George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel Elias Dayton, 22 February 1781

To Colonel Elias Dayton


Head Quarters New Windsor 22d Feby 1781.

Dear Sir

It will be indispensably necessary that we should be informed of the preparations or movements of the Enemy in New York during the absence of the detachment under the command of the Marquis de la Fayette.2 You will therefore be pleased to employ some of the most trusty persons within your knowledge upon this Business. My principal apprehensions are for the posts up this River—They will therefore pay particular attention to any thing which looks like a move this way—as preparation of Boats—embarkation of Cannon—Stores &ca. There will be a chain of Expresses between Morris town and this place—you will communicate your intelligence by them.3 I am Dear Sir Yr most obt Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, Bibliothèque de Genève; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1GW wrote this word on the LS.

2For this detachment, see GW to Lafayette, 20 Feb. (both letters [1 and 2]).

3For Dayton’s difficulty in sending spies into New York City, see his letters to GW of 9 and 26 March (both DLC:GW).

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