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Letter from General Schuyler to General Gates



Albany, August 29, 1776.

DEAR GENERAL: Yesterday I was honoured with a line from General Washington, of the 24th instant, of which the following is an extract: "On Wednesday and Thursday morning a considerable body of the enemy, said to be eight or nine thousand, landed at Gravesend Bay on Long Island. They have approached within about three miles of our lines, and yesterday there was some skirmishing between a detachment from them and a party from our troops. Their detachment were obliged to give ground, and were pursued as far as where they had a post at Judge Lefferts' s. His house and outhouses served as quarters for them, and were burnt by our people. We sustained no loss in this affair that I have heard of, except having two men slightly wounded. Our people say the enemy met with more. They found one dead body in the habit of a soldier, with a good deal of money in his pockets, and got three hangers and a fusee. Our party threw a shell from a howitz, which fell on and bursted in a house where several of them were. Whether they were injured by it, we have not learned. A firing has been heard this morning, but know nothing of the event." The express who brought me the General' s letter reports, that after he had received it, intelligence was brought that in the rencounter on Saturday morning, our people killed and took sixty of the enemy, and six field-pieces. If so, it will be soon confirmed.

Lieutenant-Colonel Brown, who will deliver you this, is the officer alluded to in some of the resolutions of Congress of the 30th ultimo. He wishes for a Court of Inquiry on the charge against him of being concerned in the plundering of General Prescott' s baggage. You will please to order one.

Captain Wynkoop has presented me a memorial to Congress, with a request to have it forwarded to them, copy of which I enclose. When I recommended him to the command of the vessels on Lake Champlain, they were few and the Army in Canada; and although I believe him brave, yet


I do not think him equal to the command of such a fleet as we now have there. His appointment by the New York Congress you will perceive is only temporary, until another should be appointed; he could, therefore, have no reason to complain, even if an officer of inferior rank to General Arnold had been ordered to take the command.

General Washington has ordered up a few more military stores, as per enclosed list. They are not yet arrived here; shall be forwarded the moment they do, except part of the cartridge paper, which must go to Fort Stanwix.

The Stockbridge Indians inlisted in our service had it at their option, by General Washington' s orders, to go to New York or to the northward. They have chosen the former, and are gone down.

Mr˙ Schuyler, the Assistant Deputy Quartermaster-General at Skenesborough, writes me that the carpenters sicken so fast that Captain Titcomb had but ten men out of fifty at work on the 25th, and that Captains Window and Easdorp had also a great many sick. I wish you could send a physician to report such as are not likely to be of any further service, that they may be discharged, and the expense of their wages saved to the publick.

General Lee was daily expected at Philadelphia on the 18th instant. The express from New York advises that he arrived there on Saturday, after General Washington' s letter to me was delivered.

Two Captains are now engaging two hundred seamen out of the Army at New York, for the northern service.

I am, dear General, with every friendly wish, your most obedient, humble servant,

To the Hon˙ General Gates.