George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Francisco Rendon, 2 January 1781

To Francisco Rendon

Head Quarters New Windsor Janry 2nd 1781


It was with great satisfaction I received the polite Letter, which you did me the honor to write on the 26th Ulto—but at the same time I sincerely condole with you the Misfortune which has happened to the Spanish Fleet that was destined against Pensacola: I hope however that the Transports may be reassembled without loss, and that the Expedition may Yet prove successful.1

On the 22nd of Decr the Fleet sailed from New York, which carried the Detachmen⟨t⟩ I mentioned in my Letter of the 14th Ulto. The Light Infantry and Grenadiers, with some other Corps which were at first under orders of embarkation, were afterwards countermanded⟨; and consequ⟩ently the number of Troops was not so great as had been reported, amounting to only 1600 Men by the best intelligence we have been able to obtain2—This Detachment, Instead of being commanded by the General’s Knyphausen & Philips, it is said ⟨will⟩ be under the Orders of Arnold, and supposed to be designed as a reinforcement to the Southe⟨rn⟩ Army of the Enemy.3 I have the honor to be.

Df, in David Humphreys’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Mutilated portions of the draft are supplied in angle brackets from the Varick transcript.

1In his letter to GW of 26 Dec. 1780, Rendon had reported that on 18 Oct. a hurricane had scattered a Spanish fleet of warships and transports that had sailed from Havana, Cuba, to attack the British outpost at Pensacola.

2GW had reported “about 2500 Men” (GW to Rendon, 14 Dec. 1780).

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