PROPERTY OF A NEW YORK COLLECTOR
Schuyler's letter continues, directing Dayton to prevent the approach of the British via Lake Ontario: "You will please to observe that before you fall the Timber into the [Wood] Creek, I mean that your Intelligence should be such as to give you the strongest reason to beleive that any enemy crossing Lake Ontario intend to come your way, this will be best determined by their coming to Oswego, or landing in some other part of the Lake in the vicinity of that place. In such case any roads by which Cannon could be conveyed should also be rendered as impassable as possible."
Schuyler also instructs Dayton to maintain the preparedness of the American's cannons. "It will be proper for you to furnish the Officer of Artillery with such a number of men as will be fully sufficient to work the Cannon in case of an Attack, and they should be constantly exercised in that Business, this will not only be an advantage to the Regiment in case they should be, at any time, under the necessity of marching with Field Artillery, when no Artillery men may be at hand, but be of service to the cause in general by having so many more men capable of that duty, and therefore I also wish that one or more of your officers should also be instructed in the management of Cannon."
Dayton is also informed of Schuyler's efforts to maintain the neutrality of the Iroquois Confederacy, as four of those peoples (Mohawk, Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga) were being encouraged to ally with the British by exiled Tyron County Tories and the son (John) and nephew (Guy) of the late Sir William Johnson, the dynamic British Superintendent of Indian Affairs from 1755–1774. "Yesterday our Speech was delivered to the Six Nations, they are now in council preparing an answer, from which we hope to gather their Intentions."
As this letter demonstrates, Schuyler marshalled the campaign in northern New York with considerable skill. His rehabilitation of Fort Stanwix was vital in blocking Col. St. Leger's approach from the west during Burgoyne’s 1777 campaign.
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