George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Benjamin Tallmadge, 19 September 1780

Greenfield Tuesday morning 6 oClock 19 Septr 1780


I have been impatiently waiting at this place for some time for the Arrival of C—’s Dispatches, which have this instant come to hand; A very heavy Gale of wind prevented the boat from crossing by the time appointed—I hope the enclosed may be satisfactory. I shall inform Genl Heath of what respects the French Army at NPort, agreeable to your Excellency’s orders.

Enclosed is an Acct of Expences from C—. [   ] Man is obliged always to ride to N.Y. from [   ] where the boat lands, & wait C—’s answer, his Expences on the road & in the City for himself & horse must be very considerable, Your Excellency will furnish such supplies, in answer to the Enclosed, as may be judged necessary.

I had the honor, last night to receive your Excellency’s favor of the 16th inst the Contents of which shall be duly forwarded to C— Junr. I have the honor to be, with great Regard, Sir, Your Excellency’s most Obedt Servt

Benja. Tallmadge

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


15 September 1780

The cause of my not writing last Week proceeded from an indisposition of Body which prevented me gaining any intelligence that might be thought acceptable, Since which have received an Order for the attaining a Plan of Brooklyn fort, which I [   ] to Say I have not been able to accomplish. It is a more arduous Undertaking than you imagine, as great Notice is taken of those who approach near their Works, but this Obstacle Shall not deter me from making an Attempt next Week for that Purpose—The exact Position of the Troops composing this Garrison is also difficult to be ascertained; Neither would it be of much Advantage to know at this Time as their intended movement will derange the present Order of the Army. This Expedition will take Place in the Course of a few days, perhaps within a fortnight, & is destined for Virginia (according to the best information), & it is said at Head Quarters that the principle view in this manoeuver is to [rescue] the Convention Army—I am told by an intelligent Person, that Sir Henry Clinton has given an [invitation] to the Refugees, & Exiles of the States of [Virginia] and Maryland to return to their respective homes under an Escort of this detachment, & in consequence many are making ready to embark with their families. Ten Pieces of Cannon, for Field [fight were] Selected a few days Since for this purpose, & according to the best Calculation I could form (en passant) there were near One hundred cannonades lying at the foot of the Albany Pier ready to be put on board each of which Carry a Twelve pound Ball—The Schooners and small Brigs, which are constructed for transporting horses and Camp Furniture will probably be armed in this Manner, as they are more easily managed, two Men only being requisite to Each Piece—Great quantities of Forage were this day brought from [the magazines] to the Wharves, (which indicates the departure near at hand)—This Body is to consist of 8 Regular Regiments, to be Strengthened by draughts from the new [Choirs], which are to act as Infantry. The whole will amount to near 5000 men. The late Accts from the Southward of Genl [Greene’s] defeat has elated them exceedingly, especially [as]You acknowledge So great a Loss as the most [   ] look upon the Rebellion to be in a Manner almost [   ] & are Sanguine to be on the most favorable event of the Expedition—[A late] Express from the Southward has arrived, [   ] Advices from the Army under Lord Cornwalis. All they have to rejoice at is taken partly from your Papers & part by Surmising. Yesterday Evening Sir George Bridge’s Rodney appeared at the Hook with a Fleet of Ten Sail of the Line & Five Smaller Vessels, to all appearance Frigates, directly from Jamaica, where he left Admiral Walsingham with 25 Sail of the Line (others Say but 16) where all was enjoyed in Peace and Quietness—The cause of his quitting the West Indies & coming here is not publicly known, but it‘s generally Supposed he will join Admiral Arbuthnot, which will augment the British Squadron in these Seas to [19] Sail of the Line 2 50’s & 2 40’s & Several respectable Frigates. When this Junction is accomplished, it‘s expected [that they are] to attack the French, Which from their manifest Superiority they think must undoubtedly yield—Let it be as it will, you may expect a blow will Soon be Struck on Some part of the Continent that is not in a Condition to ward it off—Adml Rodney on his passage fell in with a Brigantine from Charlestown for Jamaica, then in Possession of the Americans, which he recaptured. She has arrived in New York harbour, but as it is Some Time Since She left Port, cannot [   ] us with any thing new—There are [   ] Cannon planted on the City Battery, Some [big] but chiefly 24 Pounders—The Cork Provision Fleet and English Merchantmen are expected in a Fortnight or three Weeks, but it’s rather uncertain when they will arrive as No proper Accts have been [recd] at New York when they were to Sail—The Crew of the Guadaloupe were [put off] Yesterday. She is to Sail on a Cruise [this day].

Amicus Republicae


18 September 1780

John Bolten
[Pd] Saml Culper Dr.
To [Cash] Paid 724 for Service £34.0.0
To do do Saml Culper Jur 15.9.4
To do due myself 11.9.4

By [   ] 18.18.8
Ballance due me £42.0.0

Which Please forward and oblidge your &c.

Saml Culper


Setauket, N.Y. 18 September 1780

Your favour of the 12 Instant Together with the inclosed, came to hand on the 15 at 12 OClock—I immediately Set of, and have done all that in me lay, And is communicated in the blanks inclosed, And it contains much good intelligence. I hope all that, needfull Our Spirits are extreamly low here, We Pray for your best endvours. The times requirs you to be Vigilant and active Sir George Rodneys Fleat hath arived. See the Paper—I have induced C Jur. to Shorten the Present rout the letters take, as mentiond in the blank It will be done in the course of ten days I hope Simelar to your Plan proferd I have made Severl discoverys of villany but have not time to Write now, forbid the boat [   ] with Caleb Brewster to come any more and desire G. Trumbull immediately to grant him no favours—or else it will be too late in my next will State the matter to you in the greatest [hast] am your Sincely

Saml Culper

N.B. [17 D.] at the [Branch].

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