George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General John Sullivan, 4 November 1779

From Major General John Sullivan

Smiths Clove [N.Y.] 4th Novr 1779

Dear General

I have the honor to Inclose your Excellencey Copy of a Letter from Govr Livingston & beg your Excellenceys Direction1—Should you think proper I will move the Troops on Return of the Express & will be preparing for a march untill he returns Should yr Excy think it not prudent to move there can no Inconvenience Arise from the preparations which may be made2 I have the Honor to be my Dear Genl with the most Exalted Sentiments of Esteem & Respect yr Excys most obedt Servt

Jno. Sullivan


1Sullivan enclosed a copy of a letter from New Jersey governor William Livingston to him written at Trenton on 2 Nov.: “After heartily congratulating you on your return from an expedition, concluded with such extensive service to your Country, and so much lustre to yourself, I take the liberty of informing you, that I have this moment reciev’d intelligence by express, that the Enemy both Foot and Horse are collected on Staten Island in force, with a sufficient number of Boats in readiness for embarkation; and hourly expected to invade this State.

“If any thing will add to the Laurels already acquir’d by the victorious Army under your command, it wou’d probably be, by disappointing a barbarous Enemy in their present Attempt of desolating this State, and sending them back with deserved Infamy. … P:S: The Militia of three Counties are orderd to be call’d out on the first appearance of the Enemy’s Attempt” (DLC:GW; see also Livingston to Nathaniel Heard, 2 Nov., in Prince, Livingston Papers, description begins Carl E. Prince et al., eds. The Papers of William Livingston. 5 vols. Trenton and New Brunswick, N.J., 1979–88. description ends 3:191–92).

2For troop movements in response to this intelligence, see GW’s second letter to Anthony Wayne, 5 Nov.; see also GW to Sullivan, 6 Nov., and Sullivan’s first letter to GW, that date.

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