Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO MAJOR-GENERAL GATES. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. IV (1776)
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TO MAJOR-GENERAL GATES. - 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.
New York, 14 August, 1776.
I yesterday morning received your letter by Bennet, the express, and am extremely sorry to find, that the army is still in a sickly and melancholy state. The precaution taken to halt the reinforcements at Skenesborough, which are destined for your succor, is certainly prudent. They should not be exposed or made liable to the calamities already too prevailing, unless in cases of extreme necessity. Dr. Stringer has been here, with Dr. Morgan, and is now at Philadelphia. I trust he will obtain some necessary supplies of medicines, which will enable him, under the smiles of Providence, to relieve your distresses in some degree. By a letter from General Ward, two regiments, Whitcomb’s and Phinny’s, were to march to your aid last week. They have happily had the small-pox, and will not be subject to the fatal consequences attending that disorder. I am glad to hear, that the vessels for the Lakes are going on with such industry. Maintaining the superiority over the water is certainly of infinite importance. I trust neither courage nor activity will be wanting in these, to whom the business is committed. If assigned to General Arnold, none will doubt of his exertions.
In answer to those parts of your letter, which so highly resent the conduct of the general officers here, I would observe, Sir, that you are under a mistake, when you suppose a council of officers had sat upon those, who composed the board at Crown Point. When intelligence was first brought, that the post was evacuated, it spread a general alarm, and occasioned much anxiety, to all who heard it, as it was almost universally believed, that it was a post of the last importance, and the only one to give us, in conjunction with our naval force, a superiority over the Lake, and for preventing the enemy’s penetrating into this and the eastern governments. As this matter was occasionally mentioned, the general officers, some from their own knowledge, and others from the opinion they had formed, expressed themselves to that effect, as did all I heard speak upon the subject. Added to this, the remonstrance of the officers, transmitted by General Schuyler at the same time the account was brought, did not contribute a little to authorize the opinion which was generally entertained. They surely seemed to have some reasons in their support, though it was not meant to give the least encouragement or sanction to proceedings of such a nature. Upon the whole, no event that I have been informed of for a long time, produced a more general chagrin and consternation. But yet there was no council called upon the occasion, nor court of inquiry, nor court-martial, as has been suggested by some. I will not take up more time upon the subject, nor make it a matter of further discussion, not doubting but those, who determined that the post ought to be abandoned, conceived it would promote the interest of the great cause we are engaged in, the others have differed from them. By the by, I wish your description perfectly corresponded with the real circumstances of this army. You will have heard before this comes to hand, most probably of the arrival of Clinton and his army from the southward. They are now at Staten Island, as are the whole or the greatest part of the Hessian and foreign troops. Since Monday, ninety-six ships came in, which we are informed is the last division of Howe’s fleet, which touched at Halifax, and by a deserter are not to land their troops. We are in daily expectation, that they will make their attack, all their movements, and the advices we have, indicating that they are on the point of it. I am, dear Sir, &c.1
[1 ]“I take the liberty of mentioning that Colo. Varnum of Rhode Island has been with me this morning to resign his commission, conceiving himself to be greatly injured in not having been noticed in the late arrangement and promotion of General officers. I remonstrated against the impropriety of the measure at this time and he has consented to stay till affairs wear a different aspect than what they do at present.”—Washington to the President of Congress, 14 August, 1776.