George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lieutenant George Hurlbut, 27 August 1778

From Lieutenant George Hurlbut

New Rochel, 27th Augst 78


I am set down to inform your Excellency, the two Brigs, & Sloop, I mention’d in my last,1 have past this place, came to Anchor nere frogs point, soon after—One Sloop of force, & three Sloops, with forrage, went to the Westward—Just before sunset, 24. Sale, came to Anchor off Auster [Oyster] Bay; three ships appeard to be of force, hope I shall be able to Report, in my next, more peticular2—I am with Respect your Excellencys most Obdt Hbl. Servt

Go: Hurlbut


2At Whitestone, Long Island, on 27 Aug. twenty transports embarked over 4,000 British troops destined to relieve Rhode Island. The fleet got under way between five and six in the afternoon and anchored off City Island that evening. The fleet remained at anchor until the early evening of the 28th, when the ships again got under way and sailed a few leagues westward before coming to anchor around midnight roughly opposite Rye, New York. There contrary winds forced them to remain until the morning of 30 Aug., when the fleet, which by that time consisted of thirty-two ships of war and transports accompanied by numerous small vessels, again weighed anchor (see André, Journal, 84–86; Gruber, Peebles’ American War description begins Ira D. Gruber, ed. John Peebles’ American War: The Diary of a Scottish Grenadier, 1776–1782. Mechanicsburg, Pa., 1998. description ends , 211–13; Lydenberg, Robertson Diaries description begins Harry Miller Lydenberg, ed. Archibald Robertson, Lieutenant-General Royal Engineers: His Diaries and Sketches in America, 1762–1780. New York, 1930. description ends , 181). Various reports sent to GW on those dates from Hurlbut, Capt. Epaphras Bull, and Brig. Gen. Charles Scott give intelligence about the fleet’s movements.

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