George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to Brigadier General Duportail and Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Hamilton, 25 October 1779

To Brigadier General Duportail and Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Hamilton

Head Quarters West-point 25th Octbr 1779.


I have just now received a letter from Col. Hamilton, mentioning your having changed your position of Lewis Town, for that of little Egg harbour, and that you would write me more fully on your arrival at the furnace.1

In my last I informed you that the enemy had evacuated both their posts at Kings-ferry, since which no alteration has taken place, that has come to my knowlege. Things at Rhode Island remain in the same situation, at least, I have received no accounts either confirming or contradicting my former intelligence.2 I am Gentln your most obt & hble servt

Go: Washington

LS, in James McHenry’s writing, DLC: Alexander Hamilton Papers; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. For the probable forwarding of the LS, see GW to Henry Lee, Jr., this date, n.5.

1This letter from Hamilton to GW has not been found. After leaving Lewes, Del., Duportail and Hamilton actually went to Great Egg Harbor, N.J. (see Duportail and Hamilton to GW, 26 Oct.). These officers had ventured to the coast to convey GW’s thoughts on joint operations upon the arrival of anticipated French forces (see GW to d’Estaing, 7 Oct., and n.3; see also GW to Duportail and Hamilton, 10, 18, and 21 Oct.). For their return to the main army after learning that Vice Admiral d’Estaing’s fleet had gone elsewhere, see GW to Duportail and Hamilton, 11 Nov., and GW to Philip Schuyler, 24 November.

2In his letter to Duportail and Hamilton written on 21 Oct., GW shared a report from Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates “that the Enemy were preparing to evacuate Rhode Island.” For GW’s confirmation of this event, see his letter to Duportail and Hamilton, 30 Oct., and n.1 to that document; see also GW to Samuel Huntington and to Henry Lee, Jr., same date, and GW to Gates, 1 November.

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