George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General John Sullivan, 15 September 1778

From Major General John Sullivan

Providence Septemr 15th1 1778 10 oC. a.m.

Dear General,

no alteration in the motions of the Enemy Since yesterday.

I Inclose your Excellencey all the Intelligence I have Received which Shows where General Gray with his plundering party are2—The Report of Falmouth having been burnt is without Foundation3—I have the Honor to be with much Respect your Excellenceys most obedt Servt

Jno. Sullivan


1At this place on the manuscript, Sullivan first wrote what appears to be the number “14.” He then struck out that number and wrote “15” beside it.

2The enclosure was a copy of the letter that Ezekiel Cornell wrote to Lafayette on 13 Sept. from Tiverton, R.I., reporting that a deserter from General Grey’s force said that “he left them the day before yesterday at the [Martha’s] Vineyard, where they landed, and made a demand of all the Stock upon the Island, but afterwards compromised the matter with the Inhabitants, and agreed to purchase three hundred head of Horned Cattle, all to be upwards of three years old, and ten thousand Sheep. They expected to have them all on Board last Night, which I suppose they accomplished. . . . The Deserter further saith that Genl Clinton left the Fleet off New London and went back to [New] York after a Reinforcement &c. This I give you as coming from a Deserter—and that they swear they will burn New London before they return” (DLC:GW). For rumors of a British attack on New London, Conn., see also Sullivan to GW, 17, 21 Sept.; Horatio Gates to GW, 23 Sept.; and Charles Scott to GW, 27 Sept. (first letter).

3Sullivan had mentioned this rumor in his letter to GW of 14 September.

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