George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General Duportail, 8 February 1781

From Brigadier General Duportail

philadelphia 8 febr. 1781

Dear general

I arrived yesterday here and I am informed that an express is setting off immediately for head quarters. so I will have only time enough to write a word. please your excellency to Receive my most sincere thancks for your favour of exchanging me. I am not able to express my gratitude of it and my happiness for Coming again under your orders.1

although I am much impatient to see your excellency I must beg leave to stay some time in philadelphia being in great need of many things which I Cannot get but there. yet as I am told that you are to set off incessantly for newport, in Case your excellency had any Reasons to Desire my attendance, I beg you to be persuaded that I will execute his orders whatever with the greatest pleasure.

permit me, sir, to congratulate you upon the late fortunate events in south Carolina and the great share that Colonel washington your newew has in it. indeed I did not expect such things having been witness of the deplorable situation of Our affairs in that quarter.2

I take the liberty to inclose in your pacquet ma[n]y letters given to me for marquis de la fayette and others. if the express allows me, I shall do myself the honour to write to the marquis and to Colonel gouvion, but I am afraid I will have not time enough.

please your excellency to permit me to present my Respects to Mrs washington and my Compliments to my friend Colonel hamilton and the other gentlemen of your family now with you. I have the honour to be with the greatest Respect and attachmt Your excellency’s the most humble and obedient servant


I will wait here for the orders of your exellency’s.3


1For Duportail’s exchange after being taken prisoner upon the surrender of Charleston in May 1780, see GW to Board of War, 31 Oct., and n.2 to that document, and to Duportail, 8 Nov., found at GW to Nathanael Greene, same date, n.11.

2For the exploits of GW’s cousin Lt. Col. William Washington in South Carolina, see Greene’s letters to GW, 7 Dec., n.13; 11 Jan. 1781, n.2; and 24 Jan. 1781 (first letter), n.3.

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