George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 28 May 1781]

28th. The Commanding Officer of Artillery & the chief Engineer were called upon to give in estimates of their wants for the intended operation against New York.1 The intention of doing this was also disclosed to the Q. M. General who was desired to give every attention toward the Boats, that a number of them might be prepared; & provide other matters necessary to such an undertaking—especially those things which might be called for by the Artillery, & the Engineering departments.2

1GW to Henry Knox, 28 May 1781 (NNGL: Knox Papers) and to Louis Le Bègue de Presle Duportail, 28 May 1781 (DLC:GW). Duportail (1743–1802) became an officer of engineers in the French army in 1762 and by 1773 had risen to rank of captain. Sent to America by Franklin in 1777, he was made “Colonel in Chief of Engineers” of the Continental Army and promoted to brigadier general in Nov. 1777 (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 , 8:539, 571, 9:932). In April 1780 he was attached with the rank of lieutenant colonel to the newly arrived French army.

2GW’s instructions to Timothy Pickering may have been verbal. No letter has been found.

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