Transcript

Partial transcript:

"P.S. please to inform Mr. Washington [i.e. Lund Washington] that I have made every possible Enquiry after his Negroes, but have not seen any belonging to him, the General or myself, I have heard that Ned is in York a pioneer, old Joe Rachier is in the Neighborhood tho I have not been able to see him. His Wife is dead, and I fear that most who left Us are not existing, the mortality that has taken place among the Wretches is really incredible. I have seen numbers lying dead in the Woods, and many so exhausted they cannot walk."

This letter was written by John Parke (Jacky) Custis to his mother Martha Washington from the camp of the Continental Army in front of Yorktown. Very late in the war, Jacky joined the army as a civilian aide to General Washington. In the postscript, Jacky mentions his efforts to locate escaped slaves who had run away from Mount Vernon. He also depicts the terrible mortality that had taken place among the large numbers of African-Americans present at the siege, presumably in large part a result of smallpox. 

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