George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Arendt, 11 November 1777

From Colonel Arendt

[11 November 1777]

Substance of Baron Arendt’s Letter—General Varnum informed me this morning, that Colo. Smith had sent him word by an Officer, that he thought it impossible for the Fort to hold out longer than ’till night1—and asked my opinion upon the subject—it was that the Fort should be maintained to the last extremity, but that the Cannon of the Battery should be brought off with all the superfluous Provision and Military Stores—that the Cannon brought off might be placed to advantage elsewhere—and that provision and Amunition for two days only should be left in the fort.

I went to Fort Mercer, with a design to cross to the Island and resume my Command, but my Strength was unequal to my Good Will.

D, in John Laurens’s writing, DLC:GW. The context suggests that Arendt wrote his letter on 11 Nov. (see James Mitchell Varnum’s two letters to GW of 11 Nov. [1] [2], and Samuel Smith to Varnum, also that date, in note 2 of Varnum’s second letter).

1See Samuel Smith to James Mitchell Varnum, 11 Nov., in Varnum’s second letter to GW of that date, n.2. Arendt is referring to Fort Mifflin, Pa., which fell on 16 November.

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