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Portsmouth having been completely evacuated without any interruption from the enemy, General O'Hara arrived here this day with- the stores and troops ; and a great number of refugees have accompanied him from the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk and Princess Anne.
The engineer has finished his survey and examination of this place, and has proposed his plan for fortifying it which appearing judicious, I have approved of, and directed to be executed.
The works at Gloucester are now in such forwardness, that a smaller detachment than the present garrison would be in safety against a sudden attack ; but I make no alteration there, as I cannot hope that the labour of the whole will complete that post in less than five or six weeks.
My experience there of the fatigue and difficulty of constructing works in this warm season, convinces me that all the labour that the troops here will be capable of without mining their health, will be required at least for six weeks to put the intended works at this place in a tolerable state of defence ; and as your Excellency has been pleased to communicate to me your intentions of recommencing operations in the Chesapeak about the beginning, of October, I will not venture to take any step that might retard the establishing of this post, but I request that your Excellency will be pleased to decide whether it is more important for your plans that a detachment of 1000 or 1200 men, which I think I can spare from every other purpose but that of labour, should be sent to you from hence, or that the whole of the troops here should be employed in expediting the works.
There being only four 18's and one 24-pounder here, more heavy guns will be wanted for the sea-batteries at this place ; and. we are likewise in want of many other artillery and engineers' stores, the returns of which I take the liberty to enclose.
It is proper to mention to your Excellency, that you may make your arrangements accordingly, that there are only about 600 stand of spare arms in the Chesapeak ; and that our consumption of provisions is considerably increased by a number of refugees lately oome to us, and by negroes that are employed in different branches of the public service.
I have, &c.,
- Charles Cornwallis
- Correspondence of Charles, first Marquis Cornwallis, Vol I, Charles Ross, Esq., London, 1859