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Yesterday I had the honor to receive your Excellency's letter of the 14th instant, which is all I have been favored with since that of the 19th July. I have at length the satisfaction to send a pretty correct general return of the army in this part of the northern district of America. A copy of my last letter to General Schuyler, which is in the packet, will explain the return to your Excellency. I also inclose my orders and instructions to Lieutenant Whitcomb, who went from hence the 20th instant upon a scout towards St. John s, Chamblee, &c. The report of his last scout, which General Sullivan sent him upon, has already been sent to General Schuyler, who has doubtless transmitted it to your Excellency.
As the smallpox is now perfectly removed from the army, I shall, in consequence of the intelligence received of the motions of the enemy, immediately assemble my principal strength to maintain this important pass ; and hope General Waterbury, in a week, at farthest, will be able to come with the three row-galleys to Ticonderoga, and proceed, the instant they arrive and are fitted, to join General arnold upon the Lake. In the mean time, we are Exerting our utmost industry to fortify this post, a plan of which is inclosed. The weather of late has been so uncommonly wet and stormy for the season, that we are much retarded in our works. As the enemy feel alike the inclemency of the season, I hope we shall be prepared for them when they come. My orders to Brigadier-General Arnold your Excellency will find in the packet. lie read and entirely approved them before he left Ticonderoga. I hope they are the sentiments of your Excellency, and the most Honorable the Congress, upon that momentous command.
As the New Hampshire and Connecticut militia have come without tents, much time is lost, by those regiments, in covering themselves. It happens, very fortunately, that Mount Independence affords an ample supply of huts ; otherwise those corps must soon have felt great distress. The Massachusetts militia are arrived, well supplied with excellent tents, and a sufficiency of good camp utensils. This, in our present circumstances, is a great help to us, and does that Province much honor.
Governor Trumbull acquaints me he has forwarded one thousand felling-axes and two loads of clothing. His Excellency has, from the beginning of the misfortunes of this army, done every thing in his power to establish it in health and power. Too much cannot be said in his praise. Your Excellency must, long ere this, have received from General Schuyler the report of Major Bigelow, who returned with the flag of truce from Isle-aux-Noix. As I constantly report every extraordinary occurrence to General Schuyler, I take it for granted there is no delay with him in forwarding them to your Excellency and the congress. I have ordered Commissary A very to forward to Colonel Trumbull the returns and reports that are proper to be made in his department, and Dr. Morgan has, before this, shown your Excellency my letter to him of the 22d instant.
I am pleased . at the account General Schuyler gives me, of five hundred and thirteen thousand dollars being arrived at Albany from Philadelphia. It is much wanted both there and here, as the militia were promised their mileage and billeting-money at Number Four; but no money was sent there to pay them. This neglect caused much murmuring amongst them, and was very near stopping their march from thence. I wish good care was taken not to make any promises to troops but such as are punctually performed. I apprehend this promise was made by the Legislature at Watertown. I have the honor to be, your Excellency's
Most obedient, humble servant,
- Horatio Gates
- Correspondence of the American Revolution; Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, Volume I., Jared Sparks, 1853