Head Quarters Bergen County 22d July 1780
My dear Marquis
Since I wrote to you this morning I have received another letter from Major Lee by which I am informed that his account of the Return of the British Fleet to Sandy Hook was premature. Three Frigates only came in, and theat gave rise to the report that the whole fleet had returned—The Major adds it is beleived that they are gone to the West Indies. But that is an Idea which I would not wish to encourage, at least for a while, as it may be thrown out by them to deceive us.
There is a report that five transports with troops has sailed from New York within a few days past, but I hear it is not from sufficient authority to put much dependence upon it.
Captain Dennis—Doth and Shaw— three of our most intelligent, skillful and trusty Pilots for the Entrance if the Hook and Harbour of New York go forward with this, and will remain with the Chevalier de Ternay—he may place full confidence in them and may be assured of the safety of any persons recommended by them—I am My dear Marquis with sincerest Esteem Yr most obt and hble Servt
P.S. Captain Dennis is a very respectable Citizen—Mr Shaw bears Commr of Lieutenant in the American Navy and Mr Doth is a reputable Man. I mention these circumstances, that you may, in introducing them to the Chevalier de Ternay distinguish them from Men who enter upon the service merely for hire.
I have this moment recd yours of the 21st from Danbury, you will find the subject of it fully discussed in my letter of this morning.
DLC: Papers of George Washington.