By the end of 1782, hostilities with Britain had long ceased, and a peace treaty granting independence to the United States seemed imminent. The time had come for members of the French expeditionary force to move on, and perhaps no goodbye was more difficult for Washington than that with François-Jean de Beauvoir, chevalier de Chastellux.

George Washington to Chastellux, 14 December 1782. Washington Library at Mount Vernon.

Newburgh Decr 14th 1782

My dear Chevr

I felt too much to express anything, the day I parted with you; A Sense of your public Services to this Country, & gratitude for your private friendship, quite overcame me at the moment of our seperation—But I should be wanting to the feelings of my heart, & should do violence to my inclination, was I to suffer you to leave this Country without the warmest assurances of an affectionate regard for your person & character.

Our good friend the Marqs de la Fayette prepared me (long before I had the honor to see you) for those Impressions of esteem which opportunities, & your own benevolent Mind has since improved into a deep, & lasting friendship, a friendship which neither time nor distance can ever eradicate.

I can truly say, that never in my life did I part with a Man to whom my soul clave more sincerely than it did to you. My warmest wishes will attend you in your voyage across the Atlantic—to the rewards of a generous Prince—the Arms of Affectionate friends. And be assured that it will be one of my highest gratifications to keep up a regular intercourse with you by Letter. I have the honr to be &c.

G. Washington

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