Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Knox, Henry (1750-1806) to Board of War & Ordnance

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.01204 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: Yorktown, Virginia Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 2 October 1781 Pagination: 2 p. + docket

Reports that Colonel Robert Harrison will wait for the Board to send a supply of musket ammunition for the Southern Army commanded by General Nathanael Greene. Explains that the frequent activity has depleted stores and the free navigation of the Chesapeake Bay provides an opportunity for delivery. Asks that stores from Williamsburg, Virginia also be forwarded. Reports that they invested Yorktown on 28 September 1781 and that General Cornwallis' evacuated his outer works the following day. The Continental Army hopes to open its batteries in three days.

Camp before York 2d October 1781

Gentlemen
Colonel Harrison will wait on your honorable board for a supply of [inserted: musquet] ammunition for the Southern Army under General Greene. The frequent expenditures in that quarter have left the Army [there] almost entirely destitute. The present moment of the free navigation of the Chesepeak bay is too precious to be neglected in obtaining a full supply. This is also his Excellency the commander in cheifs sentiments - In addition to what shall be given to Colonel Harrison I earnestly [struck: request] [inserted: beg] that the quantity of musquet cartridge which I requested when [2] in Philadelphia and the additional stores from Williamsburg may be forwarded with the utmost expedition.
We marchd to this place on the 28th ultimo and completey encircled [struck: the] the Town on the 30th the [struck: man] [inserted: measure] was greatly facilitated by the enemys abandoning their out [struck: works] [inserted: posts], and leaving us at libery to establish ourselves within 600 yards of their main works - We hope to open our batteries in three days.
I have the honor Gentlemen
to be your Most obedt
Servt
Honorable board War & Ordnance HKnox

[docket]
To The Board of War
2d Octo. 1781.

[written in side margin on page 1]
which is impossible to [furnish] him from the [struck: [powder]] stores of this Army [struck: [at present]]

Order a CopyCitation Guidelines for Online Resources