George Washington to
Brigadier General Louis Le Bèque Du Portail and Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Hamilton1
Head Quarters West point 1st: Novemr 1779
I have this day been favd. with yours of the 26th: ulto. informing me of your removal to Great Egg Harbour. My letter of the 18th, which had not reached you, went, as you supposed, by way of Philada., and lest any accident may have happened to it, I inclose you a duplicate. Mine of the 30th. ulto., which went thro’ Major Lee, informed you of the evacuation of Rhode Island. I have since recd. a letter of the 21st. last from my confidential Correspondent in New York;2 he informs me, that Rawdons3 Corps, the 57th: and some of the Artillery, were then embarked, and it was said, and generally believed, that they were bound to Hallifax, that the Robuste of 76 guns had arrived the 20th: from Hallifax, and that a number of transports were taking in Water and Ballast. He gave me nothing further worth communicating.
You will find by the letter of the 18th. a provision of Fascines and Gabions was making and I shall give directions to the Qr. Mr. Genl. to provide a quantity of Sand Bags.
I am sorry to inform you that Col. la Radiere4 died on Saturday last. He is to be buried this day with the honors due to his Rank.
I am with great Esteem Gentlemen Your most obt. Servt.
P.S. Upon a presumption that Colo. Laurens will be on Board the fleet the inclosed are sent to you.
Brig: Genl. du portail
LS, in writing of Tench Tilghman, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress; Df, in writing of Tench Tilghman, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.
2. Samuel Culper, Jr., to Major Benjamin Tallmadge, October 21, 1779, translation by Tench Tilghman, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.
Samuel Culper, Jr., was the fictitious name of Robert Townsend, of Oyster Bay, Long Island. He was a spy for Washington. He should not be confused with another spy, Abraham Woodhull, of Setauket, Long Island, who used the fictitious name of Samuel Culper, Sr.
Major Benjamin Tallmadge of Connecticut managed the secret service around New York from 1778 until the end of the war.
3. Francis Rawdon-Hastings, Marquis of Hastings.
4. Lewis de la Radière, a Frenchman who had been engaged for service in America by Benjamin Franklin. When he died he was a colonel of the Corps of Engineers, Continental Army.