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My dear Sir,
With peculiar satisfaction I do myself the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your several favors, and to assure you at the same time, that it is with the warmest pleasure I express my full approbation of the various movements and operations, which your military conduct has lately exhibited; while I confess to you that I am unable to conceive what more could have been done under your circumstances, than has been displayed by your little persevering and determined army. Lord Rawdon's reinforcement from England was a most untoward circumstance ; but even this, I hope, will soon be surmounted by your good fortune.
You will be informed from the Marquis, of every circumstance that has taken place in Virginia. A detachment from the army of this brave and fortunate young nobleman will, I hope, soon arrive to your assistance in Carolina.
By our movements in this quarter, and the main army taking a position near New York, and making every preparation for a serious attempt upon that place, we have already produced a happy effect, that of a withdrawal of a considerable part of the troops under the command of Lord Cornwallis as a reinforcement to their garrison, which has been some time past closely confined to York Island. This withdrawal will probably disappoint their views of conquest in Virginia, and will exceedingly embarrass the prospects of the British ministry in the proposed treaty to be opened at Vienna. This is a very great object, even should any thing prevent our obtaining further success in our operations against New York.
The operating force of the enemy in the southern States being confined in all probability to South Carolina, will leave the other States in a condition to afford you such succours as, with the aid of the Marquis's detachment, will, I trust, enable you to fulfil your hopes and wishes in their utmost extent in your command. Should this event take place, you may be assured, that, added to the honor that will be thereby reflected on your own person, it will afford me the highest satisfaction. I sincerely wish we had the means of communicating more frequently with each other. Be assured. Sir, my concern for your honor and welfare interests me most particularly in every event which attends you.
A reason, which cannot at this time be communicated, induces me to request that you will be pleased to give me the earliest and most minute information of every event, that takes place with you, and a circumstantial detail of the present situation of the State of South Carolina, its strength and operative force, with its resources for the support of an army, and the extent of those resources, with the places where they may be collected and secured ; also the strength, position, and circumstances attending the enemy's force. I have the honor to be, etc.
- Dobbs Ferry
- The Writings of George Washington Being His Correspondence, Addresses, Messages, and Other Papers, Official and Private, Selected and Published from the Original Manuscripts. Vol VIII, Jared Sparks, 1839