George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General Anthony Wayne, 3 October 1779

To Brigadier General Anthony Wayne

Head Qurs [West Point] Octor 3d 1779

Dear Sir,

General Du Portail proposes tomorrow to reconnoitre a second time the post of Stony point and to ascertain the distances from the En[e]mys works to the places proper for establishing batteries1—He will arive there precisely by eleven oClock—You will therefore please to have a reconnoitring party consisting of a Regiment ready at the second place to which you went the other day, not the high hill on which you first took your stand—This is the spot General Du Portail points out; and he will be on the place punctually at the time appointed—The Officer commanding the party will take his orders from him; You will also send an escort to meet him at the house where you stopped the last time to take refreshment on your return to Camp, as he might otherwise mistake his route.2 I am D. Sir Your most obt Servt

Go: Washington

P.S. Two companies of light infantry from Glovers Brigade are ordered to join you to replace those of the Carolina troops3—You will send a proper person here to conduct them to you—I am to request you will take pains to ascertain whether the enemy have bomb proofs in Stony point, what number, exten⟨t⟩ and thickness—This is an essential point to know towards any opperations against that post.4

Go: Washington

LS, in George Augustine Washington’s writing, PHi: Wayne Papers; Df, DLC: GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Alexander Hamilton wrote and signed a pass on the cover of the LS.

1For Brigadier General Duportail’s first reconnaissance of the British fort at Stony Point, N.Y., which he made with Brig. Gen. Henry Knox, see GW to Wayne, 26 September. For Knox’s report of their reconnaissance, see Knox to GW, 30 September.

2Duportail failed to rendezvous with Wayne to make this survey, but Wayne subsequently completed it himself in conjunction with Col. Rufus Putnam (see Wayne to GW, 5 and 9 Oct.).

3GW had ordered the North Carolina brigade to the southern department; he had just recalled them this day (see GW to Thomas Clark, 1 Oct. and this date).

4GW was contemplating an attack on the British fort at Stony Point as part of his plan for joint operations with the French fleet of Vice Admiral d’Estaing (see Planning for an Allied Attack on New York, c.3–7 Oct.).

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