service; campaigning has been inconceivably fatiguing; since the retreat from the Pee Dee River in January, he has seldom taken off his sword or coat or boots to sleep, his horse has been constantly saddled, and he has eaten when he had anything to eat; however, he is sustaining the fatigue well enough; laments greatly the death of Capt. [William] Beatty [Jr.]; told the General [Nathanael Greene] about him [Beatty], and Greene wrote to Congress and to General [George] Washington about him; will not write to Col. [William] Beatty; will probably not get up to the Warm Springs [Va.] this summer, for Greene has intimated that no officer, especially one of so much consequence as he [Williams], ought to be away from camp; hopes to be able to send this letter by a young man who is being discharged; wrote to Col. [John] Stull from Deep River, North Carolina, asking a favor of considerable importance, and doubts whether his letter arrived; hopes Stull will not take very great trouble to get the money; tells his sister to tell Brother Elie to write and to write herself whenever she can; received lately a letter from an old and valued friend in

the north, which he encloses and asks her to put among his private papers, either in a bundle marked love letters or one marked familiar epistles.

A.L.S. 4 pp. 34.5 cm. × 21.5 cm.

Enclosure missing.




1781 May 21

Capt. John SMITH, Camden [S.C.]. To [Otho Holland WILLIAMS].



Did not get his baggage so soon as he expected, and consequently could not [come to] see him [Williams] without infringing his parole; leaves Camden today for Charles Town [Charleston, S.C.]; would despise the British, was it not my relations; his mother is dependent on him, and if his being made prisoner prevents him from helping her, she must suffer greatly; asks Williams to ask Gen. [Nathanael] Green[e] to have him paroled for a few months.

A.L.S. 1 p. 30.5 cm. × 18.5 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: From Capt. Smith 21st May 81.




1781 May 26

Dr. R[ichard] PINDELL, Charlotte [N.C.]. To Otho H[olland] WILLIAMS.



Had yesterday to amputate the arm of one of their dearest friends; counter openings [drains?] would have allowed the wound to discharge, and might have saved the arm, but the wounded man would not consent, until the arm began to swell; hopes to have him out of bed soon; [James] Bruff is still weak and in danger; Mr. Ball is also not well; Col. [Lewis] Morris [Jr.?] will tell him [Williams] how much they need medicines; many poor fellows are suffering for want of wine; the Col. [Morris] got some from Mr. Forsyth, and he and Bruff and Ball are sharing it; Col. [Benjamin] Ford desires to be remembered to Williams, and asks for some linen which was promised to him for overalls; needs money badly and asks Williams to have the general [Nathanael Greene] return what Williams let him have; wrote to Greene about a horse which he [Pindell] lost at the Cowpens [S.C.].

A.L.S. 3 pp. 31 cm. × 19 cm.

Printed in Maryland Historical Magazine, XVIII: 309, 310, December 1923.




1781 June 1

E[dward] GILES, Mt. Felix, Harf[or]d County. To Otho H[olland] WILLIAMS.



Thanks Williams for a letter from before Cambden [Camden, S.C.]; prospects are not good, and the depreciation of the new emission of paper currency is the main reason why; though the new money has a fund sufficient for its redemption, it has depreciated more in two months than the old Continental currency did in two years; new currency is now 6 to 1, and it has been 8 to 1; the evil flows from want of virtue in the people; unnecessary delays obstruct the progress of public business, that the Public Servants

may have time to join Individuals in pilfering the Public Chest; Copper Face Associations are now taking Place [to encourage the passing of the money at or near its face value] and, if they succeed, the state will be able to send Williams men and money and clothing; 600 and more men, already enlisted, cannot be sent forward for lack of money; Williams had asked in his letter to Col. [Samuel] Smith why, if white men could not be got, negroes were not enlisted; there is talk of raising such a regiment, and Steward [?] wants the command; Giles doubts that Steward can wheedle the Legislature into giving it to him; the danger of training the negroes to arms is the Child of a distempered Imagination; speaks of the Camden disaster only to assure Williams that the people still support Gen. [Nathanael] Greene and love him second only to Washington; gives, very briefly, some late European news; an [French] admiral has arrived, and he and [Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de Vimeur, comte] de Rochambeau and Gen. [George] Washington are meeting at Har[t]ford [Conn.] to plan the campaign; Gen. [Anthony] Wayne will join the Marquis [de Lafayette] at Richmond [Va.] soon; they have had an expedition against the refugees in the Tangier Islands, but found the Bird flown; they burned all the houses on the islands and took a good deal of plunder; longs to be in the field, but Love -- Marriage -- you can guess the Rest; encloses a small tribute to Maj. [Alexander] Anderson.

A.L.S. 7 pp. 31.5 cm. × 19.5 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: From Majr. Giles 1 June 1781.

Superscribed: [per] Dr. McHenry.




1781 June 12

Otho [Holland WILLIAMS], Camp before Ninety Six, S.C. To [Elie WILLIAMS].



Is now so far away that it is most uncertain whether a letter will be delivered, but writes because he is not willing to miss any chance; is well despite great fatigue and danger; Camden [S.C.], Fort Watson [S.C.], Fort Mott[e, S.C.], Fort Granby [S.C.], Nellsons [Nelson's] Ferry [S.C.], George Town [S.C.], Fort Dreadnought [S.C.], and Augusta [Ga.] have all been reduced [by the Americans] or abandoned [by the British]; British hold now only Charles Town [Charleston], [Fort] Ninety-Six in South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia; Pensacola [Fla.] is said to be taken and [St.] Augustine to be under siege by the Spaniards; they have now been besieging Ninety-Six for three weeks and will take it unless the British get reinforcements, a thing Otho H. doubts; most of the inhabitants of South Carolina and Georgia are the most unprincipled, abandoned Vicious Vagrants that ever inhabited the Earth; murders are committed daily by pretended Whigs and reputed Tories; recent American successes have checked the vicious influence of the British, and the fall of Ninety-Six may unite all the people in a confidence in the United States; does not know what is going on in Virginia, but fears the state is suffering for her inactivity last year; hopes to

terminate this tour of duty soon, and to get back to his friends; is happy in my Office, in my Command and in my connections.

A.L.S. 5 pp. 22.5 cm. × 18.5 cm.

Endorsed by Otho H.; Camp before 96. June 12, 81. Succinct acct. and State of the Country.




1781 June 23

Otho [Holland WILLIAMS], Bush river, S. C. To Elie WILLIAMS, Washington County, Md.



War situation has changed materially since Otho H. wrote last; [Francis] Lord Rawdon's retreat from Camden [S.C.] enabled Gen. [Nathanael] Greene to push his operations south, and the enemy have had to abandon all their posts in South Carolina except Charles Town [Charleston] and [the village of] Ninety-Six; Southern Army invested Ninety-Six on May 22, and continued the siege until June 20, when they had to give it up; everyone deserves great credit; Capt. [George] Armstrong of the Maryland Line was killed, and Captain [Perry] Benson and Lieut. [Isaac] Duvall were wounded; one Virginia captain was captured and three subalterns were wounded; of the men, 58 were killed, 69 were wounded and 20 are missing; the Southern Army took one of the redoubts and, in a few days, would have taken the whole, but for the arrival of Lord Rawdon with reinforcements; got into the ditch of the strongest [British] fort, but could not hold it; Lieut. Duvall and Lieut. [Samuel] Selldon [Seldon] were both wounded and Lieut. Selden has since had to have his right arm amputated; does not know what Gen. Greene is going to do next; his [Otho H.'s] worthy little friend Coll. [Benjamin] Ford died a few Days since of the wound he received before Camden [S.C.]; have not enough officers left to command the small remnant of veterans still left; wants to write a long letter to Sister [Mrs. John] Stull, but the conveyance is so very uncertain that he will not give so much time on any impertinent who may have the curiosity to break my Seal; hopes to get home to Maryland in the fall; Greene will grant him any proper indulgence, and he [Otho H.] would not wish to leave the field at any improper time, for fear of disappointing Greene.

A.L.S. 7 pp. 23 cm. × 18.5 cm.

Endorsed by Otho H.: Bush River 23d June 81. Relative to affairs of 96 andc.




1781 July 6

O[tho] H[olland] W[ILLIAMS], Camp Crane Creek [S.C.]. To Maj. Gen. [Nathanael] GREENE.



Encloses report of Capt. [Richard] Anderson who commanded the advance guard on the 4th [of July] when Major [Henry] Hardman was officer of the day; the Major not only neglected, but positively refused to visit Capt. Anderson's guard, or to furnish him [Anderson] with the

parole and the countersign, though ordered to do so; The rude ungentlemanly behavior of Major Hardman was observable on other occasions that Day, and the manner in which he declared his intentional disobedience obliges me to report him. When orders are received with contempt and rejected with insolence examples are requisite to reestablish Subordination -- the basis of Discipline.

Copy in hand of Othe Hollend Williamc. 1 p. 33.5 cm. × 20.5 cm.




1781 Aug. 4

Nat[haniel] RAMSEY, Balt[im]o[re]. To Otho [Holland] WILLIAMS.



Feels as if he had lost something when he quit the army and reconciles himself to the change only by reflecting that he left in the service someone more eager than he was to continue in it; many officers are going at this time direct from Maryland to the [Southern] army; is sending this letter by Mr. [William] Fitzhugh, son of the old Colonel, who seems to have inherited the military and social abilities of the father; young Fitzhugh wants to get into the army and Ramsey thinks it a great undertaking that a young man of wealth, sentiment and education must take the very lowest rank, if he can get even that; favors the British system of buying and selling commissions, so that the army can be kept officerd with Gentlemen; Mrs. Ramsey sends greetings, and wishes to know whether you received a Letter which She dispatched to you last Winter from a fair Hand on long Island; will write often and inform of what passes here, but beleive me I intend it as an Indian Gift.

A.L.S. 2 pp. 33 cm. × 21 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: From Coll. Ramsey 4th Augt. 81 recd. 6th Jany 82.




1781 Aug. 13

[Samuel] SMITH, Balt[imor]e. To Otho H[olland] WILLIAMS.



This will introduce to Williams Mr. Will Fitzhugh, son of Col. [William] Fitzhugh; Mr. Fitzhugh is coming to the Southern Army to get a commission and wishes to get into [Lt. Col. William Augustine] Washington's regiment; Smith asks Williams to help the young man get as high a commission as he can.

A.L.S. 1 p. 25 cm. × 18.5 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: From S. Smith 13th Augt. 81.




1781 Aug. 23

Will HETH, Wales [Va.]. To [Otho Holland] WILLIAMS.



Williams must think himself too big to write to small folk, or he would have sent Heth a reply by Col. Morriss; Williams has doubtless met and liked Heth's friend Grimke; [Peter Bryan] Bruin is married to a sister of Lt. Col. E. Edmonds and lives on the Potomac near Warm Springs [Va.]; his [Heth's] health is better; sends his compliments to Gen. [Nathanael] Greene and family, especially to Major [Edmund] Hyrne; Lt. Kennedy is sensible and modest and deserves Williams' liking.

A.L.S. 4 pp. 21.5 cm. × 17 cm.

Endorsed: From W. Heth Answered 26 Sept.




1781 Aug. 24

O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS, Camp Camden [S.C.]. To Capt. [Walker] MUSE.



Orders Muse to Charlotte [N.C.] to assume the superintendence of the general hospital there in place of Col. [John] Gunby; principal care is to preserve discipline among the soldiers, to prevent desertion and marauding, and to keep the men clean and fed; any soldiers discharged by the director of the hospital are to be sent to camp with an officer or a trusted non-com.; public stores are to be kept securely and used with the utmost possible economy; weekly reports on the sick are to be sent to the orderly office; material circumstances are to be reported as they occur; when he is relieved, Muse is to leave with his successor a copy of these instructions which are to be binding on him [the successor]; By order of the Honorable Major Gl. [Nathanael] Greene.

A.Df.S. 3 pp. 23 cm. × 19.5 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: Instructions to Captn. Muse, Superintending Hospital andc 24th Augt. 1781.




1781 Aug. 29, Sep. 2

E[dward] GILES, Annapolis. To Otho [Holland WILLIAMS].



Capt. [John?] Swan delivered Williams' letter of July the moment he arrived in the city; Giles showed the letter to their mutual friends, and gave a part of it to the printer, a liberty he hopes Williams will excuse; the operations of the Southern Army since Gen. [Nathanael] Greene took command would have reflected additional Lustre on the military Character of... Caesar; Williams had told him of the deaths of [Benjamin] Ford, [William] Beatty [Jr.] and [Archibald] Anderson; has written a poem to the memory of Anderson; Ford deserves to be immortal; Beatty was a promising youth, engaged to marry an amiable girl; George Armstrong was distinguished in his fall and is justly regretted; has been informed that Major [Pinkertham] Eaton was an excellent officer, and [Henry] Lee speaks handsomely of him; asks Williams to give him the leading Traits of the Character and Deaths of all the officers, who have fell in the Southern Department in order that he may write some verse about them; encloses the elegy on Anderson, and a letter addressed to the noble Carl Cornwallis called forth by his [Cornwallis'] letters to Lord G[eorge] Germaine and by an unworthy address to Gen. [Nathanael] Greene published anonymously in the Face of Day; when he [Giles] arrived in Philadelphia with the news of [Gen. Daniel] Morgan's victory [at the Cowpens, S.C.] the people were so crazy with joy that they could not be made to see that they needed to give the Southern Army any further support; so now, the people think [Francis, Lord] Rawdon is fleeing, and the American

army needs no more help from home, a persuasion... so favourable to their natural Indolence that nothing can argue them out of it; a well-disciplined, well-equipped force of 500 men marched from [Annapolis] yesterday; they had been ordered to the South, but Gen. [George] Washington sent them instead to the Marquis [de Lafayette]; 600 more men are at Annapolis and more are enlisting every day; if the credit of the new emission [of paper money] is kept up, the Maryland Line may be nearly completed by the winter; this new emission has private property of double its value pledged for its redemption, and people are pledging themselves to receive it at its specie value; tar and feathers are hinted at for those who do not do so; Williams' news was partly defective; a 50-gun ship with some transports got to Boston and 1500 French troops came in under convoy; many rumors are circulating; the fleet from [St.] Eustatia [W.I.] laden with [Admiral George Brydges] Rodney's plunder, was captured and taken into Brest [France]; 26 ships valued at [UNK]100,000 sterling were taken, the Vengeance and two convoy ships escaped; [Edmund] Burke censured Rodney for persecuting the Jews because Jews have no country to protect them; the French frigates Hermione and Surviliante [sic] captured 20 vessels from a British merchant fleet near the mouth of the St. Lawrence, and New England privateers got some of the remainder; the enemy took two frigates; the British are arousing the anger of the Dutch; the Dutch are on the point of acknowledging the independence of the United States, but only if they [the U.S.] win this campaign; the congress of Vienna has certainly adjourned, probably because the British would not permit the envoy of the United States to be seated as the representative of an independent power; His Excellency [?] will be here next Sunday; he [Giles] is not married and does not know when he will be.

A.L.S. 8 pp. 37 cm. × 24.5 cm.

Enclosures missing.




1781 Sep. 4

O[tho Holland WILLIAMS], Fort Mott[e] on Congaree River, [S.C.]. To Elie WILLIAMS, Washington County, Md.



Army moved August 23, from the high Hills of Santee [S.C.] with the intention of attacking the enemy at Thompson's Farm, half a mile from here; in order to cross the Wateree and Congaree rivers, they had to make a wide circuit, and the enemy meanwhile retired to Nellsons [Nelson's] Ferry, on the Santee, about 40 miles below the confluence of the Wateree and the Congaree; hard to transport the baggage across the large rivers and their marshy banks; [Americans] have more cavalry than the enemy, and the regulars have seen as much service as the enemy regulars; if Col. Steward [Alexander Stuart] risks battle, he will be beaten; if he does not, he must retire a little closer to Charles Town [Charleston, S.C.] with great risk of sickness; more illness in the [American] Army than usual, but not so much as he hears there is in the

British Army; if they do not come to blows within a few days, they will probably retire to the High Hills of Santee, which is much more agreeable than the low Country; Dr. Johnston, who will convey this letter, will give details of the warfare; wrote to Col. [John] Stull a month or so ago, and since then, his [Stull's] friend [Nathan] Brownson has been appointed governor of Georgia; his [Otho H.'s] only ambition is to raise a small family on a little place near Hagars Town.

A.L. Signature partly torn away. 3 pp. 33.5 cm. × 21.5 cm.

Endorsed by Otho H.: S. Carolina 4 Septr 81. Prognostic of the issue of the Battle of Eutaw which was fought 4 days after.




1781 Sep. 11

O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS, Trout Spring [S.C.]. To Elie WILLIAMS, Washington County, Md.



Victory is ours, after one of the bloodiest battles ever fought in America; Gen. [Nathanael] Greene was determined to drive the enemy from the Up Country; he [Greene] drove Lt. Col. [Alexander] Stewart as far as Eutaw [S.C.]; Greene led his forces into action on the morning of September 8, and met the enemy about four miles from this camp; our [the American] vivacity equalled the obstinacy of the enemy, and ultimately the Enemy were defeated and obliged to retire to their Camp; a big brick house there offered refuge to many of them; about five hundred prisoners, including 20 officers, were taken, and the number of wounded is not yet certain; Lt. Col. [William Augustine] Washington, and Lt. [William] McGuire and 27 others were wounded and imprisoned, and a great number now sleep in the Bed of Honor; Our success was so near being compleat that Officers at the door of Coll. Stewarts Head Quarters were killed and taken; Greene withdrew his forces a few miles, to a spring where his men could refresh themselves; the enemy, after destroying a great many stores, abandoned their position on the evening of September 9, leaving many wounded, and about 1000 stand of arms mostly broken; Greene has followed the enemy more than 20 miles, forcing them to give up a strong position about four miles from here, though they [the enemy] had had reinforcements of 300 or 400 men; the enemy are now at Monks Corner [S.C.], about 30 miles from Charles Town [Charleston, S.C.]; hopes soon to be able to take a much-needed post of ease; the Maryland Brigade behaved so well that the General passed on them the highest encomiums in the field; they paid for their laurels in the death of four officers, and the wounding of seven more, none of them Elie's

friends; his [Otho H.'s] horse fell dead in the heat of action, but he himself had no personal hurt; Americans lost forty or more commissioned officers killed or wounded, the enemy lost still more.

A.L.S. 3 pp. 33.5 cm. × 21 cm.


End of Book One




1781 Sep. 23

[Otho Holland WILLIAMS] High Hills of Santee [S.C.]. To Major E[dward] GILES.



Since his last letter, about two months ago, they have had an expedition towards Charles Town [Charleston]; the British army, reinforced by the 3rd regiment, moved, contrary to his [Williams'] expectation, from Orangeburgh to Congaree [river] and encamped at Col. [William] Thompson's plantation, about a mile from Ft. Mott[e]; from early August for several weeks, the two armies were neighbors, separated only by the Santee river; August 23, Gen. [Nathanael] Greene decided either to remove Col. Stewart [Alexander Stuart] who had succeeded [Francis, Lord] Rawdon, or to give him battle; impracticable to cross the Wateree and Congaree rivers which lay immediately in front of them, and, though their confluence [into the Santee] was not far away, it was obviously impossible to cross the Santee below the enemy; they [Greene's forces] had to form a junction with state troops and militia, which they needed if they were to equal the enemy in numbers; Greene therefore marched them to the right; the British thereupon retired to Eutaw Springs, about 35 miles from Thompson's, and about two miles from Nelson's Ferry over the Santee; Greene marched to Burdall's, seven miles from Eutaw, by September 7; September 8, at 4 o'clock in the morning, they moved against the enemy; three miles on the way they halted for a drink and went on; soon the American light troops met the enemy van; militia behaved better than usual; North Carolina Continentals behaved well; the Virginians beat their foes wherever they found them; the remnant of the Maryland Line intrepidly advanced and charged and broke the best enemy troops; Col. [William Augustine] Washington charged the right of the enemy line, but their flank troops were posted there and his horse was shot and he received a bayonet wound in the breast; his [Washington's] cavalry was repulsed and he was made prisoner; American troops, in disorder, were taking prisoners or plundering the Enemy's Camp; the enemy sought refuge in a strong brick house, whence they sent a galling fire on the Americans; Gen. Greene had brought up two six-pounders, and two others taken in battle were also there; just then the British made an honorable and important conclusive effort; Major [John] Marjoribanks made a brisk sally, took the pieces, which he carried to the house; Greene saw the uselessness of further action with only small arms, so he retired, gradually; the Legion cavalry kept the enemy cavalry at bay but did not cut them; the Delaware Battalion and the Legion infantry did well, as usual; Eutaw Spring was within 50 yards of the house, and the nearest water was at Burdell's, so Greene retired there;

the enemy, having buried as many of their dead as they could, retired from the post in the night of the 9th, leaving more than 60 dead unbiried, and 60 or more wounded; the Americans pressed them for 35 miles though they had been reinforced by 400 of Major [Archibald] McArthur's men from Monks Corner; on the night of the 10th, the British retired from a strong position on the south side of Ferguson's Swamp, while the Americans lay five miles away at Trout Spring; the enemy retired to Fair Lawn, below Monks; and the General [Greene] took the [American] army back to the High Hills of Santee, for the expedition was made at the height of the sickly season in this country; there is some sickness in the army, and the sick and the wounded hamper the speed of Greene's movements; has not said enough of the bravery of the American troops; the battle of Eutaw, an example of obstinate fair field fighting, happened on the site of an Indian battle of about a century ago; a mound of earth at the spot of the bayonet conflict is said to have been erected over the remains of the brave Indians.

Unfinished letter in hand of Williams. 4 pp. 38 cm. x 21.5 cm.

For this entry, all places are in South Carolina.




1781 Oct. 10

Return of Ammunition On hand in the First Maryland Regiment Command[e]d by Coll. [John] GUNBY.



Memorandum signed by Jos. Marbury Capt. 1 p. 9 cm. × 16 cm.




1781 Oct. 10

Return of Cartridges On hand in the Second Mary[lan]d Regiment.



Memorandum signed by Hez[ekiah] Foard Lt. Comdt. 1 p. 9 cm. × 14 cm.




1781 Oct. 10

Return of Cartridges on hand in the second Virg[ini]a Detach[men]t.



Memorandum signed by Phil[ip] Eastin [sic] Lt. Q. M. and by J[ohn] Anderson Capt. Com[mandan]t. 1 p. 13.5 cm. × 12.5 cm.




1781 Oct. 10

Return of Cartridges, Good and Bad on hand in the 1st Virginia Detach[men]t.



Memorandum signed by John Crawford Q. M[aste]r, and Thomas Edmunds Capt. Comm[andan]t. 1 p. 10.5 cm. × 15 cm.




1781 Oct. 10

Return of Cartidges in hand, in the North Carolina Brigade Commanded by Majr. [John] Armstrong.



Memorandum signed by J[ohn] Steed, Q. M. and John Armstrong Maj[o]r Com[mandan]t B[rigade]. 1 p. 11 cm. × 15 cm.




1781 Oct. 15

Otho [Holland WILLIAMS], High Hills of Santee [S.C.]. To Elie WILLIAMS, Washington County, Md.



When he writes to one person in Washington [County], he intends the letter for all his relatives and friends there; since the Glorious Victory which our Little Army obtain'd over the British at Eutaw [S.C.], both sides have had enough to do in taking care of their sick and wounded; this is the season for the epidemical fevers in this climate; all the wounded of Maryland are likely to recover save Lieut. [William] Woolford, who must... undergo the awful change in a day or two; vastly more lamentable to lose an officer in sick quarters than in the field.

A.L.S. 1 p. 32.5 cm. × 19.5 cm.

Superscribed: [per] Maj[o]r [Andrew] Waggoner [Waggener].

Endorsed: 15 Octr 81 High Hills of Santee Subsequent to Eutaw affair.




1781 Oct. 26

Elias LANGHAM, Frohawks Mill [N.C.]. To O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS.



Writes on account of Williams' laboratory; 33 men here, all sick, save twelve he got from Charlotte [N.C.]; four others work except when their ague fits are on them; in all, 20 are able to do some work; the men are naked, and have special need of warm clothing; makes 1000 cartridges a day now, and will make more as the men get more trained; Mr. [?] Hines sets off today with 9456 cartridges; has plenty of powder, lead and paper for the present, and is not worried about supplies as they may be needed; five of the men belong to the artillery, 7 to Col. [John] Gunby's regiment, 4 to Col. [John Eager] Howard's, one to Capt. [Richard H.] Kirkwood's Delaware company, 11 to Col. [William, d. 1845] Cam[p]bell's regiment, and 5 to Col. [Samuel] Hawes'; has a supply of spirits for the men from Oliphant's; enquires about the outcome of the trial of Capt. [?] Davis.

A.D.S. 2 pp. 34 cm. × 21.5 cm.

On same sheet as entry 125.

Endorsed by Williams: from Serjt. Langham 26th October 1781 Serjt. Langham of Artillery appointed Superintendent of a temporary Laboratory near Salisbury andc.




1781 Oct. 30

Nicholas GASSAWAY, Charlotte [N.C.]. To O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS, High Hills of Santee [S.C.].



The wounded soldiers of the North Carolina line are in a most deplorable state for want of clothing, and Gassaway asks whether he would be justified in delivering to them clothing intended for Continental troops; has no paper on which to send returns to Williams; there is on hand a large quantity of coarse cloth and he [Gassaway] would be glad of an order for so much of it as would make him a great coat, of which he is much in want; will

be much obliged if Williams will have him relieved from this place.

A.D.S. 1 p. 22 cm. × 21 cm.

On same sheet as entry 126.




[1781 Oct.]

N[athanael] GREENE. To [Otho Holland WILLIAMS].



Williams is to have Langham give the commanding officer at Charlotte [N.C.] or the quartermaster there an account of the articles he needs for the men under him, limiting it to the things the men cannot do without; he [Langham] is to make a detailed report of the distribution of the articles.

A.D.S. 1 p. 34 cm. × 21.5 cm.

On same sheet as entry 123.




[1781 Oct.]

N[athanael] GREENE. To [Otho Holland WILLIAMS].



Williams is to direct the officer at Charlotte [N.C.] to supply the North Carolina troops belonging to the regular corps with clothing on the same standards as he does the Maryland and Virginia troops.

A.D.S. 1 p. 22 cm. × 21 cm.

On verso of entry 124.




1781 Nov. 9

E[dward] GILES, Annapolis. To Otho H[olland] WILLIAMS.



Received Williams' letter enclosing one from Gen. [Nathanael] Green[e] to the Commander-in-Chief [Washington] just as his Lordship beat the Clamade; presented the enclosure, and Washington assured him he would do all he could to render his [Giles'] army situation eligible; Giles was flattored at the great man's attention, and grateful to Greene whose letter called it forth; congratulates Williams also on the success in the battle of Eutaw Springs [S.C.]; did not receive Williams' letter giving the details of Eutaw; he [Giles] lived with Gen. [Benjamin] Lincoln during the siege of York[town, Va.]; Lincoln, as oldest officer, commanded the entire American force; he [Giles] did nothing spectacular in connection with the reduction of Cornwallis, but is proud to have shared in it; hopes that Williams will live long to wear the sword which your Country [Maryland] has awarded you; has no news and no time to write if he had any news; is getting ready to be married.

A.L.S. 2 pp. 31 cm. × 19 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: From Majr. Giles 9th Novemr. 1781 Reference to `a sword awarded.'




1781 Nov. 10

Otho [Holland WILLIAMS], High Hills of Santee [S.C.]. To E[lie] WILLIAMS.



Lt. Col. [John Eager] Howard, a very valuable Officer and Friend, wounded at Eutaw [S.C.], is leaving camp in a day or two, and will forward this letter from

Baltimore; the success of Gen. [George] Washington in Virginia overshadows their [Southern Army's] exploits, but they are still happy, nevertheless; hopes that, when the troops now expected from Virginia arrive, they will be able to lay siege to Charles Town [Charleston, S.C.], the only enemy garrison now left in the state; they [Southern Army] are only the remnant of an army, and can engage the enemy only when the militia bring up their numbers to the fighting point; season has been exceedingly sickly, but the men are now recovering; fall of Charles Town depends somewhat on the arrival of the French fleet which has plenty to do in the West Indies; hopes by next spring to have Charles Town back in the United States, and himself back in Maryland; Gen. [Nathanael] Greene is his friend and has promised him every indulgence consistent with the good of the Service; Col. Isaac Shelby and Col. Severe [John Sevier] with 300 or 400 mountain riflemen are in camp now; heard, a few days ago, of the death of my very Dear friend G[enera]l [Daniel] Morgan; knows that Elie and Sister [Mrs. John] Stull will join him in mourning Morgan; till he gets home, he commits himself to that powr whose eye is over all his Works, and by whose goodness I have been preserved in numerous perils.

A.L.S. 4 pp. 23 cm. × 19 cm.

The only Revolutionary general named Morgan was Gen. Daniel Morgan, who did not die until July 1802. Williams himself received letters from him after this date. See entry 821 - Editor's note.




1781 Nov. 15

[Edward] GILES, Major, Annapolis. To Col. Otho Ho[lland] WILLIAMS.



Mr. Edwd. Rutledge is to deliver letter, therefore Giles can speak freely; inactivity, lukewarmness, and Degeneracy of legislators hard to believe; summoned to meet 10 days ago but have not yet made a House, whereby... we are now without a Governor; wishes we owed less to the Smiles of Heaven and The Exertions of our illustrious allies and more to our own Efforts... our army has done everything... [and Washington] is above Eulogium; urges Williams to leave army and take part in civil government; promises to help him; sends regard to General [Nathanael] Greene; sends letter to Captain Miller and copy of a second address which he [Giles] has written to Cornwallis.

A.L.S. 4 pp. 34 cm. × 21 cm.

Endorsed [by Williams]: From Giles, November 15, 1781; in another hand: Legislature summoned had been two weeks tarrying on attendance by which means the time to appt. a Governor was lost.

Enclosures missing.




1781 Nov. 17

Ed[ward] CARRINGTON, Lieut. Col., Richmond [Va.]. To [Otho Holland] WILLIAMS.



Letter from him [Williams] to Captain Gaines had news of Eutaw Springs [S.C.]; regrets death of Campbell; great success here, Cornwallis surrendered with little fighting; town taken without loss of life, but uninhabitable from shell fire; 7,000 prisoners; sorry Williams is in and out with the widow... 8 or 10 times a day; strong reinforcement to Williams' line coming under [Brig. Gen. Mordecai] Gist, along with [Maj. Gen. Arthur] St. Clair.

A.L.S. 4 pp. 31.5 cm. × 19.5 cm.




1781 Nov. 18

Clement BIDDLE, Philadelphia. To Otho [Holland] WILLIAMS.



Could not omit so good a chance to introduce to him [Williams] an acquaintance, Mr. Benjamin Postell of South Carolina, an officer of the South Carolina Continental troops, since a prisoner in [St.] Augustine [Fla.]; Postell has lived several months in the Biddle family and Biddle asks for him any civility Williams may have to show; Mrs. Biddle and Mrs. Shaw send greetings to Williams.

A.L.S. 1 p. 32.5 cm. × 19.5 cm.

On same sheet as entry 136.




1781 Nov. 22

O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS, Fort Motte [S.C.]. To James FIELDS.



The bearer will conduct to Camden [S.C.] a number of British prisoners; Fields must, despite the inconvenience of caring for them, secure them until something better can be done; hopes Fields can prevent their escape; arms and ammunition expected from Salisbury [N.C.] must come by way of Camden, and Fields will draw a few stand of arms and a few dozen cartridges per man for such of the convalescents as may be able to do guard duty.

A.D.S. 1 p. 32.5 cm. × 19.5 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: To Captn. James Field at Camden 22nd Novr. 1781, and elsewhere on verso: To Captn. Fields 22d Novr. 1781.

Endorsed (not by Williams): Letters from Genl. O. H. Williams.




1781 Nov. 27

Jam[e]s FIELD, Camden [S.C.]. To O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS.



Col. Wade Ham[p]ton has sent Mr. Jackson with 40 or 50 horses to forage on Mr. Lecount's plantation, and Jackson has taken possession of corn and fodder purchased by Mr. Mathis, A[ssistant] D[eputy] Q[uarter] M[aster]; Williams is acquainted with the conduct of those people and with the desolation they leave behind them; Mr. Lecount and Mr. Witiker are the only people in this

neighborhood who can furnish supplies, and if the horses are allowed to forage there, the Hospital cannot subsist, and the quartermaster cannot supply the marching troops and wagons that pass daily; the quartermaster explained to Hampton and asked him to withdraw the horses, but Hampton, claiming it was public forage, refused to withdraw without a positive order from his superior officer; has received 71 British prisoners, and is guarding them as securely as he can; the ammunition wagons of which Williams spoke had already passed before his letter came, and Field did not get the ammunition; asks for 100 flints and some cartridges; has men and muskets enough then to guard the prisoners; has just got from Dr. Vickers enough paper to make the return [that Williams asked for].

A.L.S. 3 pp. 21.5 cm. × 17 cm.




1781 Nov. 29

[Edward CARRINGTON], Lieut. Col., Charlotte County [Va.]. To [Otho Holland] WILLIAMS.



Wrote to him [Williams] on November 17; expected to go on with [Maj. Gen. Arthur] St. Clair but was held in Richmond [Va.] by quartermaster business; asks Williams to help Captain Crump distribute linens which he [Carrington] had persuaded Washington to let him get for the officers; all are debited to him; until he [Carrington] arrives, each officer present is to have a piece of linen, 2 pr. of stockings, 2 handkerchiefs, and some thread and cambric, and must give receipt.

A.L. 4 pp. 31.5 cm. × 19.5 cm.

Endorsed [by Williams]: From Col. Carrington 29th November 81.




1781 Dec. 7

O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS, Fergusons Mills [S.C.]. To Capt. LINDE [?] Dorchester Parish [S.C.].



A number of negroes have been collected, for the purpose of repairing the road from Fergusons Mill to Orangeburgh [S.C.]; the captain is to take charge of the work, to do it as quickly as possible, to prevent the negroes from escaping and to repel any attack that may be made by the disaffected inhabitants of the district; when the work is over, the negroes are to be marched back to Fergusons Mill and allowed to return to their masters; road is to be rendered fit for wagons and artillery to pass without inconvenience.

A.D.S. 2 pp. 14.5 cm. × 18 cm.

Headed by Williams: Warrant to repair the road to Orangeburgh.




1781 Dec. 23

O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS, Round O, S. C. To Clement BIDDLE [Philadelphia].



Received only today Biddle's letter of November 18, by Mr. [Benjamin] Postell, whom he esteems for his merits and will help for Biddle's sake; has received from Biddle not only civilities but even favors, and assures him that he is not ungrateful; his hard service has dulled the edge of

his vivacity, and he is putting all his talents on the business of his profession; has, however, not abated his veneration for the ladies, and greets Mrs. Biddle and Mrs. Shaw.

Copy. 32.5 cm. × 19.5 cm.

On verso of entry 131.




1782 Jan. 19

E[dward] GILES, Major, aide-de-camp to General [Daniel] MORGAN, Annapolis. To [Otho Holland] WILLIAMS.



Has had only one letter from Williams in last 3 months; sends papers about Mr. S[amuel] Chase's Tryal and Acquittal; rumour that Chase had divulged a secret resolve of Congress was based on report which Colonel [Jeremiah] Wadsworth opened; Chase tried in vain to get hearing; Chase dragged in Charles Carroll of Carrollton and people came to think Chase innocent; General [John] Cadwallader finally had to prosecute; Chase sends his compliments to General [Nathanael] Greene and General [Arthur] St. Clair and to Williams.

A.L.S. 4 pp. 34 cm. × 21 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: from Major E. Giles, 19th Jany 1782. Relative to Mr. Chase's trial.




1782 Feb. 2

[Otho Holland WILLIAMS, Pon-pon, S.C.].



Remarks andc. [by Williams on David Ramsay's notes toward a history of the Revolutionary War].

In hand of Otho Holland Williams. 12 pp. 30 cm. × 18.5 cm.

Enclosed with entry 139.




1782 Feb. 2

O[tho] H[olland] W[ILLIAMS], Pon-pon, S. C. To Dr. [David] RAMSEY [Ramsay].



Has run hastily through the sheets which Ramsay sent him, and has freely made remarks upon them; his only purpose was to furnish incontrovertible truths such as only army gentlemen would know; begs pardon if he has seemed to want to perpetuate his own name or that of friends; has regarded the credit of the historian.

A.L.S. 1 p. 30 cm. × 18.5 cm.

For enclosure see entry 138 on the last page of which this is written.




1782 Feb. 2

O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS, Camp at Pon-pon [S.C.]. To Dr. [David] RAMSEY [Ramsay].



Is quartered at Mrs. Hayne's; has run through the sheets which Dr. Ramsay sent him, and has made remarks on them, for the sole purpose of furnishing uncontrovertible truths such as only army men would know; begs forgiveness if he seems to have wanted to perpetuate his own name or those of his friends.

A.Df.S. 1 p. 33.5 cm. × 20 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: To Doctr. Ramsey with Notes remarks andc 2d February 1782.

For A.L.S. see entry 139.




1782 Feb. 4

David RAMSAY, Jacksonborough [S.C.]. To [Otho Holland] WILLIAMS.



Grateful for the changes in his notes which Williams apologized for making; returns Williams' papers, having made from them all the notes he needed; encloses the skeleton of a continuance of Williams' narrative which he would be glad to have him complete; if he [Williams] can do that, he might send it to Philadelphia, for he [Ramsay] is setting out for there in a fortnight; hopes to see and talk to Williams before you go; perhaps they will meet in Philadelphia.

A.L.S. 1 p. 23 cm. × 19 cm.

Enclosure missing.




1782 Feb. 14

Sam[uel] SMITH, Balt[imore]. To Otho H[olland] WILLIAMS.



Glad to get several letters from Williams, by Britt with the indigo, by Col. [John Eager] Howard, and by express; the indigo market is not very good, and he is holding it for a better one; in a few days his [Smith's] brig, the Otho, Capt. Martin, is sailing for France, and he is shipping part of Williams' indigo on her; she should return in five months; if she gets back safely, it will treble the investment, if she is lost, Williams will be a broken merchant; named a fine boat that sailed yesterday the Eutaw, in honor of a friend; the General [Nathanael Greene] has done so much since he went south that the people were beginning to compare him to [George] Washington; [Gen. Arthur] St. Clair's arrival will give him [Williams] more companions and more competitors in the field [for popular favor]; people ascribe the success at Eutaw to Williams, and rate him next to Greene; [Josias] Carvil Hall's mother died a few days ago, leaving him her sole heir to something handsome; [Uriah] Forrest is in the Assembly and is becoming quite a speaker; he [Forrest] is commissioner of taxes at 50/ per day and other advantages; [Nathaniel] Ramsey is making a fortune by that commission; Gen. [William] Smallwood is quiet in Annapolis; the assembly fixed his per diem allowance at a definite sum, but he fairly Bullied them into an unlimited allowance; does not know how Smallwood will avoid the Minister at War's all powerful hand; all the Houses in the Forrest have remained open since Howard's return; his [Howard's] want of address may prevent his having as much consequence as his bravery should get him; in Maryland, whenever an officer is fit for a civil post, he gets it over competitors; party feeling runs very high, as perhaps in a commonwealth it should do; Williams' description of Round O [S.C.] is beautiful; advises Williams to get married and have a family, like his own Louis and little John; Mrs. [Nathanae] Green[e] made a very short stay in town; is not sure that a peace will come, following the defeat of the British favorite general [Charles, Lord Cornwallis], though many think it will; this will be handed to him [Williams] by Mr. McCall of South Carolina, a most excellent young man, for whom Smith asks Williams' attention.

A.L.S. 2 pp. 39 cm. × 24 cm.




1782 Feb. 19

W[illiam] SMALLWOOD, Annapolis.



[Instructions to colonels] to prosecute the recruiting service by every exertion in their power; they will avoid enlisting British deserters; men must be 5 feet 4 inches, sound in limb, under fifty years and preferably under forty years old; in enlisting Europeans, thorough enquiry must be made, for many of this class of Men make a practice of enlisting with no other view but to go off with the [bounty] Money; bounty is 16 silver dollars for three years, and 20 for the war; where the recruit is extremely likely, the bounty may be up to 8 Guineas for three years and 10 Guineas for the war; trained soldiers may get 10 Guineas for 3 years and 12 Guineas for the war; recruiting officer is to get one Guinea for each recruit he enlists; recruits are to be sworn as soon as they are enlisted, and their enlistments entered in a book from which weekly or, in necessary cases, monthly returns are to be made to Annapolis; temporary stations are to be set up at Baltimore, Frederick, George Town, Port Tobacco, head of Elk [Elkton] and Cambridge, where the men are to be supplied with provisions until they can be sent to Annapolis to be clothed, armed and disciplined; in order to reinforce the Southern Army, all soldiers to whom notice can be got are to be ordered to rendezvous at Annapolis; recruiting officers in the upper district of the Western Shore are Capts. [Richard] Anderson, [David] Lynn and [William] Lamar, and Lieuts. [Roger] Nelson, [John] Lynn and [Benjamin] Fickle.

D.S. 3 pp. 39.5 cm. × 24 cm.




1782 Mar. 4

R[oger] NELSON, Frederick Town. To [Otho Holland WILLIAMS].



Ill fortune keeps him here, instead of in the field with the army; being captured at his first set out has been the first reason why he has been so long inactive; is now recruiting for the 5th Regiment, to which, through his [Williams'] favor, he belongs; thanks Williams for recommending him to the Governor and Council while he [Nelson] was a prisoner, and so getting him higher rank than he could have expected; sorry to be no longer in Williams' own regiment; hopes to be back in camp by the first of July; the State has discontinued furnishing clothing to the officers, and, in lieu thereof, is to give them a new emission of money to be taken on account; officers must take it at par with specie but can pass it only at two or two and a half to one, a flagrant injustice; Frederick people are very gay; Williams' niece at school here is a charming, pretty, sensible little Girl.

A.L.S. 2 pp. 34 cm. × 21 cm.




1782 Mar. 12

Thad[deus]KOSCIUSZKO, Colonel. To Colo. [Otho Holland] WILLIAMS.



Encloses letter from Mrs. Hayne, good clever sensible woman, who sends compliments to Williams; setting out at once on business; no news; rumor that enemy had burned Quater House; everybody in love; Col. Morris in love with Miss Nancy Eliot and displays vast store not seen before of humourous spritty [sic] disposition; Mr. Kean sends compliments.

A.L.S. 4 pp. 32.5 cm. × 20.5 cm.

Endorsed [by Williams]: From Kosciuszko 12th Mar. 1782.

Enclosure missing.




1782 Apr. 8

John KEAN, Camp near Bacon ['s] Bridge [S.C.]. To [Otho Holland] WILLIAMS.



Glad Williams is now at home, and wishes he were home, too; camp has been moved from where it was when Williams left, and they are now 25 miles from Charlestown [Charleston, S.C.]; some think [Maj. Gen. Alexander] Leslie will come out and fight, some doubt it; American infantry and cavalry were sent on a five-day expedition to the north side of the Cooper River after a party of the British; events of the war have run almost parallel courses in the north and in the south; north had a gloomy '76, the south a gloomy '80; north had Trenton, the south Cowpens; north had their Burgoynade, we our Cornwalliad; but the south has not yet had a mutiny; letter will be forwarded by Gen. [Arthur] St. Clair, on his way to Pennsylvania; an enemy party in St. Thomas' parish took their [Kean's and Williams'] friends [Major Edmund] Hyrne and Judge [Capt. Nathaniel] Pendleton; Hyrne was paroled at once, but Pendleton was imprisoned; he [Kean] saw Barre [?] the other day at Accabee [S.C.], and Barre remembered his [Williams'] kindness to him at Camden [S.C.].

A.L.S. 4 pp. 24 cm. × 19 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: From Mr. Kean 8 April 1782.




1782 Apr. 10

Jos[iah] HARMAR, Camp near Bacon's Bridge [S.C.]. To Otho H[olland] WILLIAMS, Baltimore.



Acknowledges the receipt of Williams' letter of February 17 [1782] from Camden, with its list of men furloughed, transferred and discharged from there; nothing worth writing about has happened since Williams left; the Assembly broke up February 27, after it had passed several confiscating laws; March 18, Capt. [Michael] Rudolph took the gallery Alligator by stratagem, and made prisoners of the captain and twenty or more sailors; they stayed at Pon-pon until March 22, when they moved 8 miles to Stone Church; March 24, they took their present position at Bacon's Bridge and will probably stay there until the enemy feel like fighting; the present enemy force in Charleston, James Island and the Quarter House is at least 3000 effective fighting men; Gen. [Nathanael] Greene

is ready for them when they come out; a fews days ago the Tories, merchants andc in Town to the number of Twelve hundred, petitioned General [Alexander] Leslie to march out and drive away Genl. Greene otherwise they must starve; Gen. [Anthony] Wayne commands, in Georgia, [Col. Anthony Walton] White's regiment of dragoons, a recently arrived detachment of Virginia infantry, and a few militia, perhaps 600 men in all; the enemy have in Savannah [Ga.] at least 900 men; asks for any northern news, especially from the Adjutant General's Department; encloses a letter for him [Williams] possibly from Col. Walter Stewart.

A.L.S. 3 pp. 22.5 cm. × 18.5 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: From Col. Harmer 10th Apl. 82.

Enclosure missing.

All places in this entry not otherwise indicated are in South Carolina.




1782 Apr. 22

The United States in Congress.



Resolved that, from May 1, 1782, all resolutions of Congress about the rations, subsistence or allowances of officers, except the allowance to the general commanding the Southern Army [Nathanael Greene], are repealed; scale of rations and monthly subsistence is set up; Major General 5 rations a day and 31.60/90 dollars monthly, ward masters 1 ration daily; line officers on temporary staff duty draw rations and subsistence according to their line rank; no allowances to be made for rations due and not drawn.

Copy. 2 pp. 34 cm. × 21.5 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: Resolves of Congress 22d April 1782. respecting Rations and Subsistence for Officers.

Printed in Journals of the Continental Congress: Library of Congress edition, vol. XXII, pp. 205, 206; 1800 edition, vol. VII, pp. 271, 272.




1782 Apr. 22

W[illiam] JACKSON, Philadelphia, To [?] McCALL.



McCall's letter to [Matthew] Clarkson, assistant secretary at war, was opened by him [Jackson] as Clarkson's successor in office; McCall's reasons for going on the journey are so conclusive that Jackson cannot urge him to return; intended to write a long letter, but the present conveyance is so good that he cannot pass it by; Capt. [Thomas?] Moultrie will convey the letter and an account of Gen. [Robert] Howe's trial.

Contemporary copy signed by Jackson. 4 pp. 23 cm. × 19 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: A very sentimental, florid, affectionate epistle frm. Jackson to McCall 22d Apl. 82 Copy.




1782 May 9

The United States in Congress.



General [Nathanael] Greene, having represented to Congress that, since the Maryland Line was about to be formed into two brigades, the appointment of a brigadier general was expedient, had recommended Otho H[olland] Williams for that office; the recommendation had been supported by the Commander-in-Chief [George Washington]; therefore Rosolved that... Colonel O. Williams... be and hereby is appointed a Brigadier General in the Army of the United States.

Contemporary copy signed by Cha[rle]s Thomson, Sec[retar]y. 1 p. 33 cm. × 21 cm.




1782 May 9

Danl [UNK] cover note for [UNK]





1782 May 11

The United States of America in Congress, Philadelphia. To Otho Holland WILLIAMS.



Commission of Williams as Brigadier General in the Army of the United States, to take rank from May 9, 1782.

Signed by John Hanson, Presid[ent], and by B[enjamin] Lincoln, Secretary at War. Seal of the United States attached.




1782 June 1

O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS, Annapolis. To Gen. [Nathanael] GREENE.



Desires very gratefully to acknowledge that I feel myself principally indebted to you for my late very Honorable promotion; had been coming to feel uneasy in his old situation; could not tear himself away from the delightful dissipations of Philadelphia until about ten days ago; had not the money for a journey to Washington's headquarters, so he came back to Baltimore; Baltimore was dull and gloomy, for most of the merchants had suffered exceedingly by the late uncommon interruption to commerce, so he came to Annapolis, where the assembly is sitting and where the politor class of people forms a Society that bears a com[e]ly resemblance of the more brilliant circles in Philadelphia; everyone praises Greene as highly as his friends could wish; all his [Greene's] old adversaries are silent; fears that not much will be done for Greene, in cash from Philadelphia or recruits from Pennsylvania; the Clothier General said he had forwarded a considerable quantity of coats, shirts, and overalls, and that shoes were contracted for in Virginia and the Carolinas; he [the C.G.] promised to have made up 3000 or 4000 waistcoats with sleeves, of some light woolen stuff he had not known how to use; Gen. [William] Smallwood said today that in a very few days he would have about 200 recruits ready to march, and that they are to be armed in Virginia; the arrival of the Alliance with clothing and ordnance stores relieved a great shortage; no authentic account of the late great naval engagement had come to Congress by May 28th; much money had been bet on the outcome in Philadelphia; the British ministry are said to be trying the fidelity of the French and Americans by peace propositions which France has rejected and which America will soon reject; Mr. [John] Jay expects soon to be

publicly received at the Spanish court as the plenipotentiary of the United States; proposes, by Greene's leave, to help Gen. S[mallwood] in the recruiting service; is going to make a short visit to the western end of the state; sends compliments to Mrs. Greene; saw George [son of Nathanael Greene] in Philadelphia; the [Charles] Pottits are passionately fond of him [George Greene] and he begins to be a very affably polite little fellow.

A.Df.S. 6 pp. 25 cm. × 20 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: To Gonl. Greene 1 June 1782 Private.




1782 June 2

O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS, Annapolis. To Gen'l [George] WASHINGTON.



Thanks Washington for his influence in his [Williams'] promotion; detained at Philadelphia and hurried thence to Annapolis before General Assembly adjourn; interested in a little business and desirous that Assembly provide for Maryland line men now bogging their way from the Southern army without provisions or clothes and in poor health; [Gen. William] Smallwood helping his address, and they have hope of succeeding; he [Williams] to remain in Maryland until [Gen. Nathanael] Greene summons him; glad to serve in Northern Army if vacancy occurs; sends compliments to Mrs. Washington and his friends at headquarters.

A.Df.S. 4 pp. 34.5 cm. × 21 cm.

Endorsed: To genl. Washington 2d June 82.




1782 June 3

-------[?] Ann[apoli]s. To the General Assembly of Maryland [Annapolis].



Memorial on behalf of the non-commissioned officers and soldiers of the Maryland Line is addressed to the Assembly; the conduct of these men has been irreproachable and even meritorious; numbers have been disabled, not only from further fighting but even from gaining their own subsistence; the establishment of a Continental Corps of Invalids has not only not done all that Congress hoped, but has made it necessary, very often, for the unfortunate men to exile themselves from their own state and their friends for a precarious supply of clothing and provisions, under officers not acquainted with them and hence not so solicitous about their ease and comfort; many of the men have considered begging less humiliating, and some have become a pest to society; some, discharged from the Southern Army, are begging their way through the Carolinas and Virginia; the Assembly is asked to establish within the State a Corps of Invalids for all the non-effective soldiers of the line from Maryland, under the command of a sufficient number of officers; the corps might serve as a defence garrison, or as a training school for new levies, or it might be able to make some of the supplies for its own

subsistence; the establishment of such a corps would render other men more inclined to enter into the service.

Df. in hand of Otho Holland Williams. 3 pp. 40 cm. × 26 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: Address to the Assembly of Maryland to make provision for Invalid Soldiers of Maryd. line 3d. June 1782.




1782 June 6

N[athanael] GR[EENE], near Bacon ['s] bridge [S.C.]. To [Otho Holland WILLIAMS].



Has had only one line from Williams since he left camp, though Capt. [Thomas] Shubrick had a letter very recently; Capt. [Jonathan] Sel[l]man is setting off so soon that Greene cannot write as long a letter as he would like; campaign operations now are insipid; overtures for a suspension of hostilities open a great field for speculation, though he [Greene] does not think a peace will come soon; Those in Charlestown [Charleston, S.C.] refuse to drink the King's health; Gen. [Anthony] Wayne just dispersed a large party of the enemy in Georgia under Col. [Thomas] Brown, and killed 40 or more and made 20 prisoners; Greene's forces, not strong when Williams left, are less so now; most of the North Carolina line and some others are discharged; officers are less harmonious than they were; [Lt. Col. Peter] Adams and [Lt. Col. John] Steward [Stewart] will never agree; cavalry and light troop officers do not think highly of the abilities of [Col. John] Laurens; army discipline is as rigid as ever; in order to stop a threat of mutiny, Greene hanged a sergeant and sent away five others, including Peters, the steward; [Col. William Leigh] Pierce and [Major Nathaniel] Pendleton are as polite as ever, and [Col. Lewis] Morris as careless; [Major Robert] Burnett is as cross as ever and Shubrick as independent; Morris is courting, and is now ill at Mrs. Elliot's; [Col. William Augustine] Washington is married; Mrs. Greene is not well but is gay and cheerful, so that in Charleston they call her the French lady; she laments Williams' absence from the army; the hope of an evacuation has caused a halt in the bringing in of supplies, and the army is almost literally naked; would be glad to know how things are going in Maryland; hears Col. [Henry, Light Horse Harry] Lee is married, and asks whether it is true.

A.L.S. 6 pp. 33 cm. × 20.5 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: From Gl. Greene No 26th June 1782.

Lee married his cousin Matilda Lee, heiress of Stratford, early in 1782 - Editor's note.




1782 July 7

O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS, Annapolis. To Governor T[homas] S[im] LEE.



Communicates to the Governor the complaints of the Maryland line now with the Southern Army; Maryland troops have endured fatigue and danger with firmness and their complaints

have always been humble and respectful; generals in charge of the Southern Army [Horatio Gates and Nathanael Greene] have been satisfied with their behavior; they are the only troops that have constantly kept the field since the spring of 1780 without a shilling of pay, real or nominal, without a[n adequate] supply of clothing... and without any other subsistence than... they have occasionally collected by force of arms; they have stood the neglect of their country [Maryland] without mutiny or disaffection; others, onlisted in the same service with them, have received bounties for three years when they got none; all the corps reinforcing them have received cash for pay and subsistence before they would leave the state where they were recruited; the officers, of course, will submit to every sort of injustice, but the common soldiers, being men of less consideration, may cause trouble; asks the Governor and Council to petition Congress to have the minister of finance take part of the specie raised in Maryland for the pay of the Maryland troops; speedy action of this sort would silence the compliants of the soldiers.

A.Df.S. 4 pp. 33 cm. × 21.5 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: Address to His Exc[ellenc]y Gov. Lee 7 July 1782.




1782 July 10

G[eorge] WASHINGTON, Head Quarters [Newburgh, N.Y.]. To [Otho Holland] WILLIAMS.



Has Williams' polite letter of July 2; would have been glad to congratulate Williams personally on his promotion, and assures him now that your Merit, more than any Interest of mine, influenced Congress; hopes Williams' application to the [Maryland] legislature for the sick and wounded will succeed; if the present inactive state should come to an end, he [Washington] would be glad to have him here, if he could do so with propriety.

L.S. 2 pp. 32.5 cm. × 20 cm.

Enclosed with entry 161.

Published in The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799, John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., vol. XXIV, pp. 414, 415, under date of July 9, 1782.




1782 July 20

O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS, Hagars Town. To Gen. [William] SMALLWOOD.



Col. [Moses] Rawlings will deliver this, and will bring Williams a few hundred pounds, if Smallwood can exchange cash for bills which he [Rawlings] has to pay to the intendant of finance [Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer]; has not yet fully recovered from the illness he had in Baltimore; at Frederick the [recruiting] officers want money and music; Hagars Town lacks these, and also provisions and recruiting officers; can do nothing here

until he has the means, not only to recruit men but to subsist them; on his return from Bath [Va.] he will try to give Smallwood a comprehensive account of the recruiting and the money matters in this district.

A.Df.S. 1 p. 33.5 cm. × 21.5 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: To M[ajor] Gen. Smallwood 20th July 1782.




1782 July 22

O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS, Hagars Town, Md. To Gen. [Nathanael] GREENE.



Greene's letter of April 22 [1782] was delivered to him here a week ago; knows how embarassed Greene's command has always been, and was therefore alarmed by the appearance of mutiny; knows Greene put down the mutiny, but does not see how he was able to answer the just complaints of the mutinous men; presents that have been given to Greene in the southern states have created some jealousy against him; people ask him [Williams] whether a good understanding exists between the Commander-in-Chief and Gen. Greene, and, of course, he always says it does; this place is so retired that he does not know what is going on abroad; has the rheumatism and is going to Bath [Va.] to get rid of it; recruiting is slow; the detachment at Annapolis has not yet moved, though Gen. [William] Smallwood told him a fortnight ago that it would go in a very few days; Mr. [Roger] Nellson [Nelson], a lieutenant in the Maryland line, has been told he is appointed a lieutenant in Col. [George] Baylor's Dragoons; he [Williams] likes the young man, and bespeaks Greene's interest in him.

A.Df.S. 2 pp. 39.5 cm. × 24 cm.




1782 July 24

S[amuel] SMITH, Balt[imor]e. To Otho H[olland] WILLIAMS.



Received Williams' letter by Earhart [Erhart?] at a most difficult time; however he is forwarding by Erhart a balance of [UNK]7/16/8 cash and a draft for [UNK]101/13/8; John Smith is in Philadelphia and on his honor he [Samuel] cannot pay now what John owes; he even had to borrow [UNK]40 of what he is sending; the French Fleet is here now, and will probably stay; sends by Erhart a newspaper will all the news.

A.L.S. 1 p. 22.5 cm. × 18 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: From Coll. S. Smith 24 July 1782.




1782 July 26

[William SMALLWOOD] Annapolis. To [Otho Holland] WILLIAMS.



Is not in his power to exchange cash for bills, else he would have complied with Williams' requisition by Col. [Moses] Rawlings; the last money came from the Havanna, and was received by him [Smallwood] from the intendant [of revenue, Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer]; the Governor and Council have demanded it of the intendant, and he [Smallwood] does not know what will happen; if he has to refund it, he is going to make immediate application for it to -------; is sure he will

be able to get for Williams what money he wants before the [UNK]400 that Col. [John] Stull carried up last week is gone; Capt. [William] Lamar and Lt. [John] Lynn both were supplied here last week, but it is not yet sure that the executive will furnish subsistence at Hagars Town; he will keep on urging that this be done; the defence of the [Chesapeake] Bay and the equipping of the barges seem to be all that can be attended to here now; transmits to Williams the enclosed letter just received from [Gen. George] Washington.

Signature cut out. 2 pp. 23 cm. × 19 cm.

For enclosure see entry 157.




1782 Sep. 9

Sam[uel] SMITH, Balt[imor]e. To Otho H[olland] WILLIAMS.



Williams' brother [Elie] will tell him that Smith lost his little Saint [vessel?] the day Williams' letter came; his [Elie's] speculation in flour will do very well, for flour is now 18/6 or 19/; his [Smith's] misfortunes come too thick; the Otho has never been heard from, and he has lost a quarter of the Race Horse, a very fine brig[antin]e, and 1/8 of a fine ship; would have made as much money in the army, and might have gained honor; has [UNK]240 worth of soldiers' certificates, which he wishes Otho H. to invest for him, or to purchase from him.

A.L.S. 1 p. 34.5 cm. × 21 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: From Col. S. Smith 9th Septr. 1782.




1782 Sep. 10

O[tho] H[olland] WILLIAMS. To the State of Maryland.



Statement of Williams' account with the State of Maryland; lots 30, 31, 32 Monocasy [Monocacy] Manor, 412 acres in all; paid [UNK]2,455/0/0; balance due Williams, for deficiency of acreage in one lot, [UNK]80/11/4½.

A.D.S. 2 pp. 21 cm. × 17 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: State of Maryland ac/ with O. H. Williams Principal 80. 11. 4½ Interest.




1782 Sep. 17

N[athanael] GREENE, Ashley River [S.C.]. To [Otho Holland] WILLIAMS.



Answered some time ago Williams' letter of June 1, and congratulated him on his promotion [to Brigadier General]; the promotion was not quite satisfactory to the Colonels of the Army; when the United States was formed into districts Williams had a right of promotion, but before he could be promoted, the right was repealed, and the promotion took place according to merit; the colonels feel injured by the comparison that their merit was less than Williams'; Col. Pin[c]kney [Thomas or Charles Cotesworth?] wrote to Greene and also to Congress about it, and Greene suspects other colonels will do the same; peace seems probable, but he will not believe it

until it is signed and sealed; Georgia is now evacuated and [Anthony] Wayne acquitted himself well; sufferings for lack of clothing and provisions have been great; he [Greene] has had a dispute with the Legion which has been referred to Congress, but you know I never regard opposition where I am persuaded I am in the way of my duty; Poor [John] Laurens is fallen in a paltry little skirmish [near Combahee Ferry, S.C.].... The love of military glory made him seek it upon occasions unworthy his rank.... his father will hardly survive it [his death]; the officers of the Legion had opposed Laurens in his command; has heard from [Henry, Light Horse Harry] Lee but once since he left camp; hears he [Lee] is married to a very wealthy lady and will never rejoin the army; Lee is said to feel that Greene has not done him justice in his public accounts, but Greene feels he has; the Southern states have done generously by him [Greene] and he would like to close the business here honorably for them and for himself; Southern Army has contributed not a little to the glory of the nation and the American Arms, yet his [Greene's] conduct is regarded jealously by those in power; ostensibly, some of his letters of last March commenting on his needs is the reason, but he thinks the real reason is the public interest in him and the handsome way the Southern states have treated him; a recent arrangement of the Army will lay aside most of the Southern officers; Gen. [Mordecai] Gist is very ill, and Lt. Col. [John Eager] Howard and Major [Joseph] Eggleston [Egleston] are both away, ill; Mrs. Greene and he have hitherto escaped the fever, but [Lewis] Morris, [William] Pearce [Pierce] and [Major Nathaniel] Pendleton have all been ill, and yesterday [Capt. Thomas] Shubrick came down with a fever; Mrs. Greene bids Williams get married.

A.L.S. 11 pp. 25 cm. × 18.5 cm.

Endorsed: Laurens Death Lee discounted Viewd with Jealousy and Envy A highly confidential letter.




1782 Oct. 15

Chas. PETTIT [asst. quarter-master general], Philadelphia. To [Otho H. WILLIAMS].



Thanks for friendly letter of October 5; glad Williams' health is better; great dishonesty and knavery; had letter from Gen. [Nathanael Greene] August 29; Greene expects Charleston [S.C.] to be evacuated by October 1; death of Col. [John] Laurens a real loss to the United States; he [Pettit] working to restore public credit; Rhode Island holding up 5% duty on imports; Gen. [Charles] Lee died [October 2, 1782] and left a will but his debts will leave nothing to fulfill the bequests; Miss [Rachel?] Cox to marry Mr. [Col. John?] Stevens this week; has not seen his son George Greene since June; Mrs. Pettit and their daughter send compliments and thanks for polite remembrance.

A.L.S. 4 pp. 24 cm. × 19.5 cm.

Endorsed: From Col. Pettit, 15th October, 1783.




1782 Oct. 26

E[lie] WILLIA[MS], colonel, Hagars Town. To [Otho H. WILLIAMS, Frederick].



He [Otho H.] presumably has the [UNK]89.17.6 which the writer sent by Mr. Nailor who was going to Frederick; suggests that in order to get money for Mr. [Thomas?] Johnson's bonds he might get Johnson [Jr.] to advance some castings... pots, Kettles, Dutch ovens and a few Stoves; Nailor told him [E. Williams] that Mr. Thom Gaunt [or Gannt] near Frederick has Negroes for sale.

A.L.S. 2 pp. 33 cm. × 21 cm. Part of signature torn.

Endorsed by Otho H. Williams: From E. Williams, 26th October 1782.




1782 Nov. 12

N[athanael] GREENE, Ashley River [S.C.]. To [Otho Holland WILLIAMS].



Received [Williams'] letter of October 1 a day or so ago; sorry he has such bad rheumatism, and urges him to be persevering and patient in the use of the waters; would be happy to have him in the field but has no command for even the officers now with him; all except one regiment each of the Pennsylvania and Maryland Lines are going home in a day or so; Gen. [Mordecai] Gist has been ill ever since Combahee where [Col. John] Laurens fell [August 27, 1782]; Delaware troops are also going home; first and third regiments of light dragoons are now incorporated into one, under the command of Major [John] Swan for the present, but [Col. George] Baylor and [Col. William Augustine] Washington are arranged [sic] to it; Congress and the Board of War are going to keep only full corps in the field, and where a state has not enough to form a corps, to have the number of officers proportional to the men; for this reason, many [of Williams'] officers are to return; this was done after he [Greene] wrote [to Congress] last spring urging the formation of permanent commands; Lt. Col. [Josiah] Harmar takes command of the Pennsylvania regiment and Major [?] Edwards is adjutant general; thinks the enemy will be all gone by a day or two; there were 18,000 [enemy] troops in the Southern Department last year, besides more than 2,000 militia and 1,000 Negroes, an amazing difference between their forces and ours; does not yet know how he and his forces will spend the winter; expects a great frolic when they enter Charlestown [Charleston, S.C.], and Mrs. Greene hopes there will be a ball; Mr. [Richard?] Berresford [Beresford], that railer against matrimony is married to Mrs. Elliot: they are both excentric in their tempers; [Col. Lewis] Morris is having a left handed Courtship with Miss Nancy Elliot, which most people except Mrs. Greene think will be a match; Mrs. Greene says [Williams'] rheumatism is sent upon him for the tyranny he has shown to some of the fair ladies.

A.L.S. 8 pp. 24.5 cm. × 18 cm.

Endorsed in Williams' hand: From Genl. Greene 12th Novr. 1782.




1782 Nov. 28

O[tho] H[olland] W[ILLIAMS], Camp Newbergh [N.Y.]. To Baron [Frederick William Augustus von] STEUBEN.



Had he known Steuben was quartered near Philadelphia, he would surely have paid him a visit while he [Williams] was visiting the Northern Army; the contrast between what the American troops are now and what they were when Steuben first became inspector general shows how much they owe to him [Steuben]; adds his own private thanks to those of Congress and of Gen. [George] Washington.

Copy of A.Df.S. 2 pp. 36 cm. × 23.5 cm.




1782 Dec. 12

Congress [of the United States].



Resolved, that, for the promotion of colonels and lieutenant colonels the army is divided into three districts, eastern, middle and southern; 1st, New Ham[p] shire to Connecticut, 2nd, New York to Maryland, 3rd, Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia; when a brigadier [general] is to be appointed over the troops of any state, he shall be appointed from the colonels and lieutenant colonels of that state if the number of the troops is enough for an entire brigade; if a brigadier [general] is to be appointed over the troops coming from several different states, he is to be chosen from the colonels and lieutenant colonels of that brigade.

In hand of Otho Holland Williams. 1 p. 23.5 cm. × 19.5 cm.

Endorsed: Resolve of Congress 12 Decr. 1782 appointment of Brigadiers.

Published in Journals of the Continental Congress, Library of Congress edition, vol. XXIII, pp. 790, 791.




1782 Dec. 21

O[tho] H[olland] W[ILLIAMS], Philadelphia. To Dr. Philip THOMAS, F[rederic]k Town, Md.



Did not get here on his way to Maryland until the evening of the 18th; interest, inclination and speculation will keep him here a week or ten days, then he will make a short visit to Maryland; Maj. Gen. [Lebegue] Duportail arrived yesterday in a French frigate, with nine tons of silver for Congress; at the Capes of Delaware, the frigato met as tremendous a tempest of snow and hail and rain and wind as ever was seen here; weather is now fair; only news is that a Northern Army deputation is coming to make a very serious representation of a dangerous circumstance to Congress; perhaps the arrival of the silver will make it possible for Congress to give the army a little earnest of a disposition to relieve them; Gen. Deportail and Col. [Jean-Baptiste] Go[u]vion, just arrived from Paris, say that Europe is confident that peace will come next spring; sends compliments to Mr. Hanson and Mrs. Hanson, to Mr. and Mrs. Young and Mrs. Scott and Cate Kimble [Catherine Kimbol], to Murdock and [Alexander?] Skinner.

A.L.S. 3 pp. 22.5 cm. × 19 cm.

Superscribed: Care of E[lie] Williams.





Thad[deus] KOSCIUSZKO. To Colo. [Otho Holland] WILLIAMS.



Begs Williams to write and relieve his anxiety; Mrs. Hayne would not dine with him; two days ago 5 or 6 pretty girls revenged themselves on him for an expression he had used; they had been urging him to draw their pictures and he said he could not make them handsome; they came at him with shovels and tongs and firehooks and chased him till he fainted; then he drew their pictures and they chased him with kisses; pleased, he drew them again but the girls had drunk so much rum meantime that they disliked the pictures; he ran away from them but the rum had gone to their heads and they could not chase him; moving to Bacon's bridge [S.C.]; [Lewis] Morris, [Edmund] Burnet, and [William] Pierce catching sentymental Vissions; no more news.

A.L.S. 4 pp. 32.5 cm. × 20.5 cm.

Endorsed by Williams: From Kosciuszko, 1782.


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