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Upon finding it necessary, for the operations of the campaign, to recall the Continental troops from the northward, I have ordered six hundred militia from the counties of Berkshire and Hampshire to that quarter, in addition to the militia and State troops of New York ; and I have now to request that you will take the general command of all the troops in that department, as soon as may conveniently be done. I am induced to appoint you to this command from your knowledge of, and influence amongst, the inhabitants of that country.
You will be pleased, therefore, to repair to Saratoga, and establish your head-quarters at that place, detaining with you four hundred of the troops from Massachusetts, and sending the other two hundred to Colonel Willett, who will remain in command on the Mohawk River, as his popularity in that country will enable him to render essential service there.
In case of an incursion of the enemy, you will make such dispositions as you shall judge most advantageous for opposing them, and protecting the frontier, (not withdrawing the troops from the Mohawk River.) I rely upon it, that you will use your utmost exertions to draw forth the force of the country from the Green Mountains, and all the contiguous territory ; and I doubt not your requisitions will be attended with success, as your personal influence must be unlimited amongst those people, at whose head you have formerly fought and conquered with so much reputation and glory.
I request that you will be very particular in keeping up proper discipline, and preventing the troops from committing depredations upon the inhabitants. Believe me to be, dear Sir, &-c.
- George Washington
- The Writings of George Washington Being His Correspondence, Addresses, Messages, and Other Papers, Official and Private, Selected and Published from the Original Manuscripts. Vol VIII, Jared Sparks, 1839