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Letter from Marquis de Lafayette, June 1781


Marquis de Lafayette. Letter: to George Washington, 1781 June. 2 p. + notation (verso).




[inserted - different hand:  To Genl Washington from Lafayete]


The inclosed Copy, my dear general, will give you an account of our affair in this Quarter -  Agreeably to your orders, I Have avoided a general action, and when Lord Cornwallis’s movements indicated it was against His interest to fight, I Have ventured partial engagements – His Lordship seems to Have given up the Conquest of Virginia


it Has Been a great secret that our Army was not superior and was Most generally inferior to the Enemy’s number as Returns were swelled up as generally I <?> Returns are But we Had very few under arms – particularly lately, and to conceal the lessening of our numbers I was obliged to push on as one who Had Heartly wished a general Engagement – our Regulars did not exceed 1500 – the enemy Had 1,000 Regulars 800 of whom mounted – They thought we Had 8000 men – I never encamped in a line and there [2] was a greater difficulty to come as our numbers


Should, as I presume it will, a detachment Be sent to General Greene I shall Move the pennsylvanians and Virginians first - the Pennsylvanians I know Have Great objections – But Common sense points [inserted: out] the expediency of this Arangement which Had already Been made By General Greene – I am afraid Congress will Be applied to on the Occasion and Request you will inform my opinion


Adieu, My dear General, I am going Confidentially to write you By a safe Hand, and shall only add the expressions of My Affection and Respect





Letter from Lafayette to Genl. Washington.

Written in June, 1781

[inserted – different hand: note (by Jared Sparks)]