To Major General Israel Putnam
Head Quarters [Fredericksburg] 25th Otbr 1778
I was favoured with your two letters of yesterdays date about noon.1
I have received accounts, corresponding with those of Mr Putnams, so far as his respects the regiments actually imbarked, and the fleet which sailed on the 19 and 20th Instant.2
As the troops which have embarked still continue in the harbour you will keep the strictest look-out imaginable on the river, and give me the earliest communication of your discoveries. Till the designs of their present preparations are more fully ascertained we cannot be too watchful of their motions.3 And Should a force appear on the river you will immediately throw yourself over to the fort and give it every succor and assistance. The inclosure to Gen. Clinton you will be pleased to forward without loss of time.4 I am &[ca]
Df, in James McHenry’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.
1. Putnam’s two letters to GW of 24 Oct. have not been found.
2. GW apparently is referring to the intelligence in the unfound letter that Stirling had written to him on 24 Oct. (see GW to Stirling, 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).
3. 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.