George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General Charles Scott, 19 October 1779

To Brigadier General Charles Scott

Head Quarters West point 19th October 1779

Dear Sir

It gave me pleasure to hear by yours of the 28th ulto that 400 Men were equipped and nearly ready to march to the Southward.1 I hope as the sickly season is now declining that many of the remainder will be ‘ere long fit for duty. You will be pleased to send them on as they recover: For although we have the greatest reason to flatter ourselves that the enemy will be crushed for the present in Georgia and South Carolina, yet it is not improbable but that they may renew their attack upon that, our weak quarter, as soon as the French fleet returns to the West Indies, unless they find us sufficiently guarded.2

I have wrote to Docr Shippen the Director General, and have pressed him to endeavour to send Surgeons from Philada or procure them for you to the Southward.3 We have them not here. I hope the approaching season will also help to repair your health.

We are waiting most anxiously for news from the Southward, having recd nothing official since the arrival of the french fleet upon the Coast.4

By accounts from Rhode Island ⟨the⟩ enemy are about evacuating that place, mean⟨ing,⟩ I imagine, to concentre their force at New York.5 I am with great Regard Dear Sir Your most obt Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, PWacD: Sol Feinstone Collection, on deposit at PPAmP; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The text in angle brackets is taken from the draft.

1Scott’s letter to GW of 28 Sept. has not been found. GW had assigned Scott to raise a brigade of new Continental levies in Virginia to reinforce the southern army (see GW to Scott, 5 and 25 May; GW to Richard Henry Lee, 30 April, n.1; and GW to Lee, Henry Laurens, and Thomas Burke, 5 May).

2GW is referring to the attack on the British force at Savannah, Ga., by the combined allied forces of Maj. Gen. Benjamin Lincoln and French vice admiral d’Estaing. Contrary to GW’s expectations, the allies’ attack failed (see Planning for an Allied attack on New York, c.3–7 Oct.).

3See GW to William Shippen, Jr., this date. GW also had addressed this issue in his letter to Scott of 17 August.

4GW was anticipating the arrival of d’Estaing’s fleet at New York (see Planning for an Allied Attack on New York, c.3–7 Oct.).

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