George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Horatio Gates, 2 August 1778

To Major General Horatio Gates

Head Quarters White plains 2d August 1778


I have just received the inclosed from the board of war1—I beg of you to inform me what steps have been taken in consequence of the resolves of the 11th of June last—What troops you had in contemplation for the expedition into the country of the Senecas—What number you conceive adequate to the service—What were your prospects of supplying them with provisions—stores and other necessaries—And with what convenience and readiness the means of transportation can be provided—In a word, I wish for every information that can enlighten my own judgement and enable me to carry the views of Congress into execution, with all possible and practicable dispatch, as the time appointed for the co-operation of General McIntosh is near at hand.2

When you have read the inclosed papers you will please to return them under cover, with your sentiments on the above matters. I am Sir yr most Obt hble servt

Go: Washington

LS, in James McHenry’s writing, NHi: Gates Papers; ADfS, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1See the Board of War to GW, 27 July. On the draft, GW began the next sentence with the clause “As the subject is new to me, and unexpected,” but those words were struck out.

2GW also sought information about the preparations for the expedition from Commissary General of Purchases Jeremiah Wadsworth. His aide Tench Tilghman wrote Wadsworth on this date: “I am commanded by His Excellency to inform you that an Expedition against the Indians is in Agitation. The place of rendezvous will probably be at Albany and from thence up the Mohawk River to Fort schuyler from whence they will proceed to such places as may be deemed most expedient. His Excellency desires to know what Magazines you have already formed, or what you have a certain prospect of forming upon the above communication. What Number of Men are to be employed upon the expedition is not yet determined but they will not be very great. Be pleased to give an answer in writing as soon as you can inform yourself” (DLC:GW).

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