George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General William Heath, 25 August 1780

From Major General William Heath

Newport August 25th 1780

Dear General,

I am just honored with yours of the 21st Instant by the Same Express with one from Governor Trumbull of the 23d and one from Major Talmadge of the 22d—they all contain nearly the same intelligence.1

Colonel Potter of South Kingston2 this moment writes me that a Gentleman on Sunday last,3 four o’Clock P.M. Saw the Brittish fleet W.S.W. from Montauq point Steering for Sandy hook.

All the intelligence I receive is immediately Communicated to the General and Admiral of France. We are compleating our Works with all possible diligence.

two Cruizers only appear off our harbour today.4 I have the honor to be, with the greatest Respect Your Excellency’s Most obedient servant,

W. Heath

LS, DLC:GW; ADfS, MHi: Heath Papers.

1The letter from Maj. Benjamin Tallmadge to Heath, dated 22 Aug., is in MHi: Heath Papers. Tallmadge reported that British general Henry Clinton had gone to the east end of Long Island with 200 cavalrymen; that a large body of infantry, numbering between 1,600 and 2,000 men was moving the same way; and that troops were embarking at Whitestone, N.Y., reportedly destined for Newport or for New London, Connecticut. The letter from Trumbull to Heath of 23 Aug. has not been identified.

2The letter from Lt. Col. Thomas Potter, Jr., to Heath reporting this information has not been identified.

Thomas Potter, Jr. (1738–1793), of South Kingstown, R.I., was lieutenant colonel of the second regiment of Kings County militia.

3The previous Sunday was 20 August.

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