George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Robert Stewart, 21 November 1755

From Robert Stewart

Winchester 21st Novemr 1755


I arriv’d here last night where I found Colo. Stephens, Mr Boyd & Mr Gordon, and as the latter returns immediatly to Fort Cumberland Colo. Stephens thinks it unecessary to send any Express;1 I by Mr Gordon send for Serjt Hughs2 and a return of the Troop, which when recd will transmit per first oppy or by Express if any other Papers should ere then come to hand, there’s no Letters but those herewith sent by Colo. Stephens3—I’m informd that there’s no less than six Light Horsemen Deserted & one Dead. The late incursions of the Enemy have struck so great a Panic into the generality of the people in this neighbourghood that I’m afraid it will very arduous, if not impracticable to Recruit here[.] All your orders will be punctually obey’d by him who is With due Respect Sir Your Most Obt hble Servt

Robert Stewart


1GW ordered Stewart on 18 Nov. 1755 to send from Winchester an express with any news from Fort Cumberland and a return of his troop.

2Stewart recruited William Hughes 4 Nov. 1754. Sergeant Hughes was English and 26 years old. He remained in Stewart’s company until 24 June 1757 when Dinwiddie on GW’s recommendation made him “Adjutant of the Regiment.” When the regiment was finally disbanded, he was a lieutenant with the date of rank 22 May 1762.

3The first return of Robert Stewart’s troop of light horse which has been found is included in Adam Stephen’s return of the regiment at Fort Cumberland on 8 Dec. 1755. It reports 1 ensign, 1 sergeant, and 17 rank and file, with 3 deserters. The payroll for the troop for Jan. 1756 at Fort Cumberland gives the names of 2 sergeants, 2 corporals, and 12 troopers. Three months later, 11 May, the muster roll of Stewart’s troop of light horse, at Maidstone, lists different noncommissioned officers—Sgt. William Hughes and 2 corporals—and indicates that only 5 of the 34 men on the roll enlisted before 1 Dec. 1755. Adam Stephen wrote to GW on 22 Nov.

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