George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 30 July 1781]

30th. Ordered the Jersey Militia, who were directed to Assemble in the first instance at Morristown to Dobbs ferry and there join the remains of the Jersey Brigade and receiving Letters from Govr. Clinton & Genl. Clinton complaining that none of the Massachusetts Militia had repaired to Albany agreeable to my requisition I again addressed Govr. Hancock in pointed terms to send them on & complained of not having recd. answers from him to any of my letters since the Conference with Count de Rochambeau and a communication of the plan of operation which was agreed on at Weathersfield the 22d. of May last.1

Received a Letter from the Count de Barras,2 refering me to one written by him to Genl. Rochambeau in Cypher; pointing, in stronger terms than heretofore, his disinclination to leave Newport till the arrival of Adml. de Grass. This induced me to desist from further representing the advantages which would result from preventing a junction of the enemy’s force at New York; & blocking up those which are now in Virginia, lest in the Attempt any disaster should happen, & the loss of, or damage to his fleet, should be ascribed to my obstinacy in urging a measure to which his own judgment was oppos’d, & the execution of which might impede his junction with the West India fleet, & thwart the views of the Count de Grasse upon this Coast—especially as he gave it as a clear opinion, that the West India fleet might be expected by the 10th. of Next Month.

1On 25 June 1781 GW had written to Gov. John Hancock of Massachusetts informing him that he had ordered the Massachusetts militia quotas from the counties of Berkshire and Hampshire, numbering some 600 men, to Albany to be placed under the command of Brig. Gen. John Stark (M-Ar). See also entry for 25 June 1781, n.7. After receiving letters from George Clinton, 28 July, and James Clinton, 20 July (DLC:GW), complaining that the troops had not yet arrived, GW wrote Hancock again on 30 July, reminding him that he had received no reply to his letter of 25 June and informing him that reports had come in from the Massachusetts frontier that “the Orders for raising your Militia but recently received in that Part of the State; and that no Orders had been received for any Part to march to Albany” (DLC:GW). On 15 Aug., Hancock replied that the orders had miscarried but he had now given the necessary orders to the Berkshire and Hampshire militia to march immediately to Albany (DLC:GW).

For the Wethersfield Conference, see entry for 22 May 1781.

2Barras to GW. 25 July 1781, enclosing a copy of a letter from Barras to Rochambeau of the same date (DLC:GW).

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