A letter handwritten and signed by George Washington is valued at $30,000-40,000 ahead of a sale at Alexander Historical Auctions in Maryland on February 11.
The July 28, 1779 letter relates to the recent American capture of a strategically important crossing at Stony Point on the Hudson River during the US war of independence.
Washington indicates the need to hold the position, writing to general William Alexander (aka Lord Stirling): "...My Lord: I have been deceived I believe in the information of a considerable Embarkation of Troops in the North [Hudson] River.
"No subsequent intelligence from deserters and others speak of such an event but all agree that the present position of the enemy is from Philips's to East Chester."
The battle of Stony Point was a decisive victory for the continental forces and acted as a morale boost after months of stalemate. However, the British would retake the position soon after.
The auction house comments: "This letter demonstrates the great caution Washington took in protecting his position.
"In the face of Washington's determination to hold the region the British abandoned the Hudson to increase their attacks in the Carolinas. Stony Point would mark the last significant engagement on the Hudson."
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