George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Robert Dinwiddie, 7 April 1757

From Robert Dinwiddie

Williamsburg Apr. 7th 1757


I recd Yours of the 2d last Night1 & must refer You to mine of the 5th which I sent You by Express, & doubt not You will receive at Fort Loudoun; The pressing Letter from Govr Littleton makes it absolutely necessary to send 200 of our Regimt to his Assistance; & I must therefore repeat my Orders for their march to Fredericksburg, & I hope they will be there by the 20th of this Month & I am endeavouring to hire Vessells for transporting them to So. Carolina, & refer You to my Letter by Express2—I shall be glad if You can send three Tons of lead Ball to go with them, I shall send 100 barrels Powder from this.

Mr Sharpe told me he had wrote by You to Capt. Dagworthy to march his Men to take Possession of Fort Cumberld when You withdrew Your Forces from thence, & I was in hopes it wou’d have been immediately done3—No Doubt You shd bring all the Stores belonging to the Country from thence, as well as the Indian Goods, & take particular Acct of the Provisions that they may be replac’d at Fort Loudoun agreeable to Mr Sharpe’s Promise.4

I am fully of Opinion that we comply with the Regulation made by Lord Loudoun in the Disposal of our Forces, therefore they are to be at Fort Loudoun for that Disposition. The Indians must be taken care of, those that went from this were supplied with Shirts Blankets & Legins; I hope You can supply them with some, & what may be deficient, with Provisions &ca must be taken Care for when You come here. I think if You are here by the 22d of the Mo. will do, in the mean Time order them out in Parties with some of Your Men aScalping &ca.

I leave it to You to dispose of the Troops, after the 200 Men are sent to Fredericksburg, as You shall think most proper till I see You here;5 I am very sensible we have too few Men on our Frontiers, but hope the Assembly will resolve to increase our Numbers by a generous Vote.

I wonder Govr Sharpe shou’d hesitate in sending Capt. Dagworthy with his Men to Fort Cumberland, when he knew You had possitive Orders to withdraw our Troops on his Arrival at that Place, & Delays m[a]y now prove of bad Consequence.

I have been very much indispos’d ever since arrival here that I can write no more at present, but remain Sir Your humble Servant

Robt Dinwiddie

LS, DLC:GW; LB, ViHi: Dinwiddie Papers. The letter-book copy, dated 6 April, includes the postscript added to Dinwiddie’s signed letter to GW of 5 April.

1Dinwiddie is referring to the letter incorrectly dated 5 April in GW’s corrected letter book.

2For the dispatch of Adam Stephen’s party to South Carolina, see Dinwiddie to GW, 5 April, n.2.

3Dinwiddie wrote Horatio Sharpe on 5 April 1757 that he had ordered GW to send 200 men down from Fort Cumberland to be sent to South Carolina, “not doubting but You have order’d Your Forces to garison the Fortress in the room of the Virginians” (Browne, Sharpe Correspondence description begins William Hand Browne, ed. Correspondence of Governor Horatio Sharpe. 3 vols. Archives of Maryland, vols. 6, 9, and 14. Baltimore, 1888–95. description ends , 1:537). On 5 May Sharpe wrote Dinwiddie in response: “Before Colo. Washington left Annapolis I gave him a Letter to Capt Dagworthy to be delivered as soon as the Colo should receive your orders to withdraw the Virginians from Fort Cumberland & I learn in pursuance of my Instructions Capt Dagworthy has taken Possession of that place with a Detachment of 150 effective Men from the Troops in the Pay of this Province” (ibid., 548–49). See GW to Dinwiddie, 2 April 1757, n.5.

4Dinwiddie and Sharpe agreed at Philadelphia in March that whatever provisions Lt. Col. Adam Stephen left behind at Fort Cumberland for the incoming Maryland forces would be matched by provisions brought by the Maryland commissary to Fort Loudoun at Winchester. For the two governors’ versions of what was agreed to, see Sharpe to Dinwiddie, 12 June 1757, Sharpe to John Stanwix, 27 June 1757, and Dinwiddie to Sharpe, 28 June 1757, all in Browne, Sharpe Correspondence description begins William Hand Browne, ed. Correspondence of Governor Horatio Sharpe. 3 vols. Archives of Maryland, vols. 6, 9, and 14. Baltimore, 1888–95. description ends , 2:21–23, 30–34. For reference to the prolonged dispute over the state of the beef left at Fort Cumberland, see GW to Dinwiddie, 10 June 1757, n.10.

5Dinwiddie’s instructions to GW of 16 May 1757 (first letter), given shortly before GW again left Williamsburg to return to Fort Loudoun, included a list of the posts on the frontier that were to be manned and the names of the officers to command them as well as the number of men to be at each. These arrangements altered those agreed upon by Loudoun and the governors at Philadelphia. See especially GW to Dinwiddie, 2 April 1757, n.2. GW was in Williamsburg by 27 April 1757.

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