George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to Major General Benjamin Lincoln, 28 March 1780

To Major General Benjamin Lincoln

Hd Qs Morris-town [28]th March 1780

Dr Sir,

This will be delivered to you by Brigadier General Du Portail, Chief Engineer; a Gentleman of whose abilities and merit I have the highest opinion and who, if he arrives in time will be of essential utility to you. The delay that will probably attend General Clinton’s operations in consequence of the losses he has suffered on the voyage,1 makes me hope—his assistance will not come too late; and the critical situation of your affairs induces me to part with him, though in case of any active operations here I should sensibly feel the want of him. From the experience I have had of this Gentleman, I recommend him to your particular confidence—You will find him able in the branch he professes; of a clear and comprehensive judgment2 of extensive military science, and of great zeal assiduity and bravery; in short I am persuaded you will find him a most valuable acquisition and will avail yourself effectually of his services—You cannot employ him too much on every important occasion.3

Every appearance indicates that the enemy will make a most vigorous effort to the Southward—My intelligence from New York announces a further embarkation. The moment it is ascertained, I shall advise you of it, and of the corps that compose the detachment.4 I am with the warmest wishes for your success and with the truest esteem and regard Dr Sir Your most Obedient.

Df, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. GW wrote the dateline on the draft and rendered what appears to be “30” rather than “28” for the date. While it is possible, and perhaps likely, that the recipient’s copy was dated 30 March, this letter is dated 28 March on the basis of the draft’s docket and the Varick transcript.

1For GW’s belief that the British suffered losses while sailing south from New York, see Council of War, 27 March; see also John Mathews to GW, 24 March.

2Hamilton inadvertently wrote “jugdment” for this word.

3For Brigadier General Duportail’s transfer to the southern department, see GW to Duportail, 27 March, and Duportail to GW, 2 April; see also GW to Samuel Huntington, 27 March, and the source note to that document.

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