George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Philip Schuyler, 16 April 1777

From Major General Philip Schuyler

Philadelphia April 16th 1777.

Dear Sir

On the Intelligence received by Congress that nine of the Enemies Ships of War had got into Deleware Bay, and that a Number of Transports were seen in the offing, the Continental Troops in this City amounting to 563 Rank and File were ordered to Fort Island to assist in compleating the Fortifications there, which are in a very defenceless State, and to throw up a Work on Red Bank to prevent the Enemies taking possession and thereby forcing the Vessels and Floating Batteries designed for the protection of the Chevaux de Frise from their Station1—Your Excellency’s Letter of the [ ] Instant was received this Morning and refered to me with an Order to carry your Intentions into Execution2—In Obedience thereto I have ordered the Troops immediately to move to Bristol, where they will be joined by 250 Virginians just arrived.

All the Military Stores belonging to the Public are ordered out of Town and the Quantity now left in it is very inconsiderable.

I advised Congress that I had been informed that very considerable Quantities of provisions and other Stores that might be greatly serviceable to the Enemy were collected by private persons, in Consequence of which persons are appointed by the Board of War of this State to take an exact Account of them—Considerable progress has been made in the Business and the Result has shewn that the Information was just, and Matters are put in such a Train as that we shall to Morrow Morning begin to move those Stores.

Directions are given for building the Boats your Excellency mentions.

Be assured Sir that whilst I remain here no Exertions of mine shall be wanting to promote the public Service. I am Dear Sir with the Greatest respect Your Excellency’s Most Obedt Hue Servt

Ph: Schuyler

LS, DLC:GW; LB, NN: Schuyler Papers.

1This line of obstructions, located about seven miles down the Delaware River from Philadelphia, was defended on the Pennsylvania side of the river by the works on Fort Island, which subsequently became known as Fort Mifflin, and on the opposite bank by a large earthwork named Fort Mercer, which was built during this spring near Red Bank in Gloucester County, New Jersey.

2GW’s letter to a committee of Congress of 12 April was referred to Schuyler by Congress on this date (see Richard Henry Lee to GW, this date, and note 1; see also JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 7:270–71).

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