and worse clad, he detached six of his best batta-
lions, containing more than three thousand men, at a time when the British
ministry was directing against him thirty thousand veteran troops.
The command of the brigade was given to Sullivan
; among its officers were Stark
of New Hampshire
, Anthony Wayne
The troops were scantily provided for the march; some companies had not a waistcoat among them all, and but one shirt to a man.
It was a most touching spectacle to see Washington
resign himself to the ill considered votes of congress, and, parsimonious of complaint, to send off his best troops to Canada
at their word, even though it left him bare and exposed to the greatest dangers.
‘I could wish the army in Canada
more powerfully reinforced,’ he wrote to congress; ‘at the same time trusting New York and Hudson river
to the handful of men remaining here, is running too great a risk.
The securing this post and Hudson River
is of so great importance, that I cannot at present advise the sending any more troops from hence; on the contrary, the general officers
, now here, think it absolutely necessary to increase the army at this place with at least ten thousand men.’
Destitute of hard money, congress requested the New England
States to collect as much of it as they could and forward it to Schuyler
Having stripped Washington
of ten battalions, or about half his effective force, they next ordered that provisions, powder, of which his stock was very low, and articles of clothing for ten thousand men, should follow.
Ten thousand was the number of men, which all agreed