Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO MAJOR-GENERAL SCHUYLER. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. IV (1776)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
TO MAJOR-GENERAL SCHUYLER. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. IV (1776) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1889). Vol. IV (1776).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
TO MAJOR-GENERAL SCHUYLER.
New York, 17 June, 1776.
I last night received by Mr. Bennet your favor of the 8 Inst. addressed to Genl Putnam, or the Officer commanding here, covering one for Congress with a copy of Col. Kirkland’s to you—both of which I shall immediately forward to Philadelphia.
In consequence of your former Letters the Commissary has been directed to continue Supplies of Provisions, I shall repeat the direction and doubt not of his exertions in this Instance—If its arrival at Albany ceased for a time, it might be owing to the accounts received that a good deal, particularly flour might be had in Canada. I will speak to him about the expenditure of pork here, and request that no more be used than he may find necessary, that there may be a large quantity for the Canada department.1 I will also speak to the Quarter Master General to provide and forward all the clothing he can get as soon as possible.—As to Intrenching Tools, they are extremely scarce and what we have far too few, for the works carrying & proper to be carried on for the defence of this place—However I will try to furnish you with a few more, and wish your endeavors to purchase what you can from the country people—Many of them perhaps will part with a Spade or Pick Ax and some with both, and tho’ many may not be collected in that way, what are, will be of great Service.
If the accounts of Colonel Bedel’s and Major Butterfield’s conduct be true, they have certainly acted a part deserving the most exemplary notice. I hope you will take proper measures, and have good courts appointed to bring them, and every other officer, that has been or shall be guilty of malconduct, to trial, that they may be punished according to their offences. Our misfortunes at the Cedars were occasioned, as it is said, entirely by their base and cowardly behavior, and cannot be ascribed to any other cause.1
In my letter of the 7th, which will have reached you ere this, I enclosed a resolve of Congress for engaging the Indians, not more than two thousand, in our service. This will indicate to you their opinion; and knowing their sentiments fully upon this head, I cannot but advise, that you forthwith hold a conference with the Six Nations, and any others, you with your brother commissioners may think necessary; and form with them an alliance on such terms and conditions, as shall seem most likely to secure their interest and friendship, without waiting the further direction of Congress.1
The situation of our affairs will not suffer the delay, and I am persuaded your conduct, and the speech you intend to deliver the Sachems, will meet their approbation and thanks. I think that part of it, which mentions the time and place of our taking post, might be omitted; but this I leave to you. I shall inform Congress of what I have wrote you on this subject, and of the verbal intelligence you sent me by Bennet from Albany, where you overtook him, respecting the Indians coming down the Mohawk River under Sir John Johnson, and of your preparing to resist them. I sincerely wish you success, and that their first incursions and attempts against us may be attended with their entire defeat. It will be necessary to employ Colonel Dayton and his regiment in this service, and in securing a post where Fort Stanwix formerly stood, which I esteem of much importance; but I submit it to you, who are much better acquainted with that country than I am, whether, previous to that, it will not be necessary and essential, that a post be established lower down somewhere about the falls below the German Flatts, to secure our communication with that garrison. Should this not be done, will it not be in the power of the savages to come between that and our frontiers, and intercept all supplies of men and provisions going thither?
I observe you esteem the ground opposite to Ticonderoga to be more advantageous for a post against the enemy. Messrs. Chase and Carroll had told me the same. I should think, therefore, that the place most capable of defence, and having the greatest advantages, should be improved, and necessary works thrown up, with the utmost despatch. But will not both be best? Cannot Ticonderoga be kept, and this improved and maintained at the same time? I must submit this to you and refer you to my Letter of the 9th upon the subject of fortifying all the posts and about the Engineers. If you know of any persons, who can be of service in that way, do employ them. I know of none myself, or have I one whom I can possibly spare.
I have been applied to by Colo Nicholson who says he was appointed by Congress to the Command of a Regiment to be raised out of 2 Battallions of York Troops that were in Canada last year, for instructions for that purpose. As this concerns the department more immediately under your direction and with which you must be much better acqd than I am, I did not think it right to give him any direction about it, but if the fact is so, advise that you will give him such orders, that the views of Congress may be carried into execution as you judge necessary.1 In like manner I have had several applications from officers coming from the Canada department for pay that became due them, which did not conceive myself at liberty to comply with being ignorant of their appointments or service and as they will perhaps apply to you for certificates to lay before me, I wish you to be very explicit as to the time of their being in office and from which their pay is due.
[1 ]“I am informed that a Number of Persons on Long Island (by Character not the most friendly to the Cause of the United Colonies) have in their Hands considerable Quantities of Pork and other Provisions which they refuse to part with for Continental Bills.—they may have other reasons for their conduct still more detrimental and therefore I must beg the Interposition of your Congress in this Matter so as to prevent the Evils which are much to be apprehended—The Commmissary General will purchase all their Provisions at good Prices, and give them Continental Bills in Pay—Gold and Silver he has none—The Provisions are wanted for the Army, and those who are Well Wishers to the Cause, and live in exposed Situations will undoubtedly be glad to dispose of them.—the Disadvantages which may result to the Public by leaving them in the Hands of Men of a different Complexion are too obvious to need animadversion.—
[1 ]“Col. Bedel and Major Butterfield (for their bad conduct) are cashiered, and rendered incapable of bearing a commission in the army of the United States.”—Extract from a letter from Ticonderoga, 3 August, 1776.
[1 ]The Indians were to be engaged in the service of the colonies, to a number not to exceed 2000. (MS. Journals.) To encourage the Indians General Washington was authorized to offer them a reward of one hundred dollars for every commisioned officer, and thirty dollars for every private soldier of the king’s troops, taken in the Indian country or on the frontier. (MS. Journals, June 17th.)
[1 ]John Nicholson’s petition may be found in Force, American Archives, Fourth Series, vi., 823.