Colonel William West to General John Sullivan- 1778 Battle of Rhode IslandFrom Volume 2, Page 254 of the
"Letters and Papers of Major-General John Sullivan," edited by Otis Hammond, published in 1930.
Col. William West to Gen. Sullivan, Aug. 23, 1778 Autographed Letter Signed
[Sullivan Papers, Coe Collections, New Hampshire Historical Society]
Camp before Newport Augt 23, 1778
Dear Sir Your favour of the present Inst. has come to hand and weighty and important Questions within propos'd been duly considered; In answer to which Questions, it is my opinion That it is most advisable to Continue the Seige, and at the same to secure a Retreat--I think the Ground the Enemy occupies so strong, their works so well Constructed, our Numbers so small and undisciplined that I think the probibility of success against us, in attempting to storm their lines--But I think it most advisable to continue our approaches and stick to this as long as ther is any possibility of Success-and a safe retreat Secured--
However if upon the whole your Excellency thinks it most advisable to storm their Lines I thnk the sooner the better and to be assured that no one shall be more cheerfully to obey your Excellencys Command than his most obedient Servant