George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Lieutenant General Rochambeau, 23 December 1780

To Lieutenant General Rochambeau

New Windsor 23d Decr 1780


I have been honoured with your Excellency’s favors of the 8th Instt from Newport and 13th from Boston—I am obliged by your communication of the Letter from the commanding Officer at St Domingo but cannot help being anxious for the safety of Monsr Monteiuls Squadron.1

The intelligence brought by the Vessel from Nantes to Boston is very interesting I am in hopes that the Captn has good grounds for what he has reported—The change in the French marine department may I believe be depended upon as it comes by a vessel lately arrived at Philadelphia.2

Should the Second division of your Excellencys Army arrive in the course of the Winter I can think of no position which will better answer our general views than the Towns in Connecticut wch you have pitched upon for their Quarters.3

The Baron Viominel has acquainted [me] with the sudden death of the Chevr De Ternay—an event which I extremely regret. His loss however will be the less felt as the Baron informs me that his successor, the Chevr Destouches is an Officer of approved reputation.4

If your Excellency’s tour to Boston was solely with a view to improvement, perhaps it is to our advantage that you will have found few traces of werks hastily thrown up by very inexperienced Soldiers, and which were they standing would only serve to betray our ignorance of Military matters at that time of day.

A Detachment has embarked at New York but had not Sailed when I last heard from that place—a change has happened in the Troops—The Grenadiers & light Infantry after having prepared for Embarkation were countermanded and other Corps and drafts to the amt it is said of Twenty five hundred Men are on board in lieu of them.5 I have the honor to be with great respect and personal Attachmt Yr Excellency’s Most Obt & Hble Sert

Go: Washington

ALS, 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. Rochambeau replied to GW on 1 Jan. 1781 (DLC:GW).

1See Rochambeau to GW, 8 Dec. 1780, and n.2 to that document.

2See Lafayette to GW, 9 Dec., and n.3 to that document; see also Rochambeau to GW, 13 December.

3The French reinforcements never reached the United States (see Rochambeau to GW, 1 Dec., n.3).

4See Vioménil to GW, 15 Dec., found at Destouches to GW, same date, n.1.

5GW wrote this paragraph on the draft, which otherwise is in the writing of his aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman.

For the British expedition to Virginia under the command of Brig. Gen. Benedict Arnold, see GW to Samuel Huntington, 27 Dec., and n.2 to that document.

Index Entries