Revolutionary War-dated LS signed “Go: Washingto[n],” one page, 8.25 x 7, November 22, 1780. Letter to Brig. Gen. Henry Knox concerning a planned attack on British posts in Manhattan, written in the hand of aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman, and signed at the conclusion by General George Washington. In full: "By twelve o'clock on Friday you will have ready all such pieces of your park as are most proper to annoy shipping and cover a body of troops across a River—A relief of Horses to accompany them will be desirable if they are to be had. Your usual punctuality assures me of the same in this instance." Professionally restored to near very good condition, with paper loss to the right edge affecting the last letter of the signature, and fold separations and tears (two of which pass through the signature) reinforced by heavy archival silk-like material on both sides.
A draft of this letter is printed in The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799 (Volume 20, September 6, 1780-December 20, 1780, p. 386, edited by John C. Fitzpatrick). While at his headquarters in Passaic, New Jersey, General George Washington hoped to make a final attack on British forces before his army's retirement to their winter encampment in New Windsor, New York. Realizing that a direct assault on their military headquarters in New York City would be disastrous, he instead made plans for a series of surprise attacks on British posts at Kingsbridge (the Bronx) and northern parts of Manhattan.
Brigadier General Henry Knox, along with General Anthony Wayne, Colonel Timothy Pickering, and others, were to lead a multi-pronged attack the night of Friday, November 24, crossing the Hudson River by boat under dark with a large regiment of troops mustered from the surrounding area, including West Point. Although the plan was set into motion, boats requisitioned, and troops summoned to their attack points, according to Colonel David Humphreys, who participated in the operation, it was aborted at the last minute due to, 'the accidental intervention of some (British) vessels' who unexpectedly sailed up the Hudson. By midday on the 24th Washington issued directions to the several commanders calling back their troops, and in the following days made his final arrangements for the Army's winter encampment.
Consignor notes that this was originally deaccessioned by the Valentine Museum.