George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Stark, 20 April 1756

To William Stark

[Winchester, 20 April 1756]

To Lieutenant Stark.

I received yours, dispatched last night by Express, about two o’clock this morning.1 There is ammunition already sent up, but I send you more now. I hope ere this, Captain Harrison is safe arrived with you. Let him know it is my Orders, that he return the Horses he took up with him, per the first safe hand that is coming down: and that he transmit me constantly, what intelligence he may receive.

I can scarcely give credit to any part of the Report you transmitted to me, from Captain Ashby.2 If Captain Harrison can, by good Woods-men, get intelligence of the number of the Enemy, and their place of Rendezvous, if near your Station—I would have them endeavour to surprize them in the night, by falling upon them at their sleeping places. Yours &c.



1Stark seems to have written GW on 19 April. That letter has not been found. GW received Stark’s letter of 18 April on 19 April. See GW to Dinwiddie, 19 April 1756.

2Apparently Stark sent to GW the following document:

“An Extract of Capt. Ashbys Letter/ Apl 15th 1756


“This day my fort was Demanded of me by four hundred Indians and we came to a parly. I told the interpreter that I would not give up my fort untill I was killed and all my men, they first told me to make ready, I told them I was Ready, any time to give Battle & I would give them battle They also told me that there was two thousand gone to Juniata and fifteen hundred to Cumberland fort, and four hundred to Attact me, and also four hundred to attact the upper fort Cocks and that their orders was not to kill but to take all to Allegheny. I told them that I was but a Captain & I cold not give it up. nor would not. but I would send to our great man, and he might do as he pleased & they aggreed that I should send an Express.

“Test by

John Ashby

“I give him a dram and so Departed without one fire of a gun & in the Evening I heard them attact the fort at the mouth of the Creek and a number of guns fired but what is done I know not. I believe Every word that they told me was a lie, I seen a vast number but not four hundred. Sir I am Your most Humble Servt to command

John Ashby

“To Colll Henry Vanmeter and so to Capt. Waggoner these”

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