<br /> Lee Letter: n130

Washington and Lee University

Sender: George Washington
Recipient: Henry Lee

Dr Sir:

I have received your letter of the 16th. You mistook the point of
giving me intelligence1 as by recurring to
your instructions you will find. I now depend on you for information of
every occurrence which will save General Foreman the trouble of a
business which I could only with propriety request the favour of him to
discharge ’till another could be sent to undertake it. For the future
you will make a report every two days of the appearances at the Hook in
which the more detail the better. ’Tis almost as important for us to
know what does not happen as what does happen. In case of any thing
extraordinary, it is instantly to be dispatched, particularly the
sailing of the fleet in or out. It has become unnecessary for the
present that Captain Dennis and the Gentlemen with him should remain at
Monmouth. I wish to see them at Head Quarters in their way home, when I
shall give them some further explanations.

I am etc.

P.S. I want a most exact account of the force of the enemy’s
fleet.2

Notes:

1 Lee in his letter of July 16 wrote that he presumed General Forman had sent
Washington the intelligence of the arrival of Admiral Graves, and
that “no intelligence from him (Lee) was expected. That my business
here was to expedite his (Forman’s) dispatches, to collect provision
for the fleet and to protect the guides.” He referred to the matter
again in his letter of July 20: “I conceived it a matter of delicacy
in communicating with H quarters, unless advised to do so by Gen.
Forman to whom the business had been committed.” Lee’s letters are in
the Washington Papers.

2 The draft is in the writing of Tench Tilghman.