To Colonel William Malcom
Head Quarters [White Plains] 11th Augst 1778
Captain John Stevens who will deliver you this, I find was properly authorized to project a Machine in the river, at West Point, for the purpose of setting fire to any of the Enemy’s Shipping that might attempt a passage up it. He represents that, for the want of hands, he is unable to carry it on—being totally unacquainted with the circumstance, I have taken the opinion of some Gentlemen who have long commanded in this department, & they advise that as the principal Labor & expence has been already used that the Captain should be enabled to compleat it—I have therefore to request that unless it very materially interferes with your operations, that you will furnish him with such a number of hands as may be necessary to accomplish the work. I am &c.
Df, in Richard Kidder Meade’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.