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Letter from the New-York Congress to their Delegates in the Continental Congress


In Provincial Congress at New-York, October 4, 1775.

GENTLEMEN: We are favoured with yours of the 21st ultimo, and, agreeable to your request, we inform you of the state of the troops raised by this Colony for the Continental service. Eight Companies of the First or Colonel McDougall' s Regiment, completely appointed, are now in actual service in the Northern Department. The ninth Company is ready, completely armed and equipped, and, wind and weather permitting, will sail for Albany to-morrow. The tenth Company will be armed and equipped, and, we, hope, ready to depart next week. The first detachment of this Regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Ritzema, had proceeded as far as Half-Moon, before the 10th of August. The Second, or Colonel Van Schaick' s Regiment, is completely equipped, and in service at the outposts; four Companies of this Regiment were raised early in the month of June, and three of those Companies then proceeded as far as Lake George; the other Companies of this Regiment were at and about Albany, under the command of General Montgomery, and we cannot ascertain the times of their departure. Seven Companies of the Third, or Colonel Clinton' s Regiment, are also in service at the outposts. The eighth and ninth Companies proceeded early last week from hence, on their way to Isle-aux-Noix. The tenth Company of this Regiment is come to New-York, wants a few muskets, and will be ready and proceed this week. It may be proper to inform you, that the three last mentioned Companies of this Regiment were sent to and detained for some time, at the east end of Nassau-Island, by order of the Congress, to prevent the Ministerial Troops from carrying off the sheep and cattle from thence, the inhabitants of Suffolk County having armed them while in that service. The Fourth, or Colonel Holmes' s Regiment, is now at the outposts. Part of this Regiment was obliged to be delayed at Albany until arms could be procured for them, but the last Company proceeded down Lake George the 27th of September. We are informed that four Companies of the Green Mountain Boys were raised and in service, about the middle of September, and that the others were getting ready with all possible despatch.

The First and Second Regiments, and some part of the other Regiments, are armed with the best of muskets and bayonets, and the others with firelocks of the widest bores which could be found, repaired where it was necessary, and fitted. All our troops are furnished with belts and pouches for nineteen cartridges, bayonets, belts, musket slings, blankets, coats, canteens, haversacks, &c. A great part of our arms have been procured by purchase; some have been hired; and, from necessity, to complete some Companies, a few arms have in some places been impressed.

As to the forts in the Highlands, we have taken every step to complete them. A number of cannon are sent up, with many of the necessary materials. The plans have been transmitted to you. Several cannon are mounted, to prevent any enemy from passing through the Highlands.


You have enclosed an account of the prices we gave for the different sorts of cloth for tents, and the expense of making.

We have furnished the Continental Army, at our own expense, with the following quantities of gunpowder, to wit: on the 23d of June we sent one thousand pounds of powder to the Continental Army at Cambridge; on the 24th we sent three hundred pounds to Albany, for the publick use, being wanted at Ticonderoga, and by the Company seat up to remove the cannon and stores. We have since delivered one hundred pounds to the troops marching to the Northern frontiers, and two hundred and thirty-five pounds (in part borrowed of General Wooster) to the troops sent to the east end of Long-Island, and which they have preserved and taken with them to the northward. We have sent two hundred pounds to the post in the Highlands, and have procured by loan from New-Jersey four hundred and fifty-five pounds of gunpowder, which, together with two hundred pounds furnished by us, was forwarded on the 13th of June to the camp at Cambridge. The above parcels amount to two thousand four hundred and ninety weight. Besides the above quantity, the Committee at Albany furnished to the Commissioners for Indian Affairs three hundred and seventy-five pounds, two hundred pounds of which have been replaced by our Congress. General Wooster now requires us to repay him the powder we borrowed of him. We earnestly request, gentlemen, that you would use your best endeavours to get this powder replaced as soon as possible, as we cannot at this time command above two hundred weight. If, in addition to this quantity, you could purchase for us, for cash, or borrow on our credit, one or two tons of powder, it will greatly oblige us, as we are in much want of this article. You know our exposed situation, and therefore it will be unnecessary to press you to use your interest in procuring it for us.

It may be proper to mention to you, that besides the troops abovementioned, we raised a Company of Artillery, consisting of seventy men, completely appointed; they are now with the Army. When this Company was formed, the Continental Congress had not made an establishment for Artillery. The Congress of New- York put this Company on the footing of the Rhode-Island establishment as to their pay, which was the only one known at that time. They are a good Company, well armed; many of them bred in artillery service, and much wanted. They were raised on the faith of being put and kept on the like pay as the Rhode-Island Artillery, before we knew what the Continental pay was. We entreat you would intimate this to the Congress, and get the Rhode-Island establishment confirmed for this Company.

We are, with the highest respect and esteem, Gentlemen, your most obedient humble servants. By order:

P˙S. We are apprehensive that the Army under General Schuyler will suffer greatly for want of warm underclothes. Many of the men raised in this Colony are badly provided in that respect, and we submit it to you, whether it may not be proper to mention it to the Congress, lest it should escape their attention.