George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau, 5 October 1780

Newport Octr 5th 1780


In our Last conference, your Excellency asked me and took a note of the artillery of the army; I thought you would have proposed to me the asking our Government the Double of the artillery of Siege, to undertake that of Newyork. As your Excellency appeared satisfied with it, I dared not make any questions about the Artillery of Our Allies, and I thought it was sufficient, to stand in room of what we wanted. But after a conversation I have had with the Ch. de La Luzerne, our chief Engineer having demonstrated to me that 60 Guns of siege at Least would be necessary to undertake two attacks upon New[york], and we having only 20 not to reckon the f[ire] pieces, 12 pounders, that are too short to be im[plo]ed in the Embrasures, I think there can be no gre[at] risk in asking as many guns of siege and mortar as we have already. I beg of your Excellency to give me an answer directly, and to tell me, if it be necessary to ask for more; in regard to the means that you have in your possession. The person you know, will set off on the 15th inst., and the Ch. De Ternay proposes making all his frigates go out. The Ennemy is always riding on his anchors at Gardner’s Island with a great many sick a board, and thinking it very tiresome; The reinforcement that Adm. rodney sent them makes their fleet to be 13 men of war strong, besides the 50 Guns ships. The arrival of our Frigate has brought here a cruizer, who stayed two Days, and that we have not seen yesterday. I am with respect Sir, Your Excellency’s most obedient, most humble servant

le cte De Rochambeau

I make bold to beg of your Excellency to send to Philadelphy with the Greatest speed the inclosed Letter from the Ch. de La Luzerne to Mr Price all our sea officers think that Mr De Guichen cannot be returned to France without a positive order; they believe [that] he is gone to Cadix, from where he w[ill] send the 13 french men of war that are [   ]come to occupy his place in these countries and that with his fleet joined to the Spanish Squadron now at Cadix he will go to deliver the french fleet which is blocked up in Brest by Adm. Geary

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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