Lieut. Col. Claus From The Frederick Haldimand Papers
Montreal 3d May 1779
I had the Honour to recive Your Excellencys favor of 30th Ulto last Evening, when at the same time Capt. John the Mohawks party was arrived here with two rebel Prisoners and a Scalp which they took of a violent Rebel that used to persecute the Friends to Government. The prisoners they took on the high road within half a Mile of my House, one Steward and Kennedy the latter went part of the way to Fort Stanwix with 34 Batteauss. I immediately acquainted Colo Carleton with it who ordered the Prisrs to the Provosts.
Capt John met the Mohawk party of 16 Indians that left this a few days after him within 3 days March of the Mohawk River and told them that the Inhabitants where upon their Guard abt Indn parties coming from hence since Mr. Fraser was there last He gave that party one Prisoner & Scalp wch he likewise took, which is an Indian Compliment & Custom, when war parties meet one another that in case those going towards the Enemy should be unsuccessfull, they might still have some Spoil to show on their Return home. The third prisoner they left with the other party is a Master Carpenter employed at some work they carrying on at Lake George, which he says were finished, but was returning there to build Barracks for the Garrison, his Name is Peter Loux. That party is expected in about 5 or 6 days, those having been 3 weeks coming on Accot of hunting for Provisions, when I shall instantly transmit Your Excellency what Intelligence they bring. I find by this party that the people on the Mohawk River are entirely kept in the Dark with regard to our Success in General having no Newspapers allowed to come among them, and the Reinforcements lately arrived at N. York they were told was French & Spanish Troops on whose Aid & Protection they wholly rely. The Inhabitants there are much in dread of Capt. Brant, watching all his Motions, and well knew of his being gone to Canada to your Excellency to apply for Troops &c and that the present Movement at Albany &c was said to be against his party & the Senecas and to rendezvous at Fort Stanwix; the whole party to consist of 4000 Men & 500 Batteaus. 300 Rifle Men were arrived at Albany from N. England but when the Mohawks came away they had certain Intelligence that not a Man was arrived there. The Prisoners say that there are abt 700 Men at Fort Stanwix in Garrison, and they heard some of those that were to go up were to advance to Oswego. A Scout of 30 Indians & Whites were to have gone to Carleton Island on Snow Shoes from Fort Stanwix, but leaving by the way that the Ice was broke up at the Island they returned without doing anything. That the party that struck lately at Swegachy was fitted out afterwards consisting of 20 Indns and some of the Garrison. That all the Batteaux for the Campaign were made at Saratoga and there abouts last winter, 20 of which were transported from Albany to Schenectady this spring and now with 14 more fitted uo at Schenect. & sent to Fort Stanwix in with Rum & Officers Baggage, all the Boats being small for 3 men to work, and highly loaded. That the main army under General Washington was in the Jerseys and Pennsylvia and it was expected that Genl Clinton would come to Albany this Summer to attack it, no rebel troops being now on Hudsons Rivr between Albany & N York. The Prisoners know nothing about the Operations to the Southward except they heard that one Colo Campbell had defeated the Southern Continental Army, and that there was a Battle in the Jerseys wherein The Rebels were worsted. This is chiefly the Substance of the Prisoners Examination before Colonel Carleton who desired me to report it to Your Excellency; should any thing more occur to me to get out of the Prisrs shall examine them again & report it to Your Excelly by next post, being at present so surrounded by this party of Johns & others that I am constantly interrupted. I have Conversed with Colo Campbell about the Deputation of the Domicilians to the Oneidas and gave the Heads of the party my Opinion with all the favorable News on our Side; and I believe the Haughtiness of the Oneida rebels proceeded merely from the Rebels promising to send this Body for their protection, but am apprehensive they will find the Numbers much smaller than promised by the Time they arrive in their Country wch must disgust them, and on the other hand when they hear our Numbers at N. York of wch they were told was blocked up by the Rebels & their Intention, which the Arrival of the Express will soon spread among the Confederacy, I should imagine the Oneidas will be glad of an opportunity to accept with pleasure of your Excellys terms. A body of a Couple Hundred Whites & Indians cutting across the Country towards Schenectady would strike a Terror and occassion a great Diversion in favor of the Indians this Expedn is said to be against, Capt John proposes going upon a Scout to Fort George in a day or two and says he is determined not to be idle while the Rebellion lasts and any extra service Your Excellency may have to do for him he will be always ready to go upon.
I have the honor to be with great Respect
Most Obedient and
Oblidged hum Servant
To His Excellency
&c &c &c
[On reverse side] from Lieut Col Claus of the 3d May 1779
SOURCE: GENERAL FREDERICK HALDIMAND PAPERS.