George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Dalton, 4 May 1756

To John Dalton

[Winchester, 4 May 1756]

To Captain John Dalton, of the Fairfax Volunteers.

You are hereby ordered to join with the Volunteers and Militia under your command;1 the Detachment sent with Captain Woodward, to scour Back-Creek, &c. He is directed to proceed down the said creek, until he comes to Potomack River; and then to march to Conogochieg to get provisions. When you arrive there, you must consult with the Inhabitants the best place to post the Militia at, under command of Captain Russell; and proceed yourself to this place—Captain Swearingham can give you the best information concerning this matter. Given &c. at Winchester May 4th 1756.



1By one count there were 119 Fairfax militiamen in Winchester (Memorandum respecting the Militia, 1–2 May 1756); by another, “about one hundred and fifty” (GW to Dinwiddie, 3 May 1756); and on 4 May, GW ordered Nicholas Minor and James Hamilton to the South Branch with 100 Fairfax militiamen (Evening Orders, 3 May 1756). It would therefore appear that when Dalton left Winchester on 4 May with Capt. Henry Woodward he perhaps had with him as many as fifty militiamen and perhaps the same number of volunteers, some commanded by Capt. William Russell. Dalton returned to Winchester on 8 May with thirteen militiamen and an unknown number of volunteers (Memorandum respecting the Militia, 8 May 1756).

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