TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS
Head Quarters,Wentz's, Worcester Township,October 3, 1777
Parole Smallwood. Countersigns Gist, Marion.
October 3, 1777
. . .The Commander in Chief has the satisfaction to inform the army, that at the southward, the Continental Frig ate Randolph, lately fell in with a fleet of five sail of the enemy's ships, and took four of them, one of them mounting 2o guns, and another 8, all richly laden. At the northward every thing wears the most favourable aspect, every enterprise has been successful, and in a capital action, the left wing only of General Gates's army maintained it's ground, against the main body of the enemy; commanded by General Burgoyne in person; our troops behaving with the highest spirit and bravery, during the whole engagement; which lasted from one o'clock 'till dark. In short, every circumstance promises success in that quarter, equal to our most sanguine wishes. This surely must animate every man, under the General's immediate comma. This army, the main American Army, will certainly not suffice itself to be out done by their northern Brethren; they will never] endure such disgrace; but with an ambition becoming freemen,contending in the most righteous cause, rival the heroic spin which swelled their bosoms, and which, so nobly exerted, hie procured them deathless renown. Covet! my Countrymen, and fellow soldiers! Covet! a share of the glory due to heroic deed~ Let it never be said, that in a day of action, you turned your backs on the foe; let the enemy no longer triumph. They brand you with ignominious epithets. Will you patiently endure that reproach? Will you suffer the wounds given to your Coun' to go unrevenged? Will you resign your parents, wives, chilldren and friends to be the wreeched vassals of a proud, insulting foe? And your own necks to the halter? General Howe promised protection to such as submitted to his power; and a few dastard souls accepted the disgraceful boon. But his promises were deceitful; the submitting and resisting had their properiy alike plundered and destroyed. But even these empty promises have come to an end; the term of Mercy is expired, General Howe has, within a few days proclaimed, all who had not then, submitted, to be beyond the reach of it, and has left us no choice but Conquest or Death. Nothing then remains, but nobly to contend for all that is dear to us. Every motive that can touch the human breast calls us to the most vigorous exertions. Our dearest rights, our dearest friends, and our own lives, honor, glory and even shame, urge us to the fight. And My fellow Soldiers! when an opportunity presents, be firm, be brave; shew yourselves men, and victorys yours.
The Colonels or commanding officers are to see that every regiment be drawn up this afternoon, the rolls called, and these orders distinctly read to them.
Every officer who commands a troop or company, in the several regiments and corps in the continental army, must immediately make out his muster rolls to the first of October, that the whole army may be mustered with the utmost expedition. Such officers, as have heretofore neglected a due attention, to making a regular return of their muster rolls, will be answer. able for any future neglect.