Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THE MARQUIS DE LAFAYETTE. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. VIII (1779-1780)
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TO THE MARQUIS DE LAFAYETTE. - 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 MARQUIS DE LAFAYETTE.
My Dear Marqs.,
Your polite and obliging letter of the 10th of Octr., from Havre came to my hands since the beging. of this month. It filled me with a pleasure intermixed with pain. To hear that you were well, to find you breathing the same affectionate sentiments that ever have most conspicuously marked your conduct towards me, and that you continued to deliver them with unabated attachmt., contributes greatly to my happiness. On the other hand, to hear that not one of the many letters, which I have written to you since you left this continent, had arrived safe, was not only surprizing but mortifying, notwithstanding you have the goodness to acct. for it on its true principles. With much truth I can assure you, that besides the letter which ought to have been delivered to you at Boston (containing such testimonials of your merit and services as I thought a tribute justly due from me) and which was dispatched soon after it returned to me, I wrote you two or three times between that and the opening of the campaign in June.—In the month of July I wrote you a long letter from New Windsor. About the first of Septr. I addressed you again—the last of the same month, after I had been favored with yr. affectionate letter by the Chevr. de la Luzerne, I wrote you a very long letter to go by Monsr. Gerard; and sometime in October I again wrote to you by Monsr. de la Colombe. Copys of all which, to the best of my recollection, have been duly forwarded; it is a little unfortunate then that out of the whole I should not be able to get one of them safe.
I have been thus particular, my dear friend, that in case there should be the least suspicion of my want of friendship or want of attention it may be totally removed; as it is my earnest wish to convince you, by every testimony that an affectionate regard can dictate, of my sincere attachment to your person and fortunes.
For ye copy of your letter to Congress, and the several pieces of intelligence, which you did me the favor to transmit, you will be pleased to accept my warmest thanks. Our eyes are now turned to Europe. The manœuvres of the field, long ere this, must have yielded to those of the cabinet; and I hope G. Britn. will be as much foiled in her management of the latter, as she has been in the former. Her having formed no alliances, nor been unable to contract for more foreign troops, exhibits interesting proofs of it, which are not a little enlivened by the dispositions of the People of Ireland, who feel the importance of a critical moment to shake off those badges of slavery, which they have so long worn.
Since my last, a Detachment, (if it can be called a detachment where the commander-in-chief of an army is,) consisting of the grenrs. and light Infantry, and some other chosen corps, amounting in the whole to between five and 6 thousand men, embarkd. for Georgia. The 26th of December they left Sandy hook, under convoy of 5 ships of the line, and several frigates, commanded by Admiral Arbuthnot. Generl. Clinton and Lord Cornwallis went with them. We have accts., that part of this fleet had arrived at Savannah (in Georgia), that it suffered very considerably in the stormy weather that followed their sailing, in which there is good reason to believe that most of their Horses were thrown overboard, and that some of their ships foundered. Indeed, we are not without reports, that many of the Transports were driven to the West Indies. How far these accts. are to be credited I shall not undertake to determine; but certain it is, the fleet has been much dispersed, and their operations considerably delayed, if not deranged, by the tempestuous weather they had to encounter during the whole month of January. The enemy, that they might bend their operations more forcibly to the southward, and at the same time leave New York and its dependencies sufficiently garrisoned, have withdrawn their troops from Rhode Island.
As the enemy’s intentions of operating in the southern States began to unfold, I began to detach troops to their aid; accordingly in Novr. the North Carolina Brigade took up its march for Charleston, and was followed abt. the middle of Decr. by the Troops of Virginia. But the extreme cold, the deep snows, and other impediments, have retarded the progress of their march very considerable. The oldest people now living in this country do not remember so hard a winter as the one we are now emerging from. In a word, the severity of the frost exceeded any thing of the kind that had ever been experienced in this climate before. I beg leave to make a tender of my best respects to Madm. de Lafayette, and to offer fresh assurances of being with sentiments of great and sincere friendship, my dear Marquis, your most obedient, &c.1
[1 ]Although Lafayette was in France when this letter was written, yet he did not receive it there, as he sailed for the United States before the end of March.