Sir: I received your favors of the 7th and 10th instant with the Resolves of the Hon. Congress, to which I will pay all due attention. As soon as two capable Persons can be found, I will dispatch them to Nova Scotia, on the Service resolved on in Congress. 7 The Resolve to raise two Battalions of Marines, will (if practicable in the Army) entirely derange what has been done. It is therein mentioned, one Colonel for the two Battalions, of course a Colonel must be dismissed: One of the many difficulties which attended the New Arrangement, was in reconciling the different Interests and Judging of the merits of the different Colonels, in the dismission of this one, the same difficulties will occur.
[Note:The resolve of Congress of November 10 to send two men to investigate conditions in Nova Scotia. The men sent were Aaron Willard and Moses Child. (See Washington's letter to the President of Congress, Feb. 14, 1776, post. ) ]
The Officers and Men must be acquainted with the maritime Affairs, to comply with which, they must be picked out of the whole Army, one from this Corps, one from another, so as to break through the whole System, which has cost us so much Time, anxiety and pains to bring into any tolerable form. Notwithstanding any Difficulties which will arise, you may be assured Sir, that I will use every endeavour to comply with their Resolve. 8
[Note:On November 30 Congress resolved "That the General be directed to suspend the raising of two battalions of Marines out of his present army," and that they be raised "independent of the army already ordered for the service in Massachusetts bay." ]
I beg leave to submit it to the consideration of Congress, If those two Battalions can be formed out of this Army, Whether this is a Time to weaken our Lines, by employing any of the forces appointed to defend them, on any other Service? The Gentlemen who were here from the Congress, know their vast extent, they must know that we shall have occasion for our whole Force for that purpose, more now than at any past time, as we may expect the Enemy will take the Advantage of the first hard weather, and attempt to make an impression somewhere; That this is their intention we have many reasons to suspect. We have had in the last Week, Six Deserters and took two Straggling Prisoners; they all agree that two companies with a Train of Artillery and one of the Regiments from Ireland were arrived at Boston; that fresh Ammunition and flints have been served out; That the Grenadiers and Light Infantry had Orders to hold themselves in readiness at a Moments Warning.
As there is every Appearance that this Contest will not be soon decided and of course that there must be an augmentation of the Continental Army, would it not be eligible to raise two Battalions of Marines in New York and Philadelphia, where there must be now numbers of Sailors unemployed? This however is matter of Opinion, which I mention with all due deference to the Superior Judgment of the Congress. Inclosed you have Copies of two Letters, one from Col: Arnold, the other from Col: Enos, I can form no Judgment on the latter's Conduct, till I see him; 9 notwithstanding the great defection, I do not despair of Col: Arnold's success, he will have, in all probability, many more difficulties to encounter, than if he had
[Note:Col. Roger Enos commanded the rear guard of Arnold's expedition into Canada. He returned unexpectedly from the expedition with all his troops, leaving Arnold to get along as best he could. He misinterpreted, or misunderstood, Arnold's orders and stripped his command of provisions. The entire matter is exhibited in Justin H. Smith's Arnold's March to Quebec. ]
I got returns this day from Eleven Colonels, of the numbers of enlisted in their Regiments, the whole amount to nine hundred and Sixty Six men; there must be some other stimulus besides love for their Country, to make men fond of the Service; It would be a great encouragement and no additional expence to the continent were they to receive pay for the months of October and November also a months pay advance; The present state of the military chest will not admit of this, the sooner it is enabled to do so, the better? 10
[Note:On December 1 Congress resolved: "That the money [500,000 dollars] lately ordered, be forwarded, with all possible expedition, to General Washington, that he may be enabled to pay such soldiers as will re-inlist, for the succeeding year, their wages for the months of October, November, and December, and also advance them one month's pay." (See Journals of the Continental Congress. ) ]
The Commissary General is daily expected in Camp. I cannot send you the estimate of the clerks in his Department until he arrives. I sincerely congratulate you upon the success of your Arms in the Surrender of St Johns, which I hope is a
[Note:This letter, in the writing of Stephen Moylan, was read in Congress November 27. ]