George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lieutenant Colonel Henry Beekman Livingston, 21 May 1776

From Lieutenant Colonel Henry Beekman Livingston

Fort Constitution [N.Y.]
21st May 1776

May it Please Your Excellency

I am induced to trouble Your Excellency with this Letter, lest You Should be deceived by the Information I Gave You with respect to the Depth of the River Opposite this Fort which was very Erronious: Oweing intirely to want of Recollection in the Gentleman fr⟨om⟩ who I had my Information1 he had tak⟨en⟩ its depth but had forgot it. I have since Sounded it and found it to be 28. 31. & 32 Fathoms oposite Our two Northermost Batteries. Over against Our southermost (which is now ready to Mount ten Guns) & ¾ of a Mile from it, It begins to Shoal from 18 to 11 Fathoms in the Channel it then remains at 11: 12. & ⟨thirteen⟩2 till Near Fort Montgomery—opposite to it on this side the Creek Called pooplopen it deepens again to 18 Fathoms just over the Creek to the southward it is 22 Fathoms and in the mouth of it 31. Near the Shoall water Mentioned on the West side the River is an Eminence that Comands a Long reach both up and down the River if it Should be thought Necessary to Boom Across I think it much more practicable there than in any Other part of the Highlands. Since My last Coll Nicol has returned and taken the Command. The Day before yesterday I recd from the Committee of Dutchess County 58 Stan⟨d⟩ of Arms but they are so much out of repair that they are Quite Useless. I have put them in Store here till we can get an Armourer—Major Schuyler of our Regt will do himself the Honour to present this Letter I could wish him to be Continued here as he is a Young Officer and wants instruction. He is intelligent and I beleive will make a Good Officer after a little Study and Experience.3 I remain Sir Your Excellencies Most Obedient Humble Servant

Henry B: Livingston—Lt Coll


2This mutilated word is taken from Force, American Archives description begins Peter Force, ed. American Archives. 9 vols. Washington, D.C., 1837–53. description ends , 4th ser., 6:537.

3Peter P. Schuyler, a nephew of Gen. Philip Schuyler who had been a major in an Albany County militia regiment during 1775, served as major of the 2d New York Regiment from March to November 1776. In October 1779 the New York provincial congress named him a state Indian commissioner, and in May 1781 he declined appointment as a major of the state levies raised to defend the frontier.

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