Governor Clinton shares his doubts about the state militia.
Burgoyne's army was threatening Fort Stanwix, a detachment under St. Leger encircled the fort, Herkimer's relief column had been turned back at Oriskany (6 August), and General Schuyler had ordered a relief expedition under the command of Benedict Arnold. By the time Arnold arrived on the 23rd, St. Leger's force was in retreat back to Burgoyne fearing the size of Arnold's expedition which had been exaggerated to the Indians in St. Leger's army.
Governor Clinton begins by mentioning enclosed copies of letters from Arnold and Gansevoort (the fort's commander) containing more detailed information about the engagement. "I have great reason to believe that Genl: Burgoyne will soon follow the example of St. Ledger [sic], and my greatest fear is that he will be equally fortunate in getting off without a second drubbing, as the militia do not turn out with that alacrity which might be expected."
The governor endeavors to arouse the troops: "A proper spirit on this occasion would enable us totally to destroy the enemy in this quarter, and secure peace and safety to this part of the country. The enemy are in our power, could the militia only be prevailed on to believe it."
In a postscript, he reports that Burgoyne is on the east side of the Hudson and notes his paramount concern with safety after the defeat at Bennington (16 August): "...has Batton Kill in his front & Hudson's River on his right — a very secure position indeed; he has also taken the prudent Precaution of reinforcing the Posts in his Rear since the Bennington Affair, with three regiments from which it plainly appears he has safety now more than conquest in view."
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