George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Augustine Washington, 7 June 1755

To John Augustine Washington

[Fort Cumberland, Md., 7 June 1755]

To Mr Jno. Auge WashingtonMount Vernon
Dear Jack Brother

As much as I am hurried as I am at present, I cant think of leaving this place without writing to you; tho I have no time to be particular. I was Escorted by 8 Men of the Militia from Winchester to this place Camp; which 8 Men were 2 Days assembling; but I believe they woud not have been more than as many seconds dispersing if I had been attacked.1 Upon my arrival here, I found that Sir Jno. St Clair with a body of 500 Men were had Marchd to prepare the Roads, lay a deposit of Provisions at the little Meadows, and to erect some kind of defensive work there.

Tomorrow Sir Peter Halket with the first Brigade begin Begin2 their March, and on monday the General and the 2d will follow.3 We have no certain acct intelligence from the Ohio: but have advices from Philidelphia that a body of 300 French: passd Oswego in o their way to Fort Duquisne, and that a larger Detachment was hourly expected.4 A Captn of Sir Peter’s Regimt with several of the common Soldiers of the different Corps has died have died since our Incampmt here, and many others are now sick with a kind of Bloody Flux.5 I wrote to you from Winchester a Letter which I & hope you have receivd6 it—I and shoud be glad of an answer as soon as possible; any Letter’s to me, directed to the care of Mr Cox at Winchester,7 will be certain of a conveyance[.] I am Dr Jack Yr most Affe Brothr


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LB (original), DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW.

1GW left Winchester on 29 May and arrived at Fort Cumberland the next day. See GW Memorandum, 15–30 May 1755.

2The “B” in the original word is badly blotted.

3The main body of the army marched from Fort Cumberland in three divisions between this day and Tuesday, 10 June. See GW Memorandum, 30 May–11 June 1755, nn.7, 11, 13.

4For a discussion of these intelligence reports, see GW to William Fairfax, 7 June 1755, n. 10.

5Captain Bromley of the 44th Regiment died on 16 or 17 May 1755 reportedly “of a vilant Feaver which the Cuntry is very Subject to” and was buried with honors on 18 May (“The Journal of Captain Robert Cholmley’s Batman,” in Hamilton, Braddock’s Defeat description begins Charles Hamilton, ed. Braddock’s Defeat. Norman, Okla., 1959. description ends , 15). See also “The Morris Journal,” in Sargent, Braddock’s Expedition description begins Winthrop Sargent, ed. The History of an Expedition against Fort Du Quesne, in 1755; under Major-General Edward Braddock, Generalissimo of H.B.M. Forces in America. Philadelphia, 1856. description ends , 377. According to the official return of the troops at Fort Cumberland on 8 June 1755, eight rank and file had recently died.

7William Cocks (d. 1769) of Winchester, who served as captain of the 1st company of Virginia rangers 1755–56, seems to have been at this time a deputy commissary responsible for engaging wagons and forwarding supplies from Winchester to Fort Cumberland. After GW became colonel of the Virginia Regiment in the fall of this year, he rented and from time to time lived in Cocks’s house in Winchester (Ledger A description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 1, 1750-72, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 32, DLC:GW).

8This instruction, written in GW’s later hand, was addressed to the clerk who recopied the original letter book. See GW Memorandum, 15–30 May 1755, n.9.

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