George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., 28 July 1778

To Jonathan Trumbull, Sr.

Head Quarters White Plains 28th July 1778


I was this morning honored with yours of the 25th. I think you need be under no apprehensions for the safety of your Coast, while the Count D’Estaings Squadron lays off the harbour of New port, as the Enemy will have sufficient upon their hands to prevent their carrying on a predatory War—I took the Liberty of suggesting to the Count, the advantage of sending a Ship of force down the Sound, to prevent the Enemy from reinforcing thro’ Hell-Gate;1 but whether he will incline to divide his Fleet in that manner, I cannot say.

I am well aware of the inconveniency of drawing out the Militia at this time, but I am in hopes that the importance of the object, and I think I may say, the moral certainty of Success, if the enterprize is supported with spirit, will outweigh every other consideration. Besides, the time of service will probably be but short, as the expedition will either be immediately determined in our favour, or must be laid aside.2

It is impossible for me to spare larger detachments from this Army, than I have already done, as the Enemy in and about New-York are superior in force to our main Body. Should they reinforce Rhode Island, I shall do so of course.

I sincerely condole with you on the death of your worthy Son Colo. Joseph Trumbull, whose exertions in the Cause of his Country, while he continued in a public character, will reflect honor upon his memory; and for whom, when living, I entertained a most cordial regard. I am, with the greatest Esteem Sir your most Obedient hble Servt

Go. Washington

LB, Ct: Trumbull Papers; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1See GW to Vice Admiral d’Estaing, 22 July, and note 2 to that document.

2This letter was among several considered by the Connecticut council of safety on 1 Aug., when they approved a proclamation calling out additional troops for the Rhode Island expedition (see Conn. Public Records description begins The Public Records of the State of Connecticut . . . with the Journal of the Council of Safety . . . and an Appendix. 18 vols. to date. Hartford, 1894—. description ends , 2:104–6).

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