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General Schuyler to Governour Trumbull



Albany, February 5, 1776.

SIR: Your Honour' s favour I had the pleasure to receive by Colonel Mott, and just now Mr˙ Bennett has banded me one of the 31st.

As the number of Captains appointed to the Regiment to be commanded by Colonel Burrell exceeds the Continental arrangement, I conclude your Honour had not received the resolutions of Congress on that head. If the alteration can be made so as to correspond with the intentions of Congress, without detriment to the service, would it not be best to do it?

I have not been honoured with a line from Congress, in answer to mine requesting their direction how I was to order the payment for the troops. Through the multiplicity of their weighty affairs, I suppose it has slipped their attention. Apprehensive, however, that the service may suffer, I shall venture to order payment to the men, from the times they were discharged until they returned to their respective habitations, which I propose doing by allowing at the rate of fifteen miles per day from where they were dismissed to their respective Captain' s place of abode. I hope it will prove satisfactory to Congress: it cannot fail of being so to the men.

Although the troops raised in Berkshire have made large calls upon me for arms, yet I hope to be able to furnish the number for Colonel Burrell' s Regiment, which I mentioned in my last. I wish, however, that as many may be completely furnished as possible. As I am not possessed of an appraisement of the arms that were delivered into the Continental stores by soldiers from your Colony, I cannot fall upon any mode with propriety, other than to request that your Honour will be pleased to authorize persons to pay the several Captains, on producing the receipts, and when the whole are paid, to transmit the account and voucher; on the receipt of which, I will immediately issue a warrant for the reimbursement to the Colony.

When I pointed out to General Washington the route by Number Four, for the march of troops into Canada, it was on a supposition that they might be detached from his camp. Colonel Burrell' s march will, undoubtedly, be much the easiest through this city; but when the men arrive here, they must be supplied out of the Continental stores, and be provided with sleds for their baggage by the Commissary-General. If the sleds that convey the baggage from Connecticut here choose to proceed, they may go on. I mention this, that we may not labour under the confusion of so many different Commissaries, and variety of accounts. I have had a quantity of hard bread baked here, at Fort-George, and Ticonderoga; and have caused the most portable pork to be picked out, and a good part of it dressed, for the greater convenience of the men on their march. As soon as Mr˙ Trumbull, the Paymaster-General, can finish the rolls, he will send them, with a


Deputy, to pay the Captains. I hope a very few days will accomplish this.

Colonel Mott' s motives for resigning the Lieutenant-Colonelcy do him great honour, and evince his zeal for our righteous cause. By letters from General Wooster, of the 20th ultimo, I learn, with pleasure, that all is safe in Canada, and that our brave little corps before Quebeck hold their ground and continue the blockade. Can Europe any longer doubt of the virtue, perseverance, and spirit of Americans, when they see a city invested, in the depth of Winter, in a country which, at that season, is almost uninhabitable; when they see citizens become soldiers, regardless of the comforts they might enjoy in their own habitations, and quitting them with alacrity, to undertake a march of many hundred miles, through snow and over frozen seas, without tents, without any shelter from the inclemency of the weather, but the azure canopy of Heaven? What a striking lesson to tyrants! What a glorious instance of what the spirit of liberty can do! Our cause, sir, I boldly pronounce, cannot sink whilst the present unanimity subsists; whilst we continue resolved, with a steady perseverance, to make use of those means which indulgent Heaven has put into our power for our defence. I have not heard a word from General Lee since his arrival in this Colony. Mr˙ Bennett showed me a copy of a line of his, which gives me great uneasiness. I hope no obstacles will be thrown in his way to prevent the execution of his orders. It is of much importance to us that all the Malignants, in every Colony, should be secured. I learned, with pleasure, the effectual steps your respectable Government has taken. I wish the Convention of New-York may follow so fair an example.

I am in better health than I have latterly been. I hope the approach of Spring may restore it, that I may be able to take an active part. A close attention to business in the closet I find more prejudicial to my cough than the fatigues of out-door work.

I am, sir, with very great esteem and regard, your Honour' s most obedient, humble servant,


P˙ S. Our military chest is very low; we will, however, try to furnish your Colony, as far as possible, as I can easily conceive that you must be distressed for money.