George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Alexander McDougall, 14 August 1779

To Major General Alexander McDougall

Head Quarters [West Point] Augst 14th 1779


I am to request that you will in company with Generals Knox and Du Portail make a visit to all the works on both sides the river, and ascertain the number of Cannon and the sizes which will be necessary for their defence—You will be pleased to distinguish between, a full complement of Cannon, which it would be expedient to have and the number which is absolutely necessary.1 I am Sir Yr Most Obet, servant

Go: Washington

LS, in Richard Kidder Meade’s writing, CSmH; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

GW modified these instructions for the report in a letter to McDougall of 16 Aug., written from headquarters, reading: “In the Report which you were desired, in my letter of the 14th instant, to make of the number and kind of Artillery necessary for the different Works at this post, I desire you will add, as your opinion, the propriety of retaining Cannon in all the Water Batteries, and which of them may be discontinued without injuring the defence of the Post” (LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, CSmH; ADfS, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW). The letter was addressed to McDougall at Fort Arnold.

1For the report of these officers on the results of their survey, see GW to Henry Knox, 20 Aug., n.1.

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