George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General William Thompson, 27 April 1776

From Brigadier General William Thompson

Albany 27th Apr: 1776.


I arrived here on Thursday, and the whole party got up yesterday—Col. Greaton’s Regiment march’d Yesterday, and I have ordered Col. Patterson’s to follow him to day, Bond’s Tomorrow, and Poor’s on Monday, but as there are not more Boats than will transport the Baggage of one Regiment at a time, and those Boats can’t go to the half moon and return the same day, I am apprehensive that I shall not be able to march more than one Regiment in two days.1

I passed Fort Montgomery in the Night and had not an opportunity of viewing it, but from what I can learn it would be proper to send an Engineer there, to see how the works are laid out and the plan executed.

Col. Baldwin writes your Excellency concerning intrenching Tools, and Capn Badlam writes to General Gates about Artillery Men &c.—The Bearer Capn Van Buren will immediately proceed to this place with such articles as you may think proper to order for Canada, and I beleive every thing they have mentioned is very much wanted.2

As soon as Col. Patterson’s Regiment marches from hence, I shall go to the Half Moon and see that Carriages are provided to forward the Troops from that Place, and shall take every method in my power to reach Quebec as soon as possible, tho’ from the many carrying places and embarkations I am doubtful whether we shall arrive in less than three weeks.

I have not heard any Intelligence from Canada that can be depended on, but beleive if I can get to Quebec with my party, before Gen. Carleton receives reinforcements all will be well.

I understand that Cash is much wanted and pork very scarce to the Northward. I hope a sufficient Quantity of both will be sent us.

Dr Adams of the 8th Regiment, having resign’d, Col. Poor requests Mr Wm Parker may be appointed in his stead if agreable to your Excellency.3 I am Yr Excellency’s Most obedient Hble Servant

Wm Thompson


1The previous Thursday was 25 April, and the following Monday was 29 April. Half Moon was on the Mohawk River near its junction with the Hudson about ten miles north of Albany.

2Lt. Col. Jeduthan Baldwin was one of two engineers accompanying Thompson’s reinforcements from New York City to Canada, and Capt. Stephen Badlam, who had been detached from Knox’s artillery regiment in January 1776 to assist in the defense of New York City, was on his way north with Thompson to rejoin his artillery company which was marching to Canada from Cambridge (see Charles Lee to GW, 14 Feb. 1776, and Schuyler to GW, this date). Baldwin’s letter to GW concerning entrenching tools has not been identified. Badlam wrote Gates on 26 April informing him that he had learned from some officers recently arrived at Albany from the American camp near Quebec that no reliance could be placed on ordnance and ordnance stores there other than what was being sent from Cambridge and New York. “A Small Quantity of Langrage, & Some other Small Articles may be Collected here” in Albany, Badlam reported, “but nothing of Consequence, I therefore take liberty to Request your Honour to Send forward as Large a Quantity of Artilery and Stores As can be Spared from New York, or the places where they can be Soonest Collected; or as Shall be thought Necessary with what has ben Sent to Carry on A Siege at Quebeck” (NNGL: Knox Papers). Captain Van Buren (Van Beuren) was probably an officer in the Albany County militia.

3Caleb Greenleaf Adams of Exeter, N.H., was replaced as surgeon of Col. Enoch Poor’s 8th Continental Regiment by William Parker (d. 1796) of Exeter, who had previously been a surgeon’s mate in the regiment. Parker resigned from the army in November 1778.

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