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MY DEAR GENERAL,
I have called on General McDougall, and informed him, confidentially, of the state of our army. He says there are about six hundred Continental troops here, with two Massachusetts militia regiments. He is of opinion, that the Continental troops here should be sent forward, and that this State should garrison this post, for which purpose he will call on Mr. Jay, and consult with him upon the most effectual measures to bring it about.
Dear General, since I left the army I have been informed that General St. Clair is to take the command at Ticonderoga the ensuing campaign. Though I never wish to complain, I cannot help the disagree able feelings, so common to mankind, when they find themselves slighted and neglected. When I had completed the disagreeable retreat from Canada, I was with circumstances of indignity. Since which, and before, every Major-General, except myself, has had the honor of commanding posts, separated from the main army. General Putnam has commanded at New r York and Philadelphia; General Gates at Ticonderoga and Philadelphia; General Greene in the Jerseys, when the army was at New York; General Spencer at Rhode Island ; and General Heath the forces in this State. I have never yet been thought worthy to intrust with the command of a separate post. I have felt those things most sensibly, and wish to know, to what it is owing. If it be to my want of prudence, resolution, or whatever other cause, I wish to know it, that I may rid the Continent of an officer who is unworthy to trust with command.
I once had the command in Canada by an act of Providence ; and even malice itself cannot censure my conduct. I was soon deprived of the command, and rewarded with disgrace for saving the army and stores in that country. I know that Ticonderoga will become an important object with the enemy. They must try for it, and therefore he that has the command there will have the post of honor. I do there fore humbly claim it as my right, and as the first separate post intrusted to my care; and cannot think of the command being given to a younger officer, without conceiving myself a second time treated with neglect, which I well know my conduct has not deserved.
I wish your Excellency to forward me a line by the post upon this subject, which will be gratefully acknowledged by
Your Excellency's most obedient servant,
- 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