George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette, 26 February 1781

Head Quarters New Windsor 26h Feby 1781.

Dear Marquis

I have received yours of the 25th from Morris Town. I do not think it very probable that three hundred Dragoons will trust themselves in the heart of Connecticut with a superior regular Corps and the force of the Country to oppose them, but I have nevertheless given the intelligence to Duke Lauzun.

Upon your arrival in Philada if not before, you will hear that a Body of Men, supposed to be a reinforcement under General prevost from Europe, had landed at Cape Fear, in consequence of which the whole pennsylvania line are ordered to the southward—I have therefore directed Genl St Clair, instead of confining himself to a single Battalion, to send as many as he can down the Chesapeak with your detachment, if circumstances should admit of your embarkation.

If the troops landed at Cape Fear are from Europe, I do not imagine their Convoy is more than a Frigate or two—Will it not be well, when matters are ripe for discovering your object, to endeavour to get the Ariel—The Trumbull—and any other public Vessels of War which may be in the Delaware to go round to the Chesapeak? For a combination of Vessels, though of unequal rate, might perplex and distress the small squadron of our Ally. This you can urge to the Gentlemen of the marine department.

If nothing unforeseen occurs, I will set out for Rhode Island when Genl du portail arrives here. I think I may expect him about the 1st of next Month. I am &c.

P.S. Yours of the 24th has just now reached me the Express says his Horse tired.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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