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Whitehall, February 17, 1776.

SIR: The events which happened in the Province under your government, in the month of November, left no room for any other consideration but that of sending as early as possible a relief to the Town of Quebeck, in case you should have been able, with the small garrison you had collected together, to maintain possession of it during the winter; such relief to be followed by a body of troops sufficient to retake the town in case it should have fallen into the hands of the Rebels, and to effect the recovery of the whole of the Province to his Majesty' s possession.

To this end it was judged expedient Immediately upon the arrival of Lieutenant Pringle, in the Nancy, to equip a small squadron of his Majesty' s ships, consisting of the Isis, of fifty guns, the Surprise and Triton frigates, and the Martin sloop-of-war. This squadron has been accordingly prepared with the greatest despatch, and will be accompanied with three victuallers and two large navy transports, having on board provision for three thousand men for three months.

His Majesty has also thought fit to direct that the Twenty-Ninth Regiment should be distributed on board the different ships, in the manner stated in the enclosed paper; and the whole being now ready to sail, enclosed I send you a


copy of my letter of instructions to Lieutenant-Colonel Gordon, and of the instructions given by the Admiralty to the Captains of the several ships, pursuant to the directions I had the honour to send their Lordships by his Majesty' s command.

Every effort is making to push forward the second embarcation of troops, so that they may be ready to sail by the 20th of next month.

That embarcation will consist of six Regiments from Ireland, and two from Great Britain, together with four companies of Artillery, and a large battering train; the whole to be under the command of Major-General Burgoyne, who, together with Major-General Lord Cornwallis, is appointed by the King to serve under you on the side of Canada; but it will possibly be some time before you can have the assistance of Lord Cornwallis, as he is at present appointed to serve under Major-General Clinton, upon an expedition to the southward, but he will proceed to Quebeck with his regiment as soon as that service is over.

To this force it is proposed to add about five thousand foreign auxiliary troops, furnished by the reigning Duke of Brunswick and the Prince of Waldeck; of which about three thousand will be ready to embark in the Elbe, in the beginning of March, and the remainder as soon after as possible.

Enclosed I send you the state of the British Regiments that are to proceed under the command of Major-General Burgoyne; and I am to signify to you his Majesty' s commands, that you do give the necessary directions for the disembarcation of the said troops, as well as of the foreign auxiliaries; and that you do employ them in such manner as you shall think most effectual for his Majesty' s service.

Major-General Burgoyne will be so fully instructed in every point, in regard to the important services that are to be carried on, on the side of Canada, that it will be unnecessary now for me to say anything on that subject, and, therefore, I have only to enclose to you his Majesty' s warrant, containing a signification of his Majesty' s pleasure for your direction in carrying into execution the powers vested in you by your commission of posting officers to vacancies.

I am, &c˙,


To Sir Guy Carleton, Quebeck.