George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General John Sullivan, 19 August 1778

From Major General John Sullivan

Rhode Island Head Qrs Augt 19th 1778

Dear General

I am honored this day by the receipt of your favor of the 16th Inst.1 Wherein you complain of my want of attention in giving you more frequently an acct of my situation and progress of my operations and in answer can assure your Excellency that want of interesting matter not of inclination has given rise to the suspicion—I can recieve no greater satisfaction than what arises from contributing to yours. and the most exquisite pleasure that I shall taste from the success of this or any future operation will result from your approbation, and be regulated in degree by the satisfaction you express. … I cannot learn a single syllable from Count d’Estain, & consider his absence in the same point of view with your Excellency. … I have raised several batteries one of them within half musquet shot of their outworks, in defiance of an incessant tho ineffectual2 fire from their redoubts—They have not injured any of my works—lessened my number a single man, or prevented me a moment from making my approaches, in advancing of which I have been greatly favoured by a fog. I could have opened upon them from a battery or two some time since, but was determined to wait until my preparations would enable me to speak with decision—I shall this day give them a lecture on the force of gunpowder and make them feel my weight of metal and resentment. The consequence shall be the subject of my next. I have the honor to be Dear General with the greatest respect & regard your very hble Servt

John Sullivan

Copy (extract?), in James McHenry’s writing, PWacD: Sol Feinstone Collection, on deposit PPAmP; copy (extract), DNA:PCC, item 160. The extract in DNA:PCC, which is in Tench Tilghman’s writing, was enclosed in GW’s letter to Henry Laurens of 21 August. A purported ALS was offered for sale by Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., catalog 596, The James McHenry Papers, 30–31 Oct. 1944, item 301.

1The text from this point to the ellipses was omitted from the copy GW sent to Laurens.

2The preceding two words were omitted from the copy GW sent to Laurens.

Index Entries