Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO GOVERNOR GEORGE CLINTON. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. VI (1777-1778)
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TO GOVERNOR GEORGE CLINTON. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. VI (1777-1778) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890). Vol. VI (1777-1778).
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TO GOVERNOR GEORGE CLINTON.
Head-Quarters, 15 October, 1777.
I was this day honored with yours of the 9th, containing a full account of the storm of Forts Montgomery and Clinton. General Putnam had given me information of the loss two days before, but not in so full and ample a manner. It is to be regretted that so brave a resistance did not meet with a suitable reward. You have however the satisfaction of knowing, that every thing was done, that could possibly be done by a handful against a far superior force. This I am convinced was the case. This affair might have been attended with fatal consequences, had not there been a most providential intervention in favor of General Gates’s arms on the 7th instant; but I am fully of opinion, that Sir Henry Clinton will not advance much farther up the river, upon hearing of Burgoyne’s defeat and retreat. Nothing but absolute necessity could have induced me to withdraw any further part of the troops allotted for the defence of the posts up the North River; but such was the reduced state of our Continental regiments, after the battle of Brandywine, and such the slowth and difficulty of procuring reinforcements of militia from the southward, that without the troops from Peekskill we should scarcely have been able to keep the field against General Howe. I had the greatest hopes, that General Putnam would draw in as many Connecticut militia, as would replace the Continental troops, and I make no doubt but he did all in his power to obtain them in time. I am sorry that you were under the necessity of destroying the frigates. The only consolation is, that if we had not done it ourselves, the enemy would either have done it for us, or have carried them down for their own use.
Since the battle of Germantown, upon the 4th instant, the two armies have remained in a manner quiet. The enemy have made several attempts to remove the obstructions in the Delaware, but hitherto without effect. They are now making preparations to raise batteries in the rear of Fort Mifflin, which commands the uppermost chevaux-de-frise. If we can maintain that post, and one opposite upon the Jersey shore, I am in hopes our ships, galleys, and floating batteries will be able to keep their stations and repel any force, that can be brought by water directly in front. I most earnestly expect further news from the northward, which I hope will bring us accounts of the total ruin of Burgoyne’s army.
It is not unlikely that one of Sir Henry Clinton’s objects will be to destroy the boats and small craft in the North River. Should this be the case, and he succeed, I think it will be advisable for you to set a number of workmen to building flat-bottomed boats at some secure places within three or four miles of the water, from which they may be easily hauled. They are so exceedingly useful, and so frequently wanted, that I think the business cannot, in such case, be too soon begun or carried on with too much expedition. I have written to General Putnam upon the same subject. I am, dear Sir, &c.
P. S. By sundry concurring accounts of persons out of Philadelphia and from Deserters, the Enemy’s loss in the action of the 4th was very considerable. The lowest say it was 1500 killed and wounded, others 2000, and some as high as 2500. Perhaps the two last are exaggerated, but there are many reasons to believe that the first cannot much exceed the mark. For they were compleatly surprized and drove in great disorder for a long time and for a considerable distance at every point of attack. Had it not been for the extreme fogginess of the day which prevented our several Columns discovering each others movements and from improving the advantages which they separately gained, in all probability the day would have been a most fortunate one—But owing to that circumstance they got confused and retreated at a moment when there was every appearance of victory in our favor. The Enemy lost some valuable officers, among the slain Genl. Agnew and it is said another Genl. officer was dangerously wounded. We are not without [NA] on our part Brigadr. Nash was wounded by a Cannon Ball and is since dead. We had also several other officers of inferior rank wounded and some killed—This crude undigested account I dont mean for publication. I hope all will yet end well.