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Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, July 7:December 31, 1776
Volume 12, Page 489   View pdf image (33K)
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of the Council of Safety, 1776. 489

stop the river in such a manner as to be impassable to ship-
ping in the Spring. We could also have built other forts on
the Jersey side of the river which would considerably aid and
assist the forts we already have, but alas! we must no longer
think of holds and fortresses on the North River.
There are, I hear, various opinions respecting the taking fort
Washington, some think that it was too easily surrendered,
others say our men behaved well and that it could not possibly
be help'd. I have not been where I wou'd hear anything
respecting the order of our men at that place the only intelli-
gence I have is in a letter from an officer of our corps, he
tells me that the greatest part of our men engaged the Enemy
one mile at least from the fort, at the stockade or rear line
(described in my last to you) that while they were engaged
there a considerable body of the Enemy passed over the
Spiten devil or Harlaem Creek and by a quick movement
possess'd themselves of all the passes, between our men at
the lines and the fort, the consequence was that they surren-
der' d immediately, there were I make no doubt other move-
ments of the Enemy, to the Northward of the fort as per
newspapers; but he mentions to me nothing more. It seems
the Garrison consisted of upwards of 2000 men, I am sur-
prised then that they would leave the fort at any rate. It
appears to me to have been rashness to have left it at such a
distance as they did. It required little foresight to know, that
as Genl Howe had his whole armament at hand, he would
make a vigorous effort, if any at all; and as he was furnish'd
with conveniencies for passing Harlaem Creek, was it to be
thought that he would confine his attack to one place ? How-
ever I am undertaking to judge perhaps without having the
truth of things, this I think very certain, that it would have
taken 5000 instead of 2000 men to have defended against
Genl Howe's Army, the lines which it is said our men
attempted to defend.
I am now on my way to Camp, where I shall find it
God knows; if any thing worth your notice comes within my
observation I shall write you with pleasure.
I had the pleasure of seeing two of the Honble Commisrs
from this Province, at Philadelphia, Messrs Hanson and
Chamberlaine; but as I had made a resolution before I saw
them not to engage again in the service I had little conversa-
tion with them on the subject of appointments. I thank you
kindly Sir for the favorable opinion you have of me, express'd
in your last, I wish it may ever be more in my power than it
now is to confirm it. I am, honble Sir
Your most obedt Servt
Wm Harrison.


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Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, July 7:December 31, 1776
Volume 12, Page 489   View pdf image (33K)
 Jump to  

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