George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Henry Knox, 24 April 1776

From Colonel Henry Knox

New London [Conn.] April 24 1776


In consequence of your Excellencys directions I am employ’d in looking at and getting the necessary information Respecting this harbour in which I shall Spare no pains.1 I mention’d to Your Excellency Newport Harbour, which in Conjunction with this will when fortified afford a safe retreat to the American Navy or their prizes in any Wind that blows; they are equally convenient for Ships coming from Sea; & if the wind is not fair to go into one harbour they may into the other.2

The Artillery and Stores are all embark’d together with the remaining Company of my Regt and have been waiting for a fair wind two days.

Admiral Hopkins is still in this Harbour and I beleive will be oblig’d to continue here some time: he this day has received intelligence that four Ships & two brigs are off Montaug point & block Island station’d in such a manner that but one appears at a time and each able to come up to the assistance of the others—The Captain of the Cerberus was on block Island Yesterday & told a man there that he was waiting for Admiral Hopkins & Expected in four days to be join’d by Capt. Wallace & his Squadron3—I have the honour to be with the Utmost Respect Your Excellencys Most ObDt & most Humble Servt

Henry Knox
Coll Regt Artillery

P.S. I am in hopes to be able to set out for New York on the 28th instant.


1GW’s instructions regarding New London Harbor are contained in Robert Hanson Harrison’s letter to Knox of 20 April (NNGL: Knox Papers; see also GW to the Continental Congress Committee on Fortifying Ports, 22 April 1776).

2For Knox’s inspection of Newport Harbor, see his letter to GW of 21 April.

3The British warship Cerberus, commanded by Capt. John Symonds, and the brig Diligent, commanded by Lt. Edmund Dod, were stationed in the vicinity of Block Island at this time. Capt. James Wallace’s ship Rose was at Halifax being refitted.

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