From Robert Dinwiddie
Wmsburg Augst 1st 1754
The Council met Yesterday & considering the present State of our Forces, & reason to think the French will be strongly reinforc’d next Spring—It was resolv’d that the Forces shou’d immediately march over the Allegany Mountains, either to dispossess the French of their Fort, or build a Fort in a proper Place that may be fix’d on by a Council of War—Colo. Innes has my Orders for the executing the above Affair1—I am therefore now to order You to get Your regiment compleated to 300 Men, & I have no doubt but You will be able to enlist what You are defficient of Yr Number very soon, & march directly to Wills’s Creek to join the other Forces2—And that there may be no Delay, I order You to march what Companies You have compleat; & leave orders with the Officers remaining to follow You as soon as they have enlisted Men sufficient to make up their Compas.
You know the Season of the Year calls for Dispatch; I depend on Yr former & usual Diligence, & Spirit, to encourage Yr People to be active on this Occasion. Consult with Majr Carlyle what Amunition may be wanting that I may send it up immediately: I trust much on Your Diligence & Dispatch in geting Your regiment to Wills’s Creek as soon as possible—Colo. Innes will consult You in the appointing of Officers in Yr regiment—Pray consider if possible or practicable to send a Party of Indians &ca to destroy the Corn at the Fort & Logstown this would be of great Service, & a very great Disappointment to the Enemy. I can say no more but to press Dispatch of Yr Regiment to Wills’s Creek, & that Success may attend our Arms & just Expedition is the sincere Desire of Sr Yr very hble Serv.
Enclos’d You have Yr Como.3
LS, DLC:GW; LB, ViHi: Dinwiddie Papers. GW quoted this letter in his to William Fairfax, 11 Aug. 1754.
1. Dinwiddie wrote James Innes: “I detain’d Yr Messenger till I consulted with my Council, they advis’d me & I therby order You to give proper Directs for the 3 Indt Compas to recruit them to the Numbers on the Establish[ment] the same orders to Colo. Washington to compleat His regimt to 300 Men; & I hope Yr regimt consists of 400—You are to order the general rendezvous to be with all Expedition at Wills’s Creek, & wn in a Body You are to march them over the Allegany Mounts, & if You shall think it impractable to dispossess the French of the Fort they now Possess—You are to build a Fort at the Crossing Place, red Stone Creek, or any other Place that may be fix’d in by a Council of War which You are to call for that Purpose” (1 Aug. 1754, ViHi: Dinwiddie Papers). See also Dinwiddie to Horatio Sharpe, 31 July , ibid.
2. After his defeat at Great Meadows (see “The Capitulation of Fort Necessity,” 3 July 1754), GW returned with the Virginia Regiment to Wills Creek and then traveled to Williamsburg. By this time, 1 Aug., both he and his regiment had probably arrived in Alexandria. At Wills Creek, or soon to be, were Col. James Innes, whose North Carolina regiment had disintegrated, and the three independent companies, two from New York and one from South Carolina. For GW’s appraisal of the strength of the Virginia Regiment and his reaction to what Dinwiddie was proposing, see his letter to William Fairfax, 11 Aug. 1754.
3. GW’s commission as colonel has not been found. GW complained to Dinwiddie on 20 Aug. that the commission had not been signed, and Dinwiddie replied on 11 Sept. that GW should have returned the commission so that Dinwiddie could have signed it and changed the date to “a few Day’s After Colo. Fry’s Death.”