George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Major General Philip Schuyler, 26 October 1775

From Major General Philip Schuyler

Tyonderoga [N.Y.] Octo: 26th 1775

Dear Sir

At two this Afternoon, an Express from General Montgomery arrived at this Place, Copy of his Letter, with Copies of the Papers it inclosed, I do Myself the Honor to transmit Your Excellency by Express; The Irresistable Force of Necessity having drove us to Arms, Success cannot be attended without Pleasure And therefore I congratulate Your Excellency, on the good Account these Papers contain. The Reduction of Chamblee, will in all Probability be followed by that of St Johns, especially as General Montgomery has now a Supply of Powder, of which he stood in such Need, that a very few Days more would have expended his All.1

I wrote Your Excellency that I should not send on General Wooster, but as his Regiment refused to go without him, I was obliged to suffer him to go, but least any Detriment should accrue to the Service, I thought it proper to write him a Letter, of which inclose a Copy, as also Copy of his Answer.2

I am in Hopes that the next Accounts I receive will announce the Arrival of Colo. Arnold (whose Success seems now certain) & the Reduction of St Johns.

I have requested General Montgomery to Send me an Express, as soon as he receives any certain Intelligence from Colo: Arnold, as I can easily conceive that Your Excellency’s Anxiety must be extream, I shall forward what Intelligence I receive by Express.

The Great Dread I was in, least we should suffer for Provisions, induced me to have all broug⟨ht⟩ up that could be got, And it was very lucky, ⟨as⟩ the late heavy Rains have carryed away almo⟨st⟩ all the Bridges, between Fort George & Albany and rendered the Roads impassible, In which State they will continue at least a Week hence. I am Dr Sir, with the best Wishes for your Health, your Happiness & Prosperity Your Excellency Most Obedient Humble Servant

Ph: Schuyler

LS, DLC:GW; LB, NN: Schuyler Papers.

1Schuyler failed to enclose a copy of Gen. Richard Montgomery’s letter to him of 20 Oct., which told of the surrender of Chambly to majors John Brown and James Livingston two days earlier. See GW to Schuyler, 5 Nov. 1775. “Major Brown,” Montgomery wrote to Schuyler, “assures me we have Gotten 6 Tons of Powder, which with the Blessing of God will Finish the Business here” (DNA:PCC, item 153). GW did receive copies of the enclosures in Montgomery’s letter: Maj. Joseph Stopford’s proposed articles for the surrender of the garrison at Chambly, Major Brown’s proposed articles of surrender, Stopford’s acceptance of Brown’s terms, a list of officers and stores captured at Chambly, and a list of officers and men taken prisoner. All of these documents are in DLC:GW under the date of 18 October.

2For Schuyler’s previous assurances regarding Gen. David Wooster, see Schuyler to GW, 14 Oct. 1775. On 19 Oct. Schuyler wrote to Wooster: “I am just now informed, that You have called a General Court Martial at Fort George, on your Way up here, a Conduct which I cannot account for, Unless You consider Yourself as my Superior, and that cannot be in Virtue of your Appointment by Congress; By which You are a Younger Brigadier General than Mr Montgomery, and Unless You consider Yourself as Such, I cannot consistent with the Duty I owe the Public, Permit You to join that Part of the Army now under Brigadier General Montgomery’s Command, least a Confusion and Disagreement should arise, that might prove fatal to our Operations in Canada, You will therefore Sir please to give Your Explicit Answer to this Question; Whether You consider Yourself & your Regiment in the Service of the Associated Colonies and Yourself a Younger Brigadier General in that Service than Mr Montgomery or not?” (DLC:GW). Wooster replied to Schuyler later that day, saying that the court-martial at Fort George met under the authority of the Connecticut articles of war because his officers had refused to sign the Continental articles. “With Regard to the Other Question,” Wooster wrote, “My Appointment in the Continental Army, You are sensible could not be very agreeable to me, Notwithstanding which, I never should have continued in the Service had I not determined to observe the Rules of the Army; No Sir, I have the Cause of my Country too much at Heart, to attempt to make any Difficulty or Uneasiness in the Army Upon whom the Success of an Enterprize of almost infinite Importance to the Country is now depending. I shall consider my Rank in the Army what my Commission from the Continental Congress makes it, and shall not attempt to dispute the Command, with General Montgomery at St Johns” (ibid.).

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