George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General John Stark, 28 September 1778

From Brigadier General John Stark

Head Quarters Albany 28th Sept. 1778

Dear Sir

I wrote you some time since, for your Opinion, whether a post must be kept at Ft Edward, this Winter, or not, so that a Barracks may be prepared, for their Reception, but have had no answer on the Subject, would be glad you would let me know soon, as the Season is Far Advanced, and no Materials Collected for the Purpose.1

there is no pay Master, Arrived at this Plase as yet, and the Troops is Like to Mutinere, for Want of their pay.2

Colo. Butler is at Present with me, & has Undertaken to go to the Unindillo, & Destroy that Banditti of theives & Robbers, in which (I think) he will have Every Preospect of Success, if they can be Properly paid for the Destruction of the German Flats, it will Undoubtedly Settle the Campaign, in this Department.3

I am this Moment, Informed by some Spies Returned from the Unindillo, that the Oneda Indians, has sent a Scout to Harrass the Enemy, that they have Actually fell in with the Reare, of Brants Party, & that out of near Seven Hundred Head of Cattle, & Sheep, they only saved one Hundred, the Rest it is supposed, has fell into the hands of the Onidas. I am Sir your Very Humble Servant

John Stark


1See Stark to GW, 15 September. GW replied to both that letter and Stark’s letter of this date on 8 October. For Philip Schuyler’s views about the need for barracks at Fort Edward, see his letter to Robert Hanson Harrison of 7 Oct., which is quoted in note 1 to Schuyler’s letter to GW of that date.

2The paymaster general, Lt. Col. William Palfrey, wrote GW on an unspecified date in October 1778: “In Consequence of General Stark’s application & your Excelly’s Orders Mr Reed will set out to-morrow for Albany to pay the Troops in that department—I should have sent him sooner but waited the arrival of the Money that he might take a Supply with him.

“I should be glad of your Excellency’s opinion whether General Starks is Consider’d as Commander in a seperate department, and Whether the Warrants for payment are to originate with him, or whether the Troops are to be paid upon Blank Warrants to be hereafter Sign’d by your Excellency—I think the latter Mode will be attended with difficulty and some risque by sending the Vouchers backward & forward; I would willing act upon sure Grounds therefore Should be much oblig’d by receiving your Excellency’s directions in writing—Mr Reed waits upon you for that purpose & to receive your Commands for Albany” (ADf, MH: Palfrey Family Papers).

3For accounts of the burning of German Flats on 17 Sept. by an Indian and Loyalist force, see George Clinton to GW, 20, 24 Sept., and note 1 to both of those documents.

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