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General Schuyler to Continental Congress



[Read, October 9, 1775.]

Ticonderoga, September 19, 1775.

SIR: Since my last of the 8th instant, which I had the honour to write from Isle-aux-Noix, my disorder (proceeding from a bilious fever, and violent rheumatick pains) increased so much, and reduced me so very low, that it was thought necessary that I should return to this place, to try, if possible, to recover; which I hope, with the assistance I have here, will be soon accomplished.

In my last I gave you an account of our operations to the date thereof; I shall now continue it till the day on which I came away. On the 9th, I received a letter from Canada, without signature, but which I knew to be written by Mr˙ James Livingston — copy enclosed, No˙ 1. As I had, through other channels, a corroboration of the intelligence contained in the former part of this letter, I resolved, as I had not yet my artillery, to despatch five hundred men into Canada, and gave orders, on the 9th, for their embarkation on the 10th, with an additional number of about three hundred, to cover their landing and bring back the boats — copy of my instructions to the commanding officer, No, 2. For the event of the intended expedition, see No˙ 3, which was drawn and delivered me by one of the party, and, from what I can learn, is just.

This body returned on Monday, the 11th. On Tuesday, the 12th, I found I had upwards of six hundred sick — Waterbury' s Regiment being reduced to less than five hundred. General Montgomery (for I was too ill to leave my bed) perceived, however, with pleasure, that the men were unable to bear the reproach of their late unbecoming behaviour; and taking the advantage of this happy return to a sense of their duty, on the 13th I issued the orders in the paper No˙ 4. The 14th proved rainy, and retarded the embarkation of the cannon. On this day Colonel Allen arrived, and made the report No˙ 5; and I found myself so much better, that I had hopes of moving with the Army; but by ten o' clock at night, my disorder reattacked me with double violence, and every fair prospect of a speedy recovery vanished. Great part of the 15th rainy; the embarkation much retarded by it. On the same day I received a letter, of which No˙ 6 is a copy. On the 16th I was put into a covered boat, and left Isle-aux-Noix; and as it rained part of the day, I do not suppose that General Montgomery could move until the 17th, which proved fair.

The mode of the intended attack on St˙ John' s, &c˙, ,as judged best both by General Montgomery and myself, is as follows: To land as near the fort as we did the first time we went down; the two row-gallies carrying a twelve-pounder each, well manned; the sloop and schooner, and ten batteaus, with picked men, to lie in the river, ready to attack the enemy' s schooner, (which is completed and carries sixteen guns,) in case she should attempt to destroy our boats, or get to the southward of them, and thereby effectually cut off all communication between this place and the Army. After this naval arrangement, (which will take three hundred and fifty men,) five hundred men to be sent as a corps of observation, to intercept any succours between St˙ John' s and Chambly, and to keep as near the former as possible; two hundred men, in a breastwork at the proposed landing, to cover the boats, and secure a retreat for the men in the vessels and boats, should the enemy' s vessel be too many for them; the remainder of the Army to invest the place, make the approaches, and erect the batteries.


You win perceive, Sir, by No˙ 3, that some of the enemy' s boats fired on our people. Captain Douglass, who commanded one of the armed boats, pointed and fired a twelve-pounder, loaded with ball and grape-shot, at them; and we have accounts that about thirty of the unfriendly Canadians were killed or drowned. In the first engagement of the 7th, we killed six Indians, two Caughnawagas, as many Mohawks, (Daniel, and William a bastard son of Sir William Johnson' s,) one Canassadaga and one Huron; and we are informed by a Caughnawaga and Huron, whom I left at Isle-aux-Noix, that not an Indian remains at St˙ John' s, and which I believe to be true. The four Deputies, sent by the Six Nations to request the Canadian Indians to remain neuter, were not returned when I left Isle-aux-Noix. I have taken the liberty to desire General Montgomery to make a present, in the name of the Congress, to the Canadian Indians, if he should think it necessary.

Since the affair of the 10th, the Army at Isle-aux-Noix, which then consisted of thirteen hundred and ninety-four effectives, all ranks included, has been re-enforced by Captain Livingston' s Company of New-Yorkers, nearly complete; on the 16th, by Colonel Warner, whom I met, an hour after my departure, with one hundred and seventy Green Mountain Boys, being the first that had appeared of that boasted corps. He left this with about fifty more; but they mutinied, and the remainder are at Crown Point. Captain Allen' s Company, of the same corps, arrived here last night, every man of which was raised in Connecticut. About one hundred men of Colonel Bedell' s, from New-Hampshire, which corps was to have been up a fortnight before, (the remainder of one hundred and fifty of that body were yet to come,) joined the 16th at night, and I suppose the Artillery Company, under Captain Lamb, will join them to-day. These last were indispensably necessary, as we had none that knew any thing of the matter: so that the whole re-enforcement consists of about four hundred men. Yesterday I sent off sixty of Easton' s, and one hundred and forty more are just embarking; this is the whole of that corps. About one hundred and twenty-five of the first New-York Battalion will embark early to-morrow, together with the Company of Green Mountain Boys, consisting of about seventy.

Two hundred and sixty of the third New-York Battalion remain here, which I will forward as soon as I can procure craft, which is building slowly, as most of the carpenters are gone home sick.

I am so feeble, that although I have much to say about the sick, musters, accounts, and other matters, I feel myself under the necessity of confining to such only which I humbly conceive more immediately require the attention of Congress.

If we succeed, what Troops are to remain in Canada? How are they to be engaged for that service? the like for those at this post, which at all events must have a garrison, weaker or stronger, as matters may turn out in Canada.

The weather already begins to be cold. The Troops in three, weeks more will with great difficulty be able to stand it, thinly and poorly as they are clad. How are they to be supplied?

What kind of conduct am I to pursue with the Canadians, respecting civil matters? for I hope to join the Army as soon as I am in the least restored.

Where shall I get gold and silver to pay for necessaries for the Army? paper, of any kind, not having the least currency in Canada. I wish a considerable sum, in specie, was immediately sent to Mr˙ Trumbull, the Paymaster.

Please to let me know what I am to do with artificers taken out of the Troops; see my letter of the 26th July, ninth paragraph. I also wish an answer to the second paragraph of mine of the 2d August, respecting this place, and to the second paragraph of that of the 6th; also, to the fourth paragraph of the same, respecting a hospital, in which I find there will necessarily be several mates employed, as our sick are so very numerous.

I wish for some resolution of Congress agreeable to my letter of 31st of July, as Mr˙ Phelps still continues to act in conjunction with Mr˙ Livingston, which must necessarily be, introductory of confusion, of which I fear there is too much already. One only should be employed as chief in the office, and the other may continue subordinate, for both are wanted.


Should we meet with a repulse, am I to prepare timber for vessels of superiour strength to the enemy' s, against next spring?

Perhaps other matters of importance may have escaped my attention. Should I recollect any, I will do myself the honour to communicate them to you.

I am, Sir, with the most profound respect, yours and the Congress' s most obedient servant,


To the Hon˙ John Hancock, President &c.