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General Gates to General Arnold



Tyonderoga, October 3, 1776.

DEAR GENERAL: Last night I received your letter of the 1st instant by Lieutenant Calderwood. Captain Hawley carried with him all the seamen that were to be had here when he went from hence. Those who have been procured since, sailed yesterday in the two row-galleys under General Waterbury' s command, to which were added one hundred and ten men, officers included. Besides the number you determined upon, for the full complement of each row-galley, not one of the two hundred seamen promised from New-York has yet arrived here. I now give up the hopes of seeing them for this year.

As to the equipment of the Trumbull, I am not answerable for any deficiency. General Waterbury, who had the entire management of rigging and arming the galleys, will satisfy all your questions upon that head. I know not how much cordage you wrote for in July, or whether it is yet half arrived; but this I know, that General Waterbury assured me there was not more than half the quantity necessary, and we shall have much to do to furnish the galley which came last night from Skeenesborough. Not a cable yet arrived from Albany, and those here too bad for use. Captain Dow, who perfectly understands fitting of vessels, has my orders to assist Captain in getting his galley equipped with the utmost possible expedition. I am told she will sail in a week, being much better fitted when she left Skeenesborough, than those who came before her from thence. Colonel Trumbull and Mr˙ Conductor Lane, assure me they have put every article that you demanded in your last letter, on board the Liberty schooner, except what is not to be had here; where it is not to be had, you and the princes of the earth must go unfurnished. As to any unnecessary delays made by the Captain of the Liberty, I refer you to General Waterbury. I am told the man was diligent, and that the vessels wanted more caulking than you suspected.

All the clothing we have goes in the Liberty schooner, to be delivered to your order.


I have represented to General Schuyler and to Congress, the absolute necessity of taking immediate measures to augment our fleet upon this Lake. I suppose so important a business will not be deferred or delayed.

I take it for granted you will consult with General Waterbury and Colonel Wigglesworth, and with them determine when it is proper season to retire up the Lake. I am confident your and their zeal for the publiek service will not suffer you to return one moment sooner than in prudence and good conduct you ought to do it. Perhaps some station nearer Crown-Point may, about the time you mention, be proper to be taken; but this must be submitted to your better judgment in maritime affairs.

The Commissary sent, in the galleys which sailed yesterday, fourteen barrels of rum. Six more go now in the Liberty; a quantity of fresh beef and other, &c˙, &c˙, went by the same conveyance, which Mr˙ Yancey acquainted you with particularly by letter. If you think proper to keep the Lee gondola, or any other, to go between Ty and the fleet, we can be able to send you supplies in as ample a manner as Ty will afford.

I have read and noticed Sergeant Stiles' s examination. By the enemy' s building a battery for heavy cannon at river La Cole, I am inclined to suspect they are rather acting upon the defensive; but until the middle of the next month arrives, I shall not entirely give up the probability of seeing them this year.

Colonel Trumbull gave you the best account in his power of the transactions in the neighbourhood of New-York, as I have constantly done, and as I shall continue to do. Therefore; be satisfied, when you do not hear all you wish, it is because all you wish is not come to my knowledge. There is not a syllable of news, good or bad, since I wrote you yesterday. My affectionate compliments to General Waterbury and Colonel Wigglesworth, and believe me, dear General, your affectionate, humble servant,


To General Arnold.