Newport, Septer 11th 1780
According to your Excellency’s orders, The Admiral and I will wait for them at Hartford, on the 20th instant. I keep it under the greatest secresy, as your Excellency wishes. The bad News that your Excellency has received From South-Carolina affect me very sensibly. I doubt very much that Clinton should take his Troops to send them to Virginy, as Long as we will be here in situation to threaten New-york and as long as they will know that Mr De Guichen is on the Seas. The British fleet has been stationed these four Days past between Moutuck’s point and Fisher’s Island. Yesterday it was at anchor in Gardner’s bay. There is always the same quantity of ships of the Line, but a few less Frigates. That report has been successively confirmated these four Days past, and was so yet to Day, by the Commanding officer at New-London who saw them Last, on the 9th.
I have, sir, the greatest desire to present my respects to your Excellency, and to give you Verbally fresh assurances of the Veneration that I have for your Excellency. I am with respect Sir your Excellency’s most obedient, and humble servant
le cte de Rochambeau
P.S. What can be become of Mr De Guichen? of the Spaniards? I certainly know nothing of it. It is most true that Mr De Guichen has convoyed a fleet of Merchant-men as far as the 25th Degree, and that he had 26, or 27. sail of the Line with him. he knew Likewis by an American brig. that was gone a board this ship, that we were blocked up here.
DLC: Papers of George Washington.