George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Johann Kalb, 25 October 1778

To Major General Johann Kalb

Head Quarters Fredericksbg 25th October 1778


Be pleased to march early tomorrow morning to the Ground where you were before incamped, near Fishkill. My reason for this is, that I have certain intelligence that the large fleet which sailed the 20th had no troops on board but the Invalids—the officers of the drafted Regiments, and the families of private Persons. The transports, on board which the troops are embarked, yet remain in the Bay of New York, their destination unknown.1 The above circumstances make it necessary for us to have more force near the posts in the Highlands than is now there. I am Sir, with esteem & regard2 Your most obt Servt.

p.s. I do not mean that you should incamp on exactly the same ground. A mile or two more or less for the convenience of Forage, Wood and Water will make little difference:3 but I had rather you should advance on the Road between Fishkill and West Point—and hold yourself in readiness for a further move at a Moments warning.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Robert Hanson Harrison made two changes on the draft manuscript; see notes 2 and 3.

1Admiral 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.

2Harrison wrote the words “with esteem & regard” on the draft manuscript.

3At this place on the draft manuscript, Tilghman first wrote: “ado.” Harrison then struck out that word and wrote “difference” above the line.

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