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Island, the others directly for the harbour. This I thought it my duty to advise your Honour of by express.
The two plans of fortifications that I showed your Honour, I left undesigned upon your desk; not supposing they would be of any advantage to you, and as they perhaps may be of some advantage here, I should be pleased to have them again, when you please.
I intended to have made a few observations on the plan for the Neck, viz: That to finish the work as it now stands, and described by the picket line, as it is much more extensive than the other, and the proposed one for ten heavy cannon, (in each case,) will be much more expensive than that proposed by the other planindeed, to remove the materials already used, to the other proposed work, will be fifty per cent, less than to proceed as the works are now begun. If the fort is to be enclosed, the first works will be vastly more expensive than necessary. It was ever my opinion to have the turret line east and west. Should, in future days, it be thought necessary to make a regular fort, with bastions, I conceive the corners of the plan are well calculated to be made into bastions; and if the fort should be thought best to be a square, it is only to extend the diameter north and south, so as to be equal to the east and west diameter; and if the barracks were sunk six feet under the surface, (as in the grand barracks,) the parapet would cover them from a cannon-shot; and if the fort should be made square, it would admit of a handsome parade between the barracks and platform.
I am, your Honours most obedient and humble servant,
To Governour Trumbull.
COLONEL SALTONSTALL TO GOVERNOUR TRUMBULL.
New-London, April 4, 1776, eight oclock, A. M.
HONOURABLE SIR: Yesterday at six oclock, P. M., Captain Henry Billings delivered me your Honours orders of the 2d instant, to detach one-third of the Third Regiment in this Colony, to hold themselves in readiness for service at a minutes warning, &.c.; and the vote of the Governour and Council of Safety, dated 1st instant, directing me to augment the company under my command to ninety men, to defend this and the neighbouring places from any invasion by the fleet your Honour supposed, by the intelligence received, were at Newport. The various accounts from Newport, since Tuesday noon, made it probable the account of a fleet being arrived there was premature, and last evening the post came in from thence and confirmed the matter that no fleet had been there, as your Honour was informed by express from Governour Cooke. The post tells me two men made oath, before Colonel Babcock, they saw a fleet, which I conclude was the foundation of Governour Cookes. intelligence. Enclosed you have the Newport paper, by which you will see that no ship but the Nautilus (of sixteen guns) had arrived there, and the accounts of the fleet were only report.
Matters relative to said fleet being thus situated, thought it my duty to send this express to your Honour for further orders. As to detaching one-third the regiment, and augmenting the company to ninety, and as it would be attended with no small expense to the Colony, and the occasion for so doing arose from an erroneous information your Honour and Council of Safety had received, shall therefore omit issuing any orders in the premises, until the express returns; and if, in so doing, omit immediately executing your Honours orders, hope for forgiveness, and that you will attribute my conduct to a zeal for the Colonys interest, by avoiding a considerable expense that would unavoidably accrue if the orders received from your Honour were instantly executed.
The Honourable Samuel Ward died at Philadelphia the 31st ultimo. My friend at Philadelphia, the 28th ultimo, writes, our fleet is at South-Carolina. I heartily congratulate your Honour on the success of the American Troops to the southward against Regulators and Tories. General Heath, with the troops, arrived at New-York Saturday afternoon.
I am, with the greatest esteem, your Honours most obedient and humble servant,
To Governour Trumbull.
GOVERNOUR TRUMBULL TO COLONEL SALTONSTALL.
Lebanon, April 4, 1776, two oclock, P. M.
SIR: I have your favour of this morning before me. Your company to be augmented to ninety men was intended had no misinformation been received. The addition of one company from your regiment, and another from Colonel Coit, for the service at Mamacock and Winthrops Point, will not forward those works with more expedition than is desirable. The failure of the plan for Minute-men renders the detachment now ordered necessary for the security of the harbour and defence of the town of New-London. I have not authority to counteract the order of the Governour and Council, and think it best not to call them together on the occasion; although I approve of your zeal for the Colonys interest, and of your useful hints for avoiding expenses. You will please to go on to execute the orders you have received. How soon the enemy may enter the harbour, make the attack, and attempt to land, or burn the town, is uncertain. Readiness to receive them is the best preventive remedy. I hope the works will be forwarded with prudence, diligence, and attention, and that we shall obtain a loan of cannon from New-York to be planted in them. I have desired Governour Griswold to come through New-London on Monday next, that he may be able to inform of every circumstance needful to be attended to. The Council meet next Tuesday. I received from Governour Cooke a letter of the 2d instant, at evening, informing of the mistake concerning the fleet. I have nothing material that is new. I have enclosed the two maps you left on my table.
I am, with great truth and regard, sir, your most obedient humble servant,
To Colonel Saltonstall.
GENERAL WASHINGTON TO PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.
[Read April 15. Referred to Mr. Wythe, Mr. Harrison, Mr. S. Adams.]
Cambridge, April 4, 1776.
SIR: I was honoured with your favours of the 21st and 25th ultimo, on the 2d instant, the former by Mr. Hanson, and the latter by Fessenden.
I heartily wish the money had arrived sooner, that the, Militia might have been paid as soon as their time of service expired. The disappointment has given them great uneasiness, and they are gone home much dissatisfied. Nor have I been without severe complaints from the other troops on the same account. When I get to New-York, I hope a sufficient sum will be there ready to pay every claim.
It is not in my power to make a report of the deficiency of arms in compliance with the direction of Congress at this time, as some of the regiments are at, and most of the others on their march to, New-York; nor do I know that it would answer any good purpose if it were, having made repeated applications to the several Assemblies and Conventions upon the subject, and constantly received for answer that they would afford us relief.
When I arrive at New-York, I shall, in pursuance of the order of Congress, detach four battalions to Canada, if the situation of affairs will admit of it, and shall be extremely happy if they and the troops already there can effect the important end of their going.
In my letter of the 1st instant, per post, I enclosed you a copy of a letter from Governour Cooke, advising me of the arrival of a ship-of-war, &c., at and near the harbour of Newport. I have now the pleasure to inform you that the report was entirely premature, and without any foundation. You have a copy of his letter of the 1st instant to this effect. I wish the alarm had never been given. It occasioned General Sullivan and his brigade to make an unnecessary and inconvenient diversion from their route.
Enclosed is a copy of an account presented by the honourable General Court, of powder furnished the Continental Army by this Colony. From the account, it appears that part of it was supplied before the Army was under my command, and therefore I know nothing of it, but have not the smallest doubt of the justice of the charge. I shall leave about two hundred barrels of this article with Major-General Ward, out of which Congress will direct him to make a return, if they think proper, and also repayment of what may have been furnished by the other Governments.