George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Alexander McDougall, 17 July 1779

From Major General Alexander McDougall

West point 17th July 1779. 7 P.M.


Your Excellencys Favor of this Day is this Moment received.1 Colonel Hamiltons of equal date, reached Me at 3 P.M.2 Only Eight of the Boats written for, can be procured and are now ready. It is imposible at this post, to furnish the Horse Harness desired; for few of the Artillery brought here are accompanied with Horse Harness. I have however directed the Quarter-Master to write immediately to New-Windsor for them. If they can be had, they will be sent with all posible dispatch.3 The Pettiaugers are ordered; but Watermen are so scarse for the demand, and many of them marched with pattersons Brigade, I fear the number neccessary cannot be got to Man the Galley. Every effort however will be made. I have the honor to be Your Excellencys Humble Servant

Alexr McDougall

P.S. If my Conjectures are just, as to the use to be made of the Galley, I fear it is out of our power to Send her properly provided, to take in the Heavy Cannon.4

LS, DLC:GW; ADf, NHi: McDougall Papers.

1This letter has not been found.

2This letter from GW’s aide-de-camp Alexander Hamilton to McDougall has not been identified.

3GW apparently wanted horse harness suitable for use with artillery to concentrate firepower against the British works at Verplanck Point, N.Y. (see GW to Robert Howe, 16 and 17 July [first and second letters]; and Howe to GW, 17 [first and second letter], 18, and 19 July; see also GW to the Officer Commanding Artillery at Chester, N.Y., 16 July, and n.2 to that document). For the abandonment of these operations against Verplanck Point, see Howe to GW, 18 July; Heath to GW, 19 July (second and third letters); and GW to Heath, 19 July.

4McDougall is referring to heavy cannon at Stony Point, New York. The Americans removed all the heavy cannon from that place, except one, prior to their evacuation on 18 July (see Richard Butler to GW, 19 July, n.2, and GW to John Jay, 21 July).

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