George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Horatio Gates, 27 September 1778

From Major General Horatio Gates

Danbury [Conn.] 27th Septr 1778.


This morning at two o’Clock I was honour’d with the receipt of Your Excellency’s Letter of Yesterday’s date.

From the beginning of the War, I devoted myself to the service of the United States; and while I continue to serve, I shall cheerfully obey all Orders from Congress, or Your Excellency, or any my superior Officer: Your Excellency has therefore, only to signify your Commands, to have them instantly obey’d.

I have received no accounts of the further motions of the Enemy from General Scott, therefore conclude they retired: I keep such Advanced parties, & Videts, as must I think effectually prevent any surprize upon this post.

I am much obliged by Your Excellency’s sending me the great News of the disgrace of the Enemy’s Fleet off Brest; a most dreadful disappointment will that event be to England; in my opinion, the total downfall of public Credit will be the Consequence.

The Bridge across Stratford River is in Hand;1 and the Roads shall be repaired, as Your Excellency has directed. I am, Sir, Your Excellency’s most Obedient Hume Servt

Horatio Gates

LS, DLC:GW; ADfS, NHi: Gates Papers; copy (extract), enclosed in GW to John Jay, 14 April 1779, owned (2006) by Mr. Joseph Rubinfine, West Palm Beach, Florida. The extract that was sent to Jay consists of the second paragraph of this letter.

1Gates is referring to the Housatonic River, which is a few miles east of Danbury. Stratford, Conn., is near the mouth of the Housatonic.

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