Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

The Campaign of Lieut. Gen. John Burgoyne
and The Expedition of Lieut. Col. Barry St. Leger.
by William L. Stone.
Albany, NY, Joel Munsell. 1877.



The erasures are printed in Italics, and the amendments in the opposite column.
-[The erasures were made by General Burgoyne.] Amendments made by General Burgoyne.

The object of your expediction is to try the affections of the country, to disconcert the councils of the enemy, to mount the Riedesel's dragoons, to complete Peters's corps, and to obtain large supplies of cattle, horses and carriages.

The several corps, of which the inclosed is a list, are to be under your cornmand.

The troops must take no tents, and what little baggage is carried by officers must be on their own bat horses.

You are to proceed by the route from Batten kil to Arlington, and take post there, so as to secure the pass from Manchester. You are to remain at Arlington till the detachment of the Provincials, under the command of Captain Sherwood, shall join you from the southward.

You are then to proceed to Manchester, where you take post so as to secure the pass of the mountains on the road from Manchester to Rockingham; hence you will detach the Indians and light troops to the northward, toward Otter creek. On their return, and also receiving intelligence that no enemy is in force in the neighborhood of Rockingham, (1) you will proceed by the road over the mountains to Rockingham, where you will take post. This will be the most distant part on the expediction. (2)

You are to remain there as long as necessary to fulfill the intention of the expediction from thence, (3) and you are afterwards to descend by the Connecticut river to Brattlebury, and from that place, by the quickest march, you are to return by the great road to Albany.

During your whole progress, your detachments are to have orders to bring in to you all horses fit to mount the dragoons under your command, or to serve as bat horses to the troops, they are likewise to bring in (4) saddles and bridles as can be found. (5)

Your parties are likewise to bring in wagons and other convenient carriages, with as many draft oxen as will be necessary to draw them, and all cattle fit for slaughter (milch cows excepted), which are to be left for the use of the inhabitants. Regular receipts, in the form hereto subjoined, are to be given, in all places where any of the above mentioned articles are taken, to such persons as have remained in their habitations, and otherwise complied with the terms of General Burgoyne's manifesto; but no receipts to be given to such as are known to be acting in the service of the rebels. (6)

You will use all possible means to make the country believe that the troops under your command are the advanced corps of the army, and that it is intended to pass the Connecticut on the road to Boston. You will likewise have it insinuated, (7) that the main army from Albany is to be joined at Springfield by a corps of troops from Rhode Island.

You will send off occasionally cattle or carriages, to prevent being too much incumbered; and will give me as frequent intelligence of your situation as possible.

It is highly probably that the corps under Mr. Warner, now supposed to be at Manchester, will retreat before you; but, should they, contrary to expectation, be able to collect in great force, and post themselves advantageously, it is left to your discretion to attack them or not; always bearing in mind, that your corps is too valuable to let any considerable loss be hazarded on this occasion.

Should any corps be moved from Mr. Arnold's main army, in order to intercept your retreat, you are to take as strong a post as the country will afford, and send the quickest intelligence to me; and you may depend on my making such a movement as shall put the enemy between two fires, or otherwise effectually sustain you.

It is imagined the progress of the whole of this expedition may be effected in about a fortnight; but every movement of it must depend upon your success in obtaining such supply of provisions as will enable you to subsist till your return to the army, in case you can get no more. (8)

All persons acting in committees, or any officers acting under the directions of congress, either civil or military, are to be made prisoners.

(1) Upon the Connecticut river.

(2) And must be proceeded upon with caution, as you will have the defile of the mountains behind you, which might make a retreat difficult; you must therefor endeavor to be well informed of the force of the enemy's militia in the neighboring country.

Should you find it may with prudence be effected.

(3) while the Indians and light troops are detached up the river.

(4) together with as many.

(5) The number of horses requisite, besides those necessary for mounting the regiments of dragoons, ought to be 1300. If you can bring more for the use of the army, it will be so much the better.

(6) As you will have with you persons perfectly acquainted with the abilities of the country, it may perhaps be advisable to tax the several districts, with the portions of the several articles, and limit the hours for their delivery; and, should you find it necessary to move before such delivery can be made, hostages of the most respectable people should be taken, to secure their following you the ensuing day. All possible means are to be used to prevent plundering.

As it is probable that Captain Sherwood, who is already detached to the southward and will join you at Arlington, will drive in a considerable quantity of cattle and horses to you, you will therefore send in this cattle to the army, with a proper detachment from Peters's corps to cover them, in order to disincumber yourself; but you must always keep the regiments of dragoons compact.

The dragoons themselves must ride, and take care of the horses of the regiment. Those horses which are destined for the use of the army must be tied together by strings of ten each, in order that one man may lead ten horses. You will give the unarmed men of Peters's corps to conduct them, and inhabitants whom you can trust. You must always take your camps in good position; but at the same time where there is pasture; and you must have a chain of sentinels round your cattle and horses when grazing.

Colonel Skeene will be with you as much as possible, in order to assist you with his advice, to help you to distinguish the good subjects from the bad, to procure you the best intelligence of the enemy, and to choose those people who are to bring me the accounts of your progress and success.

When you find it necessary to halt for a day or two, you must always entrench the camp of the regiment of dragoons, in order never to risk and attack or affront from the enemy.

As you will return with the regiment of dragoons mounted, you must always have a detachment of Captain Frasier's or Peters's corps in front of the column, and the same in the rear, in order to prevent your falling into an ambuscade when you march through the woods.

(7) insinuate,

(8) And, should not the army be able to reach Albany before your expedition should be completed, I will find means to send you notice of it, and give your route another direction.

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