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,Ramapo, 24 July, 1777.
Your two favors of the 21st and 22d instant with their enclosures are come to hand. I am sorry to find, that you have not yet been joined by a larger number of Militia, and that it has been found necessary to dismiss a part even of those, that have come to your assistance, though their presence is at this time so urgently wanted. I am in hopes, however, that your situation will soon be far more respectable; as I cannot but think the Eastern States, who are so intimately concerned in the matter, will exert themselves to throw in effectual succors to enable you to check the progress of the enemy, and repel a danger, with which they are so immediately threatened.
I informed you in a letter of the 23d that I had ordered a further reinforcement in General Glover’s Brigade to be dispatched to you. This is all the aid in Continental troops that I can possibly afford you in the present state of affairs, which you will be sensible is the case, if you will endeavor to form an idea of my strength from a consideration of that of the two Brigades which have been sent to re-inforce you.—You may make a tolerably exact estimate from them of the force I have to oppose the enemy’s main army, and you will plainly perceive that I cannot with the least propriety render it less, however strong my inclination to put you upon the footing you desire.
You seem to apprehend that the Artillery sent up to you will be useless, for the want of a sufficient number of hands to manage them; but I see no reason to imagine this will be the case, as by your last return, including non-commissioned officers you will have nearly twelve men to each piece, which are as many as we make use of here, and are sufficient for the purpose.—
Not more than six Artillerists are required to load and fire a piece in action and you will have six others to each to make good any loss that may happen.—For the dragg-ropes and for any thing else, besides loading and firing, active men drafted from the batalions will answer extremely well;—and a very few days are necessary if diligence is used, to make men, tolerably intelligent, capable of performing every part of the duty of a private Artillerist.—
The information of the prisoners and others, transmitted by you, does not make the numbers of the enemy to exceed the idea first entertained of them, nor do I see any thing in it to induce a belief, that their progress will be so rapid, as not to give you time to make proper preparations and receive sufficient accessions of force to enable you to give them a vigorous and successful opposition. They do not appear to be much more than five thousand strong, and seem to be unprovided with wagons to transport the immense quantity of baggage and warlike apparatus, without which they cannot pretend to penetrate the country. You mention their having a great number of horses; but they will nevertheless require a considerable number of wagons, for there are a great many things that cannot be transported on horses. As they can never think of advancing, without securing their rear by leaving garrisons in the fortresses behind, the force with which they can come against you will be greatly reduced by the detachments necessary for the purpose.1 And as they have to cut out their road, and remove the impediments you have put in the way, this circumstance, with the incumbrance they must feel in their baggage, stores, etc., will inevitably retard their march a considerable time, and give you leisure and opportunity to prepare a good reception for them. If they continue to act in detachments, you will have it in your power to improve it to very great advantage, by falling vigorously upon some one of them with your whole force, which, if you are fortunate enough to succeed in, will be fatal to them.
I have directed General Lincoln to repair to you as speedily as the state of his health, which is not very perfect, will permit him. This gentleman has always supported the character of a judicious, brave, active officer, and as he is exceedingly popular and much respected in the State of Massachusetts, to which he belongs, he will have a degree of influence over the militia, which cannot fail being very advantageous. I have destined him more particularly to the command of them, and I promise myself it will have a powerful tendency to make them turn out with more cheerfulness, and to inspire them with perseverance to remain in the field, and fortitude and spirit to do their duty while in it. The confidence they have in him will certainly go a great way towards producing these desirable ends. You intimate the propriety of having a body of men stationed somewhere about the Grants. The expediency of such a measure appears to me evident; for it would certainly make General Burgoyne very circumspect in his advances, if it did not totally prevent them. It would keep him in continual anxiety for his rear, and oblige him to leave the posts behind him much stronger than he would otherwise do, and would answer many other valuable purposes. General Lincoln could not be more serviceable, than in the command of this body, and no person could be more proper for it than him.
From the view I have of the matter, I should also think it necessary to send General Arnold, or some other sensible, spirited officer to Fort Schuyler, to take care of that post, keep up the spirits of the inhabitants, and cultivate and improve the favorable disposition of the Indians. This is recommended on the supposition, that any thing formidable should appear on that quarter. I am, dear Sir, &c.
[1 ]The truth of this position is demonstrated by the letters of Burgoyne to Carleton. Burgoyne asked for a garrison for Ticonderoga from Canada, that the troops he had left there might be available for the campaign. “My communications will widen so much as I proceed, the drain upon the army for posts will be so considerable, not to speak of detachments and safeguards to protect and to awe the country, that if that first diminution is not replaced, my effective strength may become inadequate to the service intended.” 11 July, 1777. Carleton, being confined to Canada by positive instructions, declined to accede to this request, though admitting its force; and Burgoyne, while deploring from a military view this strict construction of orders, confessed that Carleton was justified in his decision. 29 July, 1777.