As yet Burgoyne did not know that St Leger would fail to capture Fort Stanwix and would retreat, and that there would thus be no diversionary force to assist his approach to Albany. But by now he did know that there would be no junction of armies on the Hudson, and little prospect of aid from New York, for on August 4th he had received Sir William Howe’s letter dated July 17th, in which he said his intention was for Pennsylvania. When General Gates asked John Stark to move his men down the Hudson, be replied that he had only 800 effectives, and that ‘the task is too hard for the author in his present circumstances’. The desertion of the Indians enabled Gates to gather more precise information about the enemy’s strength and intentions. Gates’s army had been strengthened by the arrival of Morgan and the return of Arnold, and his forces now numbered about 7000 men.