George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General James Clinton, 27 January 1779

From Brigadier General James Clinton

Albany January 27th 1779


On the 19th Instant I was honoured with your Favour of the 31st of December.

I am happy to hear the Impediments which suspended Genl Schuy[l]er from Command are removed with so much honour to that worthy Officer, and I am anxious for his resuming it, as I shall always think myself happy in being Commanded by a Man of such distinguished Abilities.1

I hav just received a Letter from the Commanding Officer at Fort Schuyler dated Jany 18th 1779 a Copy of which I transmit for your Excellency’s Information,2 and as this contains nearly all the Intelligence worth your Excellency Notice, I shall conclude with observing that as I have repeatedly made a requisition for Amunition for the Use of this Department, and none come to hand, I am anxious for the fate of the letters which contained them lest they shoud not have been received—give me leave therefore Sir—to request again that a Supply may be speedily sent or I cannot be answerable for the Consequences in case of Default.3 I have the honour to be with great Esteem Your Excellency most obt most humble Sert.

P.S. A few days agoe I sent off thirty Seven Men from this Hospital to join their Regiments under the Care of an Officer.4

ADf, NjMoHP. The unfound receiver’s copy of this letter may have been dated 28 Jan. (see GW to James Clinton, 14 Feb.).

1GW requested Maj. Gen. Philip Schuyler to resume full command of the Continental army’s northern department shortly after Congress confirmed on 3 Dec. 1778 the verdict of a court-martial that had acquitted Schuyler of neglect in the loss of forts Ticonderoga and Independence in July 1777, but Schuyler instead chose to resign from the army (see GW to Schuyler, 18 Jan. 1779, and n.4 to that document). For Schuyler’s mixed view of Clinton’s merits as an officer, see Schuyler to GW, 15 Feb. 1777.

2Col. Goose Van Schaick and his 1st New York Regiment took over at Fort Schuyler for Col. Peter Gansevoort and his 3d New York Regiment in November 1778 (see Van Schaick to GW, 1 Nov. 1778). The enclosure, which has not been identified, may have been a copy of the 18 Jan. 1779 letter from Lt. Col. Cornelius Van Dyck of the 1st New York Regiment to Clinton describing discussions at Fort Schuyler with Oneida, Tuscarora, and Onondaga Indians who were interested in peaceful relations with the Americans (see Hastings and Holden, Clinton Papers description begins Hugh Hastings and J. A. Holden, eds. Public Papers of George Clinton, First Governor of New York, 1777–1795, 1801–1804. 10 vols. 1899–1914. Reprint. New York, 1973. description ends , 4:492–94; see also Clinton to GW, 2 Jan. 1779, and n.1 to that document, as well as 9 Jan.; and GW to James Clinton, 14 Feb.).

3Clinton reported the need for ammunition, particularly to supply militia, in letters to GW of 28 Dec. 1778 as well as 2 and 9 Jan. 1779 (see also GW to Clinton, 19 and 25 Jan. and 14 Feb.). GW had ordered Clinton to Albany in November 1778, and he commanded there because of his superior rank (see GW to James Clinton, 16 and 20 Nov. 1778; and GW to Edward Hand, 20 Nov. 1778).

4For Clinton’s interest in returning troops from the hospital at Albany to their regiments, see James Clinton to GW, 18 Dec. 1778 and 13 Jan. 1779 (see also GW to Clinton, 19 Jan.).

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