George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Goose Van Schaick, 29 July 1780

From Colonel Goose Van Schaick

Albany July 29th 1780


This morning I did myself the Honor to Transmit your Excellency an account of the situation the Garrison of Fort Schuyler is in—It being now Six A:M: I have received a Letter from Major Graham at present the Commanding Officer of which the enclosed is Copy1—I am sorry to inform your Excellency that the Garrison is Short of provisions. & that the Convoy with provisions has been Stop’d between the Country & Fort Schuyler. & if not attacked will be oblidged to return to Fort Herkermer2 Amongst this are sixty men of my Regt who were sent down as an Escort to the provisions; Amunition is wanting at this place for which I have ordered application to be made some time ago. I am most Respectfully Your Excellencies Obedient servant

G. V. Schaick

LS, DLC:GW. GW replied to Van Schaick on 31 July.

1The enclosed copy of a letter from Maj. John Graham to Van Schaick, dated 27 July at Fort Schuyler, N.Y., reads: “Yesterday about six O Clock in the afternoon a body of about eight hundred of the Enemy including two hundred whites encamped a little below the Indian field—I sent some of the Oneidas amongst them who inform that they saw several British Officers one a German who wore a Star at his breast[.] Joseph Brant was with them—This morning about sunrise they paraded a little below the Old Fort in full View, we immediately saluted them with the Artillery & drove them back after which they fell to killing the Horses & Cattle belonging to the Oneida Indian⟨s⟩ that were not put up & firing at the Fort till Nine O Clock our Artillery behaved exceeding and I believe killed some of them[.] they are now returned to their Camp for how long I can’t tell.

“[Oneida chief warriors Johannus] Sconondo [Skenandoah] & [Good] Peter [Agwelentongwas] are with them and have got their families, the rest of the Oneidas are with us in the Fort & seem determined to oppose them. previous to this I had sent Capt. [Benjamin] Hicks, with sixty Men, & fifty Oneida Warriors to Guard up the Boats from Fort Herkermer.

“The situation of the Garrison oblidged me to take this step as I was informed by Express that Capt. [Nicholas] Van Rensselaer could not proceed for want of a Guard—I recd information of the Enemies approach yesterday in good time to inform Capt. Hicks who has Fortifyed himself at Old Fort Schuyler agreeable to my orders—The [Oneida sachem] G[r]asshopper [Odatshehdeh] is of opinion that the Enemy are coming to Besiege the Fort & this party is come to cut off our communication—You know the situation of the Garrison & the condition we must be in should the Boats miscarry—I have ordered Capt. Hicks to continue Fortifying his little Fort till he is relieved from below[.] our little handfull of men behaved with the greatest spirit and chearfullness & are determined to defend the Fort while they can get a horse or Dog to eat, what pity such brave Troops should be used in such a Scandalous manner” (DLC:GW).

2Fort Herkimer, a fortified stone church surrounded by earthworks and a palisade, was one of two forts protecting the area of German Flats, New York. It was located on the south bank of the Mohawk River about one and a half miles southeast of the larger Fort Dayton on the north bank at present-day Herkimer, New York.

Index Entries