George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Dominique-Louis Ethis de Corny, 10 June 1780

10 June 1780

General Washington has the honor to give the following answers to the questions proposed by Mr De Corny.

1. It is essential in the proposed cooperation that Large magazines should be formed on the north River and With a view to this it has been suggested that the Wagons provided by Mr Mitchell may be usefully Employed in Conveying provisions from penslvania to New Windsor on the North River- to receive orders for their future Destination there. this plan is still recommended if it be attended with no inconvenience as it will forward the combined operations. such as can be so Employed may therefore rendezvous in the first instance on the North River. the others had best proceed to Connecticut River, and be distributed as the Circumstance of forage will permit. The ultimate point for the whole will be Connecticut River avoiding to Deposit any nearer than thirty miles to the sound, as it might Expose them to the Enterprises of the Enemy.

2d. one months provision ought to be made at rovidence for the first wants of the french troops. the other provisions of Every kind procured on the East side of the North River may be deposed of from connecticut to providence none nearer to the sound than the distance above mentioned. What is procured in pensylvania and to the southward may be disposed in the principal and least exposed posts in the respective states and places admitting an Easy and speedy transportation to them, to be Embarked and sennt to the point of operation wich will be hereafter determined. These general ideas are all that General Washington has it in his power to give at this time as the plan of operations cannot yet be determined. Mr De Corny’s judgment will govern him in the particular dispositions. all that is here recommended is intended to be subordinate to the arrangements already concerted with The chevalier De la Luzerne.

3. The state of Connecticut will be the Best receptacle for these, according to the convenience of procuring forage. they will take the route by Morristown fishkill &ca.

4. it is with great reluctance General Washington can be induced to approve the Least alteration in the dispositions made by the Count de Rochambeau, and in the present Case in particular he would have been happy to have promoted the Expectations of the Duke de Lauzun. But as his Excellency the chevalier De la luzerne has represented that the funds provided would be unequal to the Extensive preparations required and Expressed a strong Desire to have such articles as were not absolutely necessary retrenched. at the same time pointed out the horses for the legion from the nature of the service as the article most susceptible of retrenchment. General Washington influenced by these considerations has given it as his opinion, that fifty or sixty horses would be at Least necessary that it were to be Wished a Compleat squadron agreeable to the french ordinance could be formed and that the Remainder might be deferred till an augmentation of means should make the purchase more convenient than at the present juncture. General Washington advises Mr De Corny to Conform to the instructions he has Received on this head from his Excellency the Chevalier De la luzerne, though he by all means would Recommend that if the funds procured should appear more adequate to the Exigencies of the service than they now do, the plan of the Duke De Lauzun should be carried into Execution in its full Extent.

5. The best route for Mr De Corny will Be By Morristown, Mount hope, Warwick, Chester, New Boron, hartford, providence, where Mr De Corny may Expect the french army. General Washington Would not however advise him to Confine himself to this point, when his presence Elsewhere is necessary. he will regulate his motions by the nature of the Business With wich he is charged.

6. as for as the Means of M De Corny will suffice he will without Doubt occupy himself in full filling the intention of the Count de Rochambeau knowing not only the Letter but also the sprit of the instructions he has Received from the french General, Being Better qualified then any other person to judge of the wants and Conveniencies of a corps of french troops, and have had occasion to Confer in that subject With the Minister plenipotentiary of his most christian Majesty, i am persuaded he Will follow in all his arangements the plan most Conducive to the service and most Conformable to the Wishes of count de Rochambeau. the Choice his most Christian Majesty has mad of the Knowledge that I have had of his abilities, Real and personal Resources convince me that the measures [he] will be intested to my [intent] aprobation, and he may rely in him to fullfill his instructions, [sai] thi demand of the service, and the [M] of the count de Rochambeau [i] have the honor to deliver him the Letters for the governor of Connect[icut]Rhod island, and for the president [of the] Council of massachussets.

Signé Gl Washington

AAE: Political Correspondence U. S..

Index Entries