Admiralty Office 23. March 1780.
The Board was yesterday honored with your Excellency’s letter of the 15. inst relative to a naval expedition proposed to be conducted by Major Genl Arnold.
It was doubtful whether a sufficient naval force could be collected in season for the purpose, and it was still more doubtful whether three or four hundred men under its present circumstances be spared from the army, which number of men it seem were essential to the expedition; and therefore we informed General Arnold that previous to entering upon the business, it was necessary to know from your Excellency wheiher those men could be spared. As they cannot, we shall drop every idea of the proposed Expedition. We have the honor to be, Yr Excellency’s [most o Sevt]
Fras Lewis—by Order
DLC: Papers of George Washington.