Washington, George, 1732-1799. The writings of George Washington from the original manuscript sources: Volume 4
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To JOSEPH REED Cambridge, February 26, 1776.
Dear Sir: A line or two from you by Colonal Bull, 98 which came to hand last evening, is the only letter I have received from you since the 21st January; this, added to my getting none
[Note:Col. John Bull had recently resigned the colonelcy of the First Pennsylvania Battalion. He, later, became colonel of a Pennsylvania State regiment and was adjutant general of the State from 1777 to the close of the war. ]
from any other correspondent southward, leads me to apprehend some miscarriage. I am to observe, though, that the Saturday's post is not yet arrived, by that I may possibly get letters. We have, under as many difficulties, perhaps, (on account of hard frozen ground,) as ever working parties engaged, completed our work on Letchmore's Point; we have got some heavy pieces of ordinance placed there, two platforms fixed for mortars, and everything but the thing ready 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 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, 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 here said respecting the determination in council, and possessing of Dorchester Point, is spoken under the rose. 99
[Note:From Reed's Life and Correspondence of Joseph Reed. ]