George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Horatio Gates, 28 August 1777

From Major General Horatio Gates

Head Quarters Van Schaack’s Island [N.Y.]
28th Augst 1777.


This Instant I had the Honour to receive Your Excellency’s Letter of the 20th of this Month, the First that has come to my Hands—Inclosed I have the Pleasure to send you a Copy of a Letter, I received last Night from General Arnold, which I am confident will afford infinite Satisfaction to Your Excellency, as the Disgraceful Retreat of the Enemy from Fort Stanwix, must entirely destroy their wish’d for Influence over the Western Nations of Indians1—An Advantage to our Cause, which I hope Congress will improve to the utmost—Neither the Riflemen, nor more than 400 of the Militia, have yet arrived, I conclude the late Northerly Winds, have delay’d Col. Morgan in the River, the first Change will doubtless bring him to Albany—What Pity it is Your Excellency could not have been informed of the great Delay of General Howes Operations, as in that Case, New York must inevitably have fallen into your Hands. I am, Sir Your Excellencys most Obedient Humble Servant

Horatio Gates

LS, DLC:GW; copy, in Gates’s writing, NHi: Gates Papers.

1Benedict Arnold’s letter to Gates, written from Fort Schuyler, N.Y., at 10:00 P.M. on 24 Aug., reads in part: “I wrote you yesterday, that the Enemy had retreated from this Place; at 5 oClock this Evening, by a forced march of twenty two Miles, thro a thick Wood, I reached this Place, in expectation of harrassing the Enemy in their Retreat, Colonel Gansevoort had anticipated my Design, by sending out a small Party, who brought in four Royals, and a considerable Quantity of Baggage, with a Number of Prisoners & Deserters, The Enemy went off with the greatest precipitation, leaving their Tents standing, their Provisions, Ammunition, &c. &c. which have fallen into our Hands” (DLC:GW).

Gates apparently also enclosed a copy of the letter that John Glover wrote him on 26 Aug., conveying intelligence provided by a British deserter about the dispositions of General Burgoyne’s forces and the casualties they had suffered at Hubbardton and Bennington (DLC:GW).

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