TRANSCRIPT GLC 2437.04.078
Henry Knox. Letter: Camp White Marsh, to George Washington,
1777 December 03. 2 p. + doc.
Camp White Marsh 3d. Decembr. 1777
I receivd your Excellencys orders to give you my sentiments
upon the advisability of a Winter Campaign and practicability
of an attack upon Philadelphia with the aid of a considerable
body of Militia assembled at an appointed time and place.
Were it probable that Sr. Wm. Howes destruction would
be the consequence of a Winter Campaign, I would most chearfully
give my voice and opinion for one I think a Winter
Campaign under the present circumstances will be the inevitable
destruction if not of the Liberties of the Country yet of
the present Army: my opinion is founded on the following reasons
Our entire want of Cloathing to keep the men from Perishing
form the cold Winter's Season.
The improbability & impracticability of surprizing 10.000
veteran troops in a well fortified city.
The impossibility of our keeping the field to besiege their
works and City regularly and, being almost totally deficient
of any Warlike apparatus for so arduous an enterprize.
The uncertainty of obtaining such a sufficient number of
Militia as to make the enterprize warranted by reason or common
 Military knowledge. My Opinion is for putting the
Army in good Winter Quarters: to repair the damages done:
to recruit & reform the Army: to provide Magazines &c.
In the Spring we may be enabled to strike the enemy a decisive
blow: which by making a Winters Campaign I think improbable
I am Sir with the greatest
Respect Yr Excellencys most
Obt. Hble Servant
His Excellency General Washington
An Opinion &c.
Decr 3d. 1777
on a Winter Campaign