Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO MAJOR-GENERAL SCHUYLER. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. V (1776-1777)
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TO MAJOR-GENERAL SCHUYLER. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. V (1776-1777) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890). Vol. V (1776-1777).
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TO MAJOR-GENERAL SCHUYLER.
Head Quarters,Middle Brook, 20 June, 1777.
I am favd. with yours of the 16th Instant from Fort Edward but that of the 14th from Saratoga to wh. you refer has not come to hand.
Supposing the plan mentioned in Amsbury’s evidence to be true, I cannot conceive that it will be in the power of the Enemy to carry it into Execution; but, to provide against all Events, I have ordered Genl. Putnam to hold four Massachusetts Regiments in readiness at Peekskill, to go up the River at a moment’s warning, and to order Sloops from Albany, which are to be kept for that purpose.2 It does not appear that Burgoyne has brought any Reinforcements from Europe. If so, he cannot move with a greater force than five thousand men. He certainly will never leave the Garrison of Ticonderoga in his rear; and, if he invests it to any purpose, he will not have a sufficient Number left to send one Body from Oswego and another to cut off the communication between Fort Edward and Fort George. As the Garrison at Ticonderoga is sufficient to hold it against any attack, I do not think it politic, under your representation of the scarcity of provisions, to send up Troops to consume what ought to be thrown into the fort. Those Troops held ready by Genl. Putnam can always, upon a certainty of the Enemy’s intention to pass by Ticonderoga with the whole or part of their force, be up time enough with the assistance of the militia to give them a check, as their march cannot be a very rapid one. * * *
I draw a very favorable omen from the intercepted letter to Genl. Sullivan. It shows that they despair of carrying their Schemes by force, and are reduced to the necessity of having recourse to the arts of Flattery, Bribery, and intimidation. The General is not at this post; I therefore cannot say how far it may be agreeable to him, for you to carry on the Correspondence in his name. If your letter has not gone, you had better wait for his concurrence, for it is a delicate matter.1
* * * * * *
Since I began this letter, yours of the 14th came to hand, the Contents of which are fully answered by what I have before written. I shall immediately forward the letter to Congress. It is evident from Genl St. Clair’s letter, that it will not be proper to order up the reinforcement before it is really wanted; for he very judiciously observes, that they will consume the Stores. I shall desire Genl. Sullivan to inform me whether he knows such a man as Robt. Shannon and what is his character. I cannot conceive what occasions the delay of the Massachusetts and New Hampshire Continental Troops; I have repeatedly wrote to them, in the most pressing manner, to have them sent on, but in vain. I however hope that your Representations, as you are on the Spot, will have a better effect. * * *
[2 ]A person by the name of Amsbury had been taken up by General St. Clair as a spy from Canada, brought before General Schuyler at Saratoga, and examined. He stated, that the British forces were approaching St. John’s, and were to advance under General Burgoyne; and also that a detachment of British troops, Canadians, and Indians was to penetrate the country by way of the Mohawk River. He added other particulars, respecting the strength and arrangements of the British army, which turned out to be nearly accurate, but of which no intelligence had before been obtained or anticipated; for it had been a favorite idea with Congress and the Commander-in-chief, that the British would not operate in force from Canada during the present campaign, but that the troops would be chiefly brought round by water to reinforce General Howe. Hence the small preparations for the defence of Ticonderoga, and for forming a northern army.
[1 ]Amsbury the spy told General Schuyler, in the course of his examination, that, before he left Montreal, a certain Judge Levius gave to him a canteen, with directions to put it into the hands of General Sullivan, whom he supposed to command at Ticonderoga, and to request General Sullivan to remove a false bottom in the canteen, under which he would find a letter. The canteen had been accidentally left by Amsbury at Fort George; but it was sent for, and brought to General Schuyler, who found the letter concealed in the manner described, and written, Amsbury said, by one Michael Shannon. He enclosed it to General Washington, by whom it was forwarded to General Sullivan. The letter was a shallow contrivance to try the fidelity and patriotism of an American general.