October 23, 1782

Written by James from Lunts Creek

Just days later after writing his August 1782 letter from West Point, James Davenport travelled down the Hudson with 8,000 other soldiers to a new encampment at Verplanck’s Point. Washington used this move to think through how an amphibious assault on New York might work. And as you can explore in the Museum’s Picturing Washington’s Army interactive, he used the encampment there to impress French allies. The Continental Army was encamped in a long line, and soldiers built elaborate structures, gateways, and arbors. Just down the line from the 8th Massachusetts, a sergeant in another Massachusetts regiment wrote in his journal that “We have here a fine encampment which will furnish the public with a curious map someday or other.”

Davenport made no mention of this activity besides noting that on October 23, he was encamped on “Lunts Creek” a few miles below “Peeksville” (today’s Dickey Creek feeds into Lunts Cove just outside Verplanck, New York, down the Hudson from Peekskill). More important to him was the absence of news from home, and he opened this letter with an amusing dialogue between himself and his pen, perhaps inspired by the popular fictional “object narratives” of this period. 

Transcription PDF Picturing Washington's Army
"my Parunts"

James Davenport's parents were Isaac and Mary Davenport, of Dorchester.

"Mr Fenno & his family"

Enoch Fenno was a friend of James Davenport who had married in 1780 and had a young son.