George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Lafayette, 20 February 1781

To Major General Lafayette

New Windsor 20th Feby 1781

My dear Marqs

The inclosed are your Instructions, in the prosecution of wch if you should receive authentic intelligence of the Enemys having left Virginia—Or by adverse fortune the detachment from Monsr Destouche⟨s⟩ has lost its superiority in that State and dis-abled thereby to cooperate with you—You will return with the Detachment under your Command, as the enemy cannot be effected by it while they have the command of the Water but the Detachment capitally injured by committing it⟨se⟩lf ⟨on⟩ the ⟨Water.1 With every wish for⟩ Your ⟨suc⟩cess. I am D⟨ear M⟩arqs Yr Most Obt & Affe Servt

Go: Washington

ADfS, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Mutilated portions of the draft are supplied in angle brackets from the Varick transcript.

1For the instructions, see GW to Lafayette, this date (second letter). Captain Destouches, commander of the French naval squadron at Newport, had detached a ship of the line, a frigate, and a sloop of war to Chesapeake Bay to be followed by another frigate (see Destouches to GW, 7 Feb., and Rochambeau to GW, 12 Feb.).

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