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Letter from General Washington to Colonel Arnold



Cambridge, December 5, 1775.

DEAR SIR: Your letter of the 8th ultimo, with a postscript of the 14th from Point-Levi, I have had the pleasure to receive. It is not in the powerof any man to command success; but you have done more — you have deserved it; and before this I hope have met with the laurels which are due to your toils, in the possession of Quebeck. My thanks are due, and sincerely offered to you, for your enterprising and persevering spirit. To your brave followers I likewise present them, I was not unmindful of you or them in the establishment of a new army. One out of twenty-six regiments (lately General Putnam' s) you are appointed to the command of, and I have ordered all the officers with you to the one or the other of these regiments, in the rank they now bear, that in case they choose to continue in service, and no appointments take place where they now are, no disappointment may follow.

Nothing very material has happened in this camp since you left it. Finding we are not likely to do much in the land way, I fitted out several privateers, or rather armed vessels, in behalf of the Continent, with which we have taken several prizes, to the amount, it is supposed, of Fifteen thousand pounds sterling; one of them a valuable store-ship, (but no powder in it,) containing a fine brass mortar, thirteeen-inch, two thousand stand of arms, shot, &c˙, &c.

I have no doubt but a junction of your detachment of the army, under General Montgomery, is effected before this. If so, you will put yourself under his command, and will, I am persuaded, give him all the assistance in your power to finish the glorious work you have begun. That the Almighty may preserve and prosper you in it, is the prayer of, dear sir, &c˙,


Colonel Arnold.

P˙ S˙ You could not be more surprised than I was at Enos' s return, with the division under his command. I immediately put him under arrest, and had him tried for quitting the detachment without your orders. He is acquitted on the score of provision.