George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Mercereau, 28 April 1777

From John Mercereau

Coryells Ferry [Delaware River] April 28–1777


Agreeable to your request have proceeded—at Coryell; the river is C15 L75 wide and five and a half feet Deep—at Smiths where they attempted crossing last winter—is C7 L25 wide—at Samuel Pettets 2 mils below; the water is five and a half foot Deep—and at Pool’s Cove is the narrowes place only C6 L751—this and Smiths are the most Likely to cross if they pass on brid⟨ge⟩s—the fording places below are not passable now and the river is rising—as its late and in haste your Ex’y will please to excuse my Giving so short an acct—expect to have the pleasure [of] seeing you in a few Days—Wednesday I expect some intilligence.2 I am Sr your Excel’s Most Obedient Hum. Servt

⟨John Mercereau⟩

AL[S], DLC:GW. The signature has been torn off the manuscript, and a small part of the text in the left margin has been torn away. Robert Hanson Harrison docketed the manuscript: “Mersereau’s widths of Delaware.”

1These are units of measurement. One chain (C) measures 66 feet and equals 100 links (L). For additional intelligence regarding the varying widths of the river at likely crossing places, see Delaware Fording Places, 16 June 1777, enclosed in Benedict Arnold’s letter to GW of that date. For the British attempt to cross the Delaware in the vicinity of Coryell’s Ferry on 8–9 Dec. 1776, see GW to Hancock, 11 Dec. 1776, and note 1.

2The following Wednesday was 30 April.

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