From Charles Lewis
Fredericksburg 7br 21st 1757
Nothing could have given me more Dissatisfaction than the inclosd Letter from our Friend Colo. Wm Taliaferro,1 I am inform’d Mr Smith has been prudent enough to send You a Coppy of the Depositions,2 he is to Day clear’d honourably by a call’d Court of Inquiry, neither Murder, Man Slaughter, or even Chance Med.3 found against him. I thought it my Duty to do him all the Service in my Power, tho’ little was by a reasonable Court wanting.
I hope this Accident (for it cannot be otherwise termd) will render him no less in yr favour, with the inclosd & other Authorities given yr good Sence will excuse Mr Smith & I little Doubt yr good Wishes for yr hble Servt
Charles Lewis (b. 1730), younger brother of Fielding Lewis of Fredericksburg and GW’s friend, had been a captain in the Virginia Regiment from September 1755 until it was reorganized after 16 May 1757.
1. William Taliaferro, son of Col. John Taliaferro (1687–1744) of Snow Creek, Caroline County, commanded the contingent of Orange County militia that came to Winchester in May 1756. See his letter to Lewis, 15 Sept. 1757.
2. Lt. Charles Smith who was supervising the completion of Fort Loudoun at Winchester, also attended to some of GW’s personal affairs in and around Winchester. See GW’s Orders, 18 Sept. 1755, n.5. No copy of the depositions has been found.
3. Chance-medley is a legal term referring to any kind of homicide by misadventure.