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Letter from General Gates to General Schuyler



Tyonderoga, October 31, 1776.

SIR: Monday morning, between eight and nine o' clock, our advanced guard boat down the lake made a signal for the approach of the enemy' s fleet. In about one hour, five of their largest boats, or gondolas, appeared in sight; and a number of troops, Indians and Canadians were seen landing upon Three-Mile Point. Soon after, two of the armed boats stood over to the east side of the lake, inclining


upwards, as if sent to reconnoitre. When they came considerably within shot, they were fired upon from the redoubts very near the shore, and by a row-galley which is stationed to cover the boom. They thereupon retired, In the mean time, the enemy' s troops were distinctly seen to land upon the back of the point; and presently after, thirteen small batteaus and birch canoes crossed from the west to the east side of the lake into a bay about four miles below our redoubts. Upon these threatenings of an attack, our lines, redoubts and posts were all manned, and as the motions of the enemy seemed to indicate they were gathering their main force upon the west side of the lake, as if intending to make their push there, I ordered three regiments (Poor' s, Reed' s, and Greaton' s) from Mount Independence to reinforce this side. The orders were instantly obeyed; and nothing could exceed the spirit and alertness which was shown by all officers and soldiers in executing every order that was given. About four in the evening, the boats and canoes that had passed to the west side of the lake returned; and the enemy were seen plainly to embark at the Three-Mile Point. I immediately ordered the guard boat to resume her station, and by sunset it was observed the body of the enemy had retired. By the information I receive daily, I find that General Carleton continues in his post, and that three large vessels are anchored near Putnam' s Point, a little below which all the Light-Infantry, Grenadiers and a large body of Indians and Canadians are encamped. Chimney-Point and Crown-Point are also occupied by the enemy.

Yesterday I received the enclosed intelligence from Newbury, Co' os. If Sir John Johnson did actually march at the time he is said to have done it, he must be upon the Mohock river now, or if he arrives at Fort George, Dayton' s regiment cannot be better fixed than there. Surely your Oneidas will give you all the necessary information upon this head. But how could Sir John get back, should he meet with a check? I have seen the Mohock river fast frozen the 10th of November.

Colonel Lewis set off yesterday morning by Skeen. He has memorandums of our wants, and will be with you as soon as this letter. Colonel Gansevoort writes to me for spades. You must answer his demand, for I cannot.

We received the good news you sent us from New-York with joyful hearts. It was immediately made publick to the army in the manner you advised.

To General Schuyler.