George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Lieutenant General Rochambeau, 13 September 1780

To Lieutenant General Rochambeau

Head Qrs Bergen County N. Bridge Sepr 13th 1780


The idea of an embarkation gains strength by the concurring testimony of emissaries and deserters, and seems to be on the point of taking place. On such an event it might be of importance that we should both be with our respective armies—which induces me to request our meeting may be deferred ’till the 25th instant.1 I hope this letter will arrive in time to anticipate your setting out, and that no inconvenience will attend the delay. As I will not detain the express to write to the Admiral, I beg the favour of you to impart the contents of my letter to him. I have the honor to be with sincere attachment Sir Your most Obedt servant

Go: Washington

P.S. I am much obliged to your Excy for your letter of the 9th and the intelligence it contains—similar advices are just come from Philadelphia.2

LS, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, CtY-BR-R; Df, DLC:GW; Rochambeau’s French translation, CtY-BR-R; LB, in French, DLC: Rochambeau Papers, vol. 7.

1GW quickly changed his mind (see his second letter to Rochambeau on this date).

2For intelligence on French rear admiral Guichen’s fleet, see GW to Rochambeau, this date (second letter), n.1; see also Rochambeau to GW, 9 September.

Rochambeau replied to GW from Newport on 16 Sept.: “I received this day at 12. o clock, Your Excellency’s Letter of the 13th inst. According to your orders, the Admiral and I will defer our Journey to be there on the 25th. We were to set out to morrow, under the supposition that I was bound to Providence to shew the Admiral our hospital. I have nothing new to inform you of; if the embarkation of the Enemy is to come and see us, I hope we will receive them well” (LS, DLC:GW; GW’s secretary Robert Hanson Harrison docketed the letter: “no Ansr”).

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