Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO MAJOR-GENERAL SCHUYLER. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. V (1776-1777)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
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).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
TO MAJOR-GENERAL SCHUYLER.
Eleven Miles in theClove, 22 July, 1777.
I yesterday evening received the favor of your Letters of the 17th & 18th Inst. with their Inclosures. I am heartily glad you have found two such advantageous spots to take post at, and I hope the progress of the enemy will not be so rapid, as to prevent your throwing up such lines, as you may esteem necessary for their defence.1 Though our affairs, for some days past, have worn a dark and gloomy aspect, I yet look forward to a fortunate and happy change. I trust General Burgoyne’s army will meet sooner or later an effectual check, and, as I suggested before, that the success he has had will precipitate his Ruin. From your accounts he appears to be pursuing that line of conduct, which of all others is most favorable to us; I mean acting in Detachment. This conduct will certainly give room for Enterprise on our part, and expose his parties to great hazard. Could we be so happy, as to cut one of them off, supposing it should not exceed four, five, or six hundred men, it would inspirit the people and do away much of their present anxiety. In such an Event, they would lose sight of past misfortunes, and, urged at the same time by a regard for their own security, they would fly to arms and afford every aid in their power.
Your exertions to bring the people to view things in their proper light, to impress them with a just sense of the fatal consequences, that will result to themselves, their wives, their children, and their country from their taking a wrong part, and for preventing Toryism, cannot be too great. General Burgoyne, I have no doubt, will practise every art, which his Invention shall point out, to turn their minds and seduce them from their allegiance. He should be counteracted as much as possible, as it is of the last importance to keep them firm and steady in their attachments. You have already given your attention to this matter, and I am persuaded you will omit nothing in your power to effect these great and essential points. Stopping the roads and ordering the cattle to be removed were certainly right and judicious. If they are well accomplished, the enemy must be greatly retarded and distressed. I hope before this you have received the supplies of Ammunition mentioned in my late Letters. I fully expected too that the Camp Kettles which I ordered from hence on your first application had reached you, till yesterday, when I found on enquiry that the Qr. Master by some accident did not send ’em before three or four days ago.
There will be no occasion to transmit to Congress a copy of your observations, suggesting the necessity of evacuating Fort George. The gentlemen, who mentioned the holding of that post, had taken up an idea, that it was defensible with the assistance of the vessels on the Lake, which were supposed to be better equipped; and what gave countenance to the idea was, that the Bastion was erected under the direction and superintendence of British engineers, and was intended as part of a very large, strong, and extensive work. I thought it expedient to submit the matter to your further consideration, wishing you at the same time to pursue such measures respecting it, as your own judgment should advise and direct.
I could heartily wish Harmony and a good understanding to prevail through the whole army, and between the army and the people. The times are critical, big with important events; they demand our most vigorous efferts, and, unless a happy agreement subsists, they will be feeble and ineffectual. The Enemies of America have cultivated nothing with greater or with so much industry, as to sow division and jealousy amongst us. I cannot give you any certain account of General Howe’s intended Operations. His conduct is puzzling and embarasssing beyond measure; so are the informations which I got. At one time the ships are standing up towards the North River; in a little while they are going up the Sound; and in an Hour after they are going out of the Hook. I think in a day or two we must know something of his Intentions. I am, &c.
P. S. It will not be advisable to repose too much confidence in the works you are about to erect, and from thence to collect a large Quantity of Stores. I begin to consider lines as a kind of Trap, and as not answering the valuable purposes expected from ’em, unless they are on passes that cannot be avoided by an enemy.
[1 ]Kosciuszko, the principal engineer in the Northern Department, had selected a position on Moses Creek, four miles below Fort Edward, to which the army removed on the 22d of July.