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Letter from Henry Knox, August 9, 1777

TRANSCRIPT GLC 2437.04.039

Henry Knox.  Letter copy:  George Washington, 1777, August 9.  2 p. + docket.


9 Aug 1777


It is the Opinion of the subscriber that the Battery on Fort Island ought to have an additional work thrown up upon its left, and Garrison’d with 12 pieces heavy cannon, 150 Cannonier & half as many assistants, with 500 Infantry –


Red Bank to be so contracted so as to have 5 or 6 cannon on the land side; and as many heavy towards the river to prevent any ships coming up the channel leading to it, in order to flank the Gallies which may be stationd for the defence of the Cheveaux de Frize near the Fort –


Billingsport to be finished as at present contracted; or if possible more so; so as to hold 300 men, exclusive of 150 Cannonniers, and 75 Assistants, to work 12 pieces heavy cannon which ought to be in this work. –


The Gallies to lye opposite to it at the break of the low Island; in order to assist the fire of Billingsport, these Gallies would be for this purpose, preferable to the floating Batteries as they can most easily mov’d in case of an accident to Billingsport. –


If much depends on the fire ships an inclos’d Battery ought to be constructed on some advantageous piece of ground near Darbys Creek, and something higher up the river than [2] where the present defective Battery is:  this in order to prevent any of the enemys Ships mooring at the mouth [struck: of] [inserted: at] the [struck: no] western channel; so to prevent the fire ships being sent round into the main ship channel found between this western channel, is thought to be most commodious for the free operation of the fire ships, either in the Channel leading to Billingsport or further down the river; the Gallies ought also to lye in the western channel; if their retreat is perfectly secure, as the commodore says; as well in order to protect the fire ships, as to annoy any of the enemys Frigates which may be oppos’d to Billingsport:  But the two floating Batteries which from their unevedeness cannot be easily mov’d, together with the Frigates and Rebeques ought to lye behind the second row of Cheveaux de Frize upon a line with Fort Island.


If there should be time enough a strong inclos’d work ought to be thrown up on Fort Island; capable of containing 4 or 500 men; an[struck: d] advantage may be taken of part of the Stone work already erected, and which in its present state would be infinitely detramental to anybody of men who may seek shelter from it.


These Sentiments are respectfully submitted by Sir Yr. Most Obt. Hbe Sevts.


Henry Knox
Brig Genl

His Excellency Genl Washington


Sandy run –
Camp <?> County Aug 1777


Copy an opinion
deliver’d to His
Excellency General
Washington Aug 9 –