<br /> Lee Letter: n152

Washington and Lee University

Sender: George Washington
Recipient: Thomas Sim Lee

Sir:

Official Accounts which I have received, giving me reason to expect
the Arrival of a powerful Fleet of our Allies very soon in Chesapeak,
if not already Arrived; this Expectation, together with some other
Circumstances not necessary at present to detail to you, have induced
me to make a total Alteration in the concerted measures of this
Campaign. In consequence, I am now marchg. a very considerable
Detachment from the American Army, with the whole of the French Troops,
immediately to Virginia. As our Hopes of Success against Ld Cornwallis
in a great Measure depend on the Dispatch and Celerity of our
Movements, I have to request in the most earnest Manner all the Aid and
Assistance from your Excellency that we may have Occasion for and have
Reason to expect from your State; among these, the Means of
Transportation from the Head of Elk, to the Point of our operations,
will be among the most Essential; all the Water Craft, that can be
procured suitable for the Carriage of an Army, with their Artillery,
Baggage, Stores &c. will be needed, and should be ready at the Head
of Elk by the 8th. of Septr. A quantity of Forage will also be
necessary for the Cattle which will unavoidably attend the Army. As I
shall probably be disappointed of a Quantity of salted Provisions,
which cannot with safety be transported from the Eastern States, I must
beg your Excellency to pay particular Attention to that Article, if any
is to be obtained within your State. Other Aids as well in Provisions
as other Articles, will probably be needed, which cannot at this moment
be particularly specified. I communicate My Intentions to you, and have
Confidence, that I shall receive every Aid and Assistance that is in
your Power, towards their Execution. I expect to have no Occasion to
call on you for the Aid of Men, further than your State Troops which
are ordered to be raised, and which I hope you have already compleated.

Mr Robert Morriss will have the principal Agency in procuring the Water
Transportation mentioned in this Letter; perhaps nothing more will be
expected from your Excellency in that Article, than to afford Mr.
Morriss every Aid of Government which he may stand in need of in the
Procurement of the Craft, which I am persuaded you will do with the
utmost Readiness and Decision. The Moment is critical, the Opportunity
is precious, the Prospects most happily favorable. I hope that no
Supineness, or Want of Exertions on our part may prove the Means of our
Disappointment.

I am &c.

P.S. Our Forage will be principally wanted at the Head of Elk, and from
thence on the Route to George Town.1

Notes:

1 The draft is in the writing of Jonathan Trumbull, jr.