George Washington Papers

John St. Clair to Thomas Bullitt, 13 April 1758

John St. Clair to Thomas Bullitt

Philadelphia April 13th 1758


Last night I received an Order from Brigadier Genl Forbes, to purchase some Match coats and all the light Arms I could get at this Place, to Equip the Indians that are at Winchester, which I shall send from hence to morrow⟨.⟩ I have sent Mr Gist £300 Virginia Currency to Supply them with any thing that he may find in Virginia—You may acquaint them that nothing in our power shall be wanting to Accommodate them.1

I am here still employed about Artillery and laying in Stores of all kinds, that we may take the field as soon as possible, so soon as I am able to finish it I shall be with You, of which you will please to Acquaint the Indians. take care to keep them in Spirits as much as you can, and give them all the Encouragement you can to go out on Scouting Partys, and if Possible to bring in one prisoner with each party. You will please to let me know the number of each Nation that is with You and what more are Expected. I hope you have received the Express I sent to you about a week ago; if he is fallen into the Enemys hands it will be a great loss to us.2

I must desire you will Speak to my old Friend Charles Smith to prepare for me at Winchester, Materials for building a Couple of large Flatts so that we will have nothing to do but Join them together and Caulk them; they are for Coxe’s on Pottomack.3 I shall be glad if You can get a few Barrels of tarr made near You. I beg my Express may not be detained. I am Sir, Your most Obedt Hum. Servt

John St clair

LS, DLC:GW. This letter was directed to Thomas Bullitt as “Commanding Officer at Winchester” because St. Clair was not yet aware that GW had resumed active command at Fort Loudoun. GW answered St. Clair’s letter on 18 April and docketed it as one of his papers. For an explanation why Capt. Lt. Thomas Bullitt had been acting as commander at Fort Loudoun, see John Baylis to GW, 30 Jan. 1758, n.3.

1St. Clair wrote Gen. John Forbes on this day, 13 April: “Yesterday’s post brought me your letter of the 10th. In obedience to your orders I have sent to Winchester to Capt. Bullett acquainting him that I should send all the light fuzee’s I could collect and some Match coats. I shall be obliged to put all these things in Mr [Christopher] Gist’s possesn and shall send him by this Express £300 Virga Currency to pick up any things that may be wanting at Winchester untill I arrive at that place. I shall not say but some of this money may remain with Gist, but in the employmt, he is there’s no avoiding trusting him” (ViU: Forbes Papers).

2St. Clair arrived in Philadelphia on 4 April. He sent an “express” to Pres. John Blair in Williamsburg on 8 April, and it may have been this courier to whom St. Clair referred. The courier arrived at Fort Loudoun on the evening of 12 April and left there for Williamsburg on 13 April. See GW to St. Clair, 18 April.

3Friend Cox’s place was on the Potomac River near the mouth of the Little Cacapon River, at the point where the road from Winchester to Fort Cumberland crossed the river. Lt. Charles Smith of GW’s Virginia Regiment had been in charge of the construction of Fort Loudoun since November 1756, and GW made him commander of the fort when GW and William Byrd marched to Fort Cumberland in June 1758.

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