Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO MAJOR GENERAL GREENE. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. VII (1778-1779)
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TO MAJOR GENERAL GREENE. - 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 GREENE.
I have had the pleasure of receiving your several letters, the last of which was of the 22d of Augt. I have not now time to take notice of the several arguments, that were made use of for and against the Count’s quitting the harbor of Newport, and sailing for Boston. Right or wrong, it will probably disappoint our sanguine expectations of success, and, what I esteem a still worse consequence, I fear it will sow the seeds of dissension and distrust between us and our new allies, unless the most prudent measures are taken to suppress the feuds and jealousies, that have already arisen. I depend much upon your temper and influence to concilliate that animosity, which I plainly perceive, by a letter from the Marquis, subsists between the American officers and the French in our service. This, you may depend, will extend itself to the Count, and the officers and men of his whole Fleet, should they return to Rhode Island; except, upon their arrival there, they find a reconciliation has taken place. The Marquis speaks kindly of a letter from you to him upon this subject. He will therefore take any advice coming from you in a friendly light; and, if he can be pacified, the other French gentlemen will of course be satisfied, as they look up to him as their Head. The Marquis grounds his complaint upon a general order of the 24 of Augt., the latter part of which is certainly very impolitic, and upon the universal clamor that prevailed against the french nation.1
I beg you will take every measure to keep the protest, entered into by the General Officers, from being made public. The Congress, sensible of the ill consequences that will flow from the World’s knowing our differences, have passed a resolve to that purpose. Upon the whole, my dear Sir, you can conceive my meaning better than I can express it; and I therefore fully depend upon your exerting yourself to head all private animosities between our principal officers and the french, and to prevent all illiberal expressions and reflections, that may fall from the army at large.
I have this moment recd. a letter from Genl. Sullivan of the 29th August, in which he barely informs me of an action upon that day, in which he says we had the better, but does not mention particulars.1
I am, &c.
[1 ]After alluding to the departure of the French fleet, and to the disagreeable situation in which the army was left by being thus deserted, the order added. “The General yet hopes the event will prove America able to procure that by her own arms, which her allies refuse to assist in obtaining.” Two days afterwards, however, General Sullivan thought it expedient, upon the pressing request of Lafayette, to counteract the impression which this order was found to produce, particularly on the French officers in the army. In the public orders of the 26th of August, he said: “It having been supposed by some persons, that, by the orders of the 24th instant, the Commander-in-chief meant to insinuate, that the departure of the French fleet was owing to a fixed determination not to assist in the present enterprise; and as the General could not wish to give the least color to ungenerous and illiberal minds to make such an unfair interpretation, he thinks it necessary to say, that, as he could not possibly be acquainted with the orders of the French Admiral, he could not determine whether the removal of the fleet was absolutely necessary or not, and therefore did not mean to censure an act, which those orders might render absolutely necessary.” This was an awkward explanation, and only proved that the occasion for it should have been avoided.
[1 ]“My last advices from Rhode Island were of the 29th ultimo. General Sullivan informed me by letter of that date, that he had retreated the preceding night to the north end of the island; that the enemy pursued him and the next day a warm action ensued which lasted an hour, in which our people obliged them to quit the field in disorder and with precipitation.”—Washington to Governor Clinton, 1 September, 1778.