George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Henry Woodward, 4 May 1756

To Henry Woodward

[Winchester, 4 May 1756]

To Captain Henry Woodward, of the Virginia Regiment.

You are with your party under command, to proceed up the new-road to Fort Cumberland, as far as Back-Creek:1 when you come there, you must take down these waters, and scour the woods down the Creek, until you come to potomac River; detaching small reconnoitring parties into the Mountains.

You are to use all possible precaution in your Search; and above all things, to guard against a Surprize.

You are to endeavour to procure persons acquainted with those parts, for Guides. When you arrive at Potomack, you are to take down the river to Conogochieg; where you are to draw provisions for your party, sufficient to bring them back to this place; where you are to proceed with the utmost expedition, after finishing the Route above-ordered. Given &c. at Winchester, May 4th 1756.



Henry Woodward, who served as a lieutenant in the Braddock expedition, held a commission as captain in the Virginia Regiment dated 25 Aug. 1755.

1Woodward’s party (see GW’s Orders, this date) was to be accompanied by Capt. John Dalton and his Fairfax militia as far as Conococheague. See GW to Dalton, this date. The “new road” between Winchester and Fort Cumberland, the route used by Braddock’s army, intersected the Conococheague road about 6 miles north of Winchester after crossing Opequon Creek by the new bridge built by Sir John St. Clair about 1½ miles north of Littler’s Run. It then ran west northwest through the gap south of Babbs Mountain and across Bear Garden Mountain to the Cacapon River near Henry Enoch’s place. From Enoch’s on the west bank, the road turned northwest toward the Potomac and then to the west side of the mouth of Little Cacapon at Friend Cox’s. There it crossed into Maryland and ran by way of Cresap’s to Fort Cumberland. Part of the road can still be traced on modern geodetic survey maps.

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