Philip Schuyler to John Hancock, referred to Wythe & Committee, 10 February 1776
Philip Schuyler writes to Congress about grievances from the military including the need of more medicine in a Pennsylvania hospital, the need for steel in order to make more ammunition, and the need of soldiers to be paid to prevent future mutinies like the one that occurred in Pennsylvania. On the topic of the Pennsylvania mutiny, Schuyler says that he Court Marshaled the ringleaders which he hopes will stop it from occurring again. Continuing the list of grievances, he mentions that several troops in Connecticut are in need of blankets and guns. Schuyler says that since such supplies are necessary for the troops to continue, he will provide them himself to ensure the troops can advance quickly. Schuyler also talks about General Wooster and believes that he has been taking too much advice from a Mr. Walker, someone who has been "ill used by the King’s Officers". Schuyler worries that Walker's private resentment will hurt the cause and cause the expedition to fail or cause the Canadians to lose their affections for the Americans.
Albany Feby. 10, 1776.
I have received no accounts from Canada since I had the Honor to write you on the 7th. Inst. The post came in yesterday but had no Letters for me.
Colo. Burrell who has the Command of the Regiment raising in Connecticut for the Northern Service advises me that no Blankets and very few arms are to be had there. These Articles I perceive by the Resolutions of Congress are to be furnished by the respective Colonies who send Troops here: but as they cannot proceed without these Articles and several others that they stand in absolute Need of I shall supply them as far as I have it in my power, and charge the several Companies. I have made such arrangements that there will be no Difficulty in making the Stoppages and I hope also to get the Army in such Order as to prevent that horrid Confusion of Accounts which prevailed last Year, and to Introduce a little more Subordination & Discipline. I hope none of the Officers will receive any other Commissions than those from Congress.
Half of the Arms of what Pennsylvania Troops
are yet arrived here want Repairs: I am very confident we shall want a considerable Number, I have therefore ordered all to be purchased in the Vicinity of this place that can be procured.
The Committee of this County on my Application have recommended to the Inhabitants of the several Districts to forward the Troops gratis. The lower Districts will bring them to this place and from hence they will be sent on in the same way by others as far as Fort George and perhaps to Ticonderoga this will be of considerable Advantage to the Troops, and a Saving to the Continent.
The Men from Pennsylvania are greatly infected with the Venerial Disease. Capt. Dorsey has left no less than fourteen in the Hospital; these with two deserted between Pennsylvania and this and seven more which I am informed left him on his first Day’s March have reduced his Company to a small body.
All the Medicines in the Hospital are nearly expended and Dr. Stringer cannot procure any. Is it not possible to dispatch a small Vessel or two to Portugal or the Islands for a Supply?
We are greatly at a loss for Steel not an Ounce is to be had here my Armories have nearly expended theirs, and the Blacksmith who goes to the Indians cannot do without it. Could none be sent by Water from New Jersey to Constitution For? From whence, what may be immediately wanted may be forwarded by Land the Remainder when the River shall open.
The Indian Goods that were sent up are all extended and a very few left of one hundred & seventy pounds worth, which I bought from the Conordian officers at Tyconderoga for the Troops and upwards of an hundred pounds worth, which I bought from the Canadian – officers at Tyconderoga for the Troops, and upwards of an hundred pounds Worth from Mr. Brown of the Massachusetts, none are to be had here, and I am daily tormented by parties of Indians from all Quarters – I am apprehensive that some Tories encourage them to make applications, and they are sufficiently inclined to it, without being spurred on. – If I can convict any person of this Crime I shall do my Endeavours to provide him with a Lodging in Simsbury Mines.
A considerable Number of the Pennsylvania Soldiers mutinied. I ordered a Court Martial, and half a Dozen of the Ringleaders were punished. I hope this will put a stop to it in Future. They complain of want of pay.
I wish an account of all the Monies paid them, and for what, was transmitted me that they may be charged
with it, and their accounts regularly kept. This is very necessary.
Pray let the Muster Master be sent up, he may be of much Service, as I hope we shall have none but Continental Troops.
After the Death of the gallant McPherson, I appointed Capt. Henry Livingston my Aid de Camp – He wishes to belong to some Regiment as a Field Officer.
Inclose a paper that was delivered me by a Mr. Frazer a Judge of the Common Pleas in Montreal and who has been sent down a prisoner here. I fear General Wooster pays too much Attention to the Advice of Mr. Walker who has been so ill used by the King’s Officers, that his private Resentment will hurt our Cause; and I dare confidently venture to prophesy that unless a respectable Committee of Congress be with all Expedition sent to Canada that our Affair will not only greatly suffer, but that in all probability we shall lose the Affections of the Canadians.
The Committee if any is sent should be enabled to live with that Splendor which with Frenchmen [equates?] Respect. I do not know how General Wooster lives, but if he does not in the Country where he is live at least equal to the
utmost of his pay and allowance he will not do Honor to his Constituents.
The Disorder in my Breast and Cough was occasioned by an Imposthume which had formed and a few Days ago discharged itself. I feel myself greatly relieved from pain and much better and have Reason to believe that it is healing. If so I shall be able to take the Field. I am Sir
Your obedient humble Servant,
The Honorable John Hancock Esq. &c . &c.
Letter from Gen. Shuyler
10 Feby. 1776
Referred to Mr. Wythe