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    John Sullivan Important Autograph Letter Signed "Jno Sullivan," one page, 7.5" x 9". Providence, October 27, 1778. To Major General Horatio Gates. In part, "I had the Honor of your favor of yesterday Inclosing Copy of General Washington's Letter to you & a Letter from his Excy to me. I shall with pleasure give you the Earliest Intelligence of every important matter which may turn up in this Quarter. At present there is no appearance of the Enemy...nor do they seem to expect the British Fleet this way they seem to agree that one...of the Fleet is bound to the West Indies the other to Halifax...for the Army the Magazines are all exhausted in this Department..." On October 24, 1778, from his headquarters at Fredericksburg, New York, General Washington wrote Major General Sullivan, in part, "I have directed General Gates to open a correspondence with General Heath and yourself, that you may give him instant advice of the arrival of the enemy's fleet which lately sailed from the Hook; should they be designed to operate Eastward, in order that he might immediately march forward with the troops under his command. You will at the same time that you do this, dispatch the intelligence to me, as I propose, the moment, I should hear of such an event, to proceed myself with all dispatch to the Eastward..." Sullivan replied to Washington on October 31st, telling him of the capture of the British schooner Pigot in the eastern channel of Narragansett Bay on October 24th by Maj. Silas Talbot, of the First Rhode Island regiment. General Washington had written to General Gates the same day he wrote Sullivan. In part, "A fleet of about one hundred and sixty sail, supposed to contain 7, or 8,000 men having left the Hook the 19th. and early the 20th...You will be pleased to open a correspondence with Generals Heath and Sullivan, in order to obtain from them instant information of the Enemy's arrival off the coast, should their destination be, for the Eastward; and on certain advice of this event, you will proceed immediately, with the two divisions, in the most expeditious manner towards the quarter which seems to be threatened...You will at the same time communicate the intelligence you receive to me, without a moments delay..." With the onset of cold weather, on November, 3, 1778, British General Sir Henry Clinton dispatched transports carrying 5,000 men from New York City southward. The letter has evidence of prior framing; with mat burn at margins, foxing, and some fading. There are mounting remnants at the edge on verso with slight show-through. Good Revolutionary War military content letters are eagerly collected and this one, linking the names of Generals Washington, Gates, and Sullivan is historically important and extremely desirable.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2007
    25th-26th Thursday-Friday
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