To Brigadier General Edward Hand
[Fredericksburg, 19 October 1778]
You are forthwith to proceed to Albany and take the command at that place and its dependencies—The forts on the frontiers, and all the Troops employed there will be comprehended under your general command and direction—Besides the garrisons, there are at this time Warners Regiment—Aldens, the fourth Pensylvania Regiment under Lieut. Colo. Butler and the rifle corps, late Morgan’s—now commanded by Major Posey. The principal objects of your attention will be the defence of the frontiers, from the depredations of the Enemy, and the annoyance of their settlements, as much as circumstances will permit; in which you will be aided by the militia of the Country.
The late repeated incursions of the Savages and the mischief they have effected, have determined me to direct an expedition against Anaquaga, one of the chief places of their rendezvous.1 It is my present intention that General Clinton with a part of his Brigade shall be employed in this business, and Governor Clinton will furnish a body of militia, to assist in the enterprise. I have directed2 the former to proceed to Poughkeepsie,3 and consult the latter fully on the manner and means of conducting it—The Troops which are now on the frontier will either form a junction with these to render the operation more decisive; or according to circumstances may co-operate and form a diversion in their favor by making an attempt upon some other point—It will therefore be4 useful for you to be present at this consultation, to acquire thorough5 information of the nature of the expedition and the manner of co-operation; and I also recommend it to you to advise with the Governor at large upon the several matters, which will fall within the notice of your command—His extensive knowledge of the frontier and the resources of the Country in general will be very serviceable to you.
General Stark now commands at Albany—I have written to him informi<ng> him that you are to succeed him.6 He will communicate all the particulars necessary for your information—I wish your earliest attention to be paid to the state of the Garrisons—to see whether the supplies of stores of every kind in them are sufficient—or if they are not to make up the deficiency. Given at Head Qua[r]ters the 19th October 1778.
DS, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, MBU; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.
1. At this place on the draft manuscript, Hamilton first wrote: “Col. Cortlands Regiment of New York troops is ordered to Poughkepsie for this purpose, and if the season of the Year and other considerations will permit, these troops are to be joined by some of those abovementioned.” Hamilton then struck out that passage and wrote above the line: “It is my present intention that General Clinton with a part of his brigade shall be employed in this business; and.”
2. At this place on the draft manuscript, Hamilton first wrote: “Col. Cortlandt who will have the immediate command of the expedition.” He then struck out that phrase and wrote: “the former.”
4. At this place on the draft manuscript, Hamilton first wrote: “necessary.” He then struck out that word and wrote: “useful.”
5. At this place on the draft manuscript, Hamilton first wrote: “knowledge of all the circumstances on which it will depend.” He then struck out that phrase and wrote: “information of the nature of the expedition and the manner of cooperation.”