George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to Major General Robert Howe, 25 June 1779

To Major General Robert Howe

New Windsor June 25th 79.

I received, my Dear Sir, Your favour of the 19th yesterday. I regret that your hurt proved more serious than you apprehended; but I am happy to hear the good effects produced by the application of the lancet and I hope it may so much accelerate the progress of your cure as to enable you in a short time to give us the pleasure of your company—I beg you however not to precipitate this event at the expence of your health and convenience.1

At present there is not an immediate prospect of action. The movements of the enemy seem to be in suspense; and their situation does not offer us any opportunity to act offensively. You may depend that you shall have the earliest notice when there is a probability of something to do.

You have heard no doubt of the posts they have taken on the two sides of the River at Verplancks and Stoney points, positions naturally difficult of access and made more so by fortification. That part of the army which was with me at Middle Brook is incamped in Smith’s Clove about twelve Miles from West Point.2 If the enemy expect any considerable reinforcement, it is not improbable they are waiting its arrival and will then prosecute their operations on the River, and against the forts3 that protect its communication.

We are anxiously hoping for a confirmation of the Southern news—The enemy’s accounts differ pretty widely from ours, though they really have an air of concealment and reserve—They assert that Charles town had offered to capitulate; but this is against all probability, even from their own relation of circumstances. Tis astonishing we do not receive some official intelligence.4

I have communicated your request to Col. Meade who writes by this conveyance.5 With great esteem & regard D. Sr, Your obd. servant

G. Washington

DfS, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. GW wrote the dateline on the draft manuscript.

1Howe’s letter to GW of 19 June has not been found. Howe apparently had injured himself in late May (see General Orders, 1 June, and n.2 to that document).

2For British operations up the Hudson River earlier in June, and the American response, see William De Hart to GW, 30 May, n.1, and General Orders, 1 June, n.1.

3GW is referring to the forts at West Point, New York.

4For enemy reports of their military success near Charleston, S.C., see GW to John Jay, 14 June, and n.5 to that document, and 23 June, and n.3 to that document. For reports of an American success in the South, which ultimately proved erroneous, see Jay to GW, 4 and 7 June, and GW to James Clinton, 13 June; see also GW to John Augustine Washington, 20 June, and n.7 to that document.

5This letter, presumably from GW’s aide-de-camp Richard Kidder Meade to Howe, has not been identified.

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