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[273] The quantity of military stores that he delivered up,
Chap. LVIII.} 1776. Jan.
was inconsiderable; on the twentieth, at noon, between two and three hundred Highlanders marched to the front of the invading force, and grounded their arms. In the two following days, Herkimer completed the disarmament of the disaffected, and secured six Highlanders as hostages for the peaceable conduct of the rest. Schuyler and his party were rewarded by the approbation of congress.

After the death of Montgomery, the active command in Canada was reserved for Schuyler, to whom it properly belonged. His want of vigorous health, and the irksomeness of controlling the men of Connecticut, had inclined him to leave the army; the reverses, suffered within his own district, now placed him in a painful dilemma: he must either risk the reproach of resigning at the news of disasters, or retain his commission, and in the division of his department leave to another the post of difficulty and danger. Unwilling at such a moment to retire, yet too ‘weak and indisposed’ to undertake the campaign in Canada, he continued as before to render auxiliary services. The general congress acquiesced in his decision, and invited Washington to propose in his stead an officer to conduct the perilous warfare on the St. Lawrence.

The position of New York gave great advantage to the friends of the royal government; for the British men-of-war were masters of the bay, the harbor, the East River, and Hudson River below the Highlands; neither Staten Island nor Long Island could prevent the landing of British troops; the possession of Long Island would give the command of Manhattan Island, which had not as yet accumulated materials

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