George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to Major Benjamin Tallmadge, 6 December 1779

To Major Benjamin Tallmadge

Head Quarters Morristown 6th Decr 1779.

Sir

I have been favored with your letter of the 3d—and the papers which it mentioned.1

It would be a very desirable thing as we are circumstanced at present, could a channel of communication be opened across the North river—or by way of Staten Island. If C—— can fall upon a line which he thinks he may safely trust, I wish it to be adopted: but if this cannot be accomplished, he will continue his communications by the old channel; and make them as constant as the season will admit. You will be pleased to inform him of these matters, and take such measures with your friend Mr Jackson, before you move in quarters, as to prevent delay in his correspondence, or its conveyance to Head Quarters.2 I am sir Your most obt servt

Go: Washington

LS, in James McHenry’s writing, NjP: Benjamin Tallmadge Collection; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1GW’s laconic acknowledgement concealed his intense interest in verifying the intelligence that a British expedition soon would embark south to capture Charleston, South Carolina. For definitive confirmation of this expedition, see Anthony Wayne to GW, 26 Dec., and the source note to that document.

2Writing from Wethersfield, Conn., on 15 Jan. 1780, Tallmadge informed GW that his letter of 6 Dec. “was recd on the 26th ensuing. The instructions therein contained for C—— Junr to effect a Communication with Head Quarters, if possible, across the North River, had been previously given him. I conclude his dispatches have been forwarded to Hd Qrs as usual since I left the Lines, making allowance for the Severity of the Season” (DLC:GW; see also GW to Tallmadge, 5 Feb. 1780, NjP: Benjamin Tallmadge Collection).

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