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General Schuyler to the President of Congress



[Read 28th.]

Saratoga, November 19th, 1776.

SIR: I am this moment honoured with your favour of the 9th, continued to the 18th instant, enclosing sundry resolutions of Congress.

I am greatly obliged by the leave Congress has granted me to repair to Philadelphia. I shall however not make use of it until every matter in this department that may require my intervention is completely settled.

The Legislature of the Massachusetts-Bay doubtless meant to promote the service when they made so capital an addition to the pay of the men to be reinlisted. It has, however, unfortunately already had a contrary effect, and almost altogether prevented recruiting on the Continental allowance. The Committee for that State have already been at Ticonderoga, and I am informed by gentlemen from thence that the arrangement of officers is already made, and many men engaged on the terms they offered. I am nevertheless in hopes that the resolution of the 12th instant, permitting inlistments for three years only, will in a great measure prevent all the bad consequences of that unhappy measure.

The Militia, besides the great quantity of provisions they consumed whilst they were to the northward, distressed us still more by bringing away with them every carriage employed in transporting provisions from Fort Edward to Fort George and Fort Ann, so that our troops have been one day without flour, although we had it in great quantities at Fort Edward, from whence I returned last night. I hope by Sunday next to have near two thousand barrels of flour at the north end of Lake George and Ticonderoga.

The Pennsylvania and New-Jersey regiments, whose terms of inlistment was expired, are on the way to Albany, from whence they will go down in sloops, and, if necessary, remain some time with General Washington. Colonel Stark' s and Colonel Poor' s regiments, with that lately belonging to Brigadier Reech, (the three amount to about five hundred men,) came across Lake George yesterday. They were sent for to march into Tryon County, in consequence of some information I had from two Indians who had left General Carleton' s Army, which I afterwards discovered to be without foundation. Two of the regiments I have left at Fort George, to forward on the provisions, and the third will take up their quarters in the barracks here, until every possibility of the enemy' s returning to Ticonderoga is vanished, after which I shall be under a necessity of permitting them to return to their respective Colonies, without which the officers declare they will not be able to complete their regiments.

I think it would be well if Congress was to order the different States to send up the new-raised men the soonest possible, that Ticonderoga and the other parts might be relieved before the term of inlistment expires of those troops that are to garrison them, and that we may have a body of troops at hand should the enemy attempt an expedition in the winter.

Enclose you a copy of an intercepted letter from a Mohawk, at Niagara, to his brother in the Mohawk country .

I shall order to the value of about fifteen hundred pounds, in Indian goods, to Fort Stanwix, to be there disposed of at such a price as to give no umbrage to the Indians, and that the States may not lose above four hundred pounds upon them; and I hope this will do as well as making them a direct present, which would probably amount to treble that sum, besides the enormous expense of maintaining them at Albany.

General Gates is momently expected here. On his arrival I shall do myself the honour to advise you what troops are left to garrison the different posts.

I am, with the most respectful sentiments, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,