George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General William Maxwell, 31 August 1778

From Brigadier General William Maxwell

Elizth Town [N.J.] 31st Augt 1778


Coll D’Hart having some bussiness to transact at Camp, he has obtained my leave for that purpose. I have had intiligen[c]e from New York though not d[i]rectly or by so good authority as I could wish, yet it is believed & I believe it, that a part of Birons Fleet has arived about 3 days ago Viz. five large Ships, that the Officers has been seen and spoke with in New York.1 I have attempted to send some people for intiligence this two nights pass’d but they have deceived me both times. If the English Vessels is comin as believed I am surprised I have not had intiligence of it from Major Howel.2 We are in great suspence here about Rhode Island & Genl Sullivan as we have heard that the French Fleet is gone to Boston & that General Clinton is gone up the sound I am. Your Excellency Most Obedt Humble Servt

Wm Maxwell


1British engineer James Montresor noted in his journal for 28 Aug.: “Arrived six 74 Gun Ships being part of Admiral Byron’s squadron” (Scull, Montresor Journals description begins G. D. Scull, ed. The Montresor Journals. New York, 1882. In Collections of the New-York Historical Society, vol. 14. description ends , 512).

2Maxwell had apparently not yet received Maj. Richard Howell’s letter to him of 30 Aug., which is now in DLC:GW. For Howell’s intelligence, see GW to Vice Admiral d’Estaing, 2 Sept., n.3.

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