George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lieutenant General Rochambeau, 28 August 1780

From Lieutenant General Rochambeau

Newport, 28th August 1780.


I arrived from Providence Last night, where I had gone to see our hospital, It is owing to Your Excellency’s orders and goodness, and to the care of those employed in it, that it is one of the finest ever I saw.1 I then Learned that the Mountain had brought forth a Mouse! Yesterday and to Day The British fleet has been seen, 26, in number, several of them Transports, they were riding between Elizabeth Islands and the Vineyard Nine Days ago. Major General Sent word to the inhabitants to be on the watch and to secure their cattle in the Continent.2 I am wholly ignorant of what they have done, it is thought here they are disaffected to the Common cause.3 I am with respect, Sir, Your Excellency’s Most obedient humble servant

le Comte de Rochambeau

LS, DLC:GW; LB, in French, DLC: Rochambeau Papers, vol. 7; LB, in French, DLC: Rochambeau Papers, vol. 8.

1The American Journal and General Advertiser (Providence) for 30 Aug. reported that Rochambeau arrived on Saturday, 26 Aug.: “On his Arrival he was saluted by a Discharge of Cannon from the Independent Park of Artillery in this Town. His Excellency returned to Newport on Sunday.” For the hospital, see Corny to GW, 6 July, and n.1.

2Rochambeau refers to an anticipated British embarkation that became only a ship movement, and to Maj. Gen. William Heath’s response (see Heath to GW, this date).

3The British fleet acquired cattle from Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. (see Heath to GW, 31 Aug., and n.1 to that document).

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