George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 5 May 1781]

5th. Accounts from Brigadr. Genl. Clinton at Albany, dated the 30th. ulto. & 1st. Inst., filled me with anxious fears that the Garrison of fort Schuyler would be obliged to evacuate the Post for want of Provisions and that a Mutiny in the other Troops was to be apprehended.1 In consequence of this alarming information, I directed the Q. M. Gl. to send 50 Barls. of flour & the like qty. of Salted Meat immy. up for the Garrison of Fort Schuyler—but of the latter there being only 24 in Store, no more could be sent.2

1Brig. Gen. James Clinton (1733–1812), brother of Gov. George Clinton of New York, had become commander of the Northern Department in 1780. Clinton’s letter, from his headquarters at Albany, dated 30 April with a postscript of 1 May, informed GW of reports from Maj. Gen. Philip Schuyler that Saratoga, Fort Schuyler, and indeed almost every post in the area had had almost no beef for nearly a month. “The spirit of desertion has sometime past prevailed” (DLC:GW). Fort Schuyler, in the area of present-day Rome, N.Y., was the former Fort Stanwix, rebuilt and renamed in 1776.

2GW to Timothy Pickering, 4 May 1781 (DLC:GW). On 5 May, GW wrote to Clinton informing him that the supplies for Fort Schuyler were on the way but that the other posts would have to be relieved “from the Counties of Massachusetts, which are nearest to you” (CSmH).

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