Sec. of State James Monroe to Sec. of Navy Jones

August 21, 1814
August 21 1814 5 miles from Aquasco Mills after 3 P.M
Dear Sir
I have just received your letter of this date. I quartered last night near Charlotte Hall, & took a view at 8 this morning from a commanding height below Benedict creek, of the enemy's shipping near the town, & below it 10 or 12 miles down the river.
I counted 23 square Rigged vessels, & no others were to be seen, & very few barges. I inferred from the latter circumstance that the enemy had moved up the river, either against Com. Barney's flotilla solely or against the city, taking the flotilla in the way, by a combined movement with the force on the Potowmak.
I had, when I left Aquasco mills last night, intended, to have passed over to the Potowmak., after giving you an account of their vessels from the height below Benedict, but on observing the tranquil scene which I have mentioned, I hastened back to take a view of the enemy's movements in this quarter, which it might be most important to the government, to [be] made acquainted with.
I am now on the main road from Washington to Benedict 12 miles from the latter & find that no troops have passed in this direction. Reports make it probable that a force by land & water has been sent against the flotilla. I shall proceed immediately to Nottingham with Captain Thornton’s troop, & write you thence whatever may be deserving of attention.
Of the real form of the enemy, I think it would be prudent, from everything that I can collect to estimate it at about 6,000. Of that on the Potowmak, your intelligence will be more correct than mine.
They have plundered the country of all the stock etc to the distance of 3 or 4 miles from Benedict.
With respectful regard
J. Monroe
I have written to Genl. Winder.—

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