<br /> Lee Letter: n668

Washington and Lee University

Sender: John Hanson
Recipient: Thomas Sim Lee

Dear sir

General Washinton has been on a Vissit to Count de Grasse, on board his
Ship the Ville de paris at Cape Henry. He returned to Williamsburgh the
23d Ult. He says he found the French Admiral disposed in the best
manner, to give us all the assistance in his power, and perfectly to
Cooperate wth. him in our present Attempt on Lord Cornwallis, and hopes
to be before the Enemies Works in a few days. Our Vessels from the Head
of Elk, are all Arrived, and were debarkg the Troops and stores, except
a few, which were hourly Expected, their not having Arrived, is
Accounted for from the Dullness of their Sailing. Every account from N
York Confirms that of the Enemys haveing Suffered greatly in their late
Engagement with Count de Grasse. That Admirals Account of it is very
Short, and Modest. He Acquaints the Minister, that the British fleet
haveing Appeared off the Capes, He immediately went out to meet them,
Attacked their Van (which was treated very roughly) drove them off and
then returned into Chesapeake; that he took two frigates in the Bay,
which had been Sent in to Cut the Boyes from His Cables. The Defeat of
the British fleet is a most Glorious and fortunate Event, as it will
Effectually prevent Any Succors being Sent to Cornwallis, whose fate
from present Appearances I think is inevitable – God grant the Business
may be Speedily Effected, that we may have time in Conjunction with the
French fleet to Act Elsewhere before the winter season Comes on.

On the return of the British fleet to N York, the Troops that were embarked
for the Southward landed on Staten Island on Account of Sickness, where
they Still are.

I have the honor to be with the greatest esteem and respect, Your
Excellencys most Obedt Servt,

John Hanson1

Notes:

Receiver’s copy, Emmet Collection, New York Public Library.

1 Hanson had returned to Congress on September 24 after an absence of five
months, for which see Hanson to Philip Thomas, April 10, 1781, note
2.