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1781, March Date, Monday, Oct. 16, Day 122

Greetings Friends and Patriots.....

The noose tightens on the British neck. Oh joy, oh joy....can it be possible? So many years of sweat and starvation, of miss-use and abuse, of frustration o'er the missed opportunity. Tis seems that now, finally, finally, we might actually have these English bastards under our boot heel....... oh the joy of it!

When last you read, we had some hot cannon shot sink some Brit ships in the York river. 3 or 4 if I remember correctly, back on the 10th. The constant drum of the cannon has made my brain numb, methinks. Then, on the 11th we started digging the diagonal trench that would bring us closer to the British lines. On the following day, we started digging a trench (dig the trench, build the redoubt) that is parrallel to the British lines. We are now but some 300 yards or so from the British defenses.

We have the British Redoubts # 9 & 10, in our sights as I write this. Tis sure to be an attack on those positions soon, certainly. We have concentrated our artillery fire on those positions these last couple of days. And the cannonnade is over wrought, going day and night, some two score and more firing all the day and night round, and more like 5 score cannon working now. The spectacular explosions of the cannons, the fire from the barrel, giving the spectre of hell to the enemy. The retorts, so loud and long, ringing about the country and the landing of the shot on the British defenses, so well wished, and guided. The British artillery response has been, as best, paltry. Methinks that our gunners have aimed quite well the round ball. Some bouncing along the ground, some landing and smashing, some exploding. Tis the birth of a new Universe, must be...

Two days ago, the assssault on the British Redoubts 9 $ 10 began in earnest. They had been shelled for two days straight, but the British were still manning them, and it looks that they are determined to hang on. After the concentrated artillery fire, a decison was made on the 14th, Oct., to begin the assault. T'was now as good a time as ever. Gen Wasington gave the command to Gen. Lafayette to make the assault, on foot, on Redoubt #10. Lafayette, we are told, asked the French conmander de Gimat to lead the assault, but we hear that Col. Alexander Hamilton protested that he should lead the assault. Washington selected Hamilton, who would lead some 400 troops against that British position.

The French Col. Deux-Ponts was selected to lead the assult on Redoubt #9, using some 400 French Grenadiers and Chasseurs. The way it worked was like this...
Saint-Simon and de Choisy began diversionary attacks on the Fusilier Redoubt and other positions, at approximately 6:30 of the Clock in the Evening, on the 14th. At about 7 of the Clock in the Evening, just a half-hour later, (tis dark now at that time, seems only days ago that it was still light at that hour), the commands of Hamilton and Deux-Ponts rang out and the men moved forward. Tis a cheer to curdle your soul that then went up on the field, the cheer of men about to die, a last shout to the Almighty....

Hamilton's target, Redoubt # 10 was reached quickly and was just as quickly over run, with few casulties. The British and Hessian defenders surrendered with not much of a fight. Must have been the constant cannon bombardment that made those defenders think twice about wanting to continue the inevitable, being so out gunned, out manned and out manuevered, no place to run, or hide.....

T'was a completely different set of circumstances at Redoubt #9. Col. Deux-Ponts's force took very heavy casualties before the Redoubt could be secured, but secured it was, finally, with the enemy again offering surrender, which was gladly accepted.

Immediately after the taking of the two Redoubts, we very quickly consolidated our positions, expecting a furious British counter-attack, but tis never came about....curious indeed. However, ole' Corny did indeed use all his remaining cannon to pound those positions o'er the next couple of days, but to no effect.

Tis, where we are now, the action has seemed to settle into another cannonade duel, with our guns outnumbering, and out firing the British guns. Tis seems that the British defense is troubled indeed and we await the drum of parley, or a flag, or some sign that they have had enough..... we wait, and wait, and wait....

We sleep little awaiting the dawn, and perhaps an end, but what awaits.....?
More soonest.........

I Remain,
At Your Service,
Richard Swartwout
For, 'AMtY'
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