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Official Report of the Capture of Stony Point.
I have now the honor of giving your Excellency a full & particular ace 1 of the Reduction of this post by the Light troops under my Command
On the 1 5 th Instant at i 2, OClock we took up our line of March from Sandy Beach distant about 14 Miles from this place the roads being exceeding bad & narrow & having to pass over high Mountains & thro such deep Morasses and difficult defiles that we were Obliged the greatest part of the way to move in single files, at 8, OClock in the evening the Van arrived at a M* SpringS teels within one Mile & a half of the Enemy's lines & formed into Columns as fast as they came up agreeable to the Order of Battle herewith transmitted, (vide Order) Col Febiger's Col Meigs's Regiments with Major Hull's detatchment formed the Right Column Col Butler's Regiment and Major Murphy's two Companies the Left
The troops remained in this position until several of the Principal Officers with myself had returned from Reconnoitring the Works, at half after Eleven (being the hour fixed on) the whole moved forward the Van of the Right was Composed of One Hundred & fifty Volunteers properly Officered with fixed Bayonets & Unloaded Muskets, under the Command of Lieut Col? Fleury preceded by twenty picked men headed by a vigilant Officer to remove the Abbatis & other Obstructions
The Van of the Left consisted of One Hundred Volunteers also with fixed Bayonets & unloaded Muskets under the Conduct of Major Steward these were likewise preceded by twenty men under a Brave & Determined Officer
At 12 OClock the assault was to begin on the Right & left flanks of the Enemy's Works, & Major Murphey to amuse them in front, but from the Obstructions thrown in our way & a deep Morass surrounding their whole front and overflowed by the tide rendering the Approaches more difficult than at first apprehended, it was about twenty minutes after twelve before the assault began previous to which I placed myself at the Head of Febiger's Regiment or Right Column & gave the troops the most pointed Orders not to Attempt to fire, but put their whole dependance on the Bayonet which was most faithfully & Literally obeyed, neither the deep morass, the formidable & double rows of Abbatis or the high and strong works in front flank could damp the Ardor of the troops who in the face of a most tremendous & Incessant fire of Musketry, & from Artillery loaded with shells & Grape shot forced their way at the point of the Bayonet thro every Obsticle, both Columns meeting in the Centre of the Enemy's works nearly at the same Instant
too much praise cannot be given to Lieut Colonel Fleury (who struck the enemy's Standard with his own hand) & to Major Steward who Commanded the Advanced parties, for their brave & prudent Conduct, Colonels Butler, Meigs, & Febiger conducted themselves with that coolness, bravery & perseverance that ever will ensure success ; Lieut. Col Hay was wounded in the thigh bravely fighting at the head of his Battalion : I should take up too much ot your Excellency's time was I to particularise every Individual who deserves it for his bravery on this Occasion, however, I must acknowledge myself Indebted to Major Lee for the frequent and useful Intelligence he gave me & which Contributed much to the Success of this enterprize, & it's with the greatest pleasure I acknowledge to you that I was Supported in the attack by all the Officers & Soldiers to the utmost of my wishes, & Return my thanks to the Officers & privates of Artillery for their alertness in turning the Cannon against the Enemy's works at Verplanks point & their Shiping which slipt their cables and Immediately droped down the River
I should be wanting in gratitude was I to omit mentioning Cap 1 Fishbourn & M" Archer my two aids De Camp, who on every Occasion shewed the greatest Intripidity & Supported me into the Works after I had rec? my wound in passing the last Abbatis
Enclosed are Returns of the killed & wounded belonging to the Light Corps, as also that of the enemy together with the number of prisoners taken, Likewise of the Ordnance & Stores found in the Garrison
I had forgot to Inform your Excellency that previous to the assault I had ordered Genl Muchlingburg into my rear who with three hundred men of his Brigade took post on the Opposite side of the Marsh, so as to be in readiness either to Support us, or to cover a Retreat in case of accident, & have not the least doubt of his faith fully & Effectually executing either had there been an Occasion for it
the Humanity of our brave soldiery who scorned to take the lives of vanquished foe's calling for mercy reflects the highest Honor on them & accounts for so few of the Enemy being killed on the Occasion
I am not fully satisfied with the manner in which I have mentioned Lieu 1 . Gibbons of the 6th & Lieu 1 Knox of the gth Penns a Regiments, the two gentlemen who led the advanced parties of each Column the first had 17 men killed & wounded out of twenty the latter tho not quite so unfortunate in that Respect was nevertheless equally exposed they both behaved with an Intrepidity & address that would have given Credit to the oldest Soldier,
I have the honor to be with Singular Respect
Your Excellency's most Obt & very Hum'l Sev't
- Antony Wayne