George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau, 8 June 1782

Williamsburgh 8th June 1782.


In the Moment I was writing to your Excellency, I received a Confirmation of the Success of the Engagement on the 12th of April which by all the Reports from the Cape, Port au prince & all the Intelligences for N. York & Jamaica seem very bad for us.

I was proposing to you that as there was not yet any plan for the Campaign decided at our Court and as I waited with the greatest Impatience for the arrival of the duke of Lausun, I thought that it was suitable to march the corps towards new York, that jointly with your Army, we might hinder the Enemy from sending any forces to the Aid of Jamaica. These Bad News overthrow quite that military speculation, so that I see no more reason for that march of the french Corps to join yours unless there be political ones which I must submit to your reflection and to your orders.

The Captain of a flag arrived Yesterday from N. York, assures that he had sailed with 36 Transports escorted by 3 Ships of War going to Charlestown & Savanna—they are empty and it is believed they are gone to evacuate those places. If that be the Case, all their Forces being assembly there, their Is nothing more for [you] to do If the Army moves that Way—We must assure a protection to York & Westpoint where will stay our Navy and heavy Artilery, by a body of militia which Virginia must furnish, to which I would add five [          ] french Troops and considering the Resolution of the British parliament not to carry on an offensive War on the Continent, I cannot see any good proceeding from the March of the french Troops on new York; on the contrary I think it might engage Carleton to send a Detatchment and make some undertakeing against our Ships when the Army would Be at a great Distance, as he might undertake against the french without deviating from the Resolution not to carry on any longer an offensive War on the Continent to endeavour to reduce America by force—Such Sir are my Observations, I communicate them to the Chevalier De la Luzerne & submit them to the reflections & orders of your Excellency. I am &c.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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