George Washington Papers

From George Washington to David Bell, 15 September 1755

To David Bell

[Winchester, 15 September 1755]

To Captain Bell, or either of his Subalterns.

If it happens that I am not in Winchester when you arrive there with your Recruits; You are hereby ordered to put yourself &c. under the Command of the oldest officer then present; observing particularly, all such Directions as you shall from time to time receive from him. But, if it should so fall out, that you are the first that arrive there, or if you should be the oldest Officer there; you are then to govern yourself by the enclosed Instructions. Given under my hand, this fifteenth Day of September, 1755.



David Bell was one of the new captains present in Williamsburg on 3 Sept. (see GW’s Orders, 17 Sept. 1755, n.2), and for the next 3 months, he spent most of his time on recruiting duty. On 9 Jan. 1756 GW assigned command of the 15th company to Bell and the next day sent him on detached duty to scour “the borders of Carolina, or other places where you may hear of Deserters; and . . . apprehend them.” In April 1756 GW dispatched Bell to protect the military storehouse at the mouth of Conococheague Creek. In the summer of 1756 he was ordered to William Cocks’s fort on Patterson Creek, sometimes called Fort Washington. When the number of companies in the regiment was reduced in 1757, Bell lost his captaincy and shortly afterwards resigned from the service. For the enclosure, see Orders, this date.

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