George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Malcom, 29 October 1780

Albany October 29 1780


In my letter of the 25th I had the Honor to give your Excellency a full relation of every material Circumstance that hath taken place in this department since the [   ] last—This moment only I am favored with your letter of the 16th—The Three months Levys of my Brigade are this day arrived in town & will be discharged—indeed they cannot be prevailed upon to remain longer & it was with difficulty that they have been kept since the 15 when properly their times of engagement expired—Harpers & pawlings Regts also of the Brigade will serve untill the first of Dec. the former in Fort Scuyler, to be relieved by Wesenfels Weissenfels—the latter posted on the [Frontier] of Ulster & Orange County—towards the Delaware.

This State hath pass’d a Law to raise 700 men to replace the three months men in the Brigade under my command and I had consented to remain in this Quarter with them—A sentiment in your Excellencys Letter hath changed my Resolution—I most certainly will not be Commanded by any Colonel unless his Commission is of an older date—perhaps I may have mistaken your Excellency’s meaning—I am rather inclined to Rush so because I told you Sir, when I took this Command that it would be under my Continental Commission—To avoid disputes. Congress shall determine this matter before I [Serve] again—Although at the same time nothing can make me more unhappy than to be held in such a Situation.

Your Excellency may depend upon it, that I have done every thing in my [   ] for the public good—and I will Venture to say that not only Fort Scuyler, but the Frontier Settlements of the State would have been abandon’d if it had not been for the Exertions which I have made—The Governor, every officer in the dept. & the Inhabitants will give Testimony in my favor—If the means in my hands were not equall to end—It is not my fault—Before I leave this place I shall think it my duty to dispose of Harpers Regt when relieved, and of Such of the new raised Levys as may by that time come in—This very Valuable Country on the Rivers above this place will be desolated by the Spring—I am confident that if your Excellency were properly acquainted wth their importance, they would be Guarded like a magazine—a Scout from Fort Scuyler ordered to attempt the destruction of the Enemys Boats have fallen into their hands—about 40 men—To Reinforce the Garrison I have order’d the Levys in Wisenfiels Weissenfels Regt to push up instantly with a small supply of provisions—the Residue of the Regt it seems is to Halt for your orders at Schenectady—It will require very considerable exertions to maintain the Frontier posts this Winter—if they are evacuated the inhabitants come in with the Troops. At present there is very little provis[ion.] what there is I have sent to the Fort Viewing it as the first object.

I am Suspicious that there will be bad news from the north parts of the State—towards the Grants are long—My information although pretty good are not sufficent to Accuse. I have the Honor to be with the greatest respect Your Excellencys Most Obedt & very H. [St]

W. Malcom

The prisoners are gone this day to fishkill.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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