George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to Major Henry Lee, Jr., 2 November 1779

To Major Henry Lee, Jr.

Head Quarters West point 2d Novemr 1779.

Dear Sir

I have an account from New York1 that a fleet with two Regiments and a detachmt of Artillery was to sail on the 29th ulto for Hallifax accompanied by all the heavy ships of War except the Europa—The Daphne Frigate for England was to sail at the same time. I mention these matters to you, that you may compare them with your accounts from the shore—I have reason to beleive that part of the Hulks yet remain sunk, it would be well to endeavour to be informed of this with a degree of certainty, lest the Count, should he arrive, might be led into danger by supposing the Channel clear.2 I am &c.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1See Samuel Culper, Jr., to Benjamin Tallmadge, 21 Oct., found at GW’s instructions to Tallmadge, 17 Oct., source note, and Culper, Jr., to John Bolton, 29 Oct., and the notes to that document, printed as an enclosure to Tallmadge to GW, 1 November.

2The British sank hulks to impede the shipping channel into New York City (see GW to Edmund Pendleton, 1 Nov., n.5).

For official notice that the French fleet under Vice Admiral d’Estaing would not come north, see Huntington to GW, 10 Nov., and GW to Huntington, 20 and 24 Nov.; see also Planning for an Allied Attack on New York, c.3–7 Oct., editorial note, and GW to Duportail and Hamilton, 11 Nov., to Henry Knox, 12 Nov., and to Philip Schuyler, 24 November.

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