George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Robert Stewart, 27 July 1756

To Robert Stewart

[Winchester, 27 July 1756]

To Captain Robert Stewart, at Maidstone.

I received yours1—and immediately set the Smith to work about the Tools; which you will receive very soon: but as they are not necessary for beginning the work, need not delay you.

I can not pretend at this time to fix on a day for your march as the Enemy are about us—It must be left to yourself to determine: If it can be done without leaving the Inhabitants in danger, the sooner you march the better. But if you judge, from the accounts you receive, that they will be exposed by your quitting the place—I would have you remain there sometime longer. I designed to have made the Gate wider, but thought it would cramp the guard-rooms too much: If you think they will be large enough, you may widen the gate.2 I desire you will send me an exact Return of your Company, agreeable to the enclosed; and I must have weekly returns made me in the usual manner, of your own Company3—and direct Captain Gist to the same.

As to providing a Surgeon for your Detachment, it is impossible it can be done. The Committee have only allowed two; who must be kept at this and Fort Cumberland, as there is the greatest number at those two places. I can not pretend to allow the Doctor now with you any thing, unless upon extraordinary occasions—As to the Officers and men doing it, I have no objection. The Surgeon is obliged to furnish medicines for the men—The Commissary will be down with you to consult on the ways and means of supplying you with provision—As I have no concern with the Provisions nor medicines—you must for the future write to the Commissary and Surgeon upon those heads.4 I am &c.



1GW was referring to Stewart’s letter of 23 July.

2For GW’s instructions to Stewart to build a fort between the mouth of Sleepy Creek and that of Warm Spring Run, see GW to Stewart, 22 July 1756. For the dimensions of the gate, see Stewart to GW, 23 July 1756, n.1.

3See the size roll of Stewart’s company, 30 July 1756, his weekly company returns, 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 Aug., and the weekly returns of Christopher Gist’s company, 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 Aug. 1756 (all DLC:GW). See also Stewart to GW, 30 July 1756, n.2.

4Stewart asked about a doctor for his troop in his letter of 23 July. The commissary of the Virginia Regiment was Thomas Walker, and its surgeon was James Craik.

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