From Robert Dinwiddie
Williamsburg Decr 15th 1756
Yours of the 9th I have recd—I am glad Ct. Mercer has brought back sixteen of the Deserters, upon Promise of Pardon, which I agree to on Your Recommendation; but I hope You will make them sensible of their Crime & that they are pardon’d on Your Solicitation.1
You recommend Messrs Carlyle & Ramsay to be Commissaries in the room of Mr Walker, which I by no means approve of—the first resign’d when formerly appointed, & when most wanted, I do not incline to give him that Opportunity again; the other I doubt not is a Gentleman of Capacity, but a Stranger to the Business, & not sufficiently acquainted with the People to make Purchases, therefore not eligible.
Mr Walker has a very good Character for Probity & Capacity, I have therefore orderd him to continue in his Office, & I expect You will give him Your Countenance & Advice; & supply him with the Money, sent up by Capt. Mercer, appropriated for the Purchase of Provisions. I have ordered him to send Mr Rutherfurd with You to Fort Cumberland, & he to remain at Winchester to do the Necessaries there;2 I therefore expect You will give him all the Assistance in Your Power; it wou’d be cruel to superceed him after he has made such large Contracts for supplying Your Regiment, & at this Time of the Year to leave it to those not so well acquainted with the Business.
The villainous Actions of McCarty really surprize me, & I shall take Care to make him repent of it.3 I really pity the poor Men this cold Weather for want of their Cloaths, they are daily expected & will be sent up as soon as they arrive.
LS, DLC:GW; LB, ViHi: Dinwiddie Papers.
1. The letter-book copy of GW’s letter to Dinwiddie in which he reported that the sixteen deserters had surrendered to George Mercer is dated 10 Dec. 1756, and GW’s recommendation of John Carlyle and William Ramsay by name, to which Dinwiddie refers, was made in his letter of 24 Nov. 1756. No letter to Dinwiddie of 9 Dec. 1756 has been found.
2. Dinwiddie gave these orders to Thomas Walker on 15 Dec., and added: “I wish yo. had been more explicit in regard to the Incovenciences complain’d of, that I might have removed them. but I expect Colo. Washington will now give you his Advice, Assistance & Countenance in every thing relating to yr Duty” (ViHi: Dinwiddie Papers). Dinwiddie wrote to William Fairfax on 15 Dec. in response to a letter of 27 Nov. from Fairfax recommending John Carlyle and William Ramsay for commissaries for the Virginia Regiment: “I can by no means agree to his [Walker’s] being superceded. he is now at Winchester & I’ve wrote him to confirm his commission, and to Colo. Washington to countenance & suport him therein—There are some Uneasiness on that Head from whence they arise I know not, but am in hopes they’ll now subside” (ibid.). Walker had left Winchester by 19 Dec., confirming his intention to resign. For GW’s emphatic denial of any friction between him and Walker, see GW to Dinwiddie, 12 Jan. 1757.
3. After this forthright statement and his scathing letter to Denis McCarty on 10 Dec. (quoted in Dinwiddie to GW, 10 Dec. 1756, n.9), Dinwiddie wrote on 23 Dec. 1756 the following conciliatory if not cordial letter to McCarty: “I received yr Letter of the 12th The People yo. have recruited march down here, the enlisting Mony, Maintenance, & wt. Cloathing yo. have purchas’d for ’em shall be pd by me on receipt of ’em here—The bearer Capt. Campbell is one of the officers sent from Ld Loudoun to receive our Recruits, let ’em know they shall be properly taken Care of wth those already here & when they arrive at N. York they will be compleatly cloath’d—I shall be glad yo. can clear yrself from inveiglg some of the Virginia Regiment, in [to] Desert, I’ve 5 Affidavits to that purpose which yo. may see when yo. come here. I therefore desire yo. to march down wt. Recruits yo. have to join the others here & the Bearer, will look ’em over & give me his Opinion thereon, & follow his Advice in sending ’em here, as he is to proceed to Colo. P. L. Lee. I am Sr Yr h: S:” (ViHi: Dinwiddie Papers). For the identity of Captain Campbell, see William Fairfax to GW, 22 Jan. 1757, n.8.