John Adams letter to Abigail Adams, 13 July 1777


Philadelphia, 13 July, 1777.


WE have a confused account from the northward of something unlucky at Ticonderoga, but cannot certainly tell what it is. I am much afraid we shall lose that post, as we did forts Washington and Lee ; and indeed, I believe we shall, if the enemy surround it. But it will prove no benefit to him. I begin to wish there was not a fort upon the continent. _ Discipline and disposition are our resources. It is our poicy to draw the enemy into the country, where we can avail ourselves of hills, woods, rivers, defiles, &c., until our soldiers are more inured to war. Howe and Burgoyne will not be able to meet this year, and if they were met, it would only be better for us, for we should draw all our forces to a point too. If they were met, they could not cut off the communication between the northern and southern States. But if the communication was cut off for a time, it would be no misfortune, for New England would defend itself, and the southern States would defend themselves. Colonel Miles is come out of New York on his parole. His account is, as I am informed, that Mr. Howe's projects are all deranged. His army has gone round the circle, and is now encamped in the very spot where he was a year ago. The spirits of the To r! es are sunk to a great degree, and those of the army too. The Tories have been elated with prospects of com ing to this city and triumphing, but are miserably disappointed. The Hessians are disgusted, and their general de Heister gone home in a miff.

John Adams

Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife. Edited by His Grandson, Charles Francis Adams, Volume I, 1841