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Colonel Winds to General Gates



Ticonderoga, October 9, 1776.

SIR: Being much indisposed, cannot do myself the pleasure to wait on your Honour in person; therefore take this method to approach you with a request in behalf of my regiment, which is, that your Honour would suffer it as soon as convenient to march for New-Jersey, and would beg your patience while I give my reasons for this application.

In the first place, sir, our regiment was raised in consequence of a proposal from the honourable Continental Congress to the Provincial Convention of New-Jersey, in which the former expressly declared that "this regiment, when raised, should be for the defence of New-York, where they will be wanted this fall or next spring." On which account many persons entered the service who otherwise would not have engaged, as their families and connexions were much exposed, living mostly along the sea-coast, where in all probability attacks would be made; and as the seat of war at present is near our own shores, where our property and connexions are more immediately exposed, and indeed at that very place we were raised to defend, I humbly conceive it would be for the interest of the service to order us thither, especially as an indulgence of this nature might induce some persons to reengage in the service, which otherwise may not.

Give me leave also to inform your Honour, that our men are in a most wretched condition for want of clothing and blankets to screen them from the inclemency of the nearly approaching season; and what I presume adds the greater


weight to this reason is, that our men are very severely afflicted with the disease called the itch, supposed to be communicated to them in the inoculation for the small-pox in June last. This disorder, sir, rages in an uncommon degree among our people; and as their habitations expose them so much to the weather, the doctor deems it highly dangerous to attempt their cure.

I have only to add that our regiment was raised in October last; the men inlisted for only one year, and therefore, that their time is now nearly expired.

If these reasons, sir, should operate with you, and your Honour should concur with me in the opinion that all probable expectation of the enemy' s approach this fall is over, we would request to be favoured with your Honour' s orders to march, as soon as convenient.

I have the honour to be your Honour' s obedient, humble servant,


To the Hon˙ Horatio Gates, Major-General and Commander of the Continental Trdops in the Northern Department.