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General Schuyler to the Continental Congress



[Read September 13, 1775.]

Ticonderoga, July 21, 1775.

SIR: I arrived here early on Tuesday morning, the 18th instant, having been detained at Fort George and the Landing in giving directions and making preparations to keep up the communication, that the provision and stores for the Army may be forwarded without interruption, whenever they shall be sent.

I cannot find that any intelligence has been received from Canada, on which any great dependence can be made; yet accounts from all quartets agree that the Canadians are friendly to us; that they refuse to assist General Carleton; and that the Indians will remain neuter. I have great reason to believe it is so.

A Canadian, who left Canada thirteen days ago, informs me that a large body of Indians had come there; that Governour Carleton attempted to engage them to fight against us; that he believed he would have little success; that some of the young men inclined, to lake up the hatchet, but that the elderly men opposed it; that the Canadians will not act against us, some of the noblesse and every lower kind excepted; that timber was preparing on the north side of the St˙ John' s to construct some craft; that he saw nothing of a floating battery; that they have thrown up lines strengthened with a chevaux-de-frise, a picketed ditch and abattis; that about a league on this side they have an advanced guard of fifty men, covered by a small intrenchment.

This, then, is the time to gain intelligence with certainty by going to St˙ John' s with a respectable body, giving the Canadians to understand, when we arrive there, that we mean nothing more than to prevent the regular Troops from getting a naval strength, and interrupting the friendly intercourse that has subsisted between us and them. But, unfortunately, not one earthly thing has been done here to enable me to move hence; I have neither boats sufficient, nor any materials' prepared for building them. The stores I ordered from New-York are not yet arrived. I have therefore not a nail, no pitch, no oakum, and want a variety of articles indispensably necessary, which I estimated and delivered to the New-York Congress on the 3d inSt˙ An almost equal scarcity of ammunition subsists, no powder having yet come to hand; not a gun-carriage for the few proper guns we have; and as yet very little provision; two hundred Troops less than by my last return, these badly, very badly armed indeed; and one poor armourer to repair their guns.

Armourers and armourers' tools, I had also ordered up, but not yet arrived. However, I believe the New-York Congress have sent off the articles. I requested of them; if so, I shall probably soon have them here. I shall not delay a moment in making the necessary preparations to move, agreeably to the orders you have been pleased to give me. Since my arrival I have repaired one saw mill, and given directions to do the same with another. The first will begin to work on Sunday, the other can only begin when the saws arrive, which are amongst the other things I have ordered from New-York.

Until the stores from New-York arrive, I shall employ my carpenters (about thirty in number, exclusive of what I may get out of the Troops) in procuring timber and plank for the boats, &c˙, &c.

Although I made not a moment' s delay in issuing the necessary orders, agreeably to your resolutions, and those of the New-York Congress, for levying five hundred of the Green Mountain Boys, yet nothing has been done by that people, occasioned by disputes and jealousies among themselves, on the appointment of officers. Messrs˙ Allen and Warner have both been here, and left this only yesterday. They wish to appoint the officers themselves, and have applied to me for that purpose; but your orders are positive, and the people averse to it.


I now find that my conjectures, given you in a former letter, as to their numbers, were well founded, for both Allen and Warner declare that they will be obliged to recruit in New-England to complete the five hundred men to be raised; so that this intended corps will in all probability not join me, if at all, until September.

At Crown Point an intrenchment was begun to shelter the Troops, before my arrival, but nothing has been done at this place, and we are in a perfectly defenceless state. I have, however, this day begun lines, on which I propose to employ as many men as I can spare, that I may be able to make some defence, and preserve the post in case of an attack, which General Carleton must have attempted had he been informed of our real situation. A few Troops without any shelter, with little ammunition, less discipline, lulled in perfect security, might have fallen an easy prey to an enterprising man. I hope, however, soon to be in a situation to receive him properly should he venture to come aided by Canadians and Indians.

The Connecticut Troops here are destitute of tents. They are now crowded in very bad barracks, which I fear will be introductory of disease. I have written to Governour Trumbull on this head.

Enclose you a copy of a letter dated the 17th instant, I have just received from Governour Trumbull. I am very sorry that the Colony of Connecticut has made such large allowance for the daily subsistence of their men. It is difficult and expensive to procure the things they are to have agreeable to the law of their Colony here, and what is worse, other Troops that may join will certainly expect the like allowance, and a discrimination cannot be made in favour of the Troops of any particular Colony. A resolve of Congress what shall be the Continental allowance, and that no Colony should send, their Troops any thing more than what shall be so prescribed, would settle the matter and prevent that jealousy which will otherwise take place.

I have sent for a man, the only one to be depended upon, to carry a letter into Canada, and to return with information. I momently expect him, and shall despatch him immediately after his arrival.

The measures I took before I left New-York and Albany, have relieved me from much anxiety on the score of provisions, with which I now hope the Troops will be better supplied. Exclusive of the extraordinary expenditures of provision, it has been so scandalously neglected at the several posts on its way up, that I shall sustain a considerable loss in the article of pork. Suspecting this, I ordered salt up before I left Saratoga, to save all that can be.

Mr˙ Mott of Connecticut has been appointed an Engineer by that Colony, with the rank of Colonel. What his abilities are in that way I know not, having as yet seen none of his works, I beg to know if his appointment is to be confirmed by Congress.

The only Troops from this Colony that have yet joined the Army, are those mentioned in the return I had the honour to send you, which were enlisted by order of the Albany Committee previous to the order of Congress for raising Troops in it.

The person I sent for to go to Canada is so lame that he cannot stir. I shall venture a letter with the Frenchman who brought me the intelligence I have given you, and despatch him to day.

There are such a variety of persons employed in providing these Troops, that they involve me in great difficulties. No less than fifty milch cows are sent up for the use of Colonel Hinman' s Regiment, (our working cattle and the fat cattle have hardly any feed, occasioned by the severest drought ever known in this country;) I have ordered them back to New-England as useless to the men, distressing to the service, and as what would be another source of uneasiness, if we should be joined by other Troops.

A set of people in this country, calling themselves a Committee-of-War by what authority I know not, have taken Colonel Skene' s forge and farm into possession, under pretence of working it for the publick; but as it has turned out, to embezzle every thing. I have given orders for them to quit it, and to restore it to Colonel Skene' s agent, or overseer, that no disgrace may be brought on our cause by such lawless proceedings.

Since the return I had the honour of sending to you, eight batteaus, built on Lake George, have been brought


here, each capable of carrying twenty men and twenty days' provisions.

I am, Sir, with the most sincere respect, your most obedient and most humble servant,


To the Honourable John Hancock, Esq.