Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO MAJOR-GENERAL SULLIVAN. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. VII (1778-1779)
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TO MAJOR-GENERAL SULLIVAN. - 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 MAJOR-GENERAL SULLIVAN.
I am exceedingly anxious to hear the determination of yourself and the General officers upon the great reverse of your prospects, since the French Fleet left you.2 I however think it incumbent upon me to inform you, that from a variety of intelligence Lord Howe put to sea again on Tuesday. His design no doubt to attempt the relief of Newport, which will be easily effected, either by throwing in a reinforcement or withdrawing the Garrison; as I take it for granted the French Fleet would not have returned, had your protest reached them. I also yesterday received information from Long Island, that looks like a great and general move among the British army. The real intent I have not been able to learn, but I think part of it must be meant to coöperate with their fleet, especially as many transports are drawn into the Sound. You will more than probably have come to a decisive resolution, either to abandon the enterprise, or to attack, long before this reaches you; but, lest you should not, I have given you all the information that I have been able to obtain, that you may judge more fully the propriety of remaining upon the Island under such appearances. The Wind is now contrary, and, if it continues a short time, this will reach you before the transports can, should they be bound eastward.
Suppose you should remove from the Island, I desire you will keep as many of your troops together as you possibly can. We do not know the views of the enemy. Should they be Eastward, you may be able with a force already collected, and the assistance of the Militia, to keep them from making much progress, until a reinforcement from this army would join you, I will just add a hint, which, made use of in time, may prove important, and answer a very salutary purpose. Should the expedition fail, thro’ the abandonment of the French Fleet, the officers concerned will be apt to complain loudly. But prudence dictates, that we should put the best face upon the matter, and to the World attribute the removal to Boston to necessity. The Reasons are too obvious to need explaining. The principal one is, that our British and internal enemies would be glad to improve the least matter of complaint and disgust against and between us and our new allies into a serious purpose. I am, &c.
[2 ]After suffering greatly in the storm, the French fleet appeared again off Newport, August 20th. General Greene and the Marquis de Lafayette went on board Count d’Estaing’s ship, and endeavored to persuade him to unite again in an attack upon the enemy. A council of war was held, which decided against it. Greene and Lafayette used all their powers of argument and persuasion to bring about a different result, but without effect. The whole fleet sailed from Rhode Island, and proceeded to Boston harbor for the purpose of repairs. This was a double disappointment and mortification to the American army. Under the present circumstances, and with the momentary expectation of a reinforcement of the enemy, it being impossible to prosecute the siege with any hope of success, General Sullivan withdrew his forces in the night of the 28th of August and marched to the north part of the Island. He was pursued by the enemy, and an action took place the next day. The Americans kept their ground till night, when they retreated to the main land without any molestation from the British.