George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General William Woodford, 25 November 1777

From Brigadier General William Woodford

[Whitemarsh, Pa.] Novr 25th 1777.

Dear Genl

I cannot help viewing the purposed Attack upon the Enemys Lines as attended with many Hazards & Dificuties.

But these are over ballanced by the following considerations Vizt first the necessity that something should be attempted by this Army before it retires into Winter Quarters, both for its own Cr. & the support of our paper currency.

Secondly, that from my knowledge of the State of the Soldiery, we are not likely to be in a better condition, if so good a one, at any Future time.

Thirdly, that all the Force we expected is arrived—and lastly that the present Detach’d situation of the two Armys promises a fairer prospect of Success, than is likely to p[r]esent itself again whilst we are able to continue in the Field.

I am therefore for makeing the Attack so soon as your Excellency & some of the Genl Officers have had sufficient time to Digest a proper plan. I have the Honour to be Your Excellencys Most Obedt humble Servt

Wm Woodford

ALS, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Woodford’s opinion on whether or not the Continental army should attack Philadelphia had been requested by GW at the council of general officers held on the evening of 24 Nov. (see the source note to John Cadwalader’s Plan for Attacking Philadelphia, c.24 Nov.).

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