To Major General Lafayette
Head Quarters White plains 27th July 1778
This will be delivered you by Major General Greene, whose thorough knowlege of Rhode Island, of which he is a native, and the influence he will have with the people, put it in his power to be particularly useful in the expedition against that place; as well in providing necessaries for carrying it on, as in assisting to form and execute a plan of operations proper for the occasion. The honor and interest of the common cause are so deeply concerned in the success of this enterprise, that it appears to me of the greatest importance to omit no step which may conduce to it, and General Greene on several accounts will be able to render very essential services in the affair. These considerations have determined me to send him on the expedition, in which as he could not with propriety act, nor be equally useful merely on his official capacity of Quarter Master General, I have concluded to give him a command in the troops to be employed in the descent. I have therefore directed General Sullivan, to throw all the American troops both Continental State and Militia into two divisions making an equal distribution of each, to be under the immediate command of General Greene and yourself.1 The Continental troops being divided in this manner to the Militia, will serve to give them confidence, and probably make them act better than they would alone. Though this arrangement will diminish the number of Continental troops under you, yet this diminution will be more than compensated by the addition of militia; and I persu[a]de myself your command will not be less agreeable or less honorable, from this change in the disposition. I am with great esteem & affection Dear Marquis Your most Obedt servt.
Df, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.