George Washington Papers
Documents filtered by: Author="Schuyler, Philip"
sorted by: author

To George Washington from Major General Philip Schuyler, 28 November 1775

From Major General Philip Schuyler

Tyonderoga [N.Y.] Nov: 28th 1775.

My Dear General

The Evening before General Montgomery landed on the Island of Montreal, Mr Carlton embarked his Garrison on Board of some Vessels and small Craft, And made two Attempts to pass our Batteries near the Mouth of Sorrel, but was drove back by Colo. Easton, who has behaved with Bravery & much Alertness; On the 19th Mr Carlton disguised En Canadien & accompanied by six Peasants, found Means to make his Escape.1 Brigadier General Prescott surrendered next Day by Capitulation. What Terms General Montgomery has given him, I do not know as he was so hurryed in preparing to move immediately to Quebec, that he could not find Time to send them. Prescott & the Officers arrived here at four to Day. I have just recd a Return of the Officers, Men, Vessels & stores taken, which I do Myself the Honor to inclose.2

Your Excellency’s Favor of the 16th November I received two Days ago. I believe some Cannon & Mortars may be spared, but none Except what I have sent across Lake George, can be got down, until that or this Lake Freezes over. I have a very fine thirteen Inch Mortar here, and I will make a Push to get her over the Lake. But where will You get Shells. we have none here?

Mr Livingston, Mr Langdon & Mr Paine arrived here at seven this Evening. The Season was so far advanced that I could not wait the Orders of Congress upon sundry Matters, which appeared to me absolutely necessary to be carried into immediate Execution. I am however happy to find, that Every Measure I have pursued, corresponds with the Instructions given to the Committee.3

I am informed that Prescott has used poor Walker & Allen with a shamefull Brutality.4 Of this I shall acquaint Governor Trumbull, to whose Colony I shall send him.

I believe our Army in Canada consists of about One thousand Nine hundred Men including Colo: Arnolds Corps. I have Suggested to Congress that I thought it necessary that they should be compleated to three Thousand, in the Course of the Winter, that they may be ready early in the Spring to put Quebec (of which I make no Doubt we shall possess Ourselves⟨)⟩ into a Proper State of Defence, to prevent the Enemy from regaining that important Place.

I have added that I thought it necessary, that Preparations should be made here, to throw in a Reinforcement early in the spring if they should be wanted.

I expect to leave this in a few Days for Albany. I am Sir Your Excellency’s Most Obedient & Very Humble Servant

Ph: Schuyler

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

1Carleton boarded the ships on 11 Nov. and escaped to Quebec on 16 November.

2Schuyler enclosed copies of the returns of military stores and provisions aboard the vessels commanded by Brig. Gen. Richard Prescott, dated 19 Nov. and signed by Thomas Gamble, assistant quartermaster general, and a return of the ordnance and ordnance stores aboard the vessels, dated 20 Nov. and signed by Thomas Cooper, clerk of stores artillery. These enclosures are in DLC:GW. Richard Prescott (1725–1788) of the 7th Regiment of Foot (Royal Fusiliers) took command of Carleton’s little fleet after Carleton left. Prescott surrendered to the Americans at Lavaltrie apparently on 19 or 20 Nov. and remained a prisoner until September 1776 when he was exchanged for Gen. John Sullivan. Subsequently named commander at Newport, Prescott was captured there in July 1777 and was exchanged the following May for Gen. Charles Lee. In August 1778 Prescott commanded a brigade at the siege of Newport under Gen. Robert Pigot, and in October 1779 he oversaw the evacuation of the town. Prescott was promoted to major general in August 1777 and to lieutenant general in November 1782.

Schuyler may also have enclosed with this letter Montgomery’s letter to him of 19 Nov., which Montgomery wrote before learning of Carleton’s escape or Prescott’s surrender. See the letter in DLC:GW.

3For the appointment of this committee from Congress, see Schuyler to GW, 22 Nov. 1775, n.2.

4Thomas Walker (d. 1788), a merchant who moved from Boston to Montreal in 1763, had long quarreled with the military authorities in the city. He was a vigorous advocate of the American cause, who urged that Canadian delegates be sent to the Continental Congress and supplied intelligence to Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold. On 5 Oct. Governor Carleton had Walker arrested for treason and imprisoned him aboard one of his ships. Released after Prescott’s surrender, Walker returned to his home in Montreal, where in early 1776 he entertained the American commissioners to Canada. After the Americans withdrew from Canada later that year, Walker went to Boston where he lived for the remainder of his life.

Index Entries