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Dear General,--How happy I have been in receiving your excellency's favour of the tenth present; I hope you will be convinced by the knowledge of my tender affection for you. I am very sensible of that goodness which tries to dissipate my fears about that ridiculous Canadian expedition. At the present time we know which was the aim of the honourable board, and for which project three or four men have rushed the country into a great expense, and risked the reputation of our arms, and the life of many hundred men, had the general, your deceived friend, been as rash and foolish as they seem to have expected. O, American freedom, what shall become of you if you are in such hands?
I have received a letter from the board and a resolve of congress, by which you are directed to recall me and the Baron de Kalb, whose presence is deemed absolutely necessary to your army. I believe this of General Conway is _absolutely necessary_ to Albany, and he has received orders to stay there, which I have no objection to, as nothing, perhaps, will be done in this quarter but some disputes of Indians and tories. However, you know I have wrote to congress, and as soon as their leave will come, I shall let Conway have the command of these few regiments, and I shall immediately join my respectable friend; but till I have received instructions for leaving that place from yourself, I shall stay, as powerful commander-in-chief, as if congress had never resolved my presence absolutely necessary for the great army.
Since your last letter, I have given up the idea of New York, and my only desire is to join you. The only favour I have asked of your commissioners in France, has been, not to be under any orders but those of General Washington. I seem to have had an anticipation of our future friendship, and what I have done out of esteem and respect for your excellency's name and reputation, I should do now out of mere love for General Washington himself. I am glad to hear General Greene is quarter-master-general; it is very interesting to have there an honest man and a friend of yours. But I feel the greatest pain not to hear anything about reinforcements. What can you do with a handful of men,-- and my poor division, whom I was so desirous of instructing, clothing, managing myself in the winter, whom, I was told, I should find six thousand strong at the opening of the campaign? Don't your excellency think that I could recruit a little in General Greene's division now that he is quarter-master-general? By that promotion I find myself very proud to be the third officer of your army.
With the utmost respect and affection, I have the honour to be, &c.
- General Lafayette