Want to save this letter now that you've found it?
It's easy - just create your own collection of letters after signing up for a free account.
Agreeably to your order, by Colonel Reed's letter, I have directed Colonel Holden to march with his three companies this evening to King's Bridge.
I shall, in consequence of that order, be under the necessity of totally neglecting the Point Battery, until men are sent up to work on it; our two battalions being employed in raising part of our parapet, covering the large magazine, cutting and forming the abatis, digging wells, &c. That magazine will be prepared to receive the powder this evening. The magazine within the fort will be completed in two days.
We have so many sick and on guard, that I have been obliged to give up the outworks for the pre sent.
As I had no orders respecting the chevaux-de-frise, and as the artists appeared willing to take their own way, I did not presume to interfere.
In future I will watch and direct their movements. But, as Colonel Putnam is absent with the soundings, and as the vessels are sent up without persons who are acquainted with the depth of water for which they were calculated, I shall be at a loss to sink them. The sloops which came up this morning, being small, must, in my opinion, be sunk to the west ward of the brigs. If Colonel Putnam had another destination for them, I beg to be favored with direction. where to place them.
In future it will be best to send up single vessels, it being the most abstruse problem in hydraulics to determine of what size the several ports, or holes, would be, in vessels of different tonnage and construction, in order to their sinking at the same time. If one sinks before the other, we risk, as yesterday.
I believe that vessels above ninety tons, without iron work, will answer very well. No ship will at tempt to pass over them, even if they were eighteen feet below the surface. If five or six vessels, of one hundred tons each, could be sent up, I shall apprehend no danger of ships of war passing them. It will be the most expeditious and the most frugal scheme. The Colossus is now at anchor, a little to the westward of her post. The buoy, fixed by Colonel Putnam, appears to be too distant from the shore. Possibly it may have been carried there by the wind and current. It shall be removed this night, if possible ; the brigs, this afternoon.
The enemy may possibly attempt to weigh some of the vessels. It will, therefore, be necessary to fix some guns at the battery. If I can obtain no heavy guns, I will send down our four twelve-pounders and the howitzer, and fight them. I am, with zeal and attachment,
Your Excellency s, &c.
- Major General Mifflin
- 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 I., Jared Sparks, 1853