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TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. - 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 THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.
New York, 17 July, 1776.
I was this morning honored with yours of the 15th Instt. with sundry resolves. I perceive the measures Congress have taken to expedite the raising of the Flying Camp and providing it with articles of the greatest use. You will see by a post script to my Letter of the 14th I had wrote to the Commanding Officer of the Pensylvania Militia, ordering them to be marched from Trenton to Amboy, as their remaining there could not answer the least public good. For having consulted with sundry Gentn I was Informed, if the Enemy mean to direct their views towards Pensylvania or penetrate the Jerseys, their Route will be from near Amboy and either by way of Brunswic or Bound Brook. The lower road from South Amboy being thro’ a Woody sandy country. Besides they will then be able to throw in succor here, & to receive it from hence in cases of emergency.
The Connecticut light-horse, mentioned in my letter of the 11th, notwithstanding their then promise to continue here for the defence of this place, are now discharged, and about to return home, having peremptorily refused all kind of fatigue duty, or even to mount guard, claiming an exemption as troopers. Though their assistance is much needed, and might be of essential service in case of an attack, yet I judged it advisable, on their application and claim of such indulgences, to discharge them; as granting them would set an example to others, and might produce many ill consequences.
The number of men Included in the last return by this, is lessend about 500.
I last night received a Letter from Genl Schuyler with several Inclosures, Copies of which I have herewith transmitted. They will give Congress every Information I have respecting our Northern Army, and the situation of our affairs in that Quarter to which I beg leave to refer their attention. I cannot but express surprize at the scarcity of provisions which Genl Schuyler mentions, after what the Commissary assured me & which formed a part of my Letter of the 14th he still assures of the same. This is a distressing circumstance as every article of provision and every thing necessary for that Department can have no other now than a Land conveyance, the Water communication from hence to Albany being entirely cut off. Congress will please to consider the Inclosure No. 6 about raising Six Companies out of the Inhabitants about the Lakes to prevent the Incursions of the Indians. The Genl Officers in their Minutes of Council have determined it a matter of much Importance, and their attention to the price of Goods furnished the soldiery may be extremely necessary, they have complained much upon this head.
The retreat from Crown Point seems to be considered in opposite views by the general and field officers. The former, I am satisfied, have weighed the matter well; and yet the reasons assigned by the latter against it appear strong and forcible. I hope whatever is done will be for the best.
I was apprehensive the appointment of General Gates over General Sullivan would give the latter disgust. His letter, which I transmitted to Congress, seemed to warrant the suspicion. He is not arrived yet; when he does, I shall try to settle the affair with him and prevail on him to continue, as I think his resignation will take from the service a useful and good officer.1
By a letter from the Committee of Orange County received this morning the Men-of-War & Tenders were yesterday at Haverstraw Bay about Forty miles above this. A number of men in four Barges from the Tenders attempted to land with a view they suppose, of taking some sheep & Cattle that had been previously removed. A small number of Militia that was collected, obliged ’em to retreat without their doing any damage with their Cannon, they were sounding the Water up towards the Highlands, by which it is probable they will attempt to pass with part of the Fleet if possible.
Yesterday evening a flag came from General Howe with a letter addressed to “George Washington, Esq., &c., &c., &c.” It was not received, on the same principle that the one from Lord Howe was refused.2 I have the honor to be, &c.1
[1 ]General Gates was at first appointed adjutant-general with the rank of brigadier. At the same time General Sullivan was appointed brigadier in the line of the army, which seems to have been considered a superior rank; and Gates had recently been promoted over Sullivan to the rank of major-general. The latter wrote on the subject from Crown Point to General Schuyler as follows:—“I ever was desirous, that some officer superior in rank should relieve me from this disagreeable command, and should with pleasure have remained in the army and served under him; but, Congress having thought proper to supersede me by appointing General Gates, who had not, by the rank they were pleased formerly to confer upon us, the same pretensions as myself, I can construe this in no other light, than to suppose Congress were apprehensive that I was not equal to the trust they were pleased to repose in me. If this be the case, I am bound in justice to my country to relinquish a command to which I am not equal. If this was not the foundation, and they had not such an opinion of me, surely my honor calls upon me to leave the service, after a person is put over me without any impeachment of my conduct.”—MS. Letter, July 6th. General Sullivan went to Philadelphia, and tendered to the Congress his resignation; but after the reasons for promoting General Gates were explained to him by the President, he asked leave to withdraw his application to resign, which was granted, and he continued in the army.
[2 ]“New York, July 18th. On Sunday afternoon a barge from the fleet appeared in our bay, with a white flag, which was there met by the General’s barge with several gentlemen of the army on board. The flag was sent from Lord Howe, with a letter to his Excellency General Washington. But as the letter was improperly directed it was not received, though much solicited by the officer, who we hear said it contained nothing of a hostile nature—that Lord Howe came over possessed of unlimited power, and was much concerned he had not arrived a few days sooner, which would have effected a reconciliation &c. However, it seems his unlimited power did not extend even to the necessary preliminaries of a negociation—an acknowledgment of the right of the persons to whom he came, to treat with him.
[1 ]Read July 18th, and referred to the Board of War.