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Letter from General Sullivan to General Washington: Has arrived at, and is fortifying Crown Point; sickness seized both officers and men to such a degree that he was forced to leave Isle-aux-Noix, where he had determined to make a stand; in the retreat everything was secured, even to an axe, except three cannon at Chambly



Crown Point, July 2, 1776.

MY DEAR GENERAL: I have from time to time endeavoured to give your Excellency the earliest intelligence of our movements in this quarter; but the distance is so great that we are under necessity of making many without having your Excellency' s advice. In my last I mentioned that I should remain with the Army at Isle-aux-Noix till your Excellency' s pleasure could be known. This, I supposed, would serve to cover and protect the inhabitants settled by the Lake till they could remove with their effects, and at the same time give us an opportunity of receiving your Excellency' s directions where to make a stand; but, unfortunately, sickness of almost every kind seized both officers and men to such a degree that I was forced to leave that unhealthy place and retire to this, where I hope the Army will soon recruit. We have, I think, secured everything, even to an axe, except three cannon at Chambly, and those not very good. We have taken one out of the Lake, a fine twelve-pounder, which in part makes up our loss. I am now fortifying this place, and will endeavour to have it as strong as possible, and fix as many galleys to command the Lake as I can. I have sent for some person acquainted with those constructed at Philadelphia, that we may have some of that kind built if it is agreeable to your Excellency. I have written General Schuyler for his advice, which hope soon to receive. In the interim I shall be procuring as much timber and boards as possible.

I hear that a number of Militia are ordered here. I don' t think them necessary at present; but should they be sent, I wish they may be such as have had the small-pox, as there is no avoiding it in our camp. As the air is pure at this place, and the Army can have fresh provisions and good water, I hope they will soon recruit. If they should, sure I am that we shall have enough to fortify and hold this place, and at the same time command the Lake. A Lieutenant whom I sent to reconnoitre at St˙ Johns and Chambly has returned, and says that he counted about one hundred and fifty tents at St˙ Johns, twenty-five at St˙ Rays, and fifteen at Chambly; and that the Regulars are very busy in fortifying at St˙ Johns. He saw no boats except a canoe and one batteau at Chambly. He despatched two of his men from St˙ Johns to give me intelligence, who have not since been heard of. I fear the Indians have entrapped them.

In my route I have given every assistance in my power to remove the frontier inhabitants with their effects, and have ordered Colonel Winds, with a hundred and fifty men, to


take post at Onion River, to guard there till I could have your Excellency' s and General Schuyler' s opinion. I have sent Congress a written application from these inhabitants for assistance. Doubtless they will make some order upon it, which I hope will be that Colonel Warner, of the Green Mountains, shall raise men for that purpose, as I think those men much better calculated to defend that part of the country than any others. I shall now be able to make your Excellency a proper return of men and stores, which shall be immediately forwarded. In the interim I remain, with the highest sentiments of respect, your Excellency' s most obedient servant.


To His Excellency General Washington.

P˙ S. We are in great want of about six or eight field-pieces, which beg may be forwarded as soon as may be.

Your Excellency' s most obedient servant,