George Washington Papers

Council of War, 9 May 1758

Council of War

May 9th 1758

At a Council of Officers, held at Fort Loudoun, May 9th 1758. Present,

Colo: George Washington, President
Lt Colo. Stephens Capt. Stewart
Lt Stewart Lt Campbell
Lt King Lt Buckner
Lt Hubbard Lt Thompson
Lt Roy Ensign Duncanson1

It was considered, whether Colo. Washington ought not to fulfil his Engagements, by defraying the Expences of the officers and other Gentlemen who he has employed in the Recruiting-Service, in consequence of Orders received from the President of Virginia, out of the 4,00£ sent up for contingencies—as far as it will go.

1. We considered, that the President had given Orders for Recruiting, to complete this Regiment.

2. That, in consequence of those orders, several Officers were ordered to recruit—who have been, and now are, enlisting men.

3. That many private Gentlemen, who have the Service at heart, upon a promise from Colo. Washington, that they should be repaid what money they should advance in recruiting, have engaged, and enlisted several men.

4. That it is impossible for the recruiting Parties to be immediately stopped from recruiting, as they are in distant, and different places.

5. That, purposely for the service of the Country, and to oblige the Recruiting officers, several Musters are appointed, at which those Gentlemen who have recruited, promised to deliver their Recruits to certain officers who have engaged to attend; whose characters may suffer if they do not; as they will appear to have acted, not only without Orders, but with a great deal of Levity.

6. That, as there was no money here for the Officers who are Recruiting—Colo. Washington gave them orders to draw upon him for what they should expend, or engage to give the men whom they should recruit. He is therefore, absolutely liable to them for it.

7. That, as the Colonel is obliged, out of his private Estate to comply with his Engagements—and as he hath staked his credit to forward the Service of his Country—and in obedience to the President’s Orders: It would be the greatest hardship in the world on him to suffer for it.

8. That, not only the Credit of this Regiment would suffer, if the money that shall be expended in the Service is not paid speedily, but the credit of the Country also.

For these Reasons—It is the unanimous opinion of this Council, that the 4,00£ ought to be applied in discharging the Expences of the Recruiting parties; and that application be made for more money for the same purpose.

LB, DLC:GW. GW enclosed copies of this Council of War in his letters to John Blair, 4–10 May, and to John Robinson, 10 May 1758.

1A number of these officers were sent out recruiting about this time. See GW to Blair, 4–10 May, n.13. Edward Hubbard, an ensign in the Virginia Regiment since September 1755 and a lieutenant since May 1757, served in Robert Stewart’s company of light horse in the 1st Virginia Regiment during the Forbes campaign in 1758. Both Walter Steuart and Hubbard became career officers in the British army. See Orders, 18 Sept. 1755, n.6, and Orders, 6 Oct. 1755, n.4, in Papers, Colonial Series description begins W. W. Abbot et al., eds. The Papers of George Washington, Colonial Series. 10 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1983–95. description ends , 2:45–47, 75–77.

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