George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Greene, 18 July 1778

To William Greene

Haverstraw [N.Y.] Head Quarters 18th July 1778


I have the pleasure to congratulate you on the arrival of a French fleet at Sandy Hook under the command of Admiral Count d’Estaing for the purpose of co-operation with the American forces.

Accounts from New-york speak of a Cork fleet which is hourly expected and for whose safety the enemy are extremely alarmed. It is probable that this fleet, as well as other vessels, to avoid the Count d’Estaign’s will be directed to take its course thro’ the sound. If this should be the case, it might answer the most valuable intentions, were the Eastern States to collect, immediately, all their frigates and privateers, to rendévous at some convenient place for interrupting their passage that way. Could the whole or any considerable part of this fleet be taken or destroyed it would be a fatal blow to the British army which it is supposed at this time have but a small stock of provisions on hand. I would therefore beg leave to recommend and urge the matter to your particular consideration, as a thing of the utmost importance to our cause at this critical conjuncture, from the proper execution of which we may derive the most solid advantages. I am Sir with all due respect your most obedient and very hble servt

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LS, in James McHenry’s writing, R-Ar: Letters to the Governor; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. On this date GW also addressed an LS with the same text to Massachusetts council president Jeremiah Dummer Powell, adding a postscript: “You will be pleased to communicate this to the State of New-Hampshire” (M-Ar: Revolution Letters, 1778).

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