George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John McNeill, 21 July 1756

To John McNeill

[Winchester, 21 July 1756]

To Captain John McNeill, at Fort-Dinwiddie.

I have yours of the 27th ultimo:1 and in answer, you will observe, that the few men enlisted by the Captains, and the small number now in the Regiment, has much displeased the Governour: So that he has lessened the number of Captains and ordered that the Field Officers should have each a Company: which retards your promotion something longer, until the Majors be established by him. However, you may be assured of my Services for you; and may depend upon your rank being preserved, whenever a vacancy shall fall out for your advancement—however disagreeable it may be to the other Officers.2

You are appointed Captain-Lieutenant in my Company—and I desire you may immediately repair to this place to join us—Should be glad you would endeavour to enlist all the able-bodied likely men you can as we want a great many of our complement. I imagine you are not to be informed, that your present office entitles you to the rank of Captain; and exempts you from the Duty of a Subaltern?

You may tell Captain Hogg, that another equally good as the mulatto, will be as agreeable.3 I am &c.



John McNeill (d. 1765) joined the Virginia forces as an ensign in December 1754 and was at this time a lieutenant in Capt. Peter Hog’s company with the date of rank 18 Aug. 1755. He had been with Hog at Fort Dinwiddie since the preceding fall.

1McNeill’s letter has not been found.

2Shortly after Maj. Andrew Lewis was given command of Peter Hog’s company, GW secured for McNeill the captaincy of Robert Spotswood’s company, in September 1757 after Spotswood’s death. For further details of McNeill’s military career, see Hog to GW, 26 Nov. 1755, n.1.

3Perhaps Peter Hog alluded to the mulatto in his missing letter of 25 June 1756.

Index Entries