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GATES ON THE FLOOR OF CONGRESS.

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1777.]

mand the extensive works there on both sides of the lake, St. Clair was instructed to bestow his first attention in fortifying Mount Independence, on the east side, Schuyler considering it much the most defensible, and that it might be made capable of sustaining a long and vigorous siege.

"I am fully convinced," writes he, "that between two and three thousand men can effectually maintain Mount Independence and secure the pass."

It would be imprudent, he thought, to station the greater part of the forces at Fort Ticonderoga; as, should the enemy bo able to invest it, and cut off the communication with the country on the east side, it might experience a disaster similar to that at Fort Washington.

The orders of Schuyler to officers commanding posts in the department, are characterized by his Dutch attention to cleanliness as to the quarters of the soldiers, their bedding, clothing, and equipments.

All officers mounting guard, were to have their hair dressed and powdered. The adjutants of the several corps were to be particularly careful that none of the non-commissioned officers and soldiers mount guard without having their hair dressed and powdered, their persons perfectly clean, and their arms and accoutrements in the most complete order.

While Schuyler was thus providing for the security of Ticonderoga, and enforcing cleanliness in his department, Gates was wending his way to Philadelphia, his bosom swelling with imaginary wrongs. He arrived there on the 18th. The next day at noon, Mr. Roger Sherman, an Eastern delegate, informed Congress that General Gates was waiting at the door, and wished admittance.

"For what purpose ?" it was asked.

"To communicate intelligence of importance," replied Mr. Sherman.

Gates was accordingly ushered in, took his seat in an elbow chair, and proceeded to give some news concerning the Indians; their friendly dispositions, their delight at seeing French officers in the American service, and other matters of the kind; then, drawing forth some papers from his pocket, he opened upon the real object of his visit; stating from his notes, in a flurried and disjointed manner, the easy and happy life he had left to take up arms for the liberties of America; and how strenuously he had exerted himself in its defence; how that some time in March he had been appointed to a command in the Northern department; but that a few days ago, without having given any cause of offence, without accusation, without trial, without hearing, without notice, he had received a resolution by which he was, in a most disgraceful manner, superseded in his command. Here his irritated feelings got the better of his judgment, and he indulged in angry reproaches of Congress, and recitals of a conversation which had taken place between him and Mr. Duane, a member of the House, whom he considered his enemy. Here Mr. Duane rose, and addressing himself to the president, hoped the general would observe order, and cease any personal observations, as he could not, in Congress, enter into any controversy with him upon the subject of former conversations.

Other of the members took fire; the conduct of the general was pronounced disrespectful to the House, and unworthy of himself, and it was moved and seconded that he be requested to withdraw. Some of the Eastern delegates opposed the motion, and endeavored to palliate his conduct. A wordy clamor ensued,

GATES MEETS WITH A REBUFF.

1777.]

during which the general stood, his papers in his hand, endeavoring several times to be heard, but the clamor increasing, he withdrew with the utmost indignation. It was then determined that he should not again be admitted on the floor; but should be informed that Congress were ready and willing to hear, by way of memorial, any grievances of which he might have to complain.*

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*Letter of the Hon. Wm. Duer, Schuyler's Papers

CHAPTER VII.

THE HIGHLAND PASSES OF THE HUDSON-GEORGE CLINTON IN COMMAND OF THE FORTS-HIS MEASURES FOR DEFENCE-GENERALS GREENE AND KNOX EXAMINE THE STATE OF THE FORTS-THEIR REPORT-THE GENERAL COMMAND OF THE HUDSON OFFERED TO ARNOLD-DECLINED BY HIM-GIVEN TO PUTNAM-APPOINTMENT OF DR. CRAIK IN THE MEDICAL DEPARTMENT-EXPEDITION PLANNED AGAINST FORT INDEPENDENCE-BUT RELINQUISHEDWASHINGTON SHIFTS HIS CAMP TO MIDDLEBROOK-STATE OF HIS ARMYGENERAL HOWE CROSSES INTO THE JERSEYS-POSITION OF THE TWO ARMIES AT MIDDLEBROOK AND BEHIND THE RARITAN-CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN

WASHINGTON AND COLONEL REED.

THE Highland passes of the Hudson, always objects of anxious thought to Washington, were especially so at this juncture. General McDougall still commanded at Peekskill, and General George Clinton, who resided at New Windsor, had command of the Highland forts. The latter, at the earnest request of the New York Convention, had received from Congress the command of brigadier-general in the Continental army. "My precarious state of health and want of military knowledge," writes he, "would have rather induced me to have led a more retired life than that of the army, had I been consulted on the occasion; but as, early in the present contest, I laid it down as a maxim not to refuse my best, though poor services, to my country in any

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