George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General James Clinton, 18 December 1778

From Brigadier General James Clinton

Albany Decembr 18th 1778.


Enclosed I send Your Excellency a return of the Troops in this Department, by which, you will see the Disposition which I have made of them on the Frontiers, for the present, untill I receive your Excellency Sentiments thereon.1

I am sorry to inform your Excellency that the Small Pox hath made its appearance among us. by a Letter from Coll regnier I am informed that the Inhabitants of Connigohary, are much afflicted with it; many of his men being liable to catch it, put him under the necessity of inoculating them—it hath also shewn itself in Col. Gansvoort’s regiment four of them have taken it the natural way, to prevent any ill consequences, I ordered near one hundred of the regiment properly officered to Schanectady to be put under inoculation, having previously consulted Doctor Treat.

From an Hospital return, I find that there are a number of men whose health woud permit them to join their respective Regiments—but as they are entirely destitute of either Cloaths or money, the Inc[l]emency of the Weather, will not admit of their being sent—I shoud be glad to have your Excely Pleasure concerning them.

As the Snow is two feet deep on the Frontiers, I have ordered, one hundred pair of Snow Shoes to be made, as it is difficult for the Troops to take such Steps to gain Intelligence of the Enemy’s movements, as the Service may require, without them—however every acct seems to confirm the general report that Butler & Brant with their Banditti are moved to Neagara, so that I hope they do not intend us another visit this Winter.

I have not had the pleasure of seeing Genl Schuyler since I came to town, as he still remains at Saratoga with his famely—they are soon expected, to spend the remainder of the Winter here.

When any thing of Importance falls out, I shall not fail communicating it to you. I have the honour to be Your Excellency’s most obedient & very humble Servant

James Clinton B. Genl


1The enclosed “Return of the Troops in the North[er]n Department, with their Several Stations” lists 379 men of Col. Goose Van Schaick’s 1st New York Regiment at Fort Schuyler; 388 men of Col. Peter Gansevoort’s 3d New York Regiment at Albany; 324 men of Col. Henry Beekman Livingston’s 4th New York Regiment at Conajoharie; 287 men of Col. Lewis Duboys’s 5th New York Regiment; 189 men of Lt. Col. William Butler’s 4th Pennsylvania Regiment; 98 men of Maj. Thomas Posey’s Rifle Corps at Schohary; 120 men of Col. Seth Warner’s Additional Continental Regiment at Fort Stark, Vt.; 54 men of Maj. Benjamin Whitcomb’s Rangers at Rutland, Vt.; and 280 men of the late Col. Ichabod Alden’s 7th Massachusetts Regiment at Cherry Valley. A note at the bottom of the return reads: “There are two Companies of Col. Livingston’s regimt detatched to Johnstown, consisting of sixty or seventy Men, commanded by Captn [Samuel] Sacket” (DLC:GW).

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