[dateline] Philadelphia August 13. 1776
[salute] Dear Sir
Your Favours of 24 June, and 17. July, are before me. I wish with all my Heart that
you were Dictator at Ticonderoga, as much as it was intended you Should be, in Canada.
Not for the sake of promoting Mr. Rice, nor any other particular Person, but for the
good of the Service in general. <Let me ask you however, by the Way, whether, Rice would not do for a Judge Advocate
in that Department?>
I Showed your last Letter to Mr. Chase, who begged it to write you an answer. I have
exactly the Same Idea of him, which you express. He had the good of the Service at
Heart, but was too Sanguine, and had too little Experience in such Scenes, and too
little Penetration into the Characters of Men.1
I lament the wretched State of your Army: but am happy to find by your last Letter
that Things are getting into a better Train. The Small Pox must be cleansed out of
the Army, or it will be undone. A Circular Letter went,3
Sent to you or to General Schuyler, for a compleat Return of every Thing in your
Department to the War office. We have as yet received no answer. Let me beg of you
to transmit it as soon as possible. The Want of regular Returns has ruined our Affairs
in Canada, and without them from every Department, We shall ever be in Confusion.
Since the Receipt of your Letter, I have procured Resolutions to be past that regular
Returns shall be made at least once a Month, by the Commanding officer the Paymaster,
the Quarter Master, Muster Master and Commissary, and if these Returns are not now
made, I think there will Inquiries [be] made, into the Cause of the Neglects, which will not be very pleasant to the Negligent.
We shall know who is General, who Quarter Master who Paymaster, who Commissary and
who Muster Master, important secrets in Canada, which all our Penetration was never
able to discover.
We are very anxious, for you and your Army, as well as for the General and his at
New York: We expect some bold Strokes from the Enemy, but I dont believe that How
and Burgoigne will unite their Forces this year.
[dateline] Aug. 18.
Since the above was written We received your Return.4
It is the most Systematical, that I have seen. Your Letter gives us great Joy.