George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Captain Mauduit Du Plessis, 17 November 1777

From Captain Mauduit Du Plessis

[Fort Mercer, N.J.] 17 November [1777]

if his excellency has desseing to attack in one monts, the british in the province’s island, the fort read-bank is to be kept, and defend’d until the last extremity. for, if the general Wasington take possession of the province’s island, it will be Difficult to take the fort-Mifflin, when the ennemy will be in possession of fort read-bank, and in my opinion, if his excellency take the fort-Mifflin, he cannot be kept, when the british will be masters of fort read-bank.

the fort read-bank, is, i bellieve, secure against a storm, if 500 men effective are there in garrison and if every body make well Their duty, we are in the situation to hope so, we have seen, the rhode-island’s troops in the action of 22d instant.1 an angle is no flanked, but we can with mines, hand’s grenades, & secure him.

the bank is not flank’d, and we are to fear an escalade in this part, but with a small flank of 10 men, we can be in security. in one day and half, two days, with a proper number of carpenters and arms, we can make this flank.

the magazine is now, in my opinion, secure against a bombe of 13 inches.

we can with 250 work-men, put our garrison in security against the bombe, i suppose your men working like as the europe’s men. if the ennemy attack us regularly, we can have 7 haves Cannons to Destruct their works.

Le Chevalier de Mauduit du plessis
directed Engeneer of fort at Read bank


1Mauduit Du Plessis is referring to the unsuccessful Hessian assault on Fort Mercer at Red Bank, N.J., on 22 October.

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