George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General James Potter, 30 October 1777

From Brigadier General James Potter

Darbey [Pa.] Octr 30th 1777 3 oClock


I have been Round all the ferreys, and taking a vew of Carpanters Island the enemy sent over to the Island a large Reinforcement yesterday, all the meddows are under watter and the breches we maid are all opned there Bridge is Carreyed off by the flud, a part of it is on this side of the River which I have just H[e]ard of at this place, and I will go Immedatly and destroy it.1 I will do everey thing in my power to prevent there Gating a Bridge across again, and live in hopes that your excelancey will send over some Cannan and men to command the ferreys I am of opinion that if the communication between the enemy and there shiping was cut off the wold be so[o]n oblidged to move there Quarters, this night I will cut places in the Banks that has not been opened yet, and I am In hops it will be Imposable for them to get any provision by Rodalphe ferrey in Hast.2 I am your excelanceys Humble Servant

Ja’s Potter


1British engineer captain John Montresor writes in his journal entry for this date: “This night the Rebels set fire to several of our boats that formed our Bridge at Middle Ferry and were carried away to the opposite shore” (Scull, Montresor Journals description begins G. D. Scull, ed. The Montresor Journals. New York, 1882. In Collections of the New-York Historical Society, vol. 14. description ends , 471–72).

2Rudolph’s Ferry may be Webb’s Ferry, sometimes referred to as the “new lower ferry,” near the mouth of the Schuylkill River, which connected Province Island with the mainland.

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