Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO COUNT D'ESTAING. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. VII (1778-1779)
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TO COUNT D’ESTAING. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. VII (1778-1779) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890). Vol. VII (1778-1779).
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TO COUNT D’ESTAING.
Camp, atParamus, 14th July, 1778.
I take the earliest opportunity to advise you, that I have been informed of your arrival on this coast, with a fleet of Ships under your command, belonging to his Most Christian Majesty, our great ally. I congratulate you, Sir, most sincerely upon this event, and beg leave to assure you of my warmest wishes for your success. The intelligence of your arrival was communicated to me last night by a Letter from the Honble. Mr. Laurens President of the Congress, as you will perceive by the enclosed copy.
With respect to the number or force of the British ships of war in the port of New York, I am so unhappy as not to be able to inform you of either, with the precision I could wish, as they are constantly shifting their stations.1 It is probable, and I hope it is the case, that your advice on this subject, from some captures you may have made, are more certain than those of Congress, or any I can offer. The number of their transports is reported to be extremely great, and I am persuaded that it is. If possible, I will obtain an accurate state of their Ships of war, which I shall do myself the honor of transmitting to you. Before I conclude, I think it proper to acquaint you, that I am now arrived with the main body of the army, immediately under my command, within twenty miles of the North or Hudson’s River, which I mean to pass as soon as possible, about fifty miles above New York.1 I shall then move down before the enemy’s lines, with a view of giving them every jealousy in my power.2 And I further think it proper to assure you, that I shall upon every occasion feel the strongest inclination to facilitate such enterprises, as you may form, and are pleased to communicate to me. I would submit it to your consideration, whether it will not be expedient to establish some conventional signals, for the purpose of promoting an easier correspondence between us, & mutual intelligence.
If you deem it expedient, you will be so obliging as to fix upon them with Lieut. Colo. Laurens, one of my aids, who will have the honor of delivering you this, and of giving you satisfaction in many particulars respecting our affairs, and to whom you may safely confide any measures or information you may wish me to be acquainted with.
I have just received advice, that the Enemy are in daily expectation of a provision fleet from Cork, and that they are under great apprehensions lest it should fall into your hands. You will also permit me to notice, that there is a navigation to New York from the sea, besides the one between Sandy Hook & Long Island. This lies between the latter and the State of Connecticut, is commonly known by the name of the Sound, and is capable of receiving forty-Gun Ships, tho’ the passage within seven miles of the city at a particular place is extremely narrow and difficult.
I have the honor to be, &c.
[1 ]Besides the spies in New York, there were persons stationed in Monmouth County near the Hook, who watched the British shipping, and communicated intelligence to General Washington.
[1 ]“The right wing and second line of the army marched this morning from hence [Paramus], and will be at Haverstraw tomorrow, where I also expect to be at the same time.”—Washington to Major-General Gates, 14 July, 1778.
[2 ]“Interest and policy strongly press us to co-operate with & to give every countenance to our friends upon this occasion, and this is the wish of Congress. I therefore think it will be material for you to circulate a report in a proper way, that we are on the point of concentring our whole force, and bringing it to act against New York. This will excite the enemy’s fears, and aided by such movements and other measures as you may judge advisable to take, may greatly facilitate the Admiral’s designs and produce the most beneficial consequences. We should attempt to rouse their jealousy in every quarter and in every shape.”—Washington to Major-General Gates, 14 July, 1778.