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Letter from Henry Knox, December 17, 1775

TRANSCRIPT GLC 2437.02.004
Henry Knox. Autograph letter draft: Fort George, NY, to George Washington, 1775 December 17. 2 p.

[inserted - different hand: To Washington]

Fort George Decr 17. 1775 –

May it please your Excellency

I return’d [struck: here with the] [inserted: to this place & [inserted: on the 15] brought with me the] Cannon [struck: on the] [strike-out]. It being nearly the time I conjectur’d it would take us to transport them to there, [inserted: strike-out] It is not easy [struck: to <?>] [inserted: conceive] the difficulties we have had [inserted: in] getting them [struck: here] [inserted: over the lake] owing to the advanc’d Season of the Year & contrary winds, but the danger is now past & [strike-out]; three days ago it was very uncertain whether we [struck: I] could have gotten them [struck: this Season] untill next Spring, but now please God they must go – I have [struck: gotten] [inserted: had] made forty two exceeding Strong Sleds & have provided eighty Yoke of oxen to drag them as far as Springfield where [struck: we will] [inserted: I shall] get fresh Cattle to Carry them to Camp – the rout will be from here to Kinderhook from thence into Great Barrington Massachusetts Bay & down to Springfield There will [inserted: scarcely] be [struck: any] possibility of [struck: getting] conveying them from here to Albany or Kinderhook but on sleds the roads being very much gullied, [struck: there is good sledding from this] at present the sledding is tolerable to Saratoga about 26 miles; beyond [inserted: that] there [inserted: is] none – I have sent for the Sleds & teams to come here & expect to [inserted: begin] move them to Saratoga on [inserted: Wednesday or] Thursday next trusting that between this & then we shall have a [struck: good] [inserted: fine] fall of snow which will [inserted: enable us to proceed further &] make the carriage easy – if that should be the case I hope in 16 or 17 days time to be able to present to your Excellency a noble train of artillery [struck: as will appear by] The Inventory [inserted: of] which I have Inclos’d – I also send a list of those stores which I desir’d Col McDougal to send from New York – I did not know then of any 13 Inch mortars which was the reason of my ordering but of few shells of that Size I now write to him for 500, [inserted: 13 Inch] & also 1 or 200. 5 lbs. & 400 – of 4 ½ [inserted: inches for the canons] – [struck: as <?>] if these sizes could be [2] had there [strike-out] [inserted: as I think they can] I should imagine it would save time [inserted: & expence] get them from thence rather than cast [inserted: them]– if sir you think otherwise or have made provision for them elsewhere you will please to countermand this order – There is no other news of Colo. Arnold than that from Colo McCleans having burnt the Houses round Quebec Col. Arnold was oblig’d to go to point au tremble about 6 miles from the City – that Genl Montgomery had gone to join him with a Considerbl Body of men & a good train of artillery – there are some timid & some malevolent Spirits which make this matter worse – but by the different accounts which I have been able to collect I have very little doubt that General Montgomery has Quebec in his possession

I am with the utmost
Respect Your Excellency’s Most
Obedt Hble Servant


You will pleese Sir to observe [struck: Sir] that there are no carriages nor Implements to the Cannon nor beds to the Mortars, all of which must be made in Camp

His Excellency General Washington

Notes: Published in Twohig, Dorothy et. al. The Papers of George Washington. Colonial Series, v. 2, p. 563-565.