George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General William Heath, 6 September 1778

To Major General William Heath

Head Quarters White plains 6th Sepr 1778

Dear Sir

I have been favd with yours of the 26th and 30th August, and 1st and 2d instants. I am glad to find that your sentiments, respecting the reception that ought to be given to the Count D’Estaing and his Officers, corresponded with mine, and that you had taken proper Steps to prepare for refitting his fleet, previous to the receipt of my letter1—As the Rhode Island expedition is now at an end, I can see no objection to Mr Commissary Clarkes going thither, and if he should have occasion to go from thence to New York to settle his accounts and procure Money, he may do it without any disadvantage to us.

I do not know what device Genl patterson will chuse to have upon his Colours. I will speak to him and desire him to inform you.2

The fleet that has appeared off Boston, consists only of Men of War, and I imagine is intended to block up the Count. I have just recd a letter from New London, which informs me, that about fifty sail of transports, with troops on Board, appeared off that Harbour, bound Westward.3 Whether they are only bringing back the late Reinforcement, or have withdrawn the Garrison of Newport intirely I do not yet know: But at any rate, it serves to evince, that they have no intent against Boston by land. It will however be prudent to man all the Batteries to aid and protect the Counts Fleet against a superior British Squadron.

A Company of Artificers at Springfeild will apply for a suit of Cloaths each, part of their annual Bounty. They were inlisted upon those terms, and you will therefore be pleased to give orders to the Cloathier to supply them. I am Dear Sir Your most obt Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, MHi: Heath Papers; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1GW was referring to his letter to Heath of 28 August.

2On 17 Sept., Maj. Tobias Fernald wrote Heath at the request of Brig. Gen. John Paterson, sending “the Devices for the Standard of each Battalion in his Brigade” (MHi: Heath Papers).

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