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

To Major Benjamin Tallmadge

Head Quarters West-point 6th Otbr 1779.

Dr Sir

I received last evening your letter of the 3d with its inclosure.1

In your first communication with C——, and you will make it as soon as possible, I shall want to be as perfectly ascertained ⟨as⟩ the nature of the inquiry will ad⟨mit—viz.—⟩The quantity and quality of the ⟨provisions⟩ in New-York—comprehending their whole stock—whether in magazines, or on ship-board. He will be particular as to the kind, and size of the works that are lately formed, or that may be erected—And at all times, keep his attention on the changes of situation or the new positions which may be taken by the enemy. He will tell me what new works are erected on Long-Island, besides those at Brooklyn—and what nature. I wish also to know where their shipping lyes, and if they appear to be taking measures, and what measures, for their security in case of a French ⟨fleet⟩’s entering the harbour.2 I am Dr Sir Your most obt Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in James McHenry’s writing, PWacD: Sol Feinstone Collection, on deposit at PPAmP; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The text in angle brackets, where the LS is mutilated, is taken from the draft. A note under the docket of the LS reads: “Recd Octo. 8. 1779.”

1This letter has not been found. The enclosure has not been identified.

2GW was anticipating the arrival of the fleet of Vice Admiral d’Estaing; see Planning for an Allied Attack on New York, c.3–7 October. Robert Townsend (“Samuel Culper, Jr.”), GW’s spy in New York, began to supply GW with this information on 21 Oct. (see his letter to Tallmadge [“John Bolton”], of that date, quoted in GW to Tallmadge, 17 Oct., source note).

GW and Tallmadge soon met to work out special instructions for the Culper spies (see GW to Tallmadge, 9 and 17 Oct.).

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