George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to Major General John Sullivan, 19 August 1778

To Major General John Sullivan

Head Quarters White Plains Aug. 19th 1778 ¼ past 9 A.M.

Dr Sir,

Your favour of the 17th came to hand an hour and a half ago; and at the same time, that I regret extremely the Count not being arrived, for whose fate, I feel the greatest anxiety, I am happy to learn, that you had been able to extricate yourself from the difficulties you laboured under, and that you had so favourable a prospect before you—I shall wait the issue with the most anxious expectation; and earnestly hope both for your own sake and that of the public, the success may answer your warmest wishes.

If your next does not announce the return of the French fleet, I shall be glad to know how they were provided with water and other necessaries when they sailed: my apprehensions on this score, are very great.1

I observe letters, for Congress, generally accompany those you send to me—I presume they contain the same information you give me, yet as I was not certain of it, I have hitherto made a point of transmitting copies of those I received—You will please to advise me on this head that I may know whether it is necessary to continue this practice, or not.

I have discovered that the expresses stationed between us are sometimes employed in sending private letters; the impropriety and inconvenience of this are obvious—you will give the strictest orders to prevent it, in future. I am, with great regard Dr Sir Your most Obedt.

Df, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. GW also wrote two letters of introduction to Sullivan on this date. For one, see GW to Maj. Gen. Lafayette, 19 Aug., n.1. The other reads: “This will be delivered you by Col. De la Radiere, a Gentleman of the corps of Engineers. The nature of your operations, if they are not completed before he arrives, may make the addition of a Gentleman in this capacity useful, which is my inducement for sending Mr De la Radiere. He is superior in commission to Mr Gouvion; but there are certain punctilios of service observed among these Gentlemen, which I have left to be arranged by General Du Portail, Chief Engineer. I wish you to let them operate as far as may be consistent with the good of the service.

“If the Count should return before the expedition is accomplished, and there still should be a land co-operation between you, agreeable to the original plan, which may make an Engineer necessary to him, and he should be unprovided, it will be well to accommodate him in this particular with the services of one of the Gentleman, I have sent you” (LS, NhHi: Sullivan Papers).

1The preceding paragraph was written fourth on the draft, but the paragraphs were numbered to place it second.

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