George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Paul-François-Jean-Nicolas, comte de Barras, 10 August 1781

Head Quarters Dobbs’s Ferry 10th Augt 1781.


I do myself the honor to inform your Excellency that by letters from the Marquis de la Fayette dated in Virginia the 26th and 30th of last Month it appears that the enemy had embarked a number of Infantry on board thirty transports and a detachment of Cavalry on board eight Brigs. They were still lying in Hampton Road under Convoy of the Charon of 44 Guns and six smaller Frigates. They had pilots for Potowmack River and Chesapeak Bay; but the Marquis imagined this was in order to deceive and that their real destination was New York. He had dispatched a Boat to your Excellency with the foregoing intelligence, but was apprehensive that she would be intercepted.

By a letter from General Forman of the 3d of this Month, I am informed that Admiral Rodney is expected upon this Coast, and he mentions a circumstance which seems to corroborate the opinion—it is, that a large Store ship is kept at sandy Hook with provisions and Vegetables.

I inclose Your Excellency a Duplicate of my letter of 21st of July to Count de Grasse. The original is lodged with General Forman upon the Monmouth Coast—Should the Count make his first appearance off Rhode Island, you will be pleased to present the duplicate to him—It is left under a flying seal for your information.

I have several of our most experienced Pilots ready to go on board the Fleet the moment they appear off the Hook—This circumstance you will be pleased to mention to the Count, should you be happy enough to see him first. I have the Honor to be &c.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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