His Excellency The Commander in chief having laid the following points before the Board
of General officers to be considered, and to deliver their opinion Thereon.1
|1º Whether it would be adviseable to march, this army, either part of
it, or the whole, to the Eastward, if the Enemies Should reinforce Rhode Island or
land on the Continent in either of the Eastern States?
||Since the Enemies may with So much more ease than we, carry their
Troops to and fro, as long as they are masters of the Sound it appears to me, that
to follow their movements would be only harrassing and fatigueing our Army without
any annoyance to them.
|As the Enemies divided forces in their present Situation can answer no
valuable Prospect, as His Excellencey observed, a short Time will clear up, whether
they will continue in their present defensive Situation or collect their forces in
one Place to act offensively, or Evacuate intirely. Which it
is my opinion they will as soon as they can conveniently do it, to Secure their
West-Indies & perhaps England herself, rather than waste their Forces
& Money on an imaginary Conquest.
|2º How to Suply the army, if moving to the Eastward, together with the
Troops already there, & a large Body of militia the the Enemies attempts on
the New-England States would render necessary, besides Victualling the French
||The New-England States may be able to Suply the whole with Beef
& Pork, but the more Southern States must of course provide all the Flour,
the Transporting of which by land carriages will be attended with immense but
unavoidable Expenses. for I would by no means advise to Venture anything by Sea,
though four parts out of Five Should arrive (and this is not to be Expected) the
Fifth part would be for the Enemies a Suply of what they are most in need of.
|Whether this army will move more Easterly or not, I think it is highly
necessary that a considerable quantity of flour should be Stored up as soon as
possible, in or near Connecticut State, (in a place out of the reach of the British
Ships & land forces) for All the above mentioned Exigencies.
|3º In case this army was to march to the Eastward what could be done to
Secure the Highlands?
||The North River ought to be fortified at the Points & Narrows,
not only on the Water side but also on the Land sides, at least the most important
posts, well Suplied with Provisions, artillerie, arms & ammunitions,
& Sufficiently Garrisoned.
|4º whether an attack on the Enemies lines near kings Bridge or on
New-york Island would be eligible or proper in the present Situation of affairs with
any probability of Success?
||It being Evident that the City of New york can not be kept by the
american Troops I would by no means advise Such a Attempt, which answering no
Valuable purpose must nevertheless be attended with the loss of many Men &
perhaps other bad Consequences even with the fairest Success.