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Letter from Major Thomas Gamble to General Gage


[No˙ 6.]

Quebcck, September 6, 1775.

SIR: I have the honour to inform your Excellency that, by General Carleton' s orders, I have taken up a vessel to transport a quantity of cattle, sheep, &c˙, as a present, from the Province of Quebeck, to the sick and wounded soldiers of His Majesty' s Forces at Boston; bills of lading for which, together with the charter-party, I have enclosed to Major Shirreff. I still continue to send, by order of General Carleton, as many bullocks and sheep as the deck of each transport will contain, which I hope meets with your Excellency' s approbation. I could wish the cattle were better, but in general they are very poor and small in this country. General Carleton has given me directions to contract for some forage, in order to be in readiness to load the transports he expects you will send to Quebeck this fall; and I am in hopes I shall be able to procure a quantity of oats and hay time enough to despatch the transports you may think proper to send.

I hope you will pardon me for reminding you of my situation, my length of service, and pretensions as an officer, I took the liberty to set forth in a memorial I transmitted to your Excellency by the last transport that sailed; and I shall only add that, when a proper opportunity offers, I hope you will take the prayer of it into consideration, and grant me either the purchase of a Company, or one in a new corps, whichever your Excellency shall think most proper. No prospect yet of the Militia being embodied here, nor do I think they will. General Carleton. I am apt to think, is afraid to give the order, lest they should refuse to obey; and I believe this year will pass over without the Canadians doing any thing in favour of Government. This day' s post has brought an account that the Rebels have taken post at Point-au-Fer, with a body of troops; if so, they may have thoughts of advancing into this Province. Two small vessels of ours were launched at St˙ John' s yesterday. We are told here that Mr˙ Schuyler is building four at Ticonderoga. In short, Sir, you must look for no diversion (in favour of the Army immediately under your Excellency' s command) this year from Canada, the language here being only to defend the Province; and it is generally thought here, that if the Rebels were to push forward a body of four or five thousand men, the Canadians would lay down their arms and not fire a shot. I hope you will pardon my thus writing so freely, and not impute it to presumption, as it is merely intended to let your Excellency into a true state of facts, as from many other quarters you may have interested accounts.

I have the honour to be, with the utmost respect, your Excellency' s most obedient humble servant,


To His Excellency General Gage.