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Letter from Colonel Hartley to General Arnold



Crown Point, July 21, 1776, 8 o' clock, P˙ M˙

HONOURED SIR: I just now received your favour of this day. A few minutes before it came to hand, eight batteaus, with forty-four pieces of timber, under Captain Polliphemus, arrived from the mouth of Onion River. In the late storm, the raft broke, and the timber was scattered on the sands. They say there was one hundred and twenty pieces in the whole. Seventy-four men were employed in bringing up these eight boats, and I am told the timber is but of a very indifferent quality, and that much better can be had nearer Head Quarters. The men on this party have experienced the greatest fatigue. They have been three weeks gone, and if we might calculate on the future by what is past, it would require three weeks for two hundred and ten men to bring up the rest of the timber. There are also boards collecting there. It is said they bring them fourteen miles overland. This is certainly very bad policy, when we can procure boards from other saw-mills, without any land-carriage. The saw mill by this place could be put in order in five or six days by four or five carpenters and as many labourers. If the carpenters of our regiment now at Ticonderoga are sent down, with proper tools, it shall be done immediately.

Our regiment is now very weak from sickness and the numerous detachments that have gone from it; so that ordering a considerable party from it, would prevent us keeping the necessary guards. We have not one hundred and seventy fit for duty on the spot. Some are coming in daily, and others are recovering their health.

We have no smith nor tools here. If the smiths of our regiment were sent here from Ticonderoga, I would make search for tools, though I much doubt if any good ones can be had, notwithstanding what Mr˙ Gilliland, said. It will, I apprehend, be absolutely necessary to have some smiths here.

Captain Wilson was at Onion River with his party four days ago. He was within a few hours of the party of five


which you sent off a few days before, and intended to overtake it, which no doubt he effected, as he had a fair wind; so that, from the whole, you have a right to expect success from our friends. It is said still, that the enemy are cutting timber about the Isle-aux-Noix. If that be the case, we shall soon know.

There is, it seems, a Tory, who has a saw mill about fifteen miles below the mouth of Onion River. He may, perhaps, supply the enemy, or do the Army here an injury.

I enclose you a note which I have just received. If a party is to be sent down the Lake, Major Dunlop, who was down with me, would be a very proper person to command it. We shall be ready to add our proportion to those who come from Ticonderoga from the main Army.

I would submit, whether a quantity more than sufficient for this regiment in provisions should not be here, to supply any parties who may accidentally stand in need. One Mr˙ Nicholl I have appointed, to take care and act for the regiment. He would be proper to do the other business, and I would be accountable for his conduct.

I have collected the above facts, and I make no doubt such steps will be taken as the exigency of affairs requires.

I am, sir, with the greatest respect, your most humble servant,

P˙ S˙ The eight boats with timber will be up tomorrow at Ticonderoga. Captain Hay is gone up. Quere: Would he not be very proper to go down the Lake?