George Washington Papers

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

From Major General Philip Schuyler

Albany [N.Y.] February 15th 1777.

Dear Sir

I am honored with your Favor of the 9th Instant which was delivered me last Night.

Colo: Pellesier’s plan, which your Excellency mentions to have transmitted to me is not yet come to Hand—I saw it before it went down, but cannot say that it meets my Approbation1—It appears to me that Nothing more is necessary on Mount Independence than a Fort that may be defended by four or five hundred Men to cover the Garrison in winter; for whilst we have an Army there every part of the Mount can be secured by Lines and by the Redoubts already constructed on the North End, and a strong one on the South, These being the only two places penetrable by large Bodies.

Entre nous—I wish Brigadier James Clinton to remain where he is—I am personally acquainted with him, and have a high Respect for him, as a Friend and a Citizen; and altho’ I believe him to be a brave Officer, yet he is amazingly slow and I believe no Disciplinarian.

I have just received a Letter from Colonel Wayne; his Garrison is daily diminishing only two Officers and twenty two privates from New Hampshire had arrived on the 12th Inst. he advises me that Warner’s Lt Colonel informs him that they will not be able to raise a Regiment.2

The Express who brought me your Letter reports that after it was delivered him an Account arrived that a party of ours had fell in with with one of the Enemy, killed about three hundred of them and took one hundred prisoners; he relates it with so much Confidence that it is generally believed—I hope for a Confirmation.

Since writing the above I have received another Letter from Colonel Wayne and others from the Eastern States, the Substance of which are contained in mine to Congress, to which I beg Leave to refer your Excellency, leaving it unsealed for that purpose.3 I am most sincerely Your Excellency’s obedient humble Servant

Ph: Schuyler

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

1For Lt. Col. Christophe Pélissier’s petition to the Continental Congress, see Hancock to GW, 24 Jan., n.1, GW to Hancock, 5 Feb., and GW to Schuyler, 9 Feb. 1777.

2Col. Anthony Wayne’s letter to Schuyler, written at Ticonderoga on 22 Jan. 1777, is in DNA:PCC, item 153. The detachment from New Hampshire was part of Col. Seth Warner’s Continental regiment. Warner’s lieutenant colonel was Samuel Safford (1737–1813), who previously had been major of the Green Mountain Boys. Safford served as lieutenant colonel of Warner’s Continental regiment from July 1776 to January 1780, when he retired from the army, and from 1781 to 1782 Safford was a brigadier general in the Vermont militia.

3Schuyler enclosed his letter to Hancock of this date, located in DNA:PCC, item 153, in which he enclosed an extract of Col. Anthony Wayne’s letter to him of 2 Feb. 1777 covering several army returns and informing Schuyler that the troops at Fort Ticonderoga whose enlistments had expired were beginning to leave. Wayne also said that the smallpox had “again made Its Appearance among the Eastern Troops, All such as I suspected to be infected I have sent to Fort George, it was discovered but Yesterday” (DNA:PCC, item 153).

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