George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major Benjamin Tallmadge, 19 September 1780

From Major Benjamin Tallmadge

Greenfield [Conn.]—Tuesday morning 6—oClock 19. Septr 80


I have been impatiently waiting at this place for some time for the Arrival of C——’s Dispatches, which have this instant come to hand; A very heavy Gale of wind prevented the boat from crossing by the time appointed—I hope the enclosed may be satisfactory1—I shall inform Genl Heath of what respects the Fren⟨ch⟩ Army at N. Port, agreeable to your Excellency⟨’s⟩ orders.2

Enclosed is an Acct of Expences from C——.3mutilated⟩ Man is obliged always to ride to N.Y. from ⟨the pl⟩ace where the boat lands, & wait C——’s answer, his Expences on the road & in the City for himself & horse must be very considerable—your Excellency will furnish such supplies, in answer to the Enclosed, as may be judged necessary.4

I had the honor, last night to receive your Excellency’s favor of the 16th inst.—the Contents of which shall be duly forwarded to C——Junr.5 I have the honor to be, with great Regard, Sir, Your Excellency’s most Obedt Servt

Benja. Tallmadge

ALS, DLC:GW. Tallmadge wrote “Private” and “⅌ Express” on the cover, which he addressed to GW in Bergen County. Mutilated material indicates that he wanted the letter “forwarded to Hd Qrs” with urgency.

1The enclosed dispatch from Samuel Culper (Abraham Woodhull’s alias) to John Bolton (Tallmadge’s alias) was written at Setauket, N.Y., on 18 Sept.: “Your favour of the 12 Instant Togather with the inclosed, came to hand on the 15. at 12 OClock—I immediately Set of[f], and have done all that in me lay, And is communicated in the blank inclosed, And it contains much good intelligence—I hope all that, needfull Our Spirits are extreamly low here, We Pray for your best endvours, The times requires you to be Vigilant and active Sir George Rodneys Fleat hath arived See the Papers—I have induced C. Jur to Shorten the present rout the letters take, as mentiond in the blank it will be done in the Course of ten days I hope Simelar to your Plan propesd—I have made severl discoverys of villany but have not time to Write now, forbid the boat now on with Caleb Brewster to come any more—And desire G. Trumbull immediately to grant him no favours—or else it will be tow late. in my next will State the matter to you in the greatest part. … N.B. 17 D[ragoons] at [Village of] the Branch” (DLC:GW; the underline signifies decoded text; Culper also wrote the dateline in code, with the number for September misrendered). For the code, see Tallmadge to GW, 25 July 1779.

Tallmadge may have enclosed intelligence that Amicus Republicae (Abraham Bancker’s alias) wrote on 15 Sept. to report British strength around New York City and to warn French warships at Rhode Island to expect an attack. He also related that a British expedition would depart “in the Course of a few days or perhaps a fortnight, & is destined for Virginia” (DLC:GW).

2For GW’s orders, see GW to Tallmadge, 21 Aug., found at Tallmadge to GW, 20 Aug., source note.

3The enclosed account from Culper to Bolton has the same dateline as his letter dated 18 Sept. (see n.1 above). Owing Austin Roe “£34.0.0” and Samuel Culper, Jr., “15.9.4,” Culper claims “11.9.4” as “due myself” for a total of “£60.18.8.” With “10 Geneas” or “18.18.8” having been received, Culper also calculates “£42.0.0” as the “Ballance due me” (DLC:GW; the underline signifies decoded text).

4GW subsequently gave Tallmadge money for Culper (see Tallmadge to GW, 17 Oct.).

5For GW to Tallmadge, 16 Sept., see Tallmadge to GW, 13 Sept., n.4.

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