George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General John Sullivan, 24 September 1778

From Major General John Sullivan

Providence Septemr 24th 1778

Dear General

This morning at Day break I Received the Inclosed from the marquis1 Since which have heard nothing of the Fleet Seen off [Newport].2 I think it must be the Fleet which arrived at Halifax with Troops Joined by Some others from that Quarter or from England The moment I can get any Information with Certainty Respecting it Shall forward it to your Excellencey in the Interim I have the honor to be very Respectfully your Excellenceys most obedt Servt

Jno. Sullivan


1In the enclosed letter to Sullivan of 23 Sept. from camp near Warren, R.I., Lafayette wrote: “I think my tomorrow’s journey is to be differed—Since I wrote you the account was reported of a great number of Sails being entered into the Newport’s harbour—the fogg prevents theyr being well Recconnoitred but I expect to hear to morrow from Rhode island—any intelligence if important will be forwarded by an express—if nothing is to be expected I Schall bring it myself—those Schips appear’d last night, but the officer of the picquet made his report to this of this day, who reported to general Varnum, and during that time I was writing to you—they are told to be about Sixty Sails—but I’ll be better Acquainted before long. . . . [P.S.] if any thing Comes to your knowledge which might help your opinion Respecting those Schips I beg you would immediately Communicate it to me” (DLC:GW). This report turned out to be inconsequential (see Sullivan to GW, 25 Sept.).

2Sullivan inadvertently omitted this word on the manuscript of this letter, but he did include it in the similar reference that he made to Lafayette’s intelligence report in his letter to GW of 25 September.

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