George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Peter Hog, 13 October 1755

From Peter Hog

Fort Dinwiddie 13th Octobr 1755


I am Oblidged to send this wt. the Weekly Return under Cover with other Letters to Colo. Stevens1 the Barracks are finished. But not a Tree cut down further than we Used, for want of Iron to make Axes, all being Employed in getting timber for the Cooper who began Yesterday. Majr Lewis has not yet Sent up the Salt Iron &c. nor doe I hear that he spoke to any person on this side the Ridge to fetch them; it is now Winter here and the food destroyed by the Severe frosts we have had, the Magazine is not finished for Want of Nails, nor can the Cattle be killed till the Salt Comes up. I have been Oblidged to pay Seven days hire for a horse to fetch a Load of Salt from the Courtho.2 for present Use & pay 8/ per busl there, pray order up the things wanted as fast as possible, I am under a Necessity to send Scattering parties all abroad to quite the distant Ihabitants, who will not remain on their farms while their husbands are gone over the Ridge. The Louisa Company under Capt. Fox3 marched out from Dickisons fort4 abt 10 agoe with 4 of the Inhabitants of Green Briar5 and the first Night after they got there one of the Country Men was killed & Scalped ⟨illegible⟩ by the Indians[.] They continued 2 or 3 days there & returned complaining of Hunger & Hardships after Devouring 2 beeffs & a sufficient quantity of potatoes[.] This is all the good they have done and the only Expedition they have Undertook notwithstanding they were fired with military Courage & greatly desireous of doing something Glorious for their King & Country when Mr John Todd6 preached to them a Military Sermon Mentd in the Gazette 19th Septr[.] These Volunteers have not been of half the Use to the Inhabitants of Green Briar as a Serjts Command placed there in a fort would have been, and Unless a Command can be Sent up there in 3 Weeks all the Crops will fall a prey to the Indians as well as the Stock of Cattle not yet got up, I am with respect Sir Your Very hume Servt

Petr Hog


1The weekly return of the 1st company of the Virginia Regiment at Fort Dinwiddie, dated 13 Oct., and signed by Hog and John McNeill, included the following notation: “The 4 Deserted on Wed: in the Eveng just at Dusk I sent Serjt McCully & 2 private next morning in pursuit of them towards Carolina; where I am Informed there is a Nest of Deserters from the Virga forces I have given orders for taking all up they come a Cross; and am in hopes they will be able to give a good Account of them, I shall Expect to receive Instructions how to dispose of my own as well as the others since there ar[e] not officers here to hold a Court Martial.”

2He is referring to the Augusta County courthouse.

3Joseph Fox (1731–1804) of Louisa County left Louisa on 8 Sept. in command of an independent company of volunteers to go to Augusta County to pursue the Shawnee who had reportedly killed and captured white settlers on the Greenbrier River.

4Dickinson’s fort on the Cowpasture River in Augusta County was the scene of several raids or skirmishes in the following years. It was located on the land of either Adam Dickinson (died c.1760), one of the earliest settlers in the area, or of his son John Dickinson (1731–1799), a captain in the Augusta County militia. Both men owned large tracts on the Cowpasture.

5Settlers had just begun to move into the region of the Greenbrier River in the early 1750s.

6John Todd, a Presbyterian minister in Louisa County, wrote to the Virginia Gazette (Williamsburg) of his send-off for Capt. Joseph Fox’s company: “At the Request of the Company, I preached to them a military Sermon, and they discovered much of the Temper and Behaviour of Christian Soldiers, engaged in the best of Causes” (19 Sept. 1755). The Reverend Mr. Todd found a new cause when in 1775 he became a member of the county’s committee of correspondence.

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