Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 75,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Gates, Horatio (1728-1806) to Benjamin Lincoln

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05563 Author/Creator: Gates, Horatio (1728-1806) Place Written: s.l. Type: Letter signed Date: 26 August 1777 Pagination: 1 p. : docket ; 31.6 x 20 cm.

Summary of Content: Written by Gates as newly installed commander of the Northern Department to Major General Lincoln, who was sent to New York in July 1777 by George Washington to reinforce Gates's army. Says he received enclosed letters from General Benedict Arnold, who was also sent northward by Washington, and Colonel Peter Gansevoort (letters not included). Mentions a British deserter who provided intelligence on the size of Burgoyne's army. Expects Arnold and a group of Indians to join General Enoch Poor in a few days. Says that Livingston and Cortlandt's regiments will join Poor today. Compliments General John Stark who led his New Hampshire militia admirably against a detachment of Burgoyne's army at the Battle of Bennington on 16 August 1777. Hopes to have the rumors of that success verified soon. Lincoln just missed Bennington, but did capture forts on Lake George after the battle, cutting off Burgoyne from Canada.

Full Transcript: Head Quarters 26th August 1777.
Dear Sir,
Yesterday I receive the inclosed Letters from Genl. Arnold and Col Gansevoort, and this Morning a Deserter from the Enemy, brings the within Intelligence ...- he is a Seaman, and knows little of Numbers further than the Hearsay of the Army - his Account, compared with that you will be able to procure, will bring us nearer the Truth - I expect General Arnold with all his Command, and a Body of Indians to join General Poor, in a few Days - Livingston's & Cortlandt's Regiments rejoin him this Day - The Rifle Men I hourly expect at Albany, shall march them up immediately -
My Compliments to General Stark - I am much pleased with the promising Account he gives me of the great Body of Militia, that are upon their March - and hope soon to see his Sanguine Expectations Verefied.
I am
Dear General
Your Affectionate
Humble Servant
Horatio Gates
The Honble. Major General Lincoln.
[docket:]
From General Gates
Augt. 26th 1777

See More

People: Arnold, Benedict, 1741-1801
Burgoyne, John, 1722-1792
Poor, Enoch, 1736-1780
Gansevoort, Peter, 1749-1812
Stark, John, 1728-1822

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: Revolutionary WarRevolutionary War GeneralMilitary HistoryContinental ArmySpyingDesertionGlobal History and CivicsForeign AffairsAmerican Indian HistoryBattleMilitia

Sub Era: The War for Independence

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources