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to washington - Alexander Hamilton, The Works of Alexander Hamilton, (Federal Edition), vol. 9 
The Works of Alexander Hamilton, ed. Henry Cabot Lodge (Federal Edition) (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904). In 12 vols. Vol. 9.
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Nov. 10, 1777.
I arrived here last night from Albany. Having given General Gates a little time to recollect himself, I renewed my remonstrances on the necessity and propriety of sending you more than one brigade of the three he had detained with him, and finally prevailed upon him to give orders for Glover’s, in addition to Patterson’s brigade, to march this way.
As it was thought conducive to expedition to send the troops by water as far as it could be done, I procured all the vessels that could be had at Albany fit for the purpose, but could not get more than sufficient to take Patterson’s brigade. It was embarked the 7th instant, and I expected would have been here before this, but the wind has been contrary; they must in all probability be here to-day. General Glover’s brigade marched at the same time on the east side of the river, the roads being much better than on this side. I am at this moment informed that one sloop with a part of Patterson’s is arrived and that the others are in sight. They will immediately proceed by water to King’s Ferry, and thence take the shortest route to you.
I am pained beyond expression to inform your Excellency that on my arrival here I find every thing has been neglected and deranged by General Putnam, and that the two brigades—Poor’s and Larned’s—still remain here and on the other side of the river at Fishkill. Colonel Warner’s militia, I am told, have been drawn to Peekskill to aid in an expedition against New York, which, it seems, is at this time the hobby-horse with General Putnam. Not the least attention has been paid to my order in your name for a detachment of one thousand men from the troops hitherto stationed at this post. Every thing is sacrificed to the whim of taking New York.
The two brigades of Poor and Larned it appears would not march for want of money and necessaries; several of the regiments having received no pay for six or eight months past. There has been a high mutiny among the former on this account, in which a captain killed a man, and was himself shot by his comrade. These difficulties, for want of proper management, have stopped the troops from proceeding. Governor Clinton has been the only man who has done any thing towards removing them; but, for want of General Putnam’s co-operation, has not been able to effect it. He has only been able to prevail with Larned’s brigade to agree to march to Goshen, in hopes, by getting them once on the go, to get them to continue their march. On coming here I immediately sent for Colonel Bailey, who now commands Larned’s brigade. Have gotten him to engage for carrying the brigade on to headquarters as fast as possible. This he expects to effect by mean of five or six thousand dollars, which Governor Clinton was kind enough to borrow for me, and which Colonel Bailey thinks will keep the men in good humor till they join you. They marched this morning towards Goshen.
I shall as soon as possible see General Poor, and do every thing in my power to get him along, and hope I shall be able to succeed.
The plan I before laid having been totally deranged a new one has become necessary. It is now too late to send Warner’s militia. By the time they get to you their term of service would be out. The motive for sending them, which was to give you a speedy reinforcement, has by the past delay been superseded.
By Governor Clinton’s advice, I have sent an order in the most emphatic terms to General Putnam immediately to dispatch all the Continental troops under him to your assistance and to detain the militia instead of them.
My opinion is that the only present use for troops in this quarter is to protect the country from the depredations of little plundering parties, and for carrying on the works necessary for the defence of the river. Nothing more ought to be thought of. ’t is only wasting time and misapplying men to employ them in a suicidal parade against New York, for in this it will undoubtedly terminate. New York is no object if it could be taken, and to take it would require more men than could be spared from more substantial purposes. Governor Clinton’s ideas coincide with mine. He thinks that there is no need of more Continental troops here than a few to give a spur to the militia in working upon the fortifications. In pursuance of this I have given the directions before mentioned. If General Putnam attends to them, the troops under him may be with you nearly as early as any of the others (though he has unluckily, marched them down to Tarrytown), and General Glover’s brigade, when it gets up, will be more than sufficient to answer the true end of this post.
If your Excellency agrees with me in opinion, it will be well to send instant directions to General Putnam, to pursue the object I have mentioned; for I doubt whether he will attend to any thing I shall say, notwithstanding it comes in the shape of a positive order. I fear, unless you interpose, the works here will go on so feebly, for want of men, that they will not be completed in time; whereas it appears to me of the greatest importance they should be pushed with the utmost vigor. Governor Clinton will do every thing in his power. I wish General Putnam was recalled from the command of this post, and Governor Clinton would accept it. The blunders and caprices of the former are endless. Believe me, sir, nobody can be more impressed with the importance of forwarding the reinforcements coming to you, with all speed, nor could any body have endeavored more to promote it than I have done; but the ignorance of some, and the design of others, have been almost insuperable obstacles. I am very unwell; but I shall not spare myself to get things immediately in a proper train; and for that purpose intend, unless I receive other orders from you, to continue with the troops in the progress of their march. As soon as I get General Poor’s brigade in march, I shall proceed to General Putnam’s at Peeks-kill.