George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Captain Charles Craig, 8 November 1777

From Captain Charles Craig

Frankford [Pa.] 8th Novr 17771


By every Accot from the City the enemy intend to Attackt the Fort tomorrow. the Hessians are to stand Guard. the Highlanders Granadiers and Light Infantry to make the Attackt one of their Floating Batteries that was Lanced Yesterday is Sunk to the bottom2 My Guard was rainforced Last Night I hope I Shall have it my power to provent the Enemys Comming into the Country as much as the have done. I am with Great Truth Yr Excellencys Most Obt Servt

C. Craig

ALS, DLC:GW. The cover, which indicates that this letter was sent “per Dragoon,” is docketed in part “Ansd 8,” but that letter has not been found.

1Frankford, Pa., was a village near Tacony Creek, in Oxford Township, Philadelphia County, about four miles from Philadelphia on the road to Bristol.

2General Varnum also informed GW that one of the enemy’s floating batteries had sunk (see Varnum to GW, 9 Nov.). Both Henry Lee, Jr., and Varnum say that the first of the floating batteries was launched on 6 Nov., not 7 Nov. as Craig says (see Lee to GW, 8 Nov., and Varnum to GW, 9 Nov.). Jäger captain Johann Ewald also indicates that two batteries were launched on 6 Nov.: “Moreover, two floating batteries were constructed, each of which was to be loaded with four 32–pounders. But they were built so lightly that hardly one 32–pounder could be carried in one boat, and they were so badly battered by the enemy’s galleys as soon as they appeared that not one dared to show up again” (Ewald, Diary description begins Johann Ewald. Diary of the American War: A Hessian Journal. Translated and edited by Joseph P. Tustin. New Haven and London, 1979. description ends , 104). A floating battery was brought down the Schuylkill River and moored between Province and Mud islands on 14 Nov., when it was used briefly in the British attack on Fort Mifflin (see André, Journal description begins John André. Major André’s Journal: Operations of the British Army under Lieutenant Generals Sir William Howe and Sir Henry Clinton, June 1777 to November 1778. 1930. Reprint. New York, 1968. description ends , 63; Whinyates, Services of Francis Downman description begins F. A. Whinyates, ed. The Services of Lieut.-Colonel Francis Downman, R.A., in France, North America, and the West Indies, between the Years 1758 and 1784. Woolwich, England, 1898. description ends , 50; Scull, Montresor Journals description begins G. D. Scull, ed. The Montresor Journals. New York, 1882. In Collections of the New-York Historical Society, vol. 14. description ends , 476).

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