Head Quarters Colo. Deys 3d Novemr 1780
His Excellency has heard, from several quarters, that an embarkation, under the command of Sir Henry Clinton in person, is preparing at New York; but having no information of the kind from you, he is some what dubious of it, as he thinks a matter of such importance could not have escaped the observation of those you employ. You will be pleased to write to His Excellency by return of the Express, and give him any intelligence you may have gained. If you have not yet heard of the embarkation, you are to take the speediest means of getting information, and if it should be so, of the force, the Corps of which it is to consist—the time it is to sail—under whose command—the destination and the Convoy all which you will communicate the moment you receive the particulars—His Excellency has never yet received an accurate account of the Corps which composed the embarkation of the 16th ulto tho’ it always has been one of his particular instructions to attend to that point. If you can get any information upon that head, you will let him know it. It is of the utmost importance that we should know with certainty and speedily whether there is any truth in the report of the present embarkation, you will therefore exert yourself to find it out. I am Sir Yr most obd. Servt
DLC: Papers of George Washington.