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Letter from General Schuyler to the President of Congress



[Read June 6, 1776.]

Fort George, June 1, 1776 — 9 o' clock A˙ M˙ SIR: Just now an express arrived from Canada, who brought me the enclosed despatches, which were left open for my perusal. I hope since the date of the honourable Commissioners' letter that our affairs are changed for the better. You will perceive by General Thompson' s letter of the 25th ultimo from Sorel, that he says he would take twenty days' provision in pork and thirty in flour from thence, and leave enough to supply that place. The scarcity, then, could


not be very great; and they have received much since, as you will see by the return enclosed in mine of yesterday; but as the gentlemen wrote from Montreal, I conjecture they allude to the scarcity at that place.

Tents have never been sent up for any of the troops that went into Canada in the winter. All the shoes, stockings, and shirts, that could be procured in the country, have been bought, and delivered to the troops that have marched through Albany in the course of the winter and spring.

The powder has never been detained a moment; eight tons were sent with the first embarkation in the spring, twenty-seven


seven large barrels left this on the 14th ultimo, and twelve barrels arrived here on Thursday, and were that very clay sent off; in short, nothing sticks either at Albany or here. By recurring to some of General Wooster' s letters transmitted by me, Congress will observe that there seemed to be no doubt of procuring a sufficient supply of flour, but these misfortunes will ever happen for want of discipline and subordination. Had that prevailed, I should not have been (as I have to this very day) left in the dark with respect to everything in Canada.

I hope every officer in the Army by this time sees the necessity of discipline. My letters to Congress evince that I have long seen it, and dreaded the consequences that it was easy to foresee would arise from the want of it, and that they will seriously set about the proper measure to introduce. I cannot help wishing that our military code was made more severe: thirty-nine lashes are not an adequate punishment for a wretch who, by laying down to sleep on his post, exposes a garrison to be cut off.

Our affairs in Canada are not irretrievable, and hope we shall soon receive happier accounts from that quarter.

I am, dear sir, most respectfully, your obedient and most humble servant,


To the Honourable John Hancock, Esq.