George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General John Sullivan, 20 July 1778

From Major General John Sullivan

Providence July 20th 1778

Dear General

I beg Leave to Inform you that about four Days Since twenty one Sail of Large Transports from Newyork arrived at Rhode Island with about two Thousand troops on Board They were at first Said to be Invalids but it Now appear that they are Effectives But mostly Foreigners1 They have Now about five Thousand Troops on the Islands & have Seven vessels of War Sloops & Small Frigates only they have in addition five Gallies They have of Late Made No Movement but it is probable they will Soon. I have the Honor to be with the Highest Respect your Excellenceys most obedt Servt

Jno. Sullivan

P.S. I most Sincerely Congratulate your Excellencey on the Late victory the Arrival of the French Fleet & the Favourable Aspect of our affairs at this time & most Earnestly wish that your Excellenceys Long Tryed Patience under The most Discouraging Misfortunes May be Rewarded with that Compleat Conquest which you have Long Sought & which Nothing but your Steady perseverance could obtain.

J: S:


1Frederick Mackenzie, a captain of the Royal Welch Fusiliers (23d Regiment of Foot) stationed at Newport, R.I., noted in his diary entry of 15 July that “A fleet of 18 Sail came in this Evening under Convoy of The Fowey from New York, having on board The 38th Regiment, The two Battalions of Anspach, and Colonel Fanning’s Regiment of Provincials, with about 50 of The Royal Artillery; amounting in the whole to about 2000 men, under the Command of Major General Prescott.” The troops disembarked on 16 July ( Mackenzie Diary description begins Diary of Frederick Mackenzie Giving a Daily Narrative of His Military Service as an Officer of the Regiment of Royal Welch Fusiliers during the Years 1775–1781 in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York. 2 vols. Cambridge, Mass., 1930. description ends , 1:309–10).

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