To John Adams from Horatio Gates, 23 April 1776

“Here we are surrounded by Crowds of Tories, and I wish our Army may be free of those Vermine, I hold a Cautious Eye, and as Shakespear says will try, to Delve a Yard below their Mines, and Blow them at the Moon; the New York, and Jersey Regiments, have Men, but Scarce any Arms; little Discipline, and less Subordination; but this, if the Enemy gives us time, must be rectifyed: By my Calculation General Howe will not be Able to leave Hallifax before the 10th, or Middle of May; if he is here by the first of June, it is as soon as I think he can Arrive; should he Divide his Army, and send a large Detachment to Quebeck, they must go directly to the Southward, and have the Gulf of Saint Lawrence well open before they can Steer for the River. A Five Years Acquaintance with Nova Scotia inform’d me that the Drift Ice, which lays in May, and the beginning of June, off the East End of Cape Breton, must make the passage to Quebeck at that Season exceeding Tedious by the Coast of that Island.”