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I do myself the honor to inform your Excellency of my arrival at this place early this morning- and, as a person is just going to Hartford, I sit down to give you the little information I have procured.
A Canadian, who twelve days ago left St. John s, advises me that General Carleton has about four hundred men at that place ; that he has thrown up a strong intrenchment, covered with chevaux-dc-frise; picketed the ditch, and secured it with an abatis; that he has an advanced post of fifty men, intrenched a league on this side ; that there are many Indians in Canada; but believes neither they, nor the Canadians, will join him; the latter he is sure will not, unless compelled by force.
You will expect that I should say something about this place and the troops here. Not one earthly thing for offence or defence has been done ; the commanding officer has no orders, he only came to reinforce the garrison, and he expected the General. But this, my dear General, as well as what follows in this paragraph, I pray may be entre nous, for reasons I need not suggest, About ten, last night, I arrived at the landing-place at the north end of Lake George ; a post occupied by a Captain and one hundred men. A sentinel, on being informed I was in the boat, quitted his post to go and awaken the guard, consisting of three men, in which he had no success. I walked up and came to another, a sergeant's guard. Here the sentinel challenged, but suffered me to come up to him, the whole guard, like the first, in the soundest sleep. With a penknife only I could have cut off both guards, and then have set fire to the block-house, destroyed the stores and starved the people here. At this post I have pointedly recommended vigilance and care, as all the stores from Fort George must necessarily be landed there. But I hope to get the better of this inattention. The officers and men are all good-looking people, and decent in their deportment, and I really believe will make good soldiers as soon as I can get the better of this nonchalance of theirs. Bravery, I believe, they are far from wanting. As soon as I am a little settled, I shall do myself the honor to send you a return of my strength both on land and water.
I inclose to your Excellency a copy of a letter from Colonel Johnson, with a copy of an examination of a person lately from Canada, contradictory of the accounts I gave you in my last from Saratoga. You will perceive that he is gone to Canada. I hope Carleton, if he should be able to procure a body of Indians, will not be in a hurry to pay us a visit. I wish to be a little more decently prepared to receive him; in doing which be assured I shall lose no time.
I have no way of sending you any letters, with a probable hope of their coming to hand, unless by express, or by the circuitous route of Hartford; by which only I can expect to be favored with a line from you.
Generals Lee and Gates share with you in my warmest wishes. I shall devote the first hour I can call my own to do myself the honor to write them. I am, most sincerely, your Excellency's
Obedient and humble servant,
- Philip John Schuyler
- 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