Letter from Van Schaick
Fort Schuyler May 22 1779
Sir, Yours of the 17th Inst. I have received by the post. The scout I sent to Oswego returned yesterday; their provisions having got damaged by a heavy rain, oblidged them to come off some days sooner than was intended. The Officer informs me that he has been on the ground at Oswego seven days without making the least discovery of an enemy at or near that place.
The five Oneidas whom I sent with one of my soldiers to Buck Island have returned yesterday; they brought in three Soldiers belonging to Sir John Johnson's Regiment whom they took on the Island, By them, I have been informed that no Reinforcement of men had arrived at Buck Island this spring, but that the remainder of Sir John's Regim't, being seven Companies, was daily expected.
When the soldiers were taken, which was the 15th Instant, there was then on the Island about Six hundred men, and about three hundred Indians; that a body of Troops were coming up the River St. Lawrence this Spring; that besides the four Vessels on the Stocks at Buck Island would be launched in a few days. Butler and Brandt left Buck Island before the Soldiers were taken, in order to Collect the foreign Indians.
I shall be under the necessity for the future to desist from sending any Parties of Indians in order to take prisoners from the enemy, as I have it not in my power to make them any Reward but what comes from my own purse. It seems that my Superiors dont think proper to trust me with the same Powers and Materials with which the former Commanders at this Post were intrusted. Shall, therefore, Content myself with endeavouring to Comply with your Orders, respecting the sending of Scouts to Oswego by Land, a mode foreign to my expectation.
The Indians have promised me to deliver up the prisoners to me in four days. When that is Complied with I shall forward them down to Albany by the first Conveyance. Your Obed't Servant. G. V. Schaick
To Brig'r Genl. Jas. Clinton
A true Copy
SOURCE: PUBLIC PAPERS OF GEORGE CLINTON, ed. HUGH HASTINGS, N.Y., 1900, VOL. IV, pp 843-844.