<br /> Lee Letter: n154

Washington and Lee University

Sender: George Washington
Recipient: Thomas Sim Lee

Sir:

Your Excellency has been acquainted, that on Information of the Sailg
of the Fleet from the Capes, I had given Orders to the Troops which
were embarked to stop their Proceeding. I am happy now to inform your
Excellency, that the Count De Grasse is returned to his former Station,
having driven the British fleet from the Coasts, formed a Junction with
the Squadron of Count De Barras, and captured two British frigates; the
Bay being thus secure, I have given Orders for the Troops to proceed
with all possible Dispatch to the Point of Operations.

I am Distressed my Dear Sir, to find on my Arrival, that the Supplies for
the Army collectg here, are not in that desirable Train, that could be
wished; they have already experienced a Want of Provisions, and are
greatly apprehensive in future, particularly in the Article of Bread.
All the Flour within your Reach, should be immediately forwarded down,
which may I think be speedily done, now that the Navigation of the Bay
is secured. I beg Sir, that not a Moment may be lost in furnishg us
with every Supply within your Power; happily our Prospects of Success
are most promising, [if the Fleet will remain with us;] if we are not
Wanting in our own Exertions. An Army cannot be kept together without
Supplies; if these fail us, our Operations must Cease, and all our high
Hopes Will Vanish into Disappointment and Disgrace.

I am &c.

P.S. If your Excelly. can assist us in procuring some Axes or Hatchets and
Intrenching Tools of all kinds, it will be a great Advantage. We shall
have much occasion for tools of this sort, and I find almost a Total
want here, it will be difficult to make a Collection from a small
Compass.1

Notes:

1 The draft is in the writing of Jonathan Trumbull, jr. The words in brackets
are in the writing of Washington. The P.S. is not in the draft, but
is supplied from a printed copy of the letter sent, in the
Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society,
vol. 47 (1914), p. 465.