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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, 17 July, 1776.
Yesterday evening I was favored with your of the 12th Instt. with its Several Inclosures.
As to the propriety or impropriety of giving up Crown Point, and vacating that post, it is impossible for me to determine. My ignorance of the country, my unacquaintance with its situation, and a variety of circumstances, will not permit me to pronounce any certain opinion upon the subject, or to declare whether it might or could not be maintained against the enemy. I doubt not, that the measure was duly weighed by the general officers in council, and seemed to them best calculated to secure the colonies and prevent the enemy from penetrating into them. However, I cannot but observe,—though I do not mean to encourage in the smallest degree, or to give the least sanction to inferior officers, to set up their opinions against the proceedings and councils of their superiors, knowing the dangerous tendency of such a practice,—that the reasons assigned by the officers in their remonstrance appear to me forcible and of great weight. They coincide with my own ideas. I have ever understood Crown Point to be an important post, and, from its situation, of the utmost consequence to us, especially if we mean to keep the superiority and mastery of the Lake. If it is abandoned by us, it is natural to suppose the enemy will possess it. If they do, and my judgment does not mislead me, any vessels or galleys we employ upon the Lake will certainly be in their rear, and it will not be in our power to bring them down to Ticonderoga, or the post opposite to it, or from thence to have the least communication with them, or the means of granting them succors or supplies of any kind. Perhaps it is intended to employ the galleys only on the communication between the two posts, that of Crown Point and the one now to be established. How far they would there answer our views I cannot tell. As I said before, I have not a sufficient knowledge of the several posts, or the neighboring country, to form an accurate judgment upon the matter, and of consequence do not design any thing I have said by way of direction, trusting that whatever is best to advance the interest of the important struggle we are engaged in will be done.1
I am extremely sorry to have such unfavorable accounts of the condition of the army. Sickness of itself is sufficiently bad; but when discord and disorder are added, greater misfortunes cannot befall it, except that of a defeat. While they prevail there is but little Hopes of Things succeeding well. I must entreat your attention to these matters, and your exertions to introduce more discipline, and to do away the unhappy pernicious distinctions and jealousies between the troops of different governments. Enjoin this upon the officers, and let them inculcate, and press home to the soldiery, the necessity of order and harmony among them, who are embarked in one common cause, and mutually contending for all that freemen hold dear. I am persuaded, if the officers will but exert themselves, that these animosities and disorders will in a great measure subside; and nothing being more essential to the service, than that it should, I am hopefull nothing on their part will be wanting to effect it.1
The scarcity of provision which you mention, surprises me much. I had hoped, that an ample and competent supply, for a considerable time, was now in Store, nor can I but believe, the most lavish & extravagant Waste has been made of it. Not longer than three or four Days ago, & just after the two Men of War & Tenders passed by, as mentioned in my last, the situation of the northern Army in Respect to this article, occurred to my Mind, & induced an Inquiry after the Commissary about it, being certain the Water communication with Albany would be entirely cut off, & was happy to find from him, that the supplies he had forwarded with such a Proportion of Fresh Meat as could be procured, would be fully sufficient for 10,000 Men for four Months. This I informed Congress of, as a most fortunate Event. To be told now, that there is none, or next to none, is so contrary to what I expected that I am filled with Wonder and Astonishment. I have informed the Commissary of it, who is equally surprised, & must request, as our Navigation is so circumstanced that you will direct those whose Business it is, to use every possible Means, to provide such supplies as may be necessary, & that proper attention be paid to the Expenditure, or it will be impossible ever to subsist that Army.
As to intrenching Tools, I have from Time to Time forwarded all that can possibly be spared.
I have directed the Quarter Master, to send such Things contained in your List, as can be had & may be transported by Land. The greatest Part it would be difficult to procure & if they could be had, it would be attended with immense Trouble & Expence to forward them. I must, therefore, entreat your utmost Diligence and Inquiry to get them, & not only them but every necessary you want wherever they may be had. The Water Intercourse being now at an End, but few supplies can be expected from hence, & I make not the least Doubt, if active proper Persons are employed, in many Instances you will be able to obtain such Articles as you stand in Need of. I am under the necessity of doing so here, and by much Pains and Industry have procured many Necessaries.
As for the Articles wanted for the Gondolas, I should suppose many of them may be purchased of the Proprietors of Crafts about Albany, & of Persons who have vessels there, by allowing them a good Price. The Communication by Water being now stop’d they cannot employ them, & I presume may be prevailed on to part with most of their Tackle for a good Consideration.
I transmitted Congress a copy of your Letter and of its several Inclosures, & recommended to their particular attention, the Resolution No. 6, for raising six companies to guard the Frontiers, & the high Price of Goods furnished the soldiery, & that some Measures might be taken thereon.
There is a Resolve of Congress against officers holding double Commissions, & of long standing, none are allowed it except Adjutants & Quarter Masters. They generally are, also first or second Lieutenants. In this Army there is no Instance of double offices, but in the cases I mention.
The Carpenters from Philadelphia, unfortunately had not Time to get their Tools &c. on Board a Craft here before the Men-of-War got up. They set out by Land next Day, and I suppose will be at Albany in the course of this Week, as also two Companies from Connecticut.
I have enquired of Mr. Hughes, & find that the six Anchors & Cables were on Board Capn. Peter Post’s Vessel belonging to Esopus; who, upon the first appearance of the Fleet coming above the Narrows, went off without taking the necessaries brought by Captain Douw. Mr. Hughes says, Captain Douw who brought you the Lead, had Orders to get them.
I have inclosed you a List of the naval articles the Qr. Master expects to obtain & send from hence, which will evince the Necessity of your Exertions to get the Rest elsewhere. Many of the articles, I should suppose may be made at Albany & within the neighborhood of it.
I am in hopes, in consequence of your application, the different governments will take some steps for apprehending deserters. It is a growing evil, and I wish it may be remedied. From the northern army they have been extremely numerous, and they should most certainly be returned if they can be found. How far the mode suggested by you may answer, the event will show; but I am doubtful whether many will return of themselves.
I fancy a Part of your Letter was omitted to be sent. When you come to speak of Deserters, what I have on the subject begins a new sheet and seems to suppose something preceding about them. After requesting Mr. Hughes to be spoke to about the Anchors, &c., the next page begins “unanimously agreed that I should write &c.”
You will perceive by the enclosed Resolve, Congress mean to raise the Garrison for Presque Isle, &c., in the counties of Westmoreland & Bedford in Pennsylvania. I am, Sir, &c.
July 18th, 10 o’clock, ante Meridien.
P. S. I have this minute spoke to Mr. Trumbull again about Provisions, & pressed his most vigorous Exertions; I believe he is determined to leave nothing undone on his Part, & has already sent off some Persons upon the Business, of which I suppose he will inform you or Mr. Livingston.1
[1 ]In a council of officers, consisting of Schuyler, Gates, Sullivan, Arnold, and Woedtke, convened at Crown Point, July 7th, it was resolved, that the post was not tenable, and that the army should retire to the strong ground opposite Ticonderoga, afterwards called Mount Independence. A remonstrance against this decision was drawn up, and signed by twenty-one of the inferior officers, at the head of whom were Colonels Stark, Poor, and Maxwell.
[1 ]Schuyler had written: “The most descriptive pen cannot describe the condition of our army. Sickness, disorder, and discord reign triumphant—the latter occasioned by our illiberal and destructive jealousy which unhappily subsists between the troops raised in different colonies.” See Journals of Congress, 19 July, 1776.
[1 ]“Although the General is very sensible that the great fatigue duty of this Army (which he is highly pleased to see the officers and men go through with so much cheerfulness and zeal) does not allow much time for manœuv’ring and exercising the troops; yet it is a matter of so much consequence to have them as well practised as time and circumstances will admit; that he earnestly recommends it to the Brigadiers, Colonels or commanding officers of Regiments to take time for that purpose, and particularly to have the men instructed and practise, the Evolutions, Manœuv’ring and as much of the Manual Exercise, as respects loading, and firing, not only with quickness but calmness.