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Letter from General Gates to Governour Trumbull



Tyonderoga, October 22, 1776.

SIR: At three o' clock this morning I had the honour to receive your favour of the 17th instant, from New-Haven.

When I sent General Schuyler the account of our loss upon Lake Champlain, I requested him to despatch a copy of General Arnold' s letter to your Excellency. Lest that should have miscarried, the General sends you, enclosed, a copy thereof. It would have been happy for the United States had the gallant behaviour and steady good conduct of that excellent officer been supported by a fleet in any degree equal to the enemy' s. As the case stands, though they boast a, victory, they must respect the vanquished. General Waterbury has doubtless, by this time, waited upon your Excellency.

The Director-General of the Hospital in this department arrived at Albany the 5th instant, with a large parcel of medicines purchased in the Eastern Governments, so that we are not likely to suffer more for want of physick. The Sub-Director of the Hospital and three Mates are come here, by my order, from Lake George, and every thing necessary is prepared by them, in case of an immediate action. Surgeons we have plenty. I wish they were all good; but I hope we shall have a sufficient portion of skill, upon the whole, in that department.

General Carleton, with his fleet and army, are at Crown Point. The exact number of the latter we cannot yet ascertain; nor whether he does not wait for the whole to join him from St˙ John' s, &c˙, before he makes his grand attack. You may be assured nothing shall be wanting upon our part to give him a proper reception; and General Schuyler assures me the Militia from all quarters have been summoned to reinforce the army. I am in hourly expectation of their arrival.

I wish it may be in your Excellency' s power to forward a quantity of flour to Skeensborough, by the way of Bennington. If it cannot be carted, I think it might be sent in bags, upon pack-horses. This is to provide against the worst. We are not in any immediate danger of a scarcity.

In answer to that part of your Excellency' s letter relative to the officers of the State of Connecticut who have served in this department, I am to acquaint you, sir, that I think Colonel Swift, Lieutenant-Colonel Starr, Major Bigelow, Major Sumner, and Major Sedgwick, are officers who I can recommend as worthy of the rank they hold in the army of the United States. Of the other Field Officers, I am silent. As to the Captains and Subs, I have had no opportunity to know them sufficiently to say anything in their dispraise.

Spades, or iron shovels, are exceedingly wanted at this place. I have wrote repeatedly to General Schuyler, for six weeks past, but cannot procure any from him. He tells me, in his last letter, not one is to be had from Albany. One hundred at a time would be a seasonable supply. Shingle nails are also in great request here.

Trusting that the wise Disposer of all human affairs will bless our cause, the cause of freedom and mankind, I rest, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,


To Governour Trumbull.