26. He began to work on my Mill Race at 1/3 pr. Rod & to find himself and Sciagusta a prisoner from the Indians came here, and began to work with my People.
Work on the millrace began near the mill, and during the next year it progressed slowly north toward Piney Branch and the upper part of Dogue Run. The race was dug several feet into the ground along its two-mile route, except where occasional low-lying areas had to be crossed. In those places earth embankments were raised to keep the water at a constant level, thus preventing any great lowering of the head of water at the mill. The sides of the race were probably supported by timber in both the banked and excavated sections (Lund Washington to GW, 2 Sept. 1778, ViMtvL). to find himself means that Byrd was to supply his own food. “Sciagusta did not work long, as he received but three shillings for his services” (Fitzpatrick, Diaries description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed. The Diaries of George Washington, 1748–1799. 4 vols. Boston and New York, 1925. description ends , 1:376 n.1; ledger a description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 1, 1750-72, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 314). Other ditchers hired during the next two weeks to work on the millrace would prove to be no more eager to stick to this backbreaking task.