George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Fairfax, 1 July 1757

From William Fairfax

Alexandria 1st July 1757.

Dear Sr

I am glad You had no repeated Advices of the approaching Enemy wch has admitted the Discharge of Captain Fx and Company of ill disciplin’d Militia and generally composd of malevolent Persons.1 A Proof of our inconsiderate Medley is given in our not been able to send more than nine Persons from this County to add to yr Regiment. I referr to Colo. Carlyle’s giving You an Accot how our odly mixt Court had it’s Interruptions and Some Delinquents escapd;2 And I much doubt whether the County’s below will have better Success—If Money had been placed in every County a more likely Chance to enlist Men.3 Every one that has Seen Fort Loudoun speak well of it’s Structure, Situation & Commander. I wish it was in my Power to give the Workmen a Suitable Encouragement. Your Care no doubt is to compleat your Walls, Ramparts & Parapets, to mount your Guns, Secure yr Gates and come at Water against any sudden Approach of an Enemy. Another Set of Workmen if You have them, can finish Yr, the Officers Lodging & Barracks.4 I suppose You do Not much converse with Mr Atkin as You are silent about Him. The disbanding our Troops of Horse Militia has put the Officers under Suspence It can’t be intended the late Horses Officers shall be placd in the common Rank and how to be posted is not exprest. Other Inconsistences might be mentiond, but suppose You have observd them. That We have not yet heard of the expected Shipping & Transports from England & Cork’s Arrival is a Matter of Wonder & Concern. No doubt Ld Loudoun has many Uneasinesses on their Delay.5 Genl Webb, Colo. Stanwix &c. lamenting their Inaction unless the March of the Enemy in Pensylvania cause some of their Troops to watch & interrupt their Motions—As Œtasati is a noted Warrior, perhaps He will undertake some notable Exploit to revenge Capt. Spotswood if Fallen. For Pticulars referr to Colo. Carlyle.6

The Family here together offer their affect. Complts and Wishes that all your Desires may be fully answer’d which I attest and confirm as Dear Sr Yr very affecte Friend and obedient hle Servt

W: Fairfax


1This letter indicates that GW had written to Fairfax again after 25 June. Inserted at the end of June 1757 in DLC:GW is “A Roll of the Detachment of Militia from Fairfax County under the Command of Capt. Bryan Fairfax” in which seventy men are named, seventeen of whom were “discharged for Want of Arms” and twelve had “deserted.” Fairfax and Capt. Nicholas Minor arrived at Winchester with the two companies of Fairfax militia on 21 June.

2On 8 July 1757 GW recorded payment of £18 for draftees and volunteers from Fairfax County. See GW to Dinwiddie, 27 June 1757, n.6, and GW to John Robinson, 10 July 1757, n.7. Capt. James Hamilton of the Fairfax militia delivered nine draftees from Fairfax County (see GW to Andrew Lewis, 1 July 1757, n.2).

3For the method of paying rewards to men who enlisted, see William Fairfax to GW, 19 June 1757.

4For a full discussion of the plans used in the construction of Fort Loudoun at Winchester, see William Fairfax to GW, 10 July 1756, n.3.

5For Loudoun’s movements, see John Hall to GW, 1 June 1757, n.3.

6John Carlyle may have brought this letter up from Alexandria. For evidence that Carlyle was in Winchester in early July, see Memoranda, 6 July, and GW to John Robinson, 10 July 1757.

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