<br /> Lee Letter: n99

Washington and Lee University

Sender: George Washington
Recipient: Henry Lee

Dear Sir:

I was yesterday favd. with yours of the 21st. which came to me open under
cover with other dispatches from Lord Stirling. I would wish you in
future, to send your dispatches to me sealed, and communicate any
thing, necessary for my Lord to know, to him separately.

When an enterprise of any kind is in agitation the fewer to whom it is
intrusted the better, and as to the particular business, upon which you
are sent, I would wish it to remain a secret. I would not have you
infer from the foregoing, that I would not intrust my Lord with or take
his advice upon any military subject; on the contrary, I have the
greatest confidence in him; But secrecy ’till the moment of execution
is the life of enterprise.

If, upon full enquiry and information, you find the attempt which you
propose to make with your dismounted troops, practicable, I have no
objection. And should the enemy take refuge in the strong hold you
mention any means to dislodge them will be justifiable.

I am, etc.1

Notes:

1 The draft is in the writing of Tench Tilghman.