George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Robert Dinwiddie, 18 June 1756

From Robert Dinwiddie

Williamsburg June 18th 1756

Sir

I desire You to send me a List of the Volunteers <You are> to appoint to the Vacancies in Your Regiment—& the Number of Draughts from the Militia, which I am sorry to think will be much fewer than I expected.1

As the Regimt will be pretty much divided in Forts &ca I thot it proper & necessary to appoint Mr Boyd the Pay-Mr, Muster Master,2 by which on paying the Men he will be able to make an exact return of each Company to You, & in course will be a Check to the Officers to keep their Companies as compleat as possible.

I wish You Health & Success in Your Operations & I am Sir Your most humble Servt

Robt Dinwiddie

LS, DLC:GW. The mutilated portion in angle brackets has been taken from Hamilton, Letters to Washington description begins Stanislaus Murray Hamilton, ed. Letters to Washington and Accompanying Papers. 5 vols. Boston and New York, 1898–1902. description ends , 1:279.

1In his response of 25 June to this letter, GW explained that he could not yet give Dinwiddie the names of the volunteers and reported that a total of only 246 drafted men were brought up. There were only 125 militiamen on duty on 1 Dec. 1756, the date for their general discharge.

2Alexander Boyd, who acted as paymaster of the Virginia forces in the Braddock campaign, became the paymaster of the reconstituted Virginia Regiment in September 1755 and was still serving in that position after GW left the regiment at the end of 1758. Although Dinwiddie seems to indicate here that he had only just given Boyd the additional position of muster master, or commissary of musters, Boyd later received £36 10s. pay as muster master for serving up until the date of this letter, 18 June 1756 (7 May 1757, Va. Regimental Accounts, 1755–58, DLC:GW). On 19 Aug. 1756 John Robinson wrote GW that the committee appointed by law to supervise public expenditures for the Virginia Regiment had observed that Boyd had been receiving 2s. 6d. per day as “Commissary of Musters which they think unnecessary and inconsistant with his other office, and therefore . . . should be discontinued and that the Pay for it should be no longer allowed.” GW’s secretary John Kirkpatrick, who had presented GW’s regimental accounts to the supervisory committee, reported to GW on 25 Aug. 1756 that the committee had decided “the Office of Muster Master” was “to be distinct from the Paymaster.” In the next year, on 24 May 1757 and again on 12 June 1757 (Enclosure I), GW urged Dinwiddie to make John Kirkpatrick commissary of musters for the Virginia Regiment. Dinwiddie did not respond until 13 July 1757 when he wrote to GW: “It is not thot necessary to have a Commissy of Musters, as the Pay M[aste]r must make a Return of the Men as he pays them,” which seems to have been the end of the matter.

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