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Schuyler Letter from Fort Edward to Fort George Requesting Supplies, July 8, 1777

Letter from Philip Schuyler asking for powder, entrenching tools, and musket balls from Fort Edward

Letter from Philip Schuyler asking for powder, entrenching tools, and musket balls from Fort Edward

New York State Library, NYSL_SC19811_B1_F13_001
 
Document Description
Philip Schuyler letter from Fort Edward to Fort George requesting supplies, July 8, 1777.
 
Transcription
Fort Edward July 8th: 1777
Sir
            By the Return of the first carriages you will please to send the remainder of the powder, keeping a quantity sufficient for the garrison & Schooner. You will also send what Intrenching Tools can be spared and all the cannon except those in the fort and on board the schooner and the salt. Should there be a greater number of carriages than what are wanted for the above articles you will cause them to be loaded with flour, as we shall soon be in want here.
            As soon as General St. Clair arrives I shall reinforce your garrison, but should you certainly discover that the enemy’s army are near you and so strong as that you will not be able to keep your post you are then to quit it, bringing off what you can and effectually destroying the rest, together with all the buildings. If you are obliged to come away try by all means to bring the cannons and tents.
            Keep the content a profound secret for fear of dispiriting the troops.
            If you have any Musquet Ball send it over in the very first wagon, with what bullet moulds you may have. I am Sir
                                                Your most obedient
                                                            Humble servant
                                                                        Ph. Schuyler
 
            Send about twenty
            Barrels of pork
Immediately
 
 
Questions
When and by whom was this letter written?
 
What were some of the items that Fort Edward needed?
 
What was Schuyler concerned about?
 
 
Historical Challenges
Research Fort Edward and other forts in New York State. Why were these forts important? What role did they play in times of war?
 
 
Interdisciplinary Connections
Art/ Math: Create a map that includes Fort Edward and Fort George. The map should include a map key with an accurate scale.
 
 
Resources
Graphic Organizer for a Written Document
 
The New York Independence Trail. Web. 20 March 2013.
http://www.independencetrail.org/trail_2.html
 
 

Historical Context
As the impending war drew closer, the newly independent states needed to raise and supply an army capable of defeating a major world power: Great Britain. Originally defended by the local militia, the former colonies established the Continental Army in April of 1775. George Washington was named the Commander-in-Chief and the leaders set out to furnish an army that could defeat England.
            The matter of supplying an army was of great concern. At the very least, soldiers needed food, clothing, and weapons. The army used several means to supply the army, ranging from issuing bills of credit to foraging.
 
 
Essential Question
How did the need to supply an army impact the newly independent states?
 
 
Check for Understanding
Write a paragraph explaining the answer to the following question, using evidence from the document: What problems or issues was this letter trying to resolve?
 
 
Glossary
Garrison- A military post, especially one that is permanently established
Schooner- type of sailing vessel characterized by the use of fore-and-aft sails on two or more masts with the forward mast being no taller than the rear masts