Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO MAJOR-GENERAL SCHUYLER. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. IV (1776)
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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.
Head-Quarters, Valentine’s Hill,
From my remote situation, and my ignorance of the country in which the army under your command to the northward is to act, it is impossible for me to give my peremptory orders, or scarcely my opinion, as to the direction of matters in your quarter. I am confident your own good sense, zeal and activity will suggest to you the most probable means of making amends for the heavy loss we have sustained by the destruction of General Arnold’s fleet upon Lake Champlain; but my experience of the many evils attending the calling in of a body of raw militia obliges me to give you my sentiments upon that head, and to tell you, that I fear they will render you more disservice than any real good. From their want of every camp necessary, when they join a regular army, they commit an intolerable waste of stores, which once put into their hands can scarcely be regained, and are so much dead loss to the public; and for want of regularity in their drafts of ammunition, provision, and other necessaries, they consume much more than it is convenient to spare from a garrison even near a source of supplies, much less from one at such a distance, that it requires every exertion to keep up the magazines in the best of times.
I have been informed, that Ticonderoga, properly garrisoned and supplied with provision and ammunition, is almost impregnable, even at a season of the year when an army can lie before it with the greatest conveniency. If so, instead of calling up a number of useless hands and mouths, for such I deem the militia generally, I would advise the collecting of as much provision as can possibly be got together, which, if sufficient for nine thousand effective men, of which number your army consisted by General Arnold’s letter, I should imagine you could keep Burgoyne and Carleton at bay, till the rigor of the season would oblige them to raise the siege, not only from want of conveniences to keep the field, but from the fear that the freezing of the Lake would make their return impracticable in case of accident. I would recommend the removal of carriages and draft-cattle of all kinds from the country adjacent, that, if they should attempt to slip by Ticonderoga, by any other route, and come down upon the settlements, the plan should be rendered abortive for want of the means of conveyance for their baggage and stores. I am unacquainted with the extent of your works, and consequently ignorant of the number of men necessary to man them. If your present numbers should be insufficient for that purpose, I would then by all means advise your making up the deficiency out of the best regulated militia that can be got. Some might likewise be useful in bringing up supplies, and fill the places of men, who would render more service with arms in their hands. You will always be kind enough to bear in mind, that I am giving my opinion, not issuing my orders. The vexation I have experienced from the humors and intolerable caprice of militia, at a critical time, makes me feel sensibly for the officer who is to depend on them in the day of trial.1 Upon the whole, I beg you may not be influenced by any thing I have thrown out. You have had experience of the temper of the people, who will probably march to your assistance, and therefore know whether they differ in character from those, who have reinforced the army under my command. In full confidence that you will do what seems best to your judgment, I submit the matter entirely to you, esteeming myself happy if any hints of mine should be serviceable to you. I am, &c.
end of vol. iv.
[1 ]“Upon the due regulation and management of the Waggons, the health and safety of the Army entirely depends, and it will be impossible for the Quarter-Master-General to have any regularity, if officers of the Army undertake to seize Waggons, and compel them to go where they please. The General therefore absolutely forbids any officer, or Soldier, taking a Waggon by his own Authority, and more especially stopping them, when sent on other services, as it is easy to see that the greatest confusion must in that case ensue—When teams are wanted application must be made to the Quarter-Master-General or his Deputy, and every Brigade, or Regiment, must wait till the service adjusts their having them in that channel. The commanding officers of regiments are also required to appoint some spirited, resolute officer, to attend the loading of the Waggons, and prevent their being filled with lumber and improper articles. Tents, and the proper Baggage of the Regiment are only to be put into the Waggons; all others must be left behind; and the General calls upon the General officers, and the Commanding officers of regiments, to set an example to the Soldiers.”—Orderly Book, 26 October, 1776.