Extract of a letter from Major Hendricks to General LEWIS, dated Hampton, May 23.
"I wrote you this morning that 20 sail of the enemy's fleet were moved down the river, since which it appears that their whole fleet is in motion. From our church steeple I can see 60 or 70 sail of vessels of different kinds, hovering about the mouth of James river. What they mean is impossible to tell." It is imagined that Dunmore's fleet are coming out in search of provisions, every kind of which is so very scarce with them, that the quantity formerly allowed to a single man is now obliged to serve four.
Virginia Gazette (Dixon & Hunter) May 25, 1776
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Lord Dunmore moved his troops from the Portsmouth area to Gwynn's Island, Gloucester County, located at the mouth of the Piankatank River in the Chesapeake Bay. Not only did Dunmore's troops need food, they needed a place to be inoculated against the smallpox which had attacked some of them.
Sources: Wrike, pp29-35.