George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to Major Henry Lee, Jr., 7 October 1779

To Major Henry Lee, Jr.

Head Quarters West-point 7th October 1779.

Dear sir.

Your favor of the 3d inst. came to hand yesterday.1

I shall comply with your present ingagements to the spies, which you have promised to pay in specie: but as we have so little of this to spare for even the most pressing and important purposes within the enemy’s lines—You will be careful to effect as much as possible with such other means as we have in our power; And as œconomical in all other expenditures as our circumstances are limited.

It is an object at present particularly interesting to be well informed as to the enemy’s naval force—You will therefore be attentive to this, as well as to such other intelligence as may be of use.

I have given a warrant to Captn Rudulph for the sum granted by Congress to the non-commissioned officers and privates concerned in the attack of Powles Hook.2 You will be pleased to distribute this money in proportion to the pay of the non-commissioned officers and privates, which was the manner observed in the case of Stoney-point. I am Dr Sir Your most obt servt

Go: Washington

P.S. You may in future, or while on your present command mark your letters private.

I presume that you constantly keep an intelligent officer to observe the arrival or sailing of the enemy’s vessels—I wish to have his diary transmitted from time to time—say once a week—and more especially when any move extraordinary occurs in th⟨is line⟩.3

LS, in James McHenry’s writing, ViHi; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. GW signed the cover of the LS.

1This letter has not been found.

2See JCC, description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends 15:1101–2. The entries in GW’s warrant book for 6 Oct. include two warrants issued to Capt. John Rudulph. The first warrant for $720 “for Major Lee”; the second warrant for $15,000 “for Majr Lee to be distributed among the officers and soldiers under his command at the Attack of Paulus Hook—by the order of Congress 27 Sepr” (Revolutionary War Warrant Book 4, 1779–1780, DLC:GW, Ser. 5).

3The final sentence of the LS is obscured. The text in angle brackets is taken from the draft.

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