New port, April 25th 1781
Major Tallmadge has delivered us the Letter of the 8th instant that your Excellency has favored us with. We have conjointly with him examined the plan of Loed’s neck fort, and he has given us all the intelligences which his zeal and sagacity which he has shewn in several actions, have procured him. By his report, it appears that there are 750. men garrisoned in that itshmus; that the fort is good, and well defended by abattisses, has a covered way palissaded, that the garrison is the greatest part of it barracked between the palissadoes and the fort, and that there are some refugies in the houses Scattered in the Peninsula. The result of all these intelligences, is, that it seems impossible, departing from here, to surprise them; that thirty Leagues of navigation, specially in the Sound cannot be made without giving the alarm, that even supposing that the Troops could Land at the given place, in the night, at three miles distance from the fort, and without being discovered, we must not presume, that going thro’ a country occupied by refugies, they could arrive at the fort before the garrison, that is barracked on the glacis, behind the Palissadoes had entered into it, unless their negligence be extremely great and they be all overcome by sleep; that it seems the Surprising such a post can only be undertaken by a departure from a place on the continent where the passage by sea is very short, and having a previous knowledge that there is a momentaneous Lethargic negligence among them. moreover, your Excellency is acquainted with our naval strength at present. All the Armed frigates are out on different destinations; We have here the romulus a careening, will not be ready these 15. days, and the Gentille that cannot be armed before the return of the Cutter’s crew which we expect the Germione will bring back from Philadelphy. At that time, your Excellency will be a better judge than We, of the Possibility of making an attempt on that post, and your Excellency’s orders shall be attended to by us, with all possible zeal. We are with respect and personal attachment, Sir, Your Excellency’s most obedient most humble servants
le cte de Rochambeau
DLC: Papers of George Washington.