<br /> Lee Letter: b108

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Landon Carter

Dear Sir,

I shall take care of your letter for my brother, and of the parcel for Dr. Shippen.

It would give me pleasure to furnish you with better news than this post has brought us, however, it is what we might expect after the intelligence of last week. I have enclosed my brother’s letter to Colo. Tayloe and desired him to send it <to> you.

My opinion is, that this success will only serve to bring Burgoyne into the Country, so far, as to produce his ruin – Which God of his infinite mercy grant. I thank you much for your very friendly wishes and assure you that I am with sincere regard

your affectionate friend and obedient servant.

Richard Henry Lee

Landon Carter esquire of Sabine Hall.


Lee PapersVirginia Historical Society

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 1, 1762 – 1778, pp. 312 – 13.

Cassius F. Lee added this note to the transcript:

“Note: the foregoing letter was written on a half sheet of foolscap & Col. Carter writes thus on the back, taking up 2/3ds of the same.

‘F. Lee writes July 14. to his brother R. H. Lee that Genl Schuyler on the 9th. tells the Congress that Lieut. Hay, a deputy quarter Master at Ticonderoga informed him that on the 5th. St Clair and the officers determined to evacuate Ticonderoga but he knows not why, and knew not the situation of the enemy. Accordingly St Clair and the Army marched out of the lines of Independence on the 6th., but with what design or whither gone nobody could tell, & St Clair has not been since heard of.

‘Schuyler apprehends they may have surrendered to the enemy. Except 600 men who when St Clair left independence, came off with Vessells & batteus down with Ammunition &c, which all but the men fell into the hands of the enemy.

‘Schuyler is at Fort Edward with 1500 men but without a necessary, as he had sent every thing to Ticonderoga. A Brigade from Peekskill was on the road from Albany to Join him (Schuyler). As the pursuing enemy was spreading an Universal Panic over all that part of the Country.

‘Burgoyne dispersing most terrific Proclamations, threatening fire and sword to all who resisted: but mercy and Solid coin to all who submitted with their Provisions. Howe still at N.Y. expected every day to begin some operation. Who that ever heard of this Suspected Scotchman St Clair could have expected anything else but treachery. As soon as I heard Gates would not serve under him, I asked his Country? was told he was a Scotchman, and a Suspected one. Immediately I said farewell Ticonderoga. Thus are we every now & then paying for our imprudence by Seniority truly. We lost Quebec in the same way –

‘Old Wooster was as ill suited to that long March, as I am: and had he recovered the fatigue, tho’ brave enough to die in the bed of honour: he knew as little of a Soldier as I do. No doubt St Clair has taken the advantage of the latter pan of Burgoyne’s Proclamation and I wish he may not persuaded the remaining of his 2000 men to do the same; for when such rascals command so snug at a distance they generally convey the same Poison in plentiful portions. It is this General Gray of N. Britain, Call a Scotchman a rebell and he is ready to swallow it, but yet say his for the Laird of his clan, & then you are his * * *. And yet who so great enemies to this Present Tyrant?'” (Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, 1:312 – 13)