<br /> Lee Letter: n318

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: George Washington

Dear Sir,

I congratulate you sincerely on the several advantages your Troops have
lately gained over the enemy, for tho each has been but small, yet in
the whole they are considerable, and will certainly have the effect of
inspiriting our army, whilst it wastes and discourages the other. May
the great Dispenser of justice to Mankind put it in your power before
this campaign ends, to give these foes to human kind, the stroke, their
wicked intentions entitles them to. ’Tis amazing with what force, and
infamous perseverance the Devils of despotism with their corrupted
Agents pursue the purpose of enslaving this great Continent! Their
system of policy has been evident for sometime past. They mean to keep
their own people in G.B. quiet, and the other powers of Europe still
for this campaign, by an infinite number of falsehoods touching the
progress of their arms, and the consequent probable submission of the
colonies, whilst they endeavor by an extraordinary exertion of force to
put things realy into such a situation this year, as to terrify
foreigners from interfering, and encourage with hope their own deluded
people. Pursuing this idea, Europe will be made to ring with sounding
accounts of their immense successes in Canada and at New York, when in
fact, considering the greatness of their force both by sea and land
with the amazing expence these will create, what they have done is meer
nothing. But should fortune favor us so, as that any considerable
impression could be made on Gen. Howes army this Campaign, the high
hopes they have raised, and the numberless lies they have told will
disgrace and ruin them with the whole world.

I have the pleasure to assure you the train is so la<id> that we have the
fairest prospect of being soon supplied and copiously too, with
military stores of all kind and with clothing fit for the soldiers.
Immediately to be sure we are much pressed for want of the latter, but
if we can brush thro this crisis, we shall be secure. The French court
has given us so many unequivocal proofs of their friendship, that I can
entertain no doubt of their full exertions in our favor, and as little
that a war between them and G.B. is not far distant. I sincerely wish
you health sir, and that you may be happy in the success you are so
eminently intitled to. I am with, perfect esteem, dear Sir your most
affectionate and obedient servant,

Richard Henry Lee

Notes:

George Washington PapersLibrary of Congress

Printed Fitzpatrick, Writings of Washington, 5:348. Printed also in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 1, 1762 – 1778, pp. 220 – 21.