John Jay Papers

To John Jay from Benjamin Lincoln, 5 September 1779

From Benjamin Lincoln

Chas Town Septr. 5th. 1779


I have the pleasure to congratulate Congress on the arrival of Count D’Estaing’s Fleet off Savannah—but am sorry to inform them that his stay on this coast will be but short and the aid we can afford him very inconsiderable— The Count has sent one of his Officers on shore to establish a plan of operations— He returns immediately with Dispatches on that head—1

All the Troops are ordered to take the field— I expect there will be assembled at Ebenezer2 or in it’s vicinity by the 11th. Instant one thousand men— It has been proposed to the Count to land three thousand troop— I hope he will do it—and have the highest reasons to believe, if in his power, he will— Every exertion will be made to cooperate with him—and I hope the necessity of his speedy return, or any other cause, will not render abortive that plan from the execution of which so much good will result to the common Cause— I have the honor to be with the highest respect Your Excellency’s most obedt hble servt

B. Lincoln

ALS, DNA: PCC, item 158, 2: 275–76 (EJ: 12085). Endorsed by Charles Thomson: “. . . Read Oct. 1.” LbkCs, MH (EJ: 5364) and MB (EJ: 2673).

1Savannah was captured by the British 29 Dec. 1778. When Admiral d’Estaing returned in the early fall from the West Indies, he disregarded Washington’s plans for combined operations in the North and sailed to Georgia in response to an appeal from General Lincoln. So unexpected was the French commander’s appearance that he easily captured four British vessels off the Georgia coast. Lincoln and d’Estaing undertook a brief siege of the British post at Savannah, ending in an attack on the town on 9 Oct. in which the British repulsed the French and American forces. D’Estaing and Lincoln retreated; Savannah remained in British hands until July 1782.

2A town north of Savannah on the west bank of the Savannah River.

Index Entries