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in behalf of the army under his immediate | If this is held at bay, curbed and confined, the command, it continued to be deplorably in Northern army will not dare attempt to penewant of reinforcements, and it was necessary trate." The last sentence will be found to to maintain the utmost vigilance at all his contain the policy which governed Washingposts to prevent his camp from being surprised. ton's personal movements throughout the The operations of the enemy might be delayed campaign. by the bad condition of the roads, and the want of horses to move their artillery, but he anticipated an attack as soon as the roads were passable, and apprehended a disastrous result unless speedily reinforced.

"The enemy," writes he, "must be ignorant of our numbers and situation, or they would never suffer us to remain unmolested, and I must tax myself with imprudence in committing the fact to paper, lest this letter should fall into other hands than those for which it is intended." And again: "It is not in my power to make Congress fully sensible of the real situation of our affairs, and that it is with difficulty I can keep the life and soul of the army together. In a word, they are at a distance; they think it is but to say presto, begone, and every thing is done; they seem not to have any conception of the difficulty and perplexity of those who have to execute."

The designs of the enemy being mere matter of conjecture, measures varied accordingly. As the season advanced, Washington was led to believe that Philadelphia would be their first object at the opening of the campaign, and that they would bring round all their troops from Canada by water to aid in the enterprise. Under this persuasion he wrote to General Heath, ordering him to send eight of the Massachusetts battalions to Peekskill, instead of Ticonderoga; and explained his reasons for so doing in a letter to Schuyler. At Peekskill, he observed, "they would be well placed to give support to any of the Eastern or Middle States; or to oppose the enemy, should they design to penetrate the country up the Hudson; or to cover New England, should they invade it. Should they move westward, the Eastern and Southern troops could easily form a junction, and this, besides, would oblige the enemy to leave a much stronger garrison at New York. Even should the enemy pursue their first plan of invasion from Canada, the troops at Peekskill would not be badly placed to reinforce Ticonderoga, and cover the country around Albany." "I am very sure," concludes he, "the operations of this army will, in a great degree, govern the motions of that in Canada.

On the 18th of March he despatched General Greene to Philadelphia, to lay before Congress such matters as he could not venture to communicate by letter. "He is an able and good officer," writes he, "who has my entire confidence, and is intimately acquainted with my ideas."

Greene had scarce departed, when the enemy began to show signs of life. The delay in the arrival of artillery, more than his natural indolence, had kept General Howe from formally taking the field; he now made preparations for the next campaign, by detaching troops to destroy the American deposits of military stores. One of the chief of these was at Peekskill, the very place whither Washington had directed Heath to send troops from Massachusetts; and which he thought of making a central point of assemblage. Howe terms it "the port of that rough and mountainous tract called the Manor of Courtlandt." Brigadier-General McDougall had the command of it in the absence of General Heath, but his force did not exceed two hundred and fifty men.

As soon as the Hudson was clear of ice, a squadron of vessels of war and transports, with five hundred troops under Colonel Bird,, ascended the river. McDougall had intelligence of the intended attack, and while the ships were making their way across the Tappan Sea and Haverstraw Bay, exerted himself to remove as much as possible of the provisions and stores to Forts Montgomery and Constitution in the Highlands. On the morning of the 23d, the whole squadron came to anchor in Peekskill Bay; and five hundred men landed in Lent's Cove, on the south side of the bay, whence they pushed forward with four light field-pieces drawn by sailors. On their approach, McDougall set fire to the barracks and principal storehouses, and retreated about two miles to a strong post, commanding the entrance to the Highlands and the road to Continental Village, the place of the deposits. It was the post which had been noted by Washington in the preceding year, where a small force could make a stand, and hurl down masses of rock on their assail

ET. 45.]



ants. Hence McDougall sent an express to | harassing duties, he had been annoyed by secLieutenant-Colonel Marinus Willett, who had charge of Fort Constitution, to hasten to his assistance.

tional jealousies and ill will. His motives and measures had been maligned. The failures in Canada had been attributed to him, and he had repeatedly entreated Congress to order an inquiry into the many charges made against him,

The British, finding the wharf in flames where they had intended to embark their spoils, completed the conflagration, beside" that he might not any longer be insulted." destroying several small craft laden with provisions. They kept possession of the place till the following day, when a scouting party, which had advanced towards the entrance of the Highlands, was encountered by Colonel Marinus Willett with a detachment from Fort Constitution, and driven back to the main body after a sharp skirmish, in which nine of the marauders were killed. Four more were slain on the banks of Canopas Creek as they were setting fire to some boats. The enemy were disappointed in the hope of carrying off a great deal of booty, and finding the country around was getting under arms, they contented themselves with the mischief they had done, and re-embarked in the evening by moonlight, when the whole squadron swept down the Hudson.

“I assure you,” writes he to Gates, on the 25th of August, "that I am so sincerely tired of abuse, that I will let my enemies arrive at the completion of their wishes by retiring, as soon as I shall have been tried; and attempt to serve my injured country in some other way, where envy and detraction will have no temptation to follow me."


We have now to enter upon a tissue of circumstances connected with the Northern department, which will be found materially to influence the course of affairs in that quarter throughout the current year, and ultimately to be fruitful of annoyance to Washington himself. To make these more clear to the reader, it is necessary to revert to events in the preceding year.

The question of command between Schuyler and Gates, when settled as we have shown by Congress, had caused no interruption to the harmony of intercourse between these generals.

Schuyler directed the affairs of the department with energy and activity from his headquarters at Albany, where they had been fixed by Congress, while Gates, subordinate to him, commanded the post of Ticonderoga.

The disappointment of an independent command, however, still rankled in the mind of the latter, and was kept alive by the officious suggestions of meddling friends. In the course of the autumn, his hopes in this respect revived. Schuyler was again disgusted with the service. In the discharge of his various and

On the 14th of September, he actually offered his resignation of his commission as majorgeneral, and of every other office and appointment; still claiming a court of inquiry on his conduct, and expressing his determination to fulfil the duties of a good citizen, and promote the weal of his native country, but in some other capacity. "I trust," writes he, "that my successor, whoever he may be, will find that matters are as prosperously arranged in this department as the nature of the service will admit. I shall most readily give him any information and assistance in my power."

He immediately wrote to General Gates, apprising him of his having sent in his resignation. "It is much to be lamented," writes he, "that calumny is so much cherished in this unhappy country, and that so few of the servants of the public escape the malevolence of a set of insidious miscreants. It has driven me to the necessity of resigning."

As the command of the department, should his resignation be accepted, would of course devolve on Gates, he assures him he will render every assistance in his power to any officer whom Gates might appoint to command in Albany.

All his letters to Gates, while they were thus in relation in the department, had been kind and courteous; beginning with, "My dear General," and ending with, “adieu" and "every friendly wish." Schuyler was a warmhearted man, and his expressions were probably sincere.

The hopes of Gates, inspired by this proffered resignation, were doomed to be again overclouded. Schuyler was informed by President Hancock, "that Congress, during the present state of affairs, could not consent to accept of his resignation; but requested that he would





a footing, I cannot do what the laws of honor and a regard to my own reputation render indispensably necessary. Congress can put us on a par by dismissing one or the other from the service."

continue in the command he held, and be as- | occasion. Until Mr. Trumbull and I are upon sured that the aspersions thrown out by his enemies against his character, had no influence upon the minds of the members of that House; and that more effectually to put calumny to silence, they would at an early day appoint a committee to inquire fully into his conduct, which they trusted would establish his reputation in the opinion of all good men."

Schuyler received the resolve of Congress with grim acquiescence, but showed in his reply that he was but half soothed. "At this very critical juncture," writes he, October 16, "I shall waive those remarks which, in justice to myself, I must make at a future day. The calumny of my enemies has arisen to its height. Their malice is incapable of heightening the injury. * In the alarming situation. of our affairs, I shall continue to act some time longer, but Congress must prepare to put the care of this department into other hands. I shall be able to render my country better services in another line: less exposed to a repetition of the injuries I have sustained."

* * *

He had remained at his post, therefore, discharging the various duties of his department with his usual zeal and activity; and Gates, at the end of the campaign, had repaired, as we have shown, to the vicinity of Congress, to attend the fluctuation of events.

Circumstances in the course of the winter had put the worthy Schuyler again on points of punctilio with Congress. Among some letters intercepted by the enemy and retaken by the Americans, was one from Colonel Joseph Trumbull, the commissary-general, insinuating that General Schuyler had secreted or suppressed a commission sent for his brother, Colonel John Trumbull, as deputy adjutantgeneral. The purport of the letter was reported to Schuyler. He spurned at the insinuation. "If it be true that he has asserted such a thing," writes he to the president, "I shall expect from Congress that justice which is due to me."


Three weeks later he enclosed to the president a copy of Trumbull's letter. "I hope," writes he, "Congress will not entertain the least idea that I can tamely submit to such injurious treatment. I expect they will immediately do what is incumbent on them on the

The reader may recollect that it was CommissaryGeneral Trumbull who wrote the letter to Gates calculated to inflame his jealousy against Schuyler, when the question of command had risen between them. (See vol. i. ch. 28.)

Congress failed to comply with the general's request. They added also to his chagrin, by dismissing from the service an army physician, in whose appointment he had particularly interested himself.

Schuyler was a proud-spirited man, and, at times, somewhat irascible. In a letter to Congress on the 8th of February, he observed: "As Dr. Stringer had my recommendation to the office he has sustained, perhaps it was a compliment due to me that I should have been advised of the reason of his dismission."

And again: "I was in hopes some notice would have been taken of the odious suspicion contained in Mr. Commissary Trumbull's intercepted letter. I really feel myself deeply chagrined on the occasion. I am incapable of the meanness he suspects me of, and I confidently expected that Congress would have done me that justice which it was in their power to give, and which I humbly conceive they ought to have done."

This letter gave great umbrage to Congress, but no immediate answer was made to it.

About this time the office of adjutant-general, which had remained vacant ever since the resignation of Colonel Reed, to the great detriment of the service, especially now when a new army was to be formed, was offered to General Gates, who had formerly filled it with. ability; and President Hancock informed him, by letter, of the earnest desire of Congress that he should resume it, retaining his present rank and pay.

Gates almost resented the proposal. "Unless the commander-in-chief earnestly makes the same request with your Excellency," replies he, "all my endeavors as adjutant-general would be vain and fruitless. I had, last year, the honor to command in the second post in America; and had the good fortune to prevent the enemy from making their so much wishedfor junction with General Howe. After this, to be expected to dwindle again to the adjutant-general, requires more philosophy on my part, and something more than words on yours.

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*Gates's papers, N. Y. Hist. Lib.



He wrote to Washington to the same effect, but declared that, should it be his Excellency's wish, he would resume the office with alacrity. Washington promptly replied that he had often wished it in secret, though he had never even hinted at it; supposing Gates might have scruples on the subject. "You cannot conceive the pleasure I feel," adds he, "when tell me that, if it is my desire that you should resume your former office, you will with cheerfulness and alacrity proceed to Morristown." He thanks him for this mark of attention to his wishes; assures him that he looks upon his resumption of the office as the only means of giving form and regularity to the new army; and will be glad to receive a line from him mentioning the time he would leave Philadelphia.

the House proceeded to appoint a general officer for the Northern department, of which he had stated it to be in need.

On the 25th of March, Gates received the following note from President Hancock: "I have it in charge to direct that you repair to Ticonderoga immediately, and take command of the army stationed in that department."

Gates obeyed with alacrity. Again the vision of an independent command floated before his mind, and he was on his way to Albany, at the time that Schuyler, ignorant of this new arrangement, was journeying to Philadelphia. Gates was accompanied by Brigadier-General Fermois, a French officer, recently commissioned in the continental army. A rumor of his approach preceded him. "What are the terms on which Gates is coming on?" was He received no such line. Gates had a asked in Albany. "Has Schuyler been superhigher object in view. A letter from Schuylerseded, or is he to be so, or has he resigned? to Congress, had informed that body that he For a time all was rumor and conjecture. A should set out for Philadelphia about the 21st report reached his family that he was to be of March, and should inmediately on his ar- divested of all titles and rank other than that rival require the promised inquiry into his con- of Philip Schuyler, Esquire. They heard it. duct. Gates, of course, was acquainted with with joy, knowing the carking cares and anthis circumstance. He knew Schuyler had noyances that had beset him in his command. given offence to Congress; he knew he had His military friends deprecated it as a great been offended on his own part, and had re- loss to the service.* peatedly talked of resigning. He had active friends in Congress ready to push his interests. On the 12th of March his letter to President Hancock about the proffered adjutancy was read, and ordered to be taken into consideration on the following day.

On the 13th, a committee of five was appointed to confer with him upon the general state of affairs.

On the 15th, the letter of General Schuyler of the 3d of February, which had given such offence, was brought before the House, and it was resolved that his suggestion concerning the dismission of Dr. Stringer was highly derogatory to the honor of Congress, and that it was expected his letters in future would be written in a style suitable to the dignity of the representative body of these free and independent States, and to his own character as their officer. His expressions, too, respecting the intercepted letter, that he had expected Congress would have done him all the justice in their power, were pronounced, "to say the least, ill-advised and highly indecent."*

While Schuyler was thus in partial eclipse,

* Journals of Congress.

When Gates arrived in Albany, Colonel Varick, Schuyler's secretary, waited on him with a message from Mrs. Schuyler, inviting him to take up his quarters at the general's house, which was in the vicinity. He declined, as the despatch of affairs required him to be continually in town; but took his breakfast with Mrs. Schuyler the next morning. He remained in Albany, unwilling to depart for Ticonderoga until there should be sufficient troops there to support him.

Schuyler arrived in Philadelphia in the second week in April, and found himself superseded in effect by General Gates in the Northern department. He enclosed to the committee of Albany the recent resolutions of Congress, passed before his arrival. By these," writes he, "you will readily perceive that I shall not return a general. Under what influence it has been brought about, I am not at liberty now to mention. On my return to Albany, I shall give the committee the fullest information." +

Taking his seat in Congress as a delegate from New York, he demanded the promised

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investigation of his conduct during the time he had held a command in the army. It was his intention, when the scrutiny had taken place, to resign his commission, and retire from the service. On the 18th, a committee of inquiry was appointed, as at his request, composed of a member from each State.

In the mean time, as second major-general of the United States (Lee being the first), he held active command at Philadelphia, forming a camp on the western side of the Delaware, completing the works on Fort Island, throwing up works on Red Bank, and accelerating the despatch of troops and provisions to the commander-in-chief. During his sojourn at Philadelphia, also, he contributed essentially to reorganize the commissary department; digesting rules for its regulations, which were mainly adopted by Congress.



would have the same rank in the American army. This would put them above American officers of merit and hard service, whose commissions were of more recent date. One Monsieur Ducoudray, on the strength of an agreement with Mr. Deane, expected to have the rank of major-general, and to be put at the head of the artillery. Washington deprecated the idea of intrusting a department on which the very salvation of the army might depend, to a foreigner, who had no other tie to bind him to the interests of the country than honor; besides, he observed, it would endanger the loss to the service of General Knox, a man of great military reading, sound judgment, and clear perceptions. He has conducted the affairs of that department with honor to himself and advantage to the public, and will resign if any one is put over him."

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In fact, the report that Ducoudray was to be a major-general, with a commission dated in the preceding year, caused a commotion among the American officers of that rank, but whose commissions were of later date. Congress eventually determined not to ratify the contract entered into between Mr. Deane and Monsieur Ducoudray, and resolved that the commissions of foreign officers received into the service, should bear date on the day of their being filled

Among the foreign candidates for appointments was one Colonel Conway, a native of Ireland, but who, according to his own account, had been thirty years in the service of France, and claimed to be a chevalier of the order of St. Louis, of which he wore the decoration. Mr. Deane had recommended him to Washing

THE fame of the American struggle for independence was bringing foreign officers as candidates for admission into the patriot army, and causing great einbarrassment to the commander-in-chief. "They seldom," writes Wash-up by Washington. ington, "bring more than a commission and a passport; which we know may belong to a bad as well as a good officer. Their ignorance of our language, and their inability to recruit men, are insurmountable obstacles to their being ingrafted in our continental battalions; for our officers, who have raised their men, and have served through the war upon payton as an officer of merit, and had written to that has not hitherto borne their expenses, would be disgusted if foreigners were put over their head; and I assure you, few or none of these gentlemen look lower than field-officers' commissions. * * * Some general mode of disposing of them must be adopted, for it is ungenerous to keep them in suspense, and a great charge to themelves; but I am at a loss to know how to point out this mode."

Congress determined that no foreign officers should receive commissions who were not well acquainted with the English language, and did not bring strong testimonials of their abilities. Still there was embarrassment. Some came with brevet commissions from the French government, and had been assured by Mr. Deane, American commissioner at Paris, that they

Congress that he considered him well qualified for the office of adjutant or brigadier-general, and that he had given him reason to hope for one or the other of these appointments. Colonel Conway pushed for that of brigadiergeneral. It had been conferred some time before by Congress on two French officers, De Fermois and Deborre, who, he had observed, had been inferior to him in the French service, and it would be mortifying now to hold rank below them.

"I cannot pretend," writes Washington to the president, "to speak of Colonel Conway's merits or abilities of my own knowledge. He appears to be a man of candor, and, if he has been in service as long as he says, I should suppose him infinitely better qualified to serve

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