George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General James Potter, 16 November 1777

From Brigadier General James Potter

[16] November 1777

Dr Sir

I am sorey to be the mesenger of Bad news last night at Ten oClock our Breve Garreson at fort Mifflin set fier to the Barrecks and set off to Rid bank—this Intiligance I have by my express that Brought me the in Closed1—I see my self that our Barricks are Burnt and the enemys ships Veglint and a sloop are leying a long side of the Island this moment I Recived your favour of this day and will observe the Contents. I am your Excelanceys Most obedant Humble servt

Ja’s Potter


1Potter enclosed Col. Christopher Greene’s letter to him of 15 Nov., written at Red Bank, N.J., which reads: “since my last the Cannonade has been very severe upon Fort Mifflin—this Day the ships have come as near as the Chevaux de Frize would Allow Them. A floating Battery with 18–24 prs came Up between Fort Mifflin & Province Island and the Fire from Them togather with that of their Batteries has dismounted All the Guns but two, Almost destroyed the works—and have killed and wounded a very considerable Number—Among the latter is Major Talbert and two Caps. of Col. Dirkees Regmt our Shipping have kept up a warm Fire, and a two Gun Battery about 2½ Miles from this has annoyed The Enemy very much—We have sent Boats to the Brave Major Thayer, who has discretionary Orders to maintain the Post as long as he thinks practicable—that the brave Garrison may have a secure retreat when the Post is no longer tenable—tis too true that the boat deserted, another run away the next morning—We apprehend Nothing here” (DLC:GW).

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