George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Lieutenant General Rochambeau, 7 February 1781

To Lieutenant General Rochambeau

Head Quarters New Windsor Feby 7th 81


I am much obliged to you for the agreeable intelligence contained in your letter of the 29th of January. I hope the confirmation will have enabled Mr Des-touches to take advantage of the event, in a manner as advancive of his own glory, as of the good of the service. I impatiently wait further advices.1

By the last accounts from Virginia which come down to the 20th Arnold had reimbarked from West-Over the place mentioned in my former letter descended the River to Smithfield, relanded there and marched to Portsmouth. Here it was expected he would fortify. There have been some skirmishes but to little effect on either side. The enemy in their march showed their usual avidity for plunder.2 If Mr Destouches should have acquired a superiority, which would make it prudent to act, Your Excellency may think this detachment an object.

I am informed in a manner I credit, though not officially, that Maryland has acceded to the confederation and that Virginia has relinquished her claim to a large tract of territory, west of Ohio, in favour of The United States.3 Both these events will have an important influence in our affairs. With the truest respect and attachment—I am Sir Yr Most Obed. servt

Go: Washington

Your letters of the 20th & 26th reached me the same day with the above the 3d instant4—I expect to have the pleasure (nothing extraordinary intervening) of setting out from this place about the 15th on a visit to your Excellency and the army.5

LS, in Alexander Hamilton’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. GW signed the cover of the LS.

1See Rochambeau to GW, 3 and 8 February.

3Duane had included this information in his letter to GW of 29 January.

4See Rochambeau to GW, 20 and 26 January.

5GW postponed his departure (see GW to Rochambeau, 14 [first letter], 15, and 24 Feb.).

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