George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Lieutenant General Rochambeau, 24 October 1780

To Lieutenant General Rochambeau

Head Quarters Prackness Octr 24th 1780


I have been successively honored with your letters of the 13th 16th and 19th of Octobr. I think the change you have made respecting Lauzun’s cavalry will be an advantageous one.

Since my last, we have accounts both by way of Statia and New York that the Combined fleets consisting of thirty sail of the line off Cape Finisterre, fell in with an outward bound fleet and took fifty odd sail of them, among which were five East India men; the rest were for the West Indies. This is an important article and has all the marks of authenticity.1

I have just received another account from New York that a part of the Cork fleet has been taken; but this though probable enough wants confirmation.2 I have the honor to be With great esteem and Attachment Your Excellency’s Most Obedient Servt

Go: Washington

P.S. ⟨The fleet in New York harbour is said to consist of the Sandwich of 90 and three of 74—Two seventy fours went with the fleet to the Southward.⟩3

LS, in Caleb Gibbs’s writing, CtY-BR-R; Df, DLC:GW; Rochambeau’s French translation, CtY-BR-R; LB, in French, DLC: Rochambeau Papers, vol. 7; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The translation and letter-book copy do not include the postscript. Mutilated material on the LS is supplied in angle brackets from the draft, which is in the writing of GW’s aide-de-camp Alexander Hamilton.

2For this erroneous intelligence, see John Jameson to GW, 23 Oct., and n.3 to that document.

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