To Brigadier General Duportail
Head Quarters White plains 27 Augt 1778
You will proceed as speedily as convenient to the Highlands and examine the several fortifications carrying on there for the defence of the North River. When you have done this you will make me a full report of their state and progress, with your opinion of any alterations or additions which may appear to you necessary in improvement of the present plan. In doing this, you will of course consider the labor and expence which have been already incurred—the advanced season of the year & the resources of the Country for carrying any plan which may be formed into execution.
It is my wish you should also take measures without delay for executing the Instructions given you the [ ] of June last relative to a plan for the defence of the River Delaware and the city of Philadelphia1—in performing which, you will also view the subject in a maritime point of light; in order as far as natural circumstances will permit, to provide a secure Port, capable of excluding the enemys vessels and receiving and protecting our own or those of our allies—To this end you will make such arrangements as the state of your department and the good of the service will best warrant. I am &c.
Df, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The dateline and complimentary close on the draft are in Tench Tilghman’s writing.