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General Washington to Joseph Reed



Cambridge, February 26, 1776.

DEAR SIR: We have, under many difficulties, on account of hard frozen ground, completed our work on Lechmere' s Point. We have got some heavy pieces of ordnance placed there, two platforms fixed for mortars, and every thing for any offensive operation. Strong guards are now mounted there, and at Cobble-Hill.

About ten days ago the severe freezing weather formed some pretty strong ice from Dorchester to Boston-Neck, and from Roxbury to the Common. This, I thought, knowing the ice could not last, a favourable opportunity to make an assault upon the troops in town. I proposed it in Council; but behold, though we had been waiting all the year for this favourable event, the enterprise was thought too dangerous. Perhaps it was; perhaps the irksomeness of my situation led me to undertake more than could be warranted by prudence. I did not think so, and I am sure yet, that the enterprise, if it had been undertaken with resolution, must have succeeded; without it, any would fail; but it is now at an end, and I am preparing to take post on Dorchester-Heights to try if the enemy will be so kind as to come out to us. Ten regiments of Militia, you must know, had come in to strengthen my hands for offensive measures; but what I have said respecting the determinations in Council, and the possessing of Dorchester-Point, is spoken under the rose. I am, &c˙,

To Joseph Reed.