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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).
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TO MAJOR-GENERAL SCHUYLER.
New York, 24 June, 1776
On the 20 Inst. I received your two favors of the 15th & 17th by Bennet, and yesterday evening that of the 19 continued to the 20th, with Genl. Sullivan’s Letter and return, and the several Copies you Inclosed. The accounts transmitted by General Sullivan are truly alarming, and I confess I am not without apprehension lest the next advices should be, that the unfortunate defeat and taking of General Thompson have been succeeded by an event still more unfortunate, the destruction of a large part if not the whole of our army in that quarter. The weak, divided, and disheartened state, in which General Sullivan represents it to be, does not seem to promise any thing much more favorable, and is what General Arnold appears to be suspicious of. From the whole of the accounts, supposing the facts all true, there was nothing left to prevent their ruin, but a retreat.1 That, I hope, has been made, as the only means of saving themselves, and rendering their country the least service.
By reason of the succession of ills, that has attended us there of late, and this last one, I fear we must give up all hopes of possessing that country, of such importance in the present controversy, and that our views and utmost exertions must be turned to prevent the incursions of the enemy into our colonies. To this end, I must pray your strictest attention, and request that you will use all the means in your power to fortify and secure every post and place of importance on the communication. You are as much impressed with the necessity of the measure, as any man can be; and with confidence I trust, that nothing you can do will be wanting to effect it. If the troops have retreated, they will in a little time, I am hope-full, complete such works on the passes, as to bid defiance to the most vigorous efforts of the enemy to penetrate our country; especially when you are assisted by the militia, who most probably are on their march ere now. Had this unfortunate defeat not happened, the militia were designed, not only to reinforce the army in Canada, but to keep up the communication with that province, as you will see by recurring to the resolve directing them to be employed.1
Major-General Gates, whom Congress had appointed to command after General Thomas’s death, will set out to-morrow and take with him one hundred Barrells of powder out of which the supplies necessary for the different posts must be drawn.
I have also directed Col. Knox to send up the Cannon you wrote for, if they can be possibly spared from hence, with some artillerists, &c, a proper quantity of Ball and other necessaries for them, and will in every instance afford you all the assistance I can. At the same time I wish if there are any Cannon at Ticonderoga, or other necessaries there or elsewhere, that you may want and which can be spared for any other post or purpose, that you would get them in preference to any here, as the number we have is not more [than] sufficient for the extensive and important works necessary to be maintained for the defence of this place.
In respect to the proceedings of the Commissioners for raising two companies of the Mohekans or and Connecticut Indians, they appear to me not to answer the views of Congress, as I presume they live within the Government of Connecticut and are to be considered in the same light with its Inhabitants; and that their design was extended to those who were not livers among us, and were of Hostile character or doubtfull friendship. But in this I may be mistaken and there may be a necessity of engaging those you have to secure their Interest.
As to your doubts about the Officer Commanding in Canada, his right to punish capitally, I should suppose that necessity, independent of any thing else, would Justify the exercise of such an authority; but Congress having determined, that the Commanding officer there should inflict exemplary punishmt on those who violate the military regulations established by them has put the matter out of question and I apprehend every Commander there has such power and of right may and should exercise it.
As Colonel Parsons has requested you to send down the person, who is supposed to have murdered his brother, I have no objection to your doing it, if you judge necessary. He, from what I have been told, designs to apply to Congress for instituting some mode of trial for the offence.
I am, dear Sir, your most obedient servant.
[1 ]Arnold’s letter to Sullivan is printed in Force, American Archives, Fourth Series, vi., 796.
[1 ]Mr. Hawley pressed this subject in his letters of 21st and 27th of June: