New London: 1813.
FAULTY INTELLEIGENCE OF ANTICIPATED ATTACKS ON NEW LONDON WILL ULTIMATLY RESULT IN THE BURNING OF WASHINGTON! Important content War of 1812 A.L.S. "H. Burbeck", 4to. 2 pages, New London, Ct. August 28th 1813, to Governor John Cotton Smith, in part: "If the Enemy remains in The Chesapeake, and no reinforcement of Troops and Ships arrive off here, I should not think it necessary to call out so large a draft as there is at present, but should there be a movement in that quarter, which should indicate an attack here it would require the present number of Troops & as many more. If the enemy remains in his present situation and Col. Benjamin's regiment is not ordered from this station, eight Companies of Infantry and two Companies of Artillery for one month or to the first of November taking into consideration the advanced season, would be sufficient for the protection of the Forts & Harbor. Your Excellency must perceive the difficulty at present at determining on the precise number of troops required which must, in the situation of our affairs, depend entirely upon circumstances and may of course alter my present opinion, which I will inform you of, should it take place..." On July 9th 1813, Secretary of War John A. Armstrong wrote to Burbeck that he received intelligence from the Governor of Virginia , acquired from British deserters, that Admiral Cockburn had secretly set sail from the Chesapeake Bay to New London furnished with a seventy-four gun ship and a compliment of transports. The British had burned New London in 1781, and a great panic ensued. The rumors continued for many months, causing a bottleneck of American militia and vessels confined to the New England Ports. The "anticipated" threat never materialized, as Admiral Cockburn was not headed to New London, but was beginning preparations for his march on Washington that burned the fledgling Capital to the ground. This exceptional letter is in fine condition.
Revolutionary officer and Aide-de-camp to George Washington. He originally worked as a copper-smith's forger with Paul Revere, where he forged ammunition he used in the Battle of Bunker Hill. He later came to New York where he joined Washington at the Battle of Saratoga and fought at his side at Valley Forge, Brandywine, and Germantown. During the War of 1812 he was placed in command of the Connecticut state militia stationed at New London, with the rank of Major General.