George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Philip Schuyler, 15 January 1777

From Major General Philip Schuyler

Fish Kill [N.Y.] January 15th 1777

Dear Sir

The pleasure I felt on Learning your Success At Trentown Occassioned Feelings which are Better Conceived than discribed, I very Sincerely congratulate you on that Event and the Succeding ones, may Heaven Continue To Crown you with a Succession of Laurels, and make you the happy Instrument of preserving Liberty to this much Injured Country.

About one Thousand men from the Massachusetts engaged for three month are marched to Tionderoga none are yet moved from any of the other States, Altho I have made the most Pressing Applications, Colo. Wayne Gives me hopes that the Pensylvanians will not Leave the post untill regularly relieved, But should the relief be Withheld too Long, I fear their patience will wear out and that they will come away, At Present there is nothing to Apprehend, But when Lake Champlain is Frozen over we ought to have a very strong Garrison Least the Enemy Should Attempt a Coup-de-main.

Van Schaicks Regiment which is raising in The neighbourhood of Albany, Consists of about four hundred men, But with every Effort I have not been able to Procure more then one Hundred Blankets, so that not more than that number of men are as yet Marched to garrison Fort George, which was abandoned by Colo. Phinneys Regiment.1

I am makeing every preparation for next Campaign which I Possibly can, but the great Scarcity of Materials retards every work and where to procure a Competent number of Cannon I do not know, by the Inclosed you will see what I expect from Connecticut my application to the other Eastern States have Proved frutless, I arrived here on the 12th Instant to Sollicet an aid of many articles I stood in need of, none of which I can procure Because the Convention has not any of them.2

I am so much Indisposed that I write with great Pain and therefore beg Leave to refer Your Excellency to the Inclosed Copy of a Letter to Congress.3 I am Dr Sir with every Sentiment of Respect and Esteem your Excellencys most Obedt Humble Servent

Ph: Schuyler

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

1Col. Edmund Phinney of the 18th Continental Regiment left the Continental army at the end of 1776, and his regiment was reorganized at the beginning of this year. For the remainder of the winter and spring of 1777, Col. Goose Van Schaick’s 1st New York Regiment was divided among forts George and Edward, Albany, and Saratoga.

2Schuyler enclosed a copy of Jonathan Trumbull, Sr.’s letter to him of 3 Jan. 1777, written in reply to Schuyler’s letter of 29 Dec. 1776 requesting cannon for the northern department. “I shall at all times Contribute all in my Power towards Strengthing that Quarter,” writes Trumbull, “we shall do all in our Power to keep the Cannon Foundery at Salisbury in Blast thro the Winter and shall spare no Cost to do it tho we dare not Greatly depend on the success of it. We have already Lent to your state 10 Cannons of 12 pounds and Ten of six but Conclude they are in some Important place otherwise they might go to the Northwards we have at the Furnace 4–18 and two 9 pounders but have not at present water sufficient to Boar them; as soon as that can be done am willing you shall have them and Give order Accordingly with shott for them” (DLC:GW; for Schuyler’s letter to Trumbull of 29 Dec., see Force, American Archives description begins Peter Force, ed. American Archives. 9 vols. Washington, D.C., 1837–53. description ends , 5th ser., 3:1476–77).

3Schuyler enclosed a copy of his letter to Hancock of 13–15 Jan. reporting on the state of the army in the northern department. Schuyler particularly expresses his frustration at the shortages of artillery, cannon, clothing, and other supplies in the northern department. The enclosed copy has not been identified, but the letter sent to Hancock is in DNA:PCC, item 153.

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