George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lieutenant General Rochambeau, 11 September 1780

From Lieutenant General Rochambeau

Newport, Septer 11th 1780


According to Your Excellency’s orders, The Admiral and I will wait for them at [H]artford, on the 20th instant. I keep it under the greatest secresy, as your Excellency wishes.1 The bad News that Your Excellency has received From South-Carolina affect me very sensibly.2 I doubt very much that Clinton should take his Troops to send them to Virginy, as Long as We will be here in situation to threaten New-york and as Long as they will know that Mr De Guichen is on the Seas.3 The British fleet has been stationed these four Days past between Montuck’s point and Fisher’s Island, Yesterday it was at anchor in Gardner’s bay, There is always the same quantity of ships of the Line, but a few Less Frigates. That report has been successively confirmated these four Days past, and was so yet to Day, by the Commanding officer at New-London who saw them Last, on the 9th.4

I have, sir, the greatest desire to present my respects to your Excellency, and to give you Verbally fresh assurances of the Veneration that I have for your Excellency. I am with respect Sir Your Excellency’s Most obedient, and humble servant

le Cte de Rochambeau

P.S. What can be become of Mr De Guichen? of the Spaniards? I certainly know nothing of it. It is most true that Mr De Guichen has convoyed a fleet of Merchant-men as far as the 25th Degree, and that he had 26, or 27, sail of the Line with him, he knew Likewise by an American brig that was gone a board his ship, that we were blocked up here.5

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

1See GW to Rochambeau, 8 Sept., and GW to Ternay, same date, found at Ternay to GW, 21 Aug., source note; see also The Hartford Conference, 20–22 Sept., editorial note.

Ternay wrote GW from Newport Harbor on 11 Sept. that he would meet GW at Hartford on 20 Sept. as long as the British made no threatening movements (ALS, in French, DLC:GW).

2Rochambeau refers to the Battle of Camden (see Horatio Gates to GW, 30 Aug., n.1).

4For the British fleet, see Heath to GW, 19 Sept., n.2.

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