George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Horatio Gates, 25 October 1778

To Major General Horatio Gates

Head Quarters Fredericksburgh 25th Otbr 1778.


In my last of the 24th, I advised you of the sailing of a fleet from the hook on the 19th and early the 20th supposed to contain those troops which we had repeatedly heard were embarked. I have just received advices thro’ different channels, and which cannot but be certain and authentic, that there were none but invalids and officers of reduced corps on board—and that the troops which had embarked, were still on the 23d instant in New-york harbour. They are fixed at 10 or 12 Regiments of British and 5 or 6 of the New levies.1 I am Sir your most hble servt

Go: Washington

LS, in James McHenry’s writing, NHi: Gates Papers; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1This intelligence apparently was contained in the unfound letters that Israel Putnam and Stirling had written to GW on 24 Oct. (see GW to Putnam and to Stirling, both this date). Admiral Byron’s fleet, which was seeking to intercept d’Estaing’s fleet off the Massachusetts coast, and the fleet of transports bound for England had sailed together from Sandy Hook on 18 or 19 Oct. (see Richard Howell to GW, 9 Oct., and note 3 to that document). Maj. Gen. James Grant’s West Indies expedition, which consisted of ten British regiments, embarked between 25 and 28 Oct. and sailed from Sandy Hook on 3 November. Expeditions to East and West Florida also sailed in November.

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