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I have the pleasure to inform your Excellency that I have just arrived here, with my party, & expect to throw myself in to Fort Mifflin this night, the want of provisions has detained me much, & the men not being properly chosen for such an expedition has been a great stop to our march, Few of them have Shoes or Stockings, many of them without Coats or Blankets & scarce any who have more than...
I last night threw myself into this Garrison, where I am sorry to inform your Excellency that I find every-thing in the utmost Confusion, not as many Cartouches as will last one day, & the very necessary Cartouches for the Block houses not sufficient for an hour: 60 untrained Militia, are all the artillery men in the Fort, the provisions almost out. The Militia refused obedience to Capt. Treat...
Colo. Nichola with the advice of the Officers in Garrison withdrew his Invalids before the Arrival of your Excellency’s Letter so that the Command remains with me. The Enemy yesterday landed a number of men (below Billingsport and encampt last night within nine miles) some say 400. others 600. my Opinion is the first as we had intelligence of that number having march’d from Willmington for...
I sent yesterday an express to your Excellency with an account of the enemies having landed near Billingsport, which place they have now possession of, Our Militia evacuated it after bringing off all the stores and Spikeing up the Cannon. This event as I foresaw struck the fleet with much Panic, last night five Officers and 18 Men Deserted and a great part of the rest only wait for...
This will be delivered you by Majr Boyce who has reconnoitered the enemy now in Billingsport and reports their strength to be 1500 men at least 1300 of whom went from Phila. he will inform you of particulars. This evening the enemy have been reconnoitering us from the Meadows, what they intend I know not. Certainly their force scatterd in this manner must weaken them much. Their Shiping have...
From the best Intelligence the Enemy have withdrawn all their men from Billingsport (the night of the fourth Instant) except two hundred who seem much discourag’d, Your Excellencys Success (on which I sincerely congratulate you) has been of the utmost service, we have now no more Desertions, on the contrary some who went from the fleet have returnd. Had we a few men to sport on we might with...
Yesterday Evening the Enemy entirely evacuated Billingsport after having destroy’d our works, burnt the platforms, Houses[,] Gun Carriages &c. they have left all our own guns, one of which a twelve pounder they had taken out the spike and left it open. The works they threw up are entire We shall destroy them. The Commodore engag’d their Shiping last night and chas’d them down to Chester, where...
I Receiv’d your Excellencys Letter of the 7th and have read it to the Officers of the Navy which assists not a little to keep up their Spirits. Yesterday a large Scow was brought down the Schuylkil which we secur’d, after wounding One of their Men. Our Intelligence informs that Six Boats were ready to come down from the lower ferry and in the evening we heard that a large Body with 20 ps. of...
The Enemy have just crossed & are crossing in very considerable numbers to Province Island already they have begun to throw up Works & tomorrow morning I suppose will open on us which will oblige me to withdraw my men out of the Fort & Cover them the best in my power, they have about 20 Boats & if the Number we have seen on the opposite Shore are to cross there must at least be 800 or 1000, If...
Last Night the Enemy threw up a Battery in the rear of the Fort close to the Banks of the Meadow within Musket shot of us & had already got one piece of Artillery in it. We attacked it with the Floating Batteries[,] Block houses, Gallies, & 32 Pounder from the Battery & in short time obliged them to hoist the white Flag, as We were bringing off the prisoners another party ran down which the...
I wrote you this day giving an Accot of the Enemies having erected a Battery in the Rear of our Northwest Block House close to the Banks of the Meadow, in which we took 56: Soldiers & 2 Officers, An Officer with a party came down under the Sanction of the flag & took & kept possession of it. we have made two or three fruitless Attempts to Storm it, in the last of which we had Some few kill’d &...
I wrote your Excellency the 12th Instant on which night the enemy threw up a long Breast Work on the high ground at province Island, which Enfilades our principal Battery. I got some small assistance from Colo. Green Yesterday and threw up a blind on the platform which with two others I intend throwing up to day, will in some measure make the men who work the Guns secure. I presume they have...
The Enemy have open’d three Batteries on us. one in front of the pest Houses which with Recache rakes the whole Garrison, from whence they throw Red Hot Balls, as yet without Success. Another in Rear of our N. W. Block House in which they have Some Royalls an 8 In. Howitz. & 1 p[ai]r Artillery 12 p[ounde]r. I believe the other in Rear of the Mud Battery in which as yet they have but one 8 In....
I wrote your Excellency the Second day the enemy open’d their batteries; they have since continued a fire from their two Bomb Batteries and red hot balls from their works at the Port [pest] houses, as yet without much damage. Yesterday an unlucky shell fell in a barracks where the soldiers had gone contrary to orders, which killed one and wounded 3 others, two of them very slightly. They have...
I received your Excellencys favor of the 19th in which I observe you have thought proper to send the Baron d’Aranot to take the command of this Garrison. There will, therefore, be no further occasion for me here, as the party of Infantry left, of what I brought here, does not now exceed 80 men, which will scarce be a command for Maj. Ballard, and farther draft must be made for the artillery. I...
I recd your Excellys Order to remain in the Garrison & Shall obey it, when I wrote I expected there would not have been that Occasion for my being here which I now See there will, Baron d’Arendts ill State of Health will oblige him to retire to Red Bank for three or four days perhaps more, whether Coll Green or I are to Command I know not, I presume I am to have the Command untill an express...
I received your Excellency’s favor of the 28th. I am happy to hear of a sufficient reinforcement. If they arrive in time I have no doubt we shall keep the fort. The enemy have been afloat for three days. The weather must have done them much harm. Their bridge on Schuylkill broke, and we secured 12 of their boats with the planks on them which composed part of the bridge. This must stop,...
Letter not found: from Lt. Col. Samuel Smith, 31 Oct. 1777. GW wrote Smith on 1 Nov. that “I have this moment receiv’d your favor of Yesterday.”
I have this Inst. the honor to receve your Excellency’s Letter of the 1st. Genl Vernum has arriv’d and will send me 200 men this morning. Genl Foreman has some Cloathing of small consequence, which I am to have this day, We by order of Genl Vernum begin this day to take the Inhabitants Cloaths I fear it will be a very poor Resource, this Garrison must be well cloathed or they will perish. I...
I wrote your Excellency yesterday am happy to find I was mistaken, The enemy have not constructed a Battery on their work as I then expected, I was deceiv’d by the Water being much lower than usual which left a greater part of the Wreck naked. General Varnums reinforcement arriv’d yesterday. Last night about 8. OClock we were alarm’d with the rowing of Boats between this and province Island....
I receiv’d your Excellency’s favour of the 4th I presume you must have mistook Major Fleury’s meaning. he has since he arrived acted fully in his department of Engineer, when I proposed any thing he has generally been so polite to approve it. he writes and I presume will acknowledge that his Ideas have been adopted as far as the strength of the Garrison would permit. The enemy since I wrote...
About the 20th Instant if we are not attacked sooner I am of Opinion we shall have put this Fort in a good posture of defence, at which time the Officers of the Virginia Regiments and my party hope your Excellency will relieve them and their men. Your Excellency will see the propriety of this request when I assure you that out of 200 Men compleatly Officer’d which my party consisted of, there...
This morning the enemy open’d their Battery in the Rear of our Nort. West Block House, about 500 Yards distance from it of 6 pieces of Cannon 18 to 32 pounders, and one eight inch howitz, one other eight inch howitz opposite the right of our Battery. they were so fortunate to strike one of our 18 pounders in the two Gun Battery on the Muzzle, by which, she is rendered useless; their Shott from...
I yesterday unfortunately recd a Contusion on my Hip & left Arm both which give me much pain. I imprudently went into my Barracks to answer a Letter from Gen. Varnum & A Ball came through the Chimney & Struck me on the Hip So forcibly that I remain’d senseless for Some time. however I am happy to find myself much less hurted than I at first imagin’d & Hope in 5 or 6 days to be again fit for...
My Arm will this Night or tomorrow Night permit me to take the Command at fort Mifflin. I was there last Night. it is now one Heap of Ruin & must be defended with Musquetry in Case of Storm. I presume the Enemy will Continue to Cannonade for four or five days & then they will be oblig’d to Storm. when they do, I am of Opinion they will Succeed. with 600 Men I think we could defend it as an...
Gen. Varnum will have inform’d your Excelly of the Evacuation of fort Mifflin. I am extremely Sorry for the Circumstance. Major Thayer defended it too bravely. My party taken (as your Excelly knows) from the picquet, think they have done their Tour of duty, & hope for your Excellys permission to join their respective Regiments, who (they Say) want their immediate Attention. the Officers have...
I Had the Honor to recieve your Excelly permission to resign, the obliging Expressions & Honor you do ⟨me,⟩ in which I shall ever esteem myself indebted to you for. I reg⟨ret⟩ my Incapacity of ever being able to repay your politen⟨ess⟩ or I should have been happy to have remain’d in a situation ⟨ mutilated ⟩ I might have indeavour’d to merit it. I ever shall regret ⟨my⟩ being oblig’d to leave...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I take the Liberty to trouble you with a few Lines, which hope you’ll excuse, on seeing the immediate Necessity of my writing— I embark’d from Philada: for France & was unfortunately taken, haveing at the same Time with me a Sum, in Loan Interest Bills drawn on the Commissioners for the Thirteen United States of America at Paris, which was oblidg’d to...