In front of you is the Upper Works, and inside were two flank batteries, each with large ship guns. Lieutenant John Roberts of the Royal Artillery went to the left battery, nearest the bay, after the first shots of the attack were fired:
Captain Clayton, seeing that I belonged to the Artillery said "For God's sake, why is the Artillery here not being made use of? The enemy are in the hollow and crossing the water!" I replied that the ammunition was not come up, and had it been .. these guns .. could not have been made use of.
In fact, these heavy cannon could not have been lowered far enough to fire on the Light Infantry, who charged to the Upper Works with muskets unloaded, relying solely on their bayonets. In the pitch darkness, the American attackers wore white pieces of paper in their hats to distinguish themselves from the enemy in the ensuing hand-to-hand combat. Captain Henry Champion of Connecticut described his charge up the steep bank of Stony Point with the south column:
The fire was very brisk from cannon and grapeshot and lagrange, as well as from small arms with ball and buckshot, through which our troops advanced with the greatest regularity and firmness without firing a gun or once breaking their order, except to climb the abatis and then forming instantly after passing them.