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MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY,
I arrived here on Saturday last with my regiment. They were much fatigued with the march, as I forced thirty-five miles one day. They are now in high spirits, and go to their duty with the greatest cheerfulness. The inclosed return shows our strength. I have found it necessary to contract the fort, but it is too large for our numbers, as we have very little to expect from the militia.
I saw General Newcomb last evening. He informs me that the small number now on duty expect to return home in a day or two ; those that relieve them expect to be relieved in three days. The General thinks your Excellency's intentions were, for the militia only to help complete the fort ; after that, to fall on the rear of the enemy, in case of an attack. Should we be attacked, they must be so scattered as to be able to give us little or no assistance.
The strength of the navy, and of Fort Mifflin, your Excellency will have by the express who bears this, from the officers commanding them. They are certainly very weak for so important a post. I have already, and shall still give them all the assistance in my power. Could your Excellency give us the assistance of Colonel Angell's regiment, I doubt not this post would be secure, without dependence on militia. If they are to be relieved in the manner I understand they are, it is my opinion they will do us no service. General Newcomb gives very little encouragement of any to supply the place of those that are going off the ground. Could we be reenforced, we probably might frustrate the enemy's designs in three batteries they are erecting against Fort Mifflin, and so near as to do much injury when opened.
I find it necessary, for the security of the post, to keep my men all on fatigue daily. This I doubt will cause them to be less spirited in action, if I should be under the necessity to continue it, which must be the case, unless I am reenforced. The post I have in charge I am determined to defend, with the small number I command, to the last extremity ; yet I doubt my number is much too small to answer your Excellency's expectations. I am, with the greatest respect,
Your Excellency's most obedient servant,
- Christopher Greene
- Correspondence of the American Revolution; Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, Volume II., Jared Sparks, 1853