To Colonel Timothy Pickering
[New Windsor, New York, February 15, 1781]
The General directs you will send off the inclosed dispatch for Count De Rochambeau1 very early in the morning with the most positive directions concerning expedition. It is of great importance that it should arrive to him as quick as possible.
He wishes you also to write to the Qr. Master at the station of your last express and desire him in case Sheldon2 should not have taken up the chain there, to forward it by a trusty and active person to the Duke De Lauzuns3 first stage which is at Hartford.
Alex Hamilton Aide De Camp
The General says he had a conversation with you on the manner of procuring waggons. Be so good as to inclose the letter for the Duke De Lauzen to your deputy at Hartford with directions to deliver it immediately into the Duke’s own hand, the two to Chattelux4 & Noailles5 to your deputy at New Port with the same directions each to its proper owner. If you have no deputy, send them to some friend. They are it seems of a very confidential nature.
ALS, MS Division, New York Public Library.
1. Washington’s letter to Rochambeau, dated February 15, 1781, is in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.
2. Colonel Elisha Sheldon, Second Continental Dragoons.
3. Armand Louis de Gonlaut Biron, Duc de Lauzun, held the rank of brigadier general and was commander of the French cavalry in America.
4. François Jean, Chevalier de Chastellux, had come to America in 1780 with the rank of major general in the French army under Rochambeau.
5. Louis-Marie, Vicomte de Noailles, Lafayette’s brother-in-law, mestre-de-camp en second of the Regiment Soissonnais, French army.