From Brigadier General James Mitchell Varnum
Fort Mercer [N.J.] 15th Novr. 1777, 6 oClk P.M.
The Firing is universal from the Shipping Batteries &c. We have lost a great many Men to day, a great many of the Officers are killed and wounded. My fine Company of Artillery is almost destroy’d. We shall be obliged to evacuate the Fort this Night. I am your Excellency’s most obdt Servt
J.M. Varnum B.G.
Major Talbut is badly wounded, Major Fleury is wounded also. It is impossible for an Officer to possess more Merit than Major Thayer, who commands the brave little Garrison.
ALS, DLC:GW. Varnum’s signed pass on the cover reads, “Major [Robert] Ballard carries this,” and GW’s letter to Varnum of 16 Nov. confirms that Ballard delivered the letter to GW’s headquarters.