May 4, 1776

general_charles_lee

General Charles Lee, commander of the southern military department, informs General Washington about the dire state of his men:   “I am just return’d from Suffolk and the Posts below, and the Post is just going out; so that this must rather be consider’d as an apology for not writing than as a letter—in a few days I shall set out for Carolina, but before I set out shall send you a full description of our state and situation—We want arms Medcines and blankets most cruelly indeed We want some Battalions—I wish, Dr General You woud prevail on the Congress to increase the pay of our Engineers—it is too wretched—no Men qualify’d for the buszness will serve on the terms—inclosd is an uncouth return of our force—adieu, Dr General…”

General Horatio Gates, who will later be a rival of General Washington’s, begins to cultivate his own connections with congress and writes to John Adams:  “Your Favour of the 27th: of April was put into my hands by Colonel Clinton, we had much conversation together upon the Critical and political State of this Country; He thinks with You, and I; and has besides a very Uncommon share of Knowledge, and penetration; I shall endeavour to Cultivate his Friendship, and Acquaintance.  The Six Regiments under General Sullivan, are Saild for Albany, with a Fair Wind, so by my Calculation, founded upon the best Authority, we shall have Ten Thousand Men near Quebeck, before the Enemy can throw any Succour into the Town; consequently, Sensible, and Spirited Management, must put that important place in Our possession. General Worster upon his Arrival near Quebeck, thought proper to Slight and Neglect my Worthy Friend Arnold; who, having received a considerable Bruize in his Wounded Leg, by a Fall from his Horse, applied for leave to go to Montreal for recovery. This with a Eager haste was Granted by Worster, and This altogether convinces me that Worster is not the Man fit to Command there, or any where. How happy must every good Officer be to find himself Seconded by so Capable and Brave a Spirit as that possess’d by Arnold, but Men of little Merit, are ever Jealous of those who have a Great deal.

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