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.
Head-Quarters, 22d July, 1778.
I this moment received the letter, which you did me the honor of writing by Lt.-Colonel Hamilton. I cannot forbear regretting that the brilliant enterprise, which you at first meditated, was frustrated by physical impossibilities; but hope that something equally worthy of the greatness of your sentiments is still in reserve for you. Upon the report, made to me by Lt.-Col. Laurens, of the depth of the water at Sandy hook, and the Draught of your Ships of the Line, I thought that no time was to be lost in marching a reinforcement to Genl. Sullivan, that he might be in a situation for a vigorous coöperation. I am happy to find, that we coincided so exactly in the importance of this expedition.1
Mr. Laurens, who will have the honor of delivering you this, will inform you of my opinion relative to the stationing of a ship of the line in the Sound, as well as of other particulars, which I have communicated to him. I shall not therefore employ your attention farther than to assure you, that you have inspired me with the same sentiments for you, which you are so good as to entertain for me, and that it will be my greatest happiness to contribute to the service of our great ally in pursuing our common enemy, and to the glory of an officer, who has on every act. so just a claim to it, as the Count d’Estaing.1
The amiable manners of Major Chouin would of themselves entitle him to my esteem, if he had not the best of titles in your recommendation; and I beg you to be assured, that nothing on my part shall be wanting to render his stay in Camp agreeable. At the same time permit me to add, that your great civilities and politeness to my aids cannot but increase my regard, while they serve to give me additional ideas of your worth. I have now only to offer my sincere wishes for your success in this and every Enterprise, and the assurances of the perfect Respect and Esteem, with which I have the honor to be, &c.
[1 ]Count d’Estaing, in his letter to Congress explaining his operations on the coast, complains of being deceived by the pilot he took from the Delaware River, who assured him, that the squadron could pass around the Hook. “Circumstances required,” said he, “that I should reconnoitre the coast myself, and determined me to go almost alone in a boat. By these means we discovered the communication of Shrewsbury River, the extreme difficulties of which cost me an officer, several sailors, and a quantity of rowing-boats. They exposed Colonel Laurens to the most imminent danger of being drowned in bringing me General Washington’s despatches, and put him in a situation to prove, that his patriotism and his courage made him brave the most imposing dangers of the sea with the same firmness as the fire of the enemy. Both officers and crews were kept in spirits, notwithstanding their wants and the fatigues of service, by the desire of delivering America from the English colors, which we saw waving, on the other side of a simple barrier of sand, upon so great a crowd of masts. The pilots procured by Colonels Laurens and Hamilton destroyed all illusion. These experienced persons unanimously declared, that it was impossible to carry us in. I offered in vain a reward of fifty thousand crowns to any one, who would promise success. All refused, and the particular soundings, which I caused to be taken myself, too well demonstrated, that they were right.”—Letter, August 26th.
[1 ]“Colo. Laurens will suggest to his Excellency Count de Estaing the advantages that would more than probably result from a French ship of (sufficient) force getting into the sound, as far up as Lyons Tongue, or somewhere thereabouts. A measure of this kind would clear that channel of the British armed Vessels which now infest it, and cover the passage—and landing of a party of men wch. might be sent to long Island for the purposes of removing the cattle out of the way of the Enemy, destroying their Horses, &ca., and would afford supplies of fresh provisions to the Fleet, vegetables, and other comforts.