George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Robert Dinwiddie, 3 August 1757

To Robert Dinwiddie

[Fort Loudoun, 3 August 1757]

To Governor Dinwiddie
Honble Sir,

Your favours of the 13th & 18th ultimo, with the commissions, Warrants, and money, I have received.

The Indian accompts I have so often mentioned, and which your Honor says you do not understand, are expences which have accrued on account of provisions, as they have marched from place to place (for they will not eat salt-meat; but kill fresh wherever it is to be found) Liquor, unavoidably to be given to them; Horses, pressed for the use of their sick, &c. and never returned: Tomahawks, and a great many other things which there was a necessity of purchasing for them. The people will never trust their vouchers, for the delivery of these things, to doubtful Messengers; and most of those articles are too inconsiderable to induce them to go down to Williamsburgh. They therefore think themselves ill used, and complain of oppression.1

We have received Draughts as per the enclosed list: which list is agreeable, I hope, to your Honors orders to me2 Their number has fallen so far short of expectation, that the 8 remaining companies will not exceed 90 rank and file, each. It is not in my power to send a roll of each company, ’till the Captains get all their men together; as soon as this is done, I have ordered an exact size-roll to be transmitted to me, of each company, and I shall forward them to your Honor, without loss of time.3 As the best Captains were fixed upon by your Honor, below; and some of our worst Subalterns resigned since; I have filled up the vacant commissions according to seniority, and hope it will be agreeable, as I think it was most equitable.4 Your Honor desired I wou’d give Sergeant Feint an Ensigns commissions: But I apprehend you only meant it, in case there had been Draughts enough for 12 companies. and therefore I declined doing it ’till I hear further from you: especially as there are yet volunteers in the Regiment, who have long served in hope of preferment, and given equal proofs of good Behaviour and of course expect to be preferred before Sergeants[.] However, I have reserved one vacancy, to be filled up either with Feint or Mr Chew (the oldest volunteer) as your Honor shall now direct.5

The present Officers names, and dates of their commissions, may be seen by the enclosed.6

The men are marched for augusta, that were designed for the forts at Vauses and Dickensons, and Major Lewis sent to command there. Those for the Branch, under Captn Waggoner, are also marched: and there now remain here no more than Capt. Stewarts company and my own, except about 40 workmen which I took from the Draughts, to work at this place.

I have ordered two Officers to Ft Cumberland to inspect the refused Beef; and have sent up Mr Kennedy, who acted as Commissary, there, with directions to use every means to save it, as adding fresh pickle, &c.7

I send Your Honor a copy of the proceedings of a General Court martial. Two of those condemned, namely, Ignatious Edwards, and Wm Smith, were hanged on thursday last, just before the companies marched for their respective posts. Your Honor will, I hope excuse my hanging, instead of shooting them: It conveyed much more terror to others; and it was for example sake, we did it. They were proper objects to suffer: Edwards had deserted twice before, and Smith was accounted one of the greatest villains upon the continent. Those who were intended to be whipped, have received their punishment accordingly; and I should be glad to know what your Honor wou’d choose to have done with the rest?8

A return for the month of June, I herewith send.9 I had a letter from Colo. Stanwix the other day, concerning the deposition of Street: He seems to put no great confidence in the report; and wrote me, that he was intrenching himself at Carlyle.

I have received advice from Augusta, that the Indians had appeared in large bodies there, and done some mischief—A Letter also from Captn McKenzie, on the South-Branch, informs me, that the enemy had taken away four or five men, and scalped another, who was carelessly reaping in a field.10

As Major Lewis is gone towards the first, and Capt. Waggoner towards the latter parts, I am in hopes they will keep the inhabitants from hurt.

We are, by reason of our dispersed situation, greatly at a loss for the articles of war; I should be glad if your Honor wou’d order many of them to be printed: In the regular Service there is scarcely a Sergeant but what has a copy.

I shou’d be glad to know too, in time, whether your Honor intends to pursue the last resource of the Act of Assembly for compleating the Regiment, vizt recruiting? If so, money will be wanted. I am &c.



1For reference to the correspondence about these Indian accounts, see Dinwiddie to GW, 20 June 1757, n.6.

2On 18 July Dinwiddie asked for “a specifick Acct of the number of Drafts, those that were paid the Bounty Money & had their Regimentals before they deserted.” The “list” that GW enclosed is probably the one headed: “A Return of the Draughts Recd from the Different Countys as Follows” and filed at the end of August 1757 in DLC:GW. It reports 270 men drafted from twenty-five counties, Williamsburg, and Norfolk Borough—and 2 Quakers. GW docketed it: “List of Draughts Reced att Fredericksburg.” For reference to several size rolls of those drafted from particular counties, see GW to Andrew Lewis, 1 July 1757, n.2. For a description of GW’s accounts listing by counties the amounts he paid out to men drafted and to volunteers, see GW to John Robinson, 10 July 1757, n.7. And for a listing in the Virginia Gazette (Williamsburg) by Dinwiddie of the names of deserters, see GW to Dinwiddie, 11 July 1757, n.4.

3GW sent on 17 Sept. 1757 the size rolls of three companies—his, Robert Stewart’s, and Joshua Lewis’s. The other rolls were sent later. For a listing of size and necessary rolls, see GW’s Instructions to Company Captains, 29 July 1757, n.2.

4See Memoranda, 29 July–3 Aug. 1757, for GW’s list of junior officers to whom he had given commissions.

5GW gave ensign’s commissions to both Joseph Fent and Colby Chew. See GW to Dinwiddie, 27 Aug., Dinwiddie to GW, 24 Sept., and GW to Dinwiddie, 5 Oct. 1757.

7For a discussion of the problem with the beef left at Fort Cumberland for the Maryland forces, see GW to Dinwiddie, 10 June 1757, n.10. For the report of the two officers and that of David Kennedy, see GW to Dinwiddie, 27 Aug. 1757, n.1.

9GW explained to Dinwiddie on 10 July that he could not make the June return of the Virginia Regiment because he had not yet got the returns from the detached posts. Nevertheless, the delayed return for June (DLC:GW) enclosed in this letter of 3 Aug. is a report made as of 1 July. It lists twelve companies of the regiment in Virginia, although in June GW completed the reduction of the Virginia companies to eight (two more were in South Carolina) as Dinwiddie had instructed on 16 May 1757. The four captains who served in June but left before the end of the month or in early July were William Peachey, Thomas Cocke, Christopher Gist, and William Bronaugh. The other eight companies were commanded by GW, Thomas Waggener, Robert Stewart, Joshua Lewis, Henry Woodward, Robert Spotswood, Robert McKenzie, and Peter Hog. By the time the returns were made Peter Hog had been relieved of his command and his company had been assigned to Maj. Andrew Lewis. The total rank and file returned was 412 men, 354 of them certified as fit.

10GW sent Robert McKenzie’s letter, which has not been found, to Col. John Stanwix on 30 July 1757.

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