George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General John Sullivan, 27 July 1778

From Major General John Sullivan

Providence July 27 1778 10 of C. A:M:

My Dear General

I have the pleasure to Inform you that we have already Collected a Magazine amply Sufficient for all possible Demands. The French Fleet has not yet arrived the Marquis will be in on the 29 as he writes me and we Shall be in perfect Readiness My numbers I trust will be Sufficient for the purpose if a few more old troops had been Sent on it might have been Better but Even as it is I have not a Doubt of Success I have now & I trust Shall have as many Boats as I could wish—your Excey Doubtless will among other Defects in my plan of operations Inclosed you perceive that I have Said nothing in case we find it impraticable to Carry the Redoubts by Storm1 I beg Leave now to mention to your Excy That I had Thought of it from the beginning & have Gabions Faschines & Every thing in preparation for Establishing a post on the Island I have plenty of heavy artillery & Every kind of ammunition for them—I had also Collected all the Intrenching tools in this Quarter previous to my Receiving your Excy order of yesterday through Colo. Tilman immediately upon which I Sent off to Boston after more2 your Excellencey Shall be advised from time to time of Every proceedure here. And it will (if possible) Increase the obligations I already feel myself under to your Excellencey if you will be kind Enough to give me your Advice & Direction in the Several Situations I may possibly be in in the Course of the attempt I have the Honor to be Dear General your most Devoted Servant

Jno. Sullivan


1Sullivan was referring to the plan of operations suggested in his letter to Vice Admiral d’Estaing of 25 July, enclosed in his letter to GW of 26 July (see note 3 to that letter).

2The order has not been found. On 26 July, Sullivan sent Maj. Gen. William Heath a copy of “Genl Washington’s Letter recommending to me the Necessity of collecting” entrenching tools and requested that Heath “forward a very considerable Number with all possible Despatch” (MHi: Heath Papers; see also Hammond, Sullivan Papers description begins Otis G. Hammond, ed. Letters and Papers of Major-General John Sullivan, Continental Army. 3 vols. Concord, 1930-39. In Collections of the New Hampshire Historical Society, vols. 13–15. description ends , 2:126).

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