Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. VIII (1779-1780)
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TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. VIII (1779-1780) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890). Vol. VIII (1779-1780).
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TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.
I had the honor of receiving your Excellency’s letter of the 26th and 27th ultimo, at half after twelve o’clock yesterday.
Immediately upon the Receipt of it, I set about concerting the measures necessary for a coöperation with His Excellency the Count d’Estaing, agreeably to the powers vested in me by the Resolve of Congress1 of the 26th Ulto. I have called upon the State of Massachusetts for 2000 militia, Connecticut for 4000, New York for 2500, New Jersey for 2000, and Pennsylvania for 1500. The last is below the quota, that she ought to furnish, in proportion to her strength; but I was induced to make a requisition of that number only, upon a consideration that we shall be obliged to call largely upon that State for the means of transportation of provisions and supplies of all kinds. I have also taken the liberty to press the States above mentioned to use the most vigorous exertions in procuring supplies of provision, especially of flour, for the want of which I fear we shall be much embarrassed, should we draw such a head of men together, as will be necessary to give our operations a tolerable prospect of success. I have not heard from General Sullivan but by report, since the 30th August. I have however despatched an Express to him, (upon a supposition that he has compleated the object of his expedition and is upon his return,) desiring him to hasten his march, and directing him to leave as few men as he possibly can in the frontier garrisons. I have also written to General Gates, desiring him to hold all the Continental troops under his command ready to march this way, should the Count d’Estaing, upon settling a plan of operations, determine upon an attempt against New York. But as there is a possibility that he may, upon being made acquainted with the numbers and situation of the enemy, prefer an attack upon Rhode Island, I have desired General Gates to be looking towards and preparing for such an event. I had, upon the first report of the Count’s standing towards this Coast, stationed Major Lee in Monmouth, with a letter for him, to be carried on board upon his first appearance, in which I informed him of the enemy’s force by Sea and land, and their position at that time, and pointed out to him the measures, which I thought it would be most advantageous for him to pursue upon his arrival.
I am preparing fresh letters for him, in which I shall inform him fully of all posterior Events, and the measures I am taking for a coöperation. I am also engaging and sending down proper pilots to him. I have taken the liberty to countermand the march of Colo. Clarke with the two Regiments of North Carolina, upon a presumption, that, from the favorable aspect of affairs to the southward, I shall stand justifiable for such a measure. I observe by a Resolve of Congress lately transmitted to me, that three of the Continental Frigates were ordered to South Carolina. I do not know the views of Congress in making this disposition; but, should they have no particular object in contemplation, I would venture to recommend their being ordered to join the Count’s Fleet, which in my opinion would be much benefited by an additional number of Frigates, especially for the navigation of the North River and the Sound. I think it would be also well should the Marine Committee be directed to turn their attention to the transportation of Flour from the Delaware and Chesapeake by Water. Should we obtain the command of the Sea, Vessels might, without the least danger, be introduced within the Hook, thence to Amboy, from whence their Cargoes might easily be conveyed in Boats up Newark Bay. Or should some of them run round into the Sound, it would be equally, nay, more convenient. Should we operate to the eastward, measures of this kind will be indispensably necessary, as the length and difficulty of land Carriage will render the support of any considerable Body of men almost impossible. The Wheat of Maryland being in more forwardness for grinding, than any other, I could wish that Governor Johnson may be requested to push the purchases within that State. The Commissary-General gives the fullest encouragement on the score of Beef, but of Flour he continues to express his fears. I am, &c.1
[1 ]The French minister received letters from Charleston, South Carolina, dated September 5th and 8th, conveying intelligence of the arrival of the Count d’Estaing in Georgia. These letters were immediately laid before Congress, who resolved that a copy of them should be sent to General Washington, and “that the General should also be informed of the intention of our ally, that the armament under Count d’Estaing shall operate against the enemy in these United States; and that General Washington be authorized and directed to concert and execute such plans of coöperation with the minister of France, as he may think proper.”—Secret Journals, September 26th. It was at the same time recommended to the several States, that they should furnish General Washington with such succors as he might require, both by detachments of militia, and by providing for the allied armaments ample supplies of provisions.
[1 ]Read in Congress, October 8th. Referred to delegates of Delaware, Maryland, South Carolina, to take order thereon.