From Colonel James Easton
Pittsfield [Mass.] Feby [1–16] 1776
Tis with the Utmost Regret that I Give Your Excelency The Trouble of This knowing your grate Multiplicity of Business But Faithfulness to the Dear Deceasd General Montgomery And his Command, A Love of Liberty and my Country Obliges me to do it You will Sr by the Letters and Orders Inclosed see the Minds of the Generals who wrote them1 and Agreable therto I Cald on Genll Shuyler In my March from Montreal served him my Orders but he did not Give me Any Particular Orders I have Since Sent to him as the Bearer Can Inform But have Got no Answer Should I be Ordered to the Northward Again with a Regt I am Sure No Time Is to be Lost In Raising it I Beg your Excelency Directions In the Premises2 and Am with Great Esteem Your Humble Servt
James Easton Colo.
P.S. Pray Your Excelency to Send Back Genll Montgomerys Letter By the Bearer Capt. Noble.3
ALS, DLC:GW. Although Easton left the day of the month blank in the dateline of this letter, Stephen Moylan’s reply to him of 17 Feb. indicates that Easton wrote it before that date (see note 2).
1. The enclosures have not been identified, but they included at least one letter from Richard Montgomery to Easton. See postscript and note 2.
2. Stephen Moylan replied to Easton on 17 Feb.: “I have it in Command from His Excellency, to acknowledge the receipt of your favor of blank Instant & to inform you that as the Northern department is more immediately under the Care of Major Gen. Schuyler—His Excelly does not Know upon what footing it was, that you was Orderd upon the recruiting your Regiment—if any part of your Regiment remains in Canada the General takes it for Granted, that you are Counted upon in the arrangement made for Canada. if it is to raise a new Regiment—he does not think himself Authorizd to Arrange you therein without the approbation of Congress. The Services you have don your Country Last Campaign mentioned in the Letters to you, from the Late Gallant General Montgomery, merit the Acknowledgment of the Publick. It will give the General pleasure to See You in a Capacity to render future Service, & acquire more honor, therefore if you find yourself excluded in the new arrangement for the Northern department, it possibly may be thorough inadvertence, or for reasons which the General Cannot be a proper judge of. if this shoud be the Case will it not be a proper Step for you to take, to repair to Philadelphia, & produce these Honble testimonials of your merit? Lay them before the Congress, & I dare Say you will not be neglected this is only the private Oppinion of Sir yrs S.M.” (DLC:GW). Petitions from Easton were read in Congress on 12 April and 28 June 1776. On 1 Aug. 1776 Congress confirmed his rank as a colonel in the Continental army, but he received no new command, and on 16 July 1779 Easton was dismissed from the service (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 , 4:275, 312–14, 317, 5:489, 618–19, 623–24, 626, 14:842–43).
3. David Noble of Williamstown, Mass., a captain in the 15th Continental Regiment, died in Canada during the summer of 1776.