George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Waggener, 10 August 1756

From Thomas Waggener

Harness’s Fort Augt 10th 1756


I had got as far as this Place in my way to the Upper Tract; And Imediatly upon Rect of your Letters, I held a Counsel of War, The Resolve of which you have Inclosed, together with a Return of each Compy on the Branch,1 Capt. Feild with 30 of his Men are willing to Remain at the Upper Fort till Decr, so I Cant Station the Men at the Difft Forts, untill I know, whether his Staying will be agreeable to you or not2—Since I wrote you last their has been a Man killed and Scalp’d within half a Mile of the Town Fort,3 And Two of his Sons taken Prisoners—the Men belonging to Fort Cumberland went off Sunday last.4 And Capt. Bell Marches Imediatly to his Station5—I am Sr yr most Obedt hue Servt

Thos Waggener


1GW wrote to Thomas Waggener on 4 Aug. (letter not found) and again on 5 Aug. 1756. The captains of five companies present at Harness’s fort on the South Branch and the lieutenant of the sixth each made on 10 Aug. a weekly return which was copied and forwarded to GW at Winchester (DLC:GW). Thomas Waggener reported 1 lieutenant (Walter Steuart), 1 ensign (Charles Smith), 3 sergeants and 46 men (44 fit for duty and 2 sick). Capt. Thomas Cocke had with him 1 lieutenant (Mordecai Buckner), 3 sergeants, 1 drummer, and 31 fit men; 1 of his men was at Fort Cumberland, 4 were at Kuykendal’s fort, and 1 at Henry Van Meter’s house, for a total of 37 men in his company. (His ensign, George Weedon, was reported at Fort Cumberland.) Capt. Robert Spotswood was at Harness’s fort with 1 lieutenant (John Edward Lomax), 2 sergeants (a third was on furlough and a drummer was at Winchester). He had with him 36 men fit for duty, while 5 more were at Kuykendal’s, and 2 at Van Meter’s, to make a total of 43 men. Capt. William Bronaugh was present with 1 ensign (Jethro Sumner), 2 sergeants, and 33 men. One of his men was at Fort Cumberland, 1 at Winchester, 4 at Kuykendal’s, 2 at Van Meter’s, and 1 was recruiting, for a total of 42 in his company. Capt. David Bell had with him at Harness’s 1 ensign (John Deane), 3 sergeants, 1 drummer, 32 fit men and 4 sick ones. He had 4 more at Kuykendal’s, 2 at Maidstone, 3 at Fort Dinwiddie, and 1 at Edwards’s, for a total of 46 men in the company. Lt. John King, commanding in Joshua Lewis’s absence, reported 2 sergeants and 22 men (1 sick) at Harness’s fort with him, 1 drummer at Winchester, 2 men at William Cocks’s fort, 3 at Waggener’s, 1 at Fort Cumberland, 4 at Kuykendal’s fort, 2 at Winchester and 1 at Edwards’s fort, for a total of 36 men. According to these returns dated 10 Aug., there were at Harness’s fort on that day 5 captains, 4 lieutenants, 3 ensigns, 15 sergeants, 3 drummers, and 204 men. Two drummers and 45 men were reported at other places, 21 of the men being at Kuykendal’s fort.

2Capt. John Field and his Culpeper County militiamen were the only ones among those coming to Winchester in May who remained on the frontier after August. See GW to Field, 16 May 1756, n.1. See also Orders, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 Aug. 1756, n.3.

3The “Town Fort” was on the South Branch near Harness’s fort.

4Adam Stephen wrote GW on 1 Aug. 1756 that he had sent for the men “belonging to this garrison.”

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