George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Philip Schuyler, 22 November 1775

From Major General Philip Schuyler

Tyonderoga [N.Y.] Nov: 22d 1775.

I have the Happiness My Dear General to inclose You a Letter from Colo: Arnold, & a Copy of one of his to General Montgomery, with Copy of that Gentleman’s to me;1 Whatever may be Colonel Arnold’s Fate at Quebec, his Merit is very great, in marching such a Body of Troops, thro’ a Country scarcely trodden by Human Foot. May Heaven still continue to smile on our Arms, until We have obtained that Justice, which is so justly our due.

I momently expect a Committee of Congress, the Gentlemen left Philadelphia on the 11st inst.2

I lament that I cannot return any Boats to St Johns, as I am left almost alone here, Nothing can surpass the Impatience of the Troops from the New England Colonies, to get to their Fire Sides—Near three hundred of them arrived a few Days ago, unable to do any Duty, But as soon as I administred that Grand Specific, a Discharge, they instantly acquired Health & rather than be detained a few Days to cross Lake George, they undertook a March from here of two hundred Miles with the greatest Alacrity.

Our Army requires to be put on quite a different Footing. Gentlemen in Command, find It very disagreeable to Coax, wheedle and even to Lye, to carry on the Service. Habituated to Order, I cannot without the most extreme Pain, see that Disregard of Discipline, Confusion & Inattention which reigns so General in this Quarter, & am therefore determined to retire, of this Resolution I have advised Congress.3 I am Dr Sir with the most unfeigned Sentiments of Esteem & Respect Your Excellency’s most Obedt & Most Humble Servt

Ph: Schuyler

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

1Schuyler enclosed Arnold’s letters to GW of 8 and 13 Nov., Arnold’s letters to Richard Montgomery of 8 and 14 Nov., and Montgomery’s letter to Schuyler of 17 Nov. 1775. These enclosures are in DLC:GW. Montgomery informed Schuyler in his letter of 17 Nov. that he is attempting to attack Gov. Guy Carleton’s ships in the St. Lawrence. “I have had great Difficulty about the Troops,” Montgomery added. “I am afraid many of them will go home, however depending on my good Fortune I hope to keep enough to give the Final Blow to Ministerial Politicks in this Province, As I hope effectual Measures will be taken to prevent their laying hold of It again. I must beg the Boats may be sent back, if possible, which take up the discharged Men.”

2On 2 and 8 Nov. Congress appointed John Langdon, Robert Treat Paine, and Robert R. Livingston a committee to confer with Schuyler (JCC, description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends 3:317, 339). The committee left Philadelphia on 12 Nov. and arrived at Ticonderoga on 28 November.

3“I shall. . .,” Schuyler wrote to Hancock on 18 Nov., “do every Thing in my Power to put a finishing Stroke to the Campaign, and make the best Arrangement in my Power in Order to insure Success to the next, this done I must beg Leave to retire” (DNA:PCC, item 153).

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