George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Henry Knox, 5 January 1776

From Colonel Henry Knox

Albany Jany 5 1776


I did myself the honor to address your Excellncy from Fort George on the 17 Ult.—I then was in hopes that we should have been able to have had the Cannon at Cambridge by this time the want of Snow detain’d us some days & now a cruel thaw, hinders from Crossing Hudsons River which we are oblig’d to do four times from Lake George to this Town—the first severe night will make the Ice on the river sufficiently strong ’till that happens the Cannon & mortars must remain where they are most of them at the different crossing places & some few here—these inevitable delays pain Me exceedingly as my mind is fully sensible of the importance of the greatest expedition in this Case—In eight or nine days after the first severe frost they will be at Springfield from which place we can get them easily transported Altho there should be no snow—but to that the roads are So excessively bad Snow will be necessary1—We got over 4 more dble fortified 12 pounders after my last to your excellency—I send a duplicate of the List for fear of miscarriage of the other List,2 General Schuyler has been exceedingly assidious In this matter, as to myself my utmost endevers have been & still shall be use[d] to forward them with the utmost dispatch. I have the honor to be with the greatest Respect Your Excellencys Most Obdt Hble Servt

H. Knox

ADfS, NNGL: Knox Papers.

1For Knox’s previous activities in obtaining artillery from Ticonderoga for GW’s army, see GW’s instructions to Knox, 16 Nov., and Knox to GW, 27 Nov., 5, 17 Dec. 1775. The hard freeze that Knox desired occurred on 6 Jan., and during the next two days all of his artillery crossed the Hudson at Albany (see Schuyler to GW, 5–7 Jan. 1776, and Knox, “Diary,” description begins Solomon Brown, ed. “Knox’s Diary during His Ticonderoga Expedition.” New-England Historical and Genealogical Register 30 (1876): 321–26. description ends 324–25). Knox left Albany on 9 Jan. and arrived at Cambridge on 18 January. The artillery was temporarily parked at Framingham, Mass., about twenty miles from Cambridge (Wilson, Heath’s Memoirs description begins Rufus Rockwell Wilson, ed. Heath’s Memoirs of the American War. 1798. Reprint. New York, 1904. description ends , 45–46). A few weeks later it was brought up to the American lines for the occupation of Dorchester Heights.

2See Inventory of Artillery, 17 Dec. 1775, enclosed in Knox to GW, that date. The duplicate copy has not been identified.

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