Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO MAJOR-GENERAL SCHUYLER. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. III (1775-1776)
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TO MAJOR-GENERAL SCHUYLER. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. III (1775-1776) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1889). Vol. III (1775-1776).
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TO MAJOR-GENERAL SCHUYLER.
Cambridge, 27 January, 1776.
Your favor of the 22d enclosing Colonel Arnold’s letter of the 2d, explaining the doubt we were in respecting his detachment, is received. Happy would it have been for our cause, if that party could have got out of the city of Quebec3 ; as I am much afraid by the complexion of the letters from that place, that there is little hope of Arnold’s continuing the blockade without assistance from Wooster, which he is determined not to give, whether with propriety or not, I shall not at this distance undertake to decide.
The sad reverse of our affairs in that quarter calls loudly for every exertion in your power, to restore them to the promising aspect they so lately wore. For this reason, notwithstanding you think the necessity of troops from hence is in some measure superseded, I will not countermand the order and appointment of officers, which are gone forth from this government, Connecticut, and New Hampshire, for raising a regiment each, till Congress, (who are informed of it,) shall have decided upon the measure.
I consider, that the important period is now arrived, when the Canadians and consequently their Indians must take their side. Should any indecisive operations of ours, therefore, give the bias against us, it is much easier to foresee, than to rectify, the dreadful consequences, which must inevitably follow from it. I consider, also, that the reinforcement, under the command of Colonel Warner, and such other spirited men as have left the western parts of the New England governments, is only temporary, and may fail when most wanted; as we find it next to impossible to detain men, (not fast bound,) in service, after they get a little tired of the duties of it and homesick.
These, my dear Sir, are the great outlines which govern me in this affair. If Congress mark them as strongly as I do, they will not wish to starve the cause at so critical a period. If they think differently, they will direct accordingly, and I must stand corrected for the error my zeal hath led me into.
Colonel Porter, said to be an exceedingly active man, is appointed to the command of the regiment from this government; Colonel Burrell to the one from Connecticut; and Colonel Bedel to that from New Hampshire. The two last are represented to me as men of spirit and influence; so that, from these accounts, I have no doubt of their getting into Canada in a very short time, as I have endeavored to excite the spirit of emulation. I wish most ardently, that the state of your health may permit you to meet them there. The possession of Quebec, and entire reduction of Canada this winter, so as to have leisure to prepare for the defence of it in the spring, is of such great and extensive importance to the well-being of America, that I wish to see matters under the direction,—but I will say no more, you will come at my meaning.
I am a little embarrassed to know in what manner to conduct myself with respect to the Caghnawaga Indians now here. They have, notwithstanding the treaty of neutrality, which I find they entered into with you the other day (agreeably to what appears to be the sense of Congress), signified to me a desire of taking up arms in behalf of the United Colonies. The Chief of them, and who I understand is now the first man of the nation, intends, as it is intimated, to apply to me for a commission, with the assurance of raising four or five hundred men when he returns. My embarrassment does not proceed so much from the impropriety of encouraging these people to depart from their neutrality, (accepting their own voluntary offer rather), as from the expense, which probably may follow. I am sensible that, if they do not desire to be idle, they will be for or against us. I am sensible, also, that no artifices will be left unassayed to engage them against us. Their proffered services, therefore, ought not to be rejected; but how far, with the little knowledge I have of these people’s policy and real intentions, and your want of their aid, I ought to go, is the question that puzzles me. I will endeavor, however, to please them by yielding in appearance to their demands; reserving, at the same time, the power in you to regulate their numbers and movements, of which you shall be more fully informed when any thing is fixed.1 At present what they have mentioned is a kind of out door talk. They expect and are waiting to see Col. Bedel (who promised to meet them here), before they open themselves fully.
What can you do in compliance with Arnold’s request of mortars, &c? If Knox disfurnished you, I am almost sorry for it, as I believe I shall never get wherewithal to feed them here.
I congratulate you upon the success of your expedition into Tryon county. I hope General Lee will execute a work of the same kind on Long Island, &c. It is high time to begin with our internal foes, when we are threatened with such severity of chastisement from our kind parent without. That the Supreme Dispenser of every good may bestow health, strength, and spirit on you and your army, is the fervent wish of, dear Sir, your most affectionate and obedient servant.
[3 ]The party of troops that attacked the city under Arnold, the most of whom were taken prisoners.
[1 ]General Schuyler replied in regard to these Indians: “It is extremely difficult to determine what should be done, in what you mention respecting the offer made by the Caghnawaga Indians; but if we can get decently rid of their offer, I would prefer it to employing them. The expense we are at in the Indian department is now amazing; it will be more so when they consider themselves as in our service; nor would their intervention be of much consequence, unless we could procure that of the other nations. The hauteur of the Indians is much diminished since the taking of Montreal; they evidently see that they cannot get any supplies but through us.”