George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel William Malcom, 8 October 1780

From Colonel William Malcom

Albany Octr 8. 1780


I had the Honour to write to you from Fort Renslaer—nothing material hath Occurd Since, in this Quarter1—I now Inclose a State of the Garrison of Fort Scuyler—Your Excellency will thereby be enabled to give me orders concerning it.2

In my last letter I took leave to mention my Opinion that the principal post on the West Frontiers of this State ought to be nearer the Settlements—I Still think So—but Fort Scuyler is an important Situation, & which I imagine the Enemy would Occupy if we left it—However, I am certain the garrison ought to be either much greater, or considerably less—if 800 Strong—no Small body of the Enemy durst pass them from Niagara or Bucks-Island—because they Could hazard out half the garrison—if only to hold the Ground. 150 or 200 men would be competent against any thing but regular Troops & heavy Cannon—In Such a case I do not imagine that the Garrison would be relieved by the Militia of this part of the state.

It is pretty certain that a body of troops were Collecting at St Johns about Three Weeks ago—it is reported their design is against the Grants—perhaps this might be connected with Arnolds Negotiations3—The Troops in Niagara are Sickly—dying fast—Indians discontented and also very Sickly—It is said that the Enemy intend to take post at Oswego this fall—not very probable. I have Honor to be with the greatest Respect Your Excellencys most obdt very Hb. Servt

W. Malcom


2The enclosed weekly return of the garrison and supplies at Fort Schuyler, N.Y., dated 1 Oct., reported 209 “Rank & File” and 28 artillery matrosses “Fitt for duty.” Additionally, there were available 13 commissioned, 4 staff, and 24 noncommissioned infantry officers and 2 commissioned and 22 non-commissioned artillery officers (DLC:GW).

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