George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Fenton Mercer, 12 April 1756

To John Fenton Mercer

[Winchester, 12 April 1756]

To Captain John Mercer. Commanding the Detachment from Fort Cumberland.1 now on Cape-Capon Waters.

If this overtakes you on cape-capon, or any of its waters, you are immediately to return to Joseph Edwards’s, on Great Cape-capon: and there wait with your party, until you receive further orders from me.

You are, immediately upon your arrival at J. Edwards’s, to make a Return, and dispatch it by Express immediately to me at this place; of the number your party consists of; and how they are provided with arms, ammunitions, provision, &c.2 I am &c.



1For references to the detachments from Fort Cumberland, see GW to Adam Stephen, 7 April 1756.

2If Captain Mercer made a return to GW before he was killed on 18 April in a skirmish with the Indians outside Joseph Edwards’s fort, it has not been found. John Fenton Mercer (b. 1735) was the brother of GW’s aide-de-camp Capt. George Mercer and the son of John Mercer of Marlborough. An officer in the Virginia forces since the spring of 1754, he was at this time captain of the 8th company in GW’s Virginia Regiment.

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