George Washington Papers

To George Washington from George Clinton, 18 October 1780

Albany 18th Octobr 1780. 10 OClock P.M.


I wrote your Excellency from Poughkeepsie on Saturday last and communicated to you the Accounts which I had then received from this Quarter, the next Day I set out for this place and arrived here on Monday. Upon my Arrival I found the main Body of the Enemy which appeared in the Northward had returned by the Way of Lake George and that part of the Country seemed again to be in a State of Tranquility. Yesterday Morning however I was informed that a party had made its appearance at Ballston and distroyed some Buildings there and about Noon received Accounts that the Enemy were at Schohary and it is now confirmed that they have distroyed the whole of that valuable settlement, their Numbers of one Division are computed at about 600 and the Account, of the other Division is uncertain, they have Artillery with them Major Woolsey who commands 200 of the Levies made a sally from one of the small Forts there and took two a Regulars and killed five Savages—by what rout they came or mean to return I have not been able to ascertain. Yesterday Morning I ordered General VanRensselair with some Troops to Schenectady with Directions as soon as he could make the proper discoveries and if his Force should appear competent to march and endeavour to intercept them.

By a Letter from General Schuyler at Saratoga I am informed that the Enemy yesterday burnt the settlement of White Creek in Charlotte County and the smoke was discoverable from the Heights near his House.

The Port at Fort Edward after the removal of the Stores is evacuated, the Levies who were stationed there having insisted that their Time of service is expired and Colo. Livingston the commanding Officer with the other Officers are now on their return. I have ordered out the whole of the Militia from this part of the State; a considerable part are already in the Field and I shall leave this immediately for Schonectady in order to make the necessary Arrangements.

From this State of Matters your Excellency will perceive the necessity of sending a Force if it can possibly be spared for the defence of this part of the Country no dependance can be placed on the Militia remaining from Home and the three Months levies will soon be dismissed so that without some farther Protection Schenectady and this place will be our Frontier.

I received no Intelligence from the Grants either whether the Enemy have done any Mischief there and whether their Militia is turning for our Assistance—I am Dear Sir your Excellency’s Your most Obedt Servant

Geo: Clinton

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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