George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau, 1 January 1781

Newport January 1st 1781


Your Excellency’s Letter of the 23d [instant], I received Last night, I received Likewise one from Governor Trumbull to which I made the answer of which I send you here a copy. I wish that the 2d Division may be numerous enough to oblige us to extend as far as Newhaven. Mr Meyers, nephew of Mr Gerard is gone on the 26th with the Duplicates of our Dispatches, I hope he will have got clear. Major Gibbs is arrived here yesterday in good health, and I will endeavour to Contribute to make his stay here as agreable as possible I need not tell to your Excellency that I expect news from France with great impatience and that I’ll forward them to you with all possible speed. I am with respect Your Excellency’s Most obedient and most humble servant

le cte de rochambeau

I beg of you to forward the inclosed box and papers to the Ch. de La Luzerne, it is for the Philanthropic society for the recovery of the Drowned persons, in Philadelphy.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


Copy of a Letter from General Rochambeau to Governor Trumbull of Connecticut

Newport January 1. 1781


your Excellency’s Letters of the 29. and 30. Last, I received this morning. I have not been able to go myself to new-haven but I had sent there one in whom I could trust. The Place would be exceeding fine for Troops and certainly we shall make use of it in the spring, and when the operations will begin it will very likely be one of our best and principal marts, which is a reason for not draining it in this moment.

I own to your Excellency that I have the greatest repugnancy for the winter quarter, to put there a regiment of two [   ] I make it a constant rule in war as well as in morality never to tempt the Devil, and If I were in Clinton’s place I would have a great hankering to fall upon a corps that would be with so much difficulty succoured, by its distance from the rest of the Troops and the difficulty of the Ferrys upon the river of Connecticut. I would Like much better, (if your Excellency and the Council find that New-London, the 3. Norwich and Windham are too much troubled by the Troops,) that they were put towards Hadham and Middletown, any where in short that your Excellency chuses, between The Thames and Connecticut rivers. These are the military reasons that ought to guide the winter quartering of Troops, and I beg of your Excellency to consider them, in case of the arrival of the second Division, this season.

As to the supplies proposed by public contract by the 4. N.E. and N.Y. states, I am ready to Listen to all the propositions that will be made. I wish to have the honor of observing to your Excellency that ’till now, I have been extremely satisfied with Colonel Wadsworth, who has our principal confid[ance] that the formalities and the Delays unavoidable in the administration of the States, have wherewith to make me fear for an army whose needs are always urgent, that the Example of what [have I] had here by the Different troops during the campaign, from the states of Boston and rhode [island] is not encouraging, because I have been obliged five or six times to send them provisions that they were in want of, several times. However your Excellency may be persuaded that We will Listen, the Admiral and I to all the proposals that will be made, from the [great] desire, we have to agree to all that can be beneficial to the common cause. I have the &a

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