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only, you cannot without infinite risk hold them, as we shall not be in a situation to support you from without. I would therefore recommend your damaging them as much as you possibly can and relinquishing them. The artillery-men will be proportionably divided for the three attacks; each party will be provided with two lanterns and two rockets, one of which is to be fired in each work as soon as it is carried.
If complete success should attend the enterprise, not a moment should be lost in drawing the boats across the Island from the North River into Haerlem Creek, and securing them under the guns of Fort George, if circumstances will admit of it. But in case of a disappointment, and being obliged to retreat by water, and not being able to pass the enemy's ships and boats, the dernier resort must be a push over to the Jersey shore, and an abandonment of the boats, if they cannot be drawn up the bank and carried off on carriages. It will be very essential, that I should be made acquainted as early as possible with your success, and the extent of it. If complete, you will announce it by the firing of thirteen cannon, at one minute's interval, after all less firing and confusion have ceased. If Fort George only is carried, six cannon are to be fired in the same manner. For Fort Knyphausen, Tryon, or both of them, you need not give a signal, because you are, as before directed, immediately to relinquish them.
The foregoing is upon a supposition, that the principal object, the attempt upon the works on York Island, is carried into execution ; but, should you, upon reconnoitring the enemy to-morrow, find it unadvisable to prosecute the plan, or should you be obliged to give it over on account of an early discovery by the enemy's shipping or boats, I would then have you turn your attention to the support of an attempt, which is also to
be made on the morning of the 3d by the Duke de Lauzun upon Delancey's corps lying at Morrisania. To effect this, you will land your men at any convenient place above the mouth of Spiten Devil Creek, and march to the high grounds in front of Kingsbridge, where you will lie concealed until the Duke's attack is announced by firing or other means. You may then dispose of your force in such a manner, in view of the enemy, as to make them think your party larger than it is, which may have the double effect of preventing them from coming over the bridge to turn the Duke's right, and also of preventing any of Delancey's party from escaping that way. Your further operations must depend upon the movements of the enemy and other circumstances.
I expect to be in the neighbourhood of Kingsbridge early in the morning of the 3d, with the remainder of the army. I shall as soon as possible open a communication with you, and give you such orders as the general state of matters may require. If you land upon the east side of the river, above the mouth of Spiten Devil Creek, you will send your boats up along the east shore. If Major Darby receives no particular directions from me, he will proceed with them to King's Ferry. Given at Head-Quarters, near Peekskill, this 1st day of July, 1781.
TO BRIGADIER-GENERAL WATERBURY, AT HORSENECK.
Head-Quarters, Peekskill, 1 July, 1781.
I wrote to you yesterday by Captain Bulkley, directing you to march with all the troops you can collect under your command, and form a junction at Clapp's, in King Street, with Colonel Sheldon, who is to be at that place on the 2d instant. I am now to inform you, that you will also be joined at the same time and place by the French legion, under the command of the Duke de Lauzun, who is a brigadier in the service of his Most Christian Majesty, and an officer of distinction, long service, and merit. The Duke is to command all the troops, that will be assembled at the point mentioned. You will therefore be pleased on his arrival to put yourself and troops under his orders and command, he being furnished with my instructions for his movement subsequent to meeting you at Clapp's.
As the Duke will be a stranger to that part of the country, which is to be the scene of your operations, it will be in your power to give him much assistance and information, which I have not a doubt but you will do with the greatest cheerfulness and alacrity. The service, to which you will be called, requires great precaution, attention, and despatch. I am, Sir, &c.
TO COUNT DE ROCHAMBEAU.
Head-Quarters, Peekskill, 2 July, 1781. SIR, I have this morning received your Excellency's favor of last evening. I think it will be very well for your Excellency to proceed to-morrow to North Castle, where you will continue until you assemble your whole force, unless you should hear from me within that time. Being at North Castle will put you in a direct route to receive your provisions from Crompond, and it will be in a direct way for your troops to advance to White Plains, or any other point below, as circumstances shall appear to demand.
Colonel Hull, an active and very intelligent officer, will have the honor to deliver this to your Excellency. He is charged with my instructions to the Duke de Lauzun; and, being perfectly acquainted with our intended movements, and with the scene of operations, he will give all the aid in his power to the Duke. The same gentleman will be able to reply to any queries your Excellency shall be pleased to put to him. With perfect esteem and regard, I am, &c.
TO BRIGADIER-GENERAL KNOX, AT NEW WINDSOR.
Head-Quarters, Peekskill, 2 July, 1781. Dear Sir, The arrangement you have made, for the periods of transportation of the heavy stores from Philadelphia, agrees perfectly with my ideas of the matter; as I think we must be certainly able to determine ultimately upon our plan of operations by the time they are to be in motion.
An enterprise, which I have long had in contemplation, will be executed in the course of this night, if General Lincoln, who commands the operating party, finds the attack advisable upon reconnoitring the situation of the enemy, and he can do it by surprise. The enterprise is against the posts upon the north end of York Island. The remainder of the army marched this morning towards Kingsbridge. Part of the French troops were last night at Ridgebury, and will be at Bedford this evening. They will, in the course of to-morrow, be at hand to support us, should there be occasion. At the same time that the posts upon York Island are attempted, I have planned a surprise upon Delancey's corps at Morrisania, which is
to be executed by the Duke de Lauzun in conjunction with Sheldon's regiment and Waterbury's State troops.
Should we succeed in the attempt upon the posts, every effort will be made to hold them, and your assistance will be materially necessary. I shall take the speediest method of communicating the event to General McDougall at West Point, who will bring out the militia to our support. You may therefore take it for granted, that we have succeeded, if you see or hear the signals. You will in such case come immediately down, leaving Colonel Stevens to put every thing in readiness to follow. I am, &c.
TO COUNT DE ROCHAMBEAU.
Valentine's Hill, eight o'clock, P. M., 3 July, 1781.
Count Fersen will do me the favor to deliver this to your Excellency. The operations of this day are over, and I am sorry to say, that I have not had the happiness to succeed to my wishes, although I think very essential benefit will result to our future operations from the opportunity I have had, in a very full manner, to reconnoitre the position and works of the enemy on the north end of York Island. The particular events of the day I shall do myself the honor to communicate, when I have the pleasure to join your Excellency.
The American army and the legion of the Duke de Lauzun will march to-morrow to White Plains. If it will be convenient to you, I shall be happy to receive your Excellency with your troops at that place the day after to-morrow. When I shall have an opportunity to