George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Hamilton, 15 January 1780

From Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Hamilton

Jany [15] One oClock [A.M.]1

Dr Sir,

On our present plan, It appears to me the quantity of ammunition proposed by General Knox for the Artillery is insufficient. A larger consumption may be necessary—The Stone houses in which the enemy may attempt to defend themselves may be obstinate and we should have it in our power by the severity and duration of our fire to bring them to reason. I take the liberty to suggest these matters, and to add that if more is to be sent it cannot come with too much dispatch.

I am requested by his Lordship to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this evening 7 oClock to the contents of which he will pay particular attention.2 Our intelligence of the state of the ice at Bergen point makes it impassable; but the point is not absolutely ascertained. We find great difficulty in getting down the piece of cannon mentioned by his Lordship,3 but it might be effected tomorrow. However as there is no ammunition for it, it would be of no use. I have the honor to be yr Excellency’s respectful & obedt servt

Alex. Hamilton

The troops are beginning to get in motion.

ALS, DLC:GW; copy, DLC: Alexander Hamilton Papers.

1Hamilton wrote the dateline at the bottom of the letter just before the postscript. Because he acknowledges receipt of GW’s second letter to Major General Stirling of 14 Jan., which was sent at 7 P.M. on that date, Hamilton’s date on the manuscript of “Jany 14. One oClock P.M.,” is almost surely a mistake for 1 A.M. on 15 January. Stirling wrote to GW on 16 Jan. that he had launched the attack early on the morning of 15 Jan. (see also GW to Henry Knox, this date). The year “1780” appears after the date but seems to have been added at a later time (on the docket, the year “1779” is marked out and replaced with “1780”).

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