George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General William Thompson, 14 May 1776

From Brigadier General William Thompson

Chamblee [Canada] 14 May. 1776.

Dear General.

I arriv’d at this place yesterday evening and shall immediately sett out down the Sorel.1 Col. Patterson’s Regiment is ordered to Montreal, Col. Greaton’s and part of Col. Bond’s are gone down the Sorel River, and Col. Poor’s is behind at Tyconderoga, for want of Provisions to bring them on. Col. Baldwin with the Carpenters and Smiths I expect hourly.

The News of this Country you will have at large from Dr Franklin whom I met above St John’s yesterday.

I can’t help being a little surprized at the confused manner in which our Army retreated from before Quebec, & still more to hear that it is intended to abandon the Country as far as the mouth of the Sorel. The last part of my Intillegence I can’t think is true, and still expect to find General Thomas with part of the Army at Richlieu2—That grand pass and all the Country above It we surely can keep possession of. I shall warmly recommend the fortyfying Point de Chambaux and hope it will be gone into, and I think there is nothing to prevent our doing it.

The confused state of this Country is past description, but matters will be soon settled, and I’m sure that if we are supplied with Powder Provisions and Intrenching tools all will be well.

I expect to be at the mouth of the Sorel River this evening, and shall write your Excellency from General Thomas’s Camp. I am Yr Excellency’s Most obt Hble Servt

Wm Thompson

ALS, DLC:GW. At the end of the letter in a place where the name of the addressee often appears in such documents, Thompson wrote and struck out the name “General Schuyler.” Although John C. Fitzpatrick concluded that this letter was written to Schuyler (GW Calendar description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed. Calendar of the Correspondence of George Washington, Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, with the Officers. 4 vols. Washington, D.C., 1915. description ends , 2d ser., 1:106), the fact that the letter is docketed in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing and the fact that its context fits well with Thompson’s other letters to GW of this period indicate that it was written and sent to GW (see Thompson to GW, 2, 6, 30 May, 2 June 1776). This letter also is printed in Force, American Archives description begins Peter Force, ed. American Archives. 9 vols. Washington, D.C., 1837–53. description ends , 4th ser., 6:448, as one written by Thompson to GW.

1Thompson is referring to the Richelieu River.

2Thompson apparently means the Richelieu Rapids on the St. Lawrence River near Deschambault.

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