Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO MAJOR-GENERAL GATES. INSTRUCTIONS. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. IV (1776)
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TO MAJOR-GENERAL GATES. INSTRUCTIONS. - 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).
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TO MAJOR-GENERAL GATES.
The honorable Continental Congress, reposing the greatest confidence in your wisdom and experience, have directed me to appoint you to the very important command of the troops of the United Colonies in Canada, with power to appoint a deputy adjutant-general, a deputy quartermaster-general, a deputy mustermaster-general, and such other officers as you shall find necessary for the good of the service. You are also empowered to fill up all vacancies in the army in Canada, and notify the same to Congress for their approbation.
You are also authorized, until the first of October next, to suspend any officers and fill up all vacancies, transmitting to the honorable Congress such order and suspension, giving your reasons therefor, and specifying the particular charge made against such officer. You are directed, previous to your departure, to consult with the commissary-general, and concert with him the most effectual measures for continuing proper supplies of provisions for that department. You are in like manner to consult with Colonel Knox about the artillery, which may be wanted, and what may probably be procured there; and whether any brass or iron field-pieces can be spared from hence for that service.
Upon your arrival in Albany, you will consult with general Schuyler, in regard to the present state of provisions and stores, and fix upon some certain means of forwarding the regular supplies in future from that place. At the same time endeavor to learn whether supplies heretofore sent have not reached that department, and by what means such failures have happened that a proper remedy may be provided. From General Schuyler you will also receive such advice and information, respecting the operations of the campaign, as may be useful and necessary. You are to direct all the general officers, deputy quartermaster-general, local commissaries, paymaster in Canada, and all other persons there, or on the communication, without delay to render their accounts and settle them. No general officer on such settlement is to receive pay as colonel of a regiment, nor any field-officer as captain of a company.
Upon your taking the command of the troops, you will give particular orders, agreeably to a rule of Congress, that no officer shall suttle or sell to the soldiers, on penalty of being fined one month’s pay, and being dismissed the service with infamy; that all sales of arms, clothing, ammunition, and accoutrements, made by soldiers, are to be deemed void; and that the baggage of officers and soldiers is hereafter to be regulated conformably to the rules of the British army.
By a like resolve no troops in Canada are to be disbanded there, but all soldiers in that country ordered to be disbanded, or, their times of enlistment being expired, refusing to re-enlist, shall be sent under proper officers to Ticonderoga, or such other posts on the lakes, as you shall direct, where they are to be mustered, and the arms, accoutrements, blankets, and utensils, which they may have belonging to the public, shall be delivered up and deposited in the public store. You will, as soon as possible, make as accurate a return as you can procure of the troops, artillery, arms, ammunition, provisions, and stores, which you find in Canada, or upon the communication with Albany, distinguishing where stationed, and in what magazines; and, if possible, transmit such a return to the honorable Continental Congress, and to me, once a fortnight.
The distance of the scene, and the frequent changes, which have happened in the state of our affairs in Canada, do not allow me to be more particular in my instructions. The command is important, the service difficult but honorable, and I most devoutly pray, that Providence may crown our arms with abundant success. Given under my hand at Head-Quarters, New York, June 24th, 1776.1
[1 ]General Washington had been directed by Congress, on the 17th of June, to send General Gates into Canada to take command of all the forces in that province. He enjoyed a high popularity in Congress at this time. Richard Henry Lee, writing to Washington, June 13th, says: “It is more than probable, that Congress will order our friend Gates to Canada. His great ability and virtue will be absolutely necessary to restore things there, and his recommendations will always be readily complied with. You will find, that great powers are given to the commander in that distant department. The system for Canada, since the arrival of the Commissioners here, will, I hope, be of essential service to our officers. All good men pray most heartily for your health happiness, and success, and none more than your affectionate friend.”