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Knox, Henry (1750-1806) [Retained copy of an opinion delivered to General George Washington]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.00634 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: Pennsylvania Type: Manuscript letter Date: 9 August 1777 Pagination: 2 p. : docket ; 29.2 x 19.8 cm.

Offers opinions regarding fortification and manpower at Fort Island, Red Bank, and Billingsport. Created in Pennsylvania at Camp Sandy Run. Dated in another hand. Text is in the hand of William Knox.

Fort Island, later known as Fort Mifflin, was a construction for a fort at the southern edge of Philadelphia on the Delaware River. Red Bank is located in New Jersey near Philadelphia.

[draft]
Aug 9 1777
It is the Opinion of the subscriber that the Battery on Fort Island ought to have an additional work thrown up and its left, and Garrison'd with 12 pieces heavy cannon, 150 Cannonies is 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 rear; to prevent any ship coming up the channel leading to it, in order to flank the Gallies which may be Stationd for the defence of the Chateau 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 not 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 groung near Darbys Creek, and something higher up the river than [2] where the present defictive Battery is: this in order to prevent any of the enemys Ships mooring at the mouth of 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 the Billingsport or further down the river; the Galleds 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 unevedness 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; and advantage may be taken of part of the Stone work already erected, and which in its present State would be infinitely detramental to any body 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
[address]
Sandy run -
Camp [struck: Bucks County] Aug 1777
[docket]
Copy an opinion
delivered to His
Excellency General
Washington Aug 9 -
1777

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