George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Philip Schuyler, 22 July 1778

To Major General Philip Schuyler

Head Quarters White plains 22d July 1778

Dear Sir

I have your favor of the 16th instant, and thank you for your congratulations on the success of our Arms on the 28th ulto and for your kind wishes on my personal account.

I am in a great measure a stranger to the expedition against Detroit, and intirely so, to that against the Seneca’s. Agreeable to the Direction of Congress, I sent General McIntosh and two Regiments to Fort Pitt, but whether an expedition is immediately intended against Detroit, or whether those Troops are to remain as a defence for the Western frontier, I do not know.1 The parties of Indians and others, under Butler and Brandt, have already done considerable mischief on the North East corner of Pennsylvania; having cut off the inhabitants; and destroyed the Settlement of Wyoming. Upon a representation from Govr Clinton, I have sent up Lieut. Colo. Butler with the 4th Penna Regt and Capt. Posey with a detatchment of Morgans Rifle Corps to assist the Militia of New Jersey and New York in repelling their farther incursions.2 If the expedition agt the Seneca Country is to be prosecuted, I imagine you and the Gentlemen joined with you in the commission for Indian Affairs will hear more of it from Congress and those who at first had the management of it.

As it does not appear clear to me, from your letter, whether you have ever been furnished with a copy of the charge against you, I now enclose it.3 But it is impossible to determine at what exact time your trial can be brought on. General Lee’s Court Martial will yet take up a considerable ti⟨me⟩ and when that is finished General St Clairs is to come on. The Committee of Congress appointed to State the Charges, having first taken up Genl St Clair’s matter, it seemed proper to bri⟨ng⟩ on his trial first in conformity thereto: But as you may p⟨er⟩haps be in some measure involved, I shall give you notice, th⟨at⟩ you may attend if you please. Your trial may immediately follow.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1In a resolution of 2 May, Congress ordered two regiments raised in Virginia and Pennsylvania “for the protection of, and operations on the western frontiers” and “desired” that GW appoint a new commander for Fort Pitt ( 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 , 11:416–17). GW’s letter to Brig. Gen. Lachlan McIntosh of 26 May assigned him that post. Henry Laurens’s letter to GW of 14 June had enclosed Congress’s resolutions of 11 June directing expeditions against Detroit and into the Seneca country.

2While George Clinton was visiting GW’s headquarters (sometime between 13 and 17 July), he received a letter of 11 July from Brig. Gen. Abraham Ten Broeck, enclosing an affidavit of James Armitage, 6 July, reporting that a force of “15,000 Indians and Government men” under the command of John Butler were preparing to attack the New York frontier, and he “immediately” communicated that information to GW (see Armitage affidavit and Clinton to Ten Broeck, 21 July, in Hastings, Clinton Papers, 3:525–28, 573–75). For the orders to Thomas Posey and William Butler, see GW to John Stark, 18 July, n.1.

3For the charge of “neglect of duty” against Schuyler, recommended by a committee of Congress on 12 June and forwarded to GW on 20 June, see 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 , 11:602.

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