George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Lieutenant General Rochambeau, 14 November 1780

To Lieutenant General Rochambeau

Head Quarters Prackness Novembr 14th 1780


I have received information from New York, that Admiral Rodney’s fleet with the transports which have been some time preparing, fell down to the Hook on Saturday last.1 The number of troops which they have on board is uncertain. If the Admiral with his ships of War, means to form a junction with Arbuthnot, you will soon perceive it by the augmentation of the fleet which keeps off Newport; if on the contrary he is bound to the West-Indies as some say, he will probable convoy the Transports to their place of destination, and then proceed to the Islands, The ships of the Line at New York were The Sandwich—90 Guns. Terrible—74 Alcide—Adamant—Triumph—74. Intrepide—64.2 But whether they will all proceed to sea, I cannot tell. The press was extremely hot in New York previous to the sailing of the Fleet.3 I have the honor to be With very great respect Your Excellency’s Most Obedient humbe servant

Go: Washington

LS, in David Humphreys’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.

1For the intelligence regarding the movement of British admiral George Rodney’s fleet on Saturday, 11 Nov., see Lafayette’s second letter to GW, 13 Nov., n.14; see also GW to Samuel Huntington, this date.

2Rochambeau’s translation and the French letter-book copy omit this list of ships.

The Adamant carried only 50 guns.

3For these naval impressments, see Lafayette to GW, 11 Nov.; see also John Vanderhovan to GW, 6 Nov., n.4.

For the departure of British admiral George Rodney’s fleet directly for the West Indies, see Rochambeau to GW, 29 Oct., n.5; see also n.1 above.

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