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Letter from Colonel Knox to General Washington



Fort-George, December 17, 1775.

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY: I returned from Ticonderoga to this placo on the 15th inst, and brought with me the cannon, &c˙, it having taken nearly the time I conjectured it would to transport them here. It is not easy to conceive the difficulties we have had in getting them over the lake, owing to the advanced season of the year and contrary winds. Three days ago, it was very uncertain whether we could have gotten them over until next spring; but now, please God, they shall go. I have made forty-two exceeding strong sleds, and have provided eighty yoke of oxen to drag them as far as Springfield, where I shall get fresh cattle to carry them to camp. The route will be from here to Kinderhook, from thence into Great Harrington, Massachusetts-Bay, and down to Springfield. There will scarcely be any possibility of conveying them from here to Albany or Kinderhook, but on sleds, the roads


being very much gullied. At present, the sledding is tolerable to Saratoga, about twenty-six miles; beyond that there is none. I have sent for the sleds and teams to come up, and expect to begin to move them to Saratoga on Wednesday or Thursday next, trusting that between this and that period we shall have a fine fall of snow, which will enable us to proceed farther, and make the carriage easy. If that should be the case, I hope, in sixteen or seventeen days, to be able to present to your Excellency a noble train of artillery, the inventory of which I have enclosed . I have been particular with respect to their dimensions, that no mistake may be made in making their carriages, as there are none here, or implements of any kind. I also send a list of those stores which I desired Colonel McDougall to send from New-York . I did not then know of any 13-inch mortars, which was the reason of my ordering but few shells of that size; but I now write to him for five hundred 13-inch, two hundred 5 7/10 inch, and four hundred 4 1/2-inches. If these sizes could be had there, as I believe they can, I should imagine it would save time and expense rather than to have them cast. If you should think otherwise, or have made provision for them elsewhere, you will please to countermand this order.

There is no other news here of Colonel Arnold than that, from Colonel Maclean' s having burnt the houses round Quebeck, Colonel Arnold was obliged to go to Point-aux-Trembles, about six miles from the city; that Gen˙ Montgomery had gone to join him with a considerable body of men, and a good train of artillery, mortars, &c. There are some timid and some malevolent spirits who make this matter much worse; but from the different accounts which I have been able to collect, I have very little doubt that General Montgomery has Quebeck now in his possession.

I am, with the utmost respect, your Excellency' s most obedient; humble servant,

Henry Knox

His Excellency General Washington.