A celebratory letter signed by Gen. George Washington praising divine guidance for the turning-point victory in the American Revolution went on auction on Wednesday.
"This singular favour of Providence is to be received with thankfulness," Washington wrote to Brigadier Gen. James Potter on Oct. 18, 1777, days after Continental troops smashed superior British forces in the Battle of Saratoga.
The letter, which is being sold online by the Raab Collection, is valued at $275,000.
It has been in the hands of Gen. Potter’s descendants since 1777, according the auctioneer.
"Washington talks almost of destiny. The sense of destiny you get from his excitement is palpable," Nathan Raab of the Philadelphia-based Raab Collection told Fox News Digital
Washington’s words not only credit God for seeing the Americans to victory at Saratoga, they’re made more stirring by his apparent belief that "American Liberty" is favored from on high.
The general added to Potter, "The happy moment which Heaven has pointed out for the firm establishment of American Liberty ought to be embraced with becoming spirit."
"The reference to heaven and Providence is remarkable," said Raab. "It’s exciting. It’s very uncommon. You can feel his excitement, the fervor, jump off the page."
Gen. Potter was born in Ireland in 1729 and moved to the Pennsylvania colony with his family when he was around 12 years old.
He led scout, spy and guerrilla forces for the colonial army during the war for independence.
Washington appeared to understand that the miraculous American victory at Saratoga, led by Gen. Horatio Gates, was a moment of unique importance in the cause of American liberty.
His instinct has been proven correct by historians, who widely cite the Battle of Saratoga in upstate New York as the turning point event in the American Revolution and, by proxy, a turning point moment in wider American history.
"One of the most decisive American battles of the Revolutionary War, Saratoga ended British general John Burgoyne's attempt to control the Hudson River Valley," writes the American Battlefield Trust.
"The outcome convinced the Court of King Louis XVI that the Americans could hold their own against the British Army, sealing the alliance between America and France."
Washington's celebratory tone was brief.
His letter quickly turned to delivering orders, urging Potter to seize the American initiative and step up pressure on British forces.
"You may render the most important Services by cutting off the Enemies Convoys and Communications with their Fleet, for this purpose you should strain every nerve," wrote Washington.
"I think that you might harass the parties of the Enemy on Province Island in such a manner as to produce a great Diversion in favour of Fort Mifflin," he wrote.
Washington concludes the letter with a return to its reverent tone, referring to the American Revolution as "the glorious work we have in hand."
"He's rejoicing, but he's looking for the next thing," said auctioneer Raab.
"This is about as emotive as you’ll see a Washington letter. The fact that it includes core concepts such as heaven, destiny, providence and victory make it a remarkable and unique piece of history."
Raab Collection claims this letter is the only known document in which Washington mentions "heaven" during the American Revolution.