To Major General Philip Schuyler
Camp at Cambridge July 27th 1775.
Yesterday a Deputation from the Provincial Congress of New Hampshire attended me with a Request that three Companies raised in that province, and now posted on Connecticut River at and between the two Cohhess1 commanded by Capts. Timothy Reedle,2 James Osgood & John Parker might be continued for the Security of the Frontiers of that Province on the Continental Establishment. As it did not appear to me that this Request could be complied with, and as I apprehend you have more immediate Occasion for them than I have, I thought it proper to give you the earliest Notice where they are that if you think proper you may order them to join the Troops under your Command, in which Case you will please to write to Matthew Thor[n]ton Esqr. President of their Provincial Congress. Each Company consists of 65 Men including officers, and are reported to me as able bodied, stout, active Fellows, used to the Woods, capable of any Duty, and having an Acquaintance with Canada. But you will please to remember, that they must continue under their own officers, to whom they are attached, and subject only to superior Command3—We have had no Transaction of any Consequence since I wrote you last—Our army is in good Health & Spirits well supplied with Provisions of all Kinds—The Situation of the Enemy is directly the reverse in every Respect and we have Reason to think Desertions will be very great. Four have come out within the last 24 Hours. I am with much Regard, Sir Your most obed. & very humble Servt
LB, in John Lansing’s writing, NN: Schuyler Papers; LB, in Richard Varick’s writing, NHi: George and Martha Washington Papers; Df, NHi: Joseph Reed Papers; LB, DLC:GW; copy, Nh; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.
1. The Coos country lay along the Connecticut River to the west and north of the White Mountains, including the area around Newbury, Vt., and much of present-day Coos County, New Hampshire. The “two Cohhess” were probably settlements in the upper and lower parts of the Coos country.
2. The letter-book copy at NHi reads “Capt. Timothy Beedle.”
3. The New Hampshire provincial congress authorized on 3 June 1775 the raising of these three ranger companies for service on the colony’s western frontier. Timothy Bedel (c.1740–1787), a member of the provincial congress from Bath and a veteran of the French and Indian War, recruited one of the companies and on 23 June assumed command of all three with the rank of colonel in the New Hampshire service. The colony’s committee of safety ordered Bedel on 7 July to take his men to the Connecticut River and establish garrisons. Unwilling that New Hampshire alone should bear the cost of maintaining Bedel’s force, the committee of safety informed Bedel on 7 Aug. that the committee “has waited on G. Washington to endeavor to get the Compys raised to guard the Western Frontiers received into the pay of the Continent, but he Informed us that he cannot consistent with his Instructions receive more than 2 Thousd men; But has at our request wrote to General Schuyler recommeng his receiving them. . . . As the expence of these Comps will be so great on this Colony, and no danger as we apprehend on the Frontiers, unless those Comps can be received as aforesd they must be disbanded without going into actual service. Therefore We desire you would without loss of time. . . repair to Genl Schuyler at Crown Point before he gets his army fill’d up, and Endeavour to get those three Compy into that service, & if there is Room for a Regiment you can have opportunity to negotiate the matter with him, as it must be a Continl & not a Colony matter” (Bouton, N.H. Provincial Papers description begins Nathaniel Bouton, ed. Provincial Papers. Documents and Records Relating to the Province of New-Hampshire, from 1764 to 1776 . . .. In New Hampshire Provincial and State Papers, vol. 7. 1873. Reprint. New York, 1973. description ends , 7:573). Bedel joined Schuyler’s army at Ticonderoga with some of his men on 16 Sept., and the rest apparently arrived soon afterwards (Schuyler to GW, 20 Sept. 1775). Bedel served with distinction at the siege of St. Jean during the fall of 1775, and in January 1776 he was appointed colonel of a New Hampshire regiment. His role in the surrender of the Cedars in May 1776 led to his being cashiered a few months later, but he was not barred from future service. In the spring of 1778 Bedel raised another regiment in northern New Hampshire, which participated in the ensuing campaign. Matthew Thornton (c.1714–1803) of Londonderry, N.H., was both president of New Hampshire’s provincial congress and chairman of its committee of safety.