George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major Henry Lee, Jr., 28 June 1779

To Major Henry Lee, Jr.

Head Qrs N[ew] W[indsor] June 28th 1779


I have rec’d your letter dated yesterday & thank you for the information it contained1 I have now to request that you will endeavour to employ some person, in whom you can confide, & at the same time that is intelligent, to go into the works at stoney point, or if admittance is not to be gained, otherwise to obtain the best knowledge of them he can, so as to desc⟨r⟩ibe the particular kind of Works, the precise spots on which they stand, and the strength of the garrison. If you should succeed in this point, I must beg you will transmit me without delay a sketch of the works that I may be able to form an accurate idea of them. You will yourself take the best view you can, that you may the better know whether the report you get from the person sent in is to be relied on.2 Yrs &c.


P.S. describe the number of Armed Vessels & their situation—& keep the contents of this letter to yourself.


Df, in Richard Kidder Meade’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1This letter of 27 June from Lee to GW has not been found.

2Lee apparently obtained a sketch, which has not been found, of the British position at Stony Point, N.Y. He alluded to it at the end of a letter to Joseph Reed, president of the Pennsylvania Supreme Executive Council, written at Haverstraw, N.Y., on 6 July: “I inclose your Excellency a draft of the works at Stoney Point” (Reed, Joseph Reed, description begins William B. Reed. Life and Correspondence of Joseph Reed, Military Secretary of Washington, at Cambridge; Adjutant-General of the Continental Army; Member of the Congress of the United States; and President of the Executive Council of the State of Pennsylvania. 2 vols. Philadelphia, 1847. description ends 2:108–10).

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