George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Peter Hog, 14 May 1756

From Peter Hog

Fort Dinwiddie 14 May 1756


On Saturday the 9th Instant1 I rec’d advice that the Tract of 7 Indians had been discovered at the house of Vanderpool on the head of this Rivr2 by two Men of the party detached from my Company for the protection of Mesrs Millers & Wilson’s Famillies;3 I immediatly ordered a Serjt to gett a party ready to March next Morng to Join the sd Detachmt & goe in Search of the sd Tracts But that Evening a Messenger arrived Express from the plantation of Robt Armstrong4 to Inform me that 6 Indians had Called at the house that Morning & Spoke in their own tongue to the Woman, Signified that they were going to War agt the Cherokees Called themselves Senekas & Wanted to goe down the Rivr. I immediatly Sent Ensign Fleming wt. 12 Men & a Serjt Who arrived there that Night thô the Rivr was so high that 3 of the Men Lost their Arms & it was near Sun Sett before the Messenger gott to the Fort the party of 8 Men & Serjt gott to the head of the Rivr on Monday where they Tracted the Indians from Vanderpools house down along Back Rivr5 & By the Account given by the Ensign they were the same who Came thro’ the Gap at Armstrongs, where he traced them down the Rivr down this Rivr near Dunlops place6 & there they seemed to have turned back & soon after the Tracts were Lost by Which he Imagined they had taken a Spur of the Mountain towards Green Briar.7

On thursday the 13th a Messenger arrived from Alexr Galespies8 abt 1⟨½⟩ Mile from the Fort to Acquaint me that 2 Girls belonging to his Familly being out after the Cattle as they were digging some Roots of Ginsang heard the tread of feet Crossing a ⟨dry⟩ Run at the foot of the Spur which on Looking up they discovered to be 2 Indians. I Sent off a Serjt wt. ⟨10⟩ Men & a Corporal from the parade as the Compy happened to be under Arms, it was then abt 6 o’Clock in the Evening they came on the tracts but could not make them out far as they took up the Side of a Stony Mountain. I sent o⟨ut⟩ another Command to day But after a Large Range they cou⟨l⟩d only discover their Tracts abt the Draughts of the Mounta⟨in⟩ where the Ground was Soft & then they appeared to have no direct Course this afternoon Felix Gilberts9 Came up from Armstrongs & told me that on Wed. Evening Nicolas Canute being out a hunting as he sat on a tree to Listen for his Dogs was Shot at by 5 dift pieces on Starting up he saw an Indn running up to him wt. a Tomhawk & another rung a Cross to head him. he took to a tree & his pursuers soon Concealed themselves behind others he fired his Riffle at the head of one & going to Load he missed his Shot Bag & which had been Carried away by one of the Shots another wounded his Side he then took to his heels & reaced Armstrongs in a Miles distance where I had a Corporals Command ever since the first Alarm. This Eveng I saw a party of the Militia who were going to sd place where they were Stationed & they told me that the other Compy would be on the other parts of the Rivr tomorrow, On the Whole I Believe they are only Spies But that we may Expect a Visett soon, I formerly desired your Concurrence to Lineing & Covering the passage to the Water as it would be attended wt. some Expence10 But you did not give me any Answer as it is absolutely Necessa⟨ry⟩ in case the Garison is Attacked I have Sett abt it in as frugal & Imperfect a way as I can to make it answer the End. I Inclosed some Returns to you of the 3d April the day of my Arrival here & desired the 2 Months pay for the Company might be Sent up, as also Cash to Compl⟨ea⟩t the Company.11 there is now 3 Months due and the Men very Clamourous for their money & Cloaths as Indeed they are greatly in Want of both most of them having neither Shoes Stockings nor Coats. You will See by the Inclosed Returns12 that I have Enlisted 2 Men since my Arrival & would probably have gott more if I had money. Henry Kelly a Batman is so Grievously tormented wt. Convulsive Fitts that he is of no manner of Use But rather a Burthen as he requires 2 Men to Attend him when the Fitts are on him which are seldom Less than once aday, he offers to gett anoth⟨er⟩ good Man in his Room But I would not discharge him Untill I had your Approbation.13 there is also one Robt Bridge[r] a Recruit of Mr Flemings who is a Soft sort of Fellow & dull of Hearing & withal has the Incumbrance of a Big Belli⟨ed⟩ Wife who is half distracted at times as he was Imprest into the Service just before the Expiration of the Act. I should take it as a particular favr if you would allow me to Accept of a Likely Young Fellow in his Stead which he is Willing to procure by his own Industry, and Which the Officers Shall allow to be fitter for the Service.14 There is the Arrears due to the Recruits that were draughted from other Officers Last spring which I now Send you an Accot of15 as also the pay from 29th Decr on to the 1st Mar. 55 due to Jno. Roe16 & 4 Months from 29th Sept. Due to me that I hope will be Sent up with the pay as the Men think it hard that those under Majr Lewis should be payed & they Lye out of it,17 I now Send the Pay Roll for Sept. which was made out but forgot to be Inclosed in the hurry of my Going off18 I can find no Conveyance to Send the Receipts & Send this to meet wt. one at Court.19 I am respectfully Sir Your Very hume Servt

Petr Hog


Peter Hog was the senior captain in the Virginia Regiment. GW sent him to Fort Dinwiddie in Augusta County in September 1755. See GW to Hog, 6 Sept. 1755.

1The ninth of May fell on a Sunday.

2Vanderpool’s house was probably near the present village of Vanderpool in what is now Highland County. Here Jackson River turns west through Vanderpool’s Gap in Back Creek Mountain. Vanderpool may have been Abraham Vanderpool, from Wallpack, Morris County, N.J., who held land on the South Fork of the South Branch as early as 1748 and is known to have been living on the Greenbrier River in 1753.

3Miller was Capt. John Miller who lived about 15 miles up Jackson River from Fort Dinwiddie. In July of this year Miller’s was chosen as the site for one of the forts to be built and garrisoned for the protection of the Augusta County frontier. Wilson’s may have been the land of William and Stephen Wilson on Jackson River at the mouth of Bolar Run, earlier called Wilson’s Mill Run, near John Miller’s place.

4There were several Robert Armstrongs in Augusta County. This may have been the man of that name who lived on a branch of the Bullpasture River, a tributary of the Cowpasture River, a few miles to the east of Jackson River.

5Back River flows into Jackson River from the west. For most of its length it flows parallel to Jackson River, separated from it by Back Creek Mountain.

6There were several Dunlop, or Dunlap, families in Augusta County. This may have been James Dunlop, a captain in the Augusta County militia who had land on Meadow Creek, a tributary of Jackson River “near the Indian Path” (Chalkley, Scotch-Irish Settlement description begins Lyman Chalkley. Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia: Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County, 1745–1800. 3 vols. 1912. Reprint. Baltimore, 1974. description ends , 3:317). He served in the Sandy Creek expedition earlier in the year and was killed by Indians in 1758.

7The Greenbrier River, west of Back River, flows south-southwest through what is now West Virginia to empty into the New River.

8There was an Alexander Gillespie in the Augusta County rangers in 1758. He served in the company of Andrew Lewis’s brother Capt. Charles Lewis, whose home was about twelve miles northeast of Fort Dinwiddie. A man of the same name was later armorer and blacksmith in the Virginia Regiment after GW’s resignation in 1758.

9In 1756 a man named Felix Gilbert was a soldier in Capt. George Wilson’s Augusta militia company. He was probably the same man who later became a merchant in Augusta County, a justice of the county, and a member of the Augusta Parish vestry. The “Draughts of the Mounta⟨in⟩” were stream courses or ravines.

10Hog’s letter requesting GW’s concurrence to “Lineing & Covering the passage” has not been found.

11For the monthly return of the 1st company of the Virginia Regiment, see Hog to GW, 3 April 1756, n.1. Hog’s “Arrival” was his return from the Sandy Creek expedition.

12In DLC:GW dated after the monthly return of 3 April and before 14 May 1756, there are for the 1st company of the Virginia Regiment four weekly returns (10, 17, 24 April and 8 May) and the monthly return of 1 May 1756. All of the returns are from Fort Dinwiddie and signed by the three officers of the company, Capt. Peter Hog, Lt. John McNeill, and Ens. William Fleming. The returns reported in the company three sergeants, one drummer, and forty-nine (fifty on 1 and 8 May) soldiers. The report of 10 April includes a notation reporting the arrival of the sergeant and two of the eight men whom he had reported on 3 April that he had left behind on the trek of the company back to Fort Dinwiddie after the collapse of the Sandy Creek expedition. The weekly return of 17 April indicated that “3 more of the weak men arrived & the others gott in to the Inhabitants very Low except one whom they Left on the Mountain.” As late as 15 May “the three sick ones” had “not yet arrived.” The two batmen reported in the return of 10 April were apparently not counted among the forty-nine soldiers.

13Henry Kelly, recruited by Lt. John Savage, was reported in Hog’s monthly return of 1 May as “unfit for the Service being much afflicted wt. Convulsive Fitts.” Hog was given permission to discharge Kelly in GW’s letter to him of 2 June 1756, and Hog’s 29 July return noted that “as Kelly found another man In his Room have not altered the Return.”

14Robart Bridger enlisted on 22 Sept. 1755 and was soon after that transferred from Capt. David Bell’s company to Hog’s company. See William Fleming to GW, 26 Nov. 1755, especially note 2. Although GW wrote Hog on 2 June that Bridger could be discharged if he found a good man in his place, he was still on Hog’s payroll in December 1756 (DLC:GW).

15Hog had made several earlier inquiries about the arrears for December 1753 through February 1754 which were owed to his men, and GW’s After Orders of 30 Dec. 1755 had dealt in detail with the subject of this arrears pay. In DLC:GW is a document filed at the end of 1757 entitled: “An Accot of Arrears Due to the following Soldiers of Capt. Peter Hogs Compy of the Virga Regt.” The soldiers named are Henry Kelly, James Connor, Robert Satterfin, John Humphreys (Umphries), Edmond With (Waith), John Pow, and William Smith; the names of John Roe and John T⟨ygar⟩ have been scratched through. The enlisting officer or company to which each man was assigned is given, as is the number of days’ pay due to 1 Mar. 1755. Alexander Boyd, paymaster, has written across the bottom of the account “Memorandum to look over the Pay Rolls & see if any of the above Men are paid off for arrears,” and a docket on the back denotes “Capt. Hog’s Arrears Accot not paid.”

16John Roe’s name was deleted from the list of recruits drafted from other officers because he had served with Hog’s company since the Fort Necessity campaign.

17Andrew Lewis had paid arrears to twenty men in Hog’s company on 17 Feb. 1756 (DLC:GW). Some of these men had been in Lewis’s company at Fort Necessity.

18In his letter of 10 Jan. 1756 GW requested Hog’s payroll for September 1755 “as you received that months pay from me.” Hog replied in his letter of 27 Jan. 1756 that he was enclosing the payroll; but he was at that time about to embark on the Sandy Creek expedition and evidently forgot to do so. A “Pay Bill for Capt. Hogs Company of the Virga Regt at Fort Dinwiddie for the Mo. of Sept.” is in DLC:GW.

19The Augusta County court met 19–25 May 1756.

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