George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General William Phillips, 30 November 1780

From Major General William Phillips

New York Novr 30th 1780


I had the honour of receiving Your Excellency’s letter of the 9th Instant and was made very happy to find that you had been pleased to extend the proposed Exchanges so generally into execution.1

Agreeable to Your Excellency’s desire I send the inclosed list, specifying the name of the Vessel designed to carry the Stores and refreshments to the Troops of Convention, with the name of the Master and Number of Seamen required to navigate her.2

I propose on my part to Send only a Commissary with the Assistants mentioned to take charge of the British Stores, &c., and Major General De Riedesel is desirous that two of his own Officers may go for the same purpose with respect to the German Cloathing.

I shall be glad that You will, Sir, direct the necessary passports for this Vessel being considered as a Flag of truce, to be permitted to go to James River in Virginia, and to return to New York whenever the Commission with which this Flag of Truce may proceed upon is compleated.3 I have the honour to be, Sir Your Excllencys Most Obedient humble Servant

W. Phillips

ALS, DLC:GW. GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman mistakenly wrote “Ansd 9th Novemr” on the docket (see n.3 below).

1See GW to Phillips, 9 Nov., found at Phillips to GW, 4 Nov., n.4.

2Phillips enclosed an undated “Return of the Officers and Men belonging to the Ship General De Riedesel of about 180 Tons burthen, a Flag of truce” (DLC:GW). The ship included a master, mate, and fourteen seamen. Five German officers and four British officers went with the ship to manage the stores.

3GW replied to Phillips from headquarters at New Windsor on 9 Dec.: “I had the honor of receiving your favr of the 30th November by Brigr Genl Irvine. Inclosed you will find a passport for the Ship General de Reidesel made out agreeable to the form and terms which you requested” (Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW; see also GW to Henry Clinton, 9 Dec.). GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman drafted the enclosed passport per GW’s order at New Windsor on 9 Dec.: “Permission is hereby granted for the Ship General de Reidesel, about 180 Tons Burthen,” with a master, mate, “and fourteen Seamen, to proceed as a Flag of truce from the Port of New York to James River in Virginia, laden with Stores and Refreshments for the Troops of Convention.” The passport named nine officers authorized “to proceed in the said Vessel to take charge of the British and German Stores.

“The Ship, after having discharged her Stores and waited a reasonable time for the persons who conduct them to Charlotteville, is to be permitted to return to the port of New York as a Flag with the passengers above named” (DLC:GW).

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