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General Montgomery to General Schuyler




Camp near St˙ John' s, October 13, 1775.

DEAR GENERAL: Some time ago I informed you of my intentions to make my approaches on the west side, as soon as the expected re-enforcement enabled me to undertake it. I had had a road cut to the intended ground, and some fascines made, when I was informed, by Major Brown, that a general dissatisfaction prevailed; that unless something was undertaken in a few days there would be a mutiny; and that the universal sense of the Army was to direct all our attention to the east side. The impatience of the troops to get home has prevented their seeing the impossibility of undertaking this business sooner, the duty being hard for the troops, even on the present confined state of operations.

When I mentioned my intentions, I did not consider I was at the head of troops who carry the spirit of freedom into the field, and think for themselves.

Upon considering the fatal consequences which might flow from a want of subordination and discipline, (should this ill-humour continue,) my unstable authority over troops of different Colonies, the insufficiency of the military law, and my own want of powers to enforce it, weak as it is, I thought it expedient to call the Field-Officers together. Enclosed I send you the result of our deliberations.