George Washington Papers

V. From George Washington to Major General Robert Howe, 4 October 1779

To Major General Robert Howe

West-point Octr 4th 1779

Dear Sir

I have received such advices from Congress respecting the French fleet under the command of Count D’Estaing, that I have not a doubt of his coming to this part of the Coast for the purposes of cooperation—nor of his being upon it immediately.1 I therefore request you to resume yr position on Croton—near pines bridge to effect, if possible, the end mentioned in my letter of the 13th Ulto.2 I am with esteem and regard Dr Sir Yr Most Obedt Servt

Go: Washington

ADfS, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

On this date GW, at West Point, wrote to Maj. Gen. William Heath in reference to this letter: “You will please to read, Seal, & forward the inclosed immediately to Genl Howe” (ALS, MHi: Heath Papers; ADfS, DLC:GW; Varick transcript).

2Howe’s division, the forward division of the army east of the Hudson River, was stationed near Bedford, N.Y. (see GW to Howe, 18 Sept., and n.2 to that document). GW planned to use Howe’s division to “intercept” the potential retreat of the British troops at Verplanck Point, N.Y. (see the head note and GW to d’Estaing, 13 Sept.; see also GW to Stirling, 14 Sept.; and Documents I and IV). GW sent similar orders on this date to Major General Stirling, who commanded the forward division west of the Hudson River (see Document VIII).

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