To Major General John Sullivan
Head Quarters Fredericksburg 25th Otbor 1778
Notwithstanding the large fleet that sail’d on the 19th and 20th Inst. and the reasons we had to conclude that the regiments were on board, which we had repeatedly heard were embarked—I have just received advices throˆdifferent channels, and which cannot but be certain and authentic that there were none but invalids and the Officers of reduced Corps on board—and that the troops which had embarked were on the 23 Inst. still in New York harbour—They are fixed at 10 or 12 British regiments and 5 or 6 of the new levies.1 I am Dr Sir Yr most hble Servt
Copy, enclosed in Sullivan to d’Estaing, 28 Oct. 1778, FrPNA, Fonds de la Marine, ser. 4, vol. 146, f. 307; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. For Sullivan’s letter to d’Estaing of 28 Oct., see Hammond, Sullivan Papers description begins Otis G. Hammond, ed. Letters and Papers of Major-General John Sullivan, Continental Army. 3 vols. Concord, 1930-39. In Collections of the New Hampshire Historical Society, vols. 13–15. description ends , 2:411–12.
1. This intelligence apparently was contained in the unfound letters that Israel Putnam and Stirling had written to GW on 24 Oct. (see GW to Putnam and to Stirling, both this date). Admiral Byron’s fleet, which was seeking to intercept d’Estaing’s fleet off the Massachusetts coast, and the fleet of transports bound for England had sailed together from Sandy Hook on 18 or 19 Oct. (see Richard Howell to GW, 9 Oct., and note 3 to that document). Maj. Gen. James Grant’s West Indies expedition, which consisted of ten British regiments, embarked between 25 and 28 Oct. and sailed from Sandy Hook on 3 November. Expeditions to East and West Florida also sailed in November.