George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Horatio Gates, 16 November 1778

From Major General Horatio Gates

Boston 16th November 1778


The Bearer has this instant brought me the inclosed intelligence from Canada;1 I have in consequence Dispatch’d him immediately to Your Excellency. I have not a line from The president of Congress, since The letter which contain’d the Resolve for my removal to this Command;2 & Your Excellency’s Letter of the 6th Instant, is the last from Your Head Quarters. I am Sir Your most Obedient Servant

Horatio Gates

ALS, DLC:GW; ADfS, NHi: Gates Papers.

1There were two enclosures. The first was a letter from Col. Timothy Bedel to Gates, dated 5 Nov. at Haverhill, N.H.: “This Letter you receive by Capt. Frye Bayley who went with the Flagg with Lieut. Singleton to St Johns his Two Lieuts. are returned with him, hope your Honour will see that their Pay may be answered, Capt. Bayley will inform your Honour of every Circumstance. The Regt I was Ordered to raise by Orders from the Marquiss De La Fayette has been constantly on Scouts and a Party is now out Cutting the Road to Canada they have never received any Pay Cloathing &c. shall be glad of Your Honours advice about the same, We have a number of Indians here who are desireous to Engage in the Service for the Expedition and who have received some Trifling Presents from the Commissioners. Joseph Louie the Chief of Saint Francois Tribe who arrived here sometime ago is gone to Lake Amprobagog and is dayly expected back, he informs they are all willing to join the United States and by whose request I write to inform your Honour If any Number of Men should be wanted more than I have raised shod be glad to know in Time, as I am able to Collect some more, shod be glad your Honour would favour me with a Line by the Bearer We have daily Intelligence from Canada all in our Favour—Provisions are Plenty, and the Canadians in general firm to the Cause of the United States” (DLC:GW). This letter repeated much of the information that Bedel had sent to GW on 5 November.

The second enclosure was a letter from Brig. Gen. Jacob Bayley to Gates, dated 7 Nov. at Newbury, Vt.: “You will receive this by my Son In Company with Capt. Fry Bayley who went with Two others as a Flag by your Honours order Last December by whom you may be Informed of the Situation of Affairs In Canada and Halifax.

“Two Partys of French returned yesterday from Canada by whome we are Assured that the Canadians are very Much In favour of our American Cause, are fully assured of the alliance Between the american States and France that the Preists mouths are Shut both in Publick and Private Respecting our Dispute with Briton, that Head Quarters is at Sorel where thier is Sixty peices of Cannon in Redoubts—no Intrenchments there, that one Regt at St Johns, that all the Cannon Except two had been Carried from that Place, but that they were Carrying Some of our old Cannon back, the English Cannon Chiefly <ca>rried to Quebek, one Regt at the Isle aunoise the Fortification there not Certified Small Partys at Monreal Shamble and St Francois the Remainder of their Troops which Consists of not more (Including Every Sort) than 5500, at Quebeck that General Halderman has ordered 50 men from Each Parrish to Join him In case of an Invation.

“that the french Say they will Turn out at his Command but will Join us, Indians about Canada In our favour the Rout I Purposed they Say is Exceeding good on the whole they Say we have nothing to fear.

“I am fully Convinced of the truth of their Report and am afraid of nothing so much as that the army will not be Provided with Cloathing Sutable for the Campaign as it is a very Cold Country.

“I have Secured 1000 Barrils Beaf about Two thousand bushels wheat, and Forrage I hope will be Sufficient also 4000 pr Mogasons & Shall have 1500 pr Snow Shoes.

“If Forces from the Militia are needed I Should be glad to be Informed by the first of December” (DLC:GW).

2Henry Laurens wrote to Gates on 23 and 29 Oct. (Smith, Letters of Delegates description begins Paul H. Smith et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774–1789. 26 vols. Washington, D.C., 1976–2000. description ends , 11:102, 145–46).

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