George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Lieutenant General Rochambeau, 10 October 1780

To Lieutenant General Rochambeau

Head Quarters Prackness Octr 10th 1780


I have duly received your Excellency’s favours of the 25th and 30th of Septembr and am much obliged to you for the different informations you do me the honor to communicate. We have to regret that this Campaign has not been productive of such important advantages as we had reason to flatter ourselves, but we must hope for better successes the next. The operation of the Spaniards in the Floridas will be an useful diversion to the Southern States, if it can be vigorously prosecuted; but I confess while the Enemy have a naval superiority in America I am not sanguine about any ⟨e⟩nterprise which is connected with maritime dispositions.

I entirely approve of the detention of Greene’s Regiment, and I entreat you to keep it, as long as you think its services can be interesting.

Your Excellency will have heard of the execution of the British Adjutant General. The circumstances he was taken in justified it, and policy required a sacrifice; but as he was more unfortunate than criminal in the affair, and as there was much in his character to interest, while we yeilded to the necessity of rigor, we could not but lament it.1

I have detached two Divisions of the Army to West Point, and removed the remainder to this Post, at a greater distance from the Enemy.2 With every sentiment of attachment I have the honor to be Your Excellencys Most Obedient and Humble Servant

Go: Washington

P.S. I take the liberty of asking Your Excellency’s care of the inclosed letter to Doctr Franklin.3

Go: W——n

LS, in David Humphreys’s writing, CtY-BR-R; Df, DLC:GW; LB, in French, DLC: Rochambeau Papers, vol. 7; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. GW wrote the postscript on the LS, and it also appears on the letter-book copy. Rochambeau replied to GW on 13 October.

GW’s secretary Robert Hanson Harrison wrote Edward William Kiers, deputy quartermaster general at King’s Ferry, N.Y., from headquarters on this date: “It is His Excellency, the Commander in Chief’s wish that the packet the Express brings, may reach His Excellency Count Rochambeau as soon as possible. The way however through Crompond it is feared is dangerous from the incursions of the Enemy You will therefore send the packet immediately to M. Campbell at the [Continental] Village with this Letter, who is desired by the General to forward it without a Moment’s delay, by a Trusty Express by the way of Fredericksburg—& Danbury—to Fairfield or Stratford—where he will fall in with the Chain of Expresses, who are to proceed with the packet with the greatest dispatch to Newport” (DLC:GW).

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