George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau, 8 April 1781

Hd Qrs New Windsor Apl 8th 1781.


Major Talmadge an Officer of great merit who will have the honor of delivering this letter, will inform your Excellencys minutely of the State of the Enemys Refugee Post on Loyds Neck (Long Island) and will suggest the practicability of cutting off this Corps, and destroying the Enemys Shipping in the Sound, while the British fleet is absent. This would be a very desireable event on every account, but particularly as it would, in a great measure, destroy the dangerous intercourse between the Enemy on Long Island, and the disaffected on the Main; and would, moreover, effectually destroy a conspiracy which is forming, & which we have reason to believe, is getting to a disagreeable height.

Should it be thought advisable (on Major Talmadges representation, who is well acquainted with the situation & Circumstances) to make the attempt with a Naval & Land force—I need not mention how much of the success would depend on Secrecy & Surprize.

I submit the whole to your Excellencies consideration; without a wish, that the enterprize should be undertaken (however advantageous it might be) unless the prospect of Success, should more than counter ballance the risk which will be run. Major Talmadge would be able to point out the necessary Guides; and would be happy in rendering any personal Service if the plan should be adopted. I have the honor to be with great esteem & attachmt Yr Excellencies—Most Obedt & Hble Ser[t]

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