To Brigadier General Anthony Wayne
Head Quarters west-point 26th Sepr 1779.
General Knox and Genl du Portail are to go down to night, or early to-morrow to reconnoitre the enemy’s post at Stoney point. I have directed them to call upon you.1 You will be pleased to take proper measures by such a party as you may think necessary to cover them during the execution of their object. The less there is said about this matter the better.2 I am Dr Sir your most obt hble servt
LS, in James McHenry’s writing, PHi: Wayne Papers; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.
1. On this date, GW’s aide-de-camp Richard Kidder Meade wrote to Brig. Gen. Henry Knox from headquarters: “His Excellency wishes you, in company with Genl Du Portail to reconnoitre the Posts at Verplanks and Stoney Points—His anxiety to have this business entered on immediately induces him to desire you would come down time enough to day, to enable you to take a view of them early in the morning” (NjMoHP). For Knox’s report on their reconnaissance, see Knox to GW, 30 Sept.; see also GW to William Heath, 29 Sept. (second letter).
2. GW was contemplating an attack on the British fort at Stony Point, N.Y., as part of his plan for joint operations with the French fleet of Vice Admiral d’Estaing (see Planning for an Allied Attack on New York, c.3–7 Oct.).