George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Vice Admiral d’Estaing, 22 October 1778

To Vice Admiral d’Estaing

Head Quarters Fredericksburgh October 22d 1778


Since I had the honor of writing to Your Excellency yesterday—I have received some further accounts, which you will be pleased to find inclosed.1 They confirm the sailing of the British fleet, which lay at the Hook. I confide most in the account from Lord Stirling, with respect to their number. You will observe it is said they sailed2 Eastward; but Your Excellency will be sensible, that nothing particular can be inferred from this circumstance, as the wind with which they went out, naturally gave them that course, ’till they had cleared the land, whatever might be their ultimate destination. Though, I am still of opinion, it is most probable this detachment is designed for the West-Indies; yet my unwillingness to leave any thing to chance, that depends upon me, in which the interest of the common cause is essentially concerned, has determined me to order three additional brigades, to begin their march tomorrow morning towards Connecticut River.3

I take pleasure in every occasion of assuring Your Excellency of the respect and attachment, with which, I have the honor to be Your Excellency’s Most Obedient servant

Go: Washington

LS, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, FrPNA, Fonds de la Marine, ser. 4, vol. 146, f. 302; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1At the end of the draft manuscript, Hamilton wrote: “Memo Inclosed him the extracts of two letters one from Major Howel of the 19th one from Lord Stirling of the 20th.” Hamilton is referring to Richard Howell’s letter to Stirling of 19 Oct., which was enclosed in Stirling’s letter to GW of 20 October (see note 2 to that document). The extract from Stirling’s letter, which consists of the letter’s first paragraph, is in FrPNA, Fonds de la Marine, ser. 4, vol. 146, f. 352. The extract from Howell’s letter, which consists of all of the letter except for the postscript, is in FrPNA, Fonds de la Marine, ser. 4, vol. 146, f. 353.

2At this place in the text, the draft manuscript includes the words: “towards the.”

3For GW’s ordering of the three brigades in Maj. Gen. Alexander McDougall’s division to begin marching toward Hartford in support of Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates’s division, see General Orders, 19 and 22 Oct., and GW to McDougall, 23 October.

Index Entries