George Washington Papers

Memorandum, 15 September 1755


[15 September 1755]

After giving the necessary Orders, and collecting Returns of the Provision, Clothing, &c. at this place, and Stores at Rock-Creek,1 I continued to Winchester, where I arrived on the fourteenth,2 and sent for John Mercer, late Lieutenant of the Light Horse, and acquainted him and Deckiser,3 of their Promotion: appointed Deckiser to act as Ensign under him; gave them Money, Recruiting Instructions, and ordered them to be at Alexandria by the first of October—I also acquainted Mr Gordon with his promotion; and gave him the following Orders and Instructions.


1Included among the military stores at Rock Creek, the head of navigation on the Potomac River, were “10 Cannon, with their Appurtenances,” which Braddock had hoped to mount at Fort Duquesne (Dinwiddie to William Shirley, 24 June 1755, ViHi: Dinwiddie Papers).

2After leaving Rock Creek, GW stopped at Coleman’s Ordinary on 13 Sept. and continued to Winchester by way of Vestal’s Gap. Vestal’s (later Keyes’s) Gap in the Blue Ridge, was on the northernmost road from Alexandria to Winchester.

3On 18 Mar. 1754 Dinwiddie wrote Joshua Fry, the colonel of the regiment of Virginians then being formed: “One deKeyser was mention’d by Colo. Fairfax for Adjutt & Qr Master; I hear he is a dancing Master & not acquainted with the Exercise, if so, not eligible for that Appointmt” (ViHi: Dinwiddie Papers). Lehaynsius De Keyser seems to have remained on recruiting duty most of the fall, but he was at Fort Cumberland before 6 Jan. 1756, for on that date GW ordered him to appear before a “Court of enquiry” the next day to answer charges that he had behaved “in a manner unbecoming the character of a Gentleman, and an Officer.” Lt. John Bacon of the Maryland Independent Company accused De Keyser of cheating at cards while playing a game of brag with his fellow officers at Winchester. After hearing Bacon’s testimony as well as that of others, the court found De Keyser guilty of “a Breach of the 23d Article (of the 15 Section) of War” (Memorandum, second, 7 Jan. 1756, n.1). GW immediately suspended him and wrote for instructions to Dinwiddie, who dismissed De Keyser from the service on 22 Jan.

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