George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General John Sullivan, 14 October 1779

To Major General John Sullivan

Head Quarters West-point 14th Octbr 1779.

Dr Sir.

I received your favor of the 11th instant yesterday evening.1

We have not yet been able to ascertain how far the Count means to extend his co-operations; nor have we learned the event of his visit to the Southward.2 We expect however very interesting news every day, from this quarter—Till we can know something more definitive respecting his designs, it will be unnecessary to harrass your troops by overfatiguing marches. Their want of several articles of clothing, particularly of shoes, must make some little respite very agreeable.3 I would wish you therefore to hault them at Easton, at least till you can bring up the rear and the baggage; when you will be pleased to proceed by easy marches to the main army unless we should find it expedient to precipitate the junction, of which I shall give you the earliest advice.4 I am Dr Sir Your most obedient and hble servt

Go: Washington

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

1This letter has not been found, but Sullivan probably was replying to GW’s letter to him of 3 October. On 14 Oct., Brig. Gen. Edward Hand, commander of one of Sullivan’s brigades, wrote to Joseph Reed that “The 10th Inst. the Army marched for Easton [Pa.] on its way to Head Quarters” (DLC:GW).

2For GW’s plans and preparations for combined operations with the fleet of Vice Admiral d’Estaing, see Planning for an Allied Attack on New York, c.3–7 October.

3Sullivan’s troops were re-equipped with 2,000–3,000 pairs of shoes on their arrival at Easton, Pa. (see James Wilkinson to GW, 9 Nov., DLC:GW).

4For the arrival of Sullivan’s division in the vicinity of the main army’s camps in New York, see GW to Sullivan, 20 Oct.; see also GW to Sullivan, 25 Oct., DLC: GW.

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