George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Henry Bouquet, 13 July 1758

To Henry Bouquet

Camp at Fort Cumberd abt 9 Thursday Night
July 13th 1758


Abt 4 Oclock this Afternoon—after I had closd my Letter to you—I receivd Information that two Men were killd & a third taken Prisoner on the Road about a Mile from this place. I got the Indians to go, and sent a Command of 50 Men immediately to the spot, where they took the Tract of Six Indians and followd them till near dark when the Indians returnd, as did our Party also.1

They discoverd that one of the Men killd was a Soldr of the Second Regiment, and that the other two were herds going to our Grass Guard in the most careless, stragling manner; contrary to repeated, and positive Orders given to prevent small parties stragling from Camp.2

The Mischief was done abt 8 this morning—our discovery of it too late to give us a chance to overtake the Enemy3—I thought it advisable nevertheless to give you Intelligence that the Enemy are about, and that I expect we shall be pester’d with their Parties all this Moon—haunting our Camps, & watching our Motions.

I have apprizd Colo. Mercer, Captn Dagworthy, and all our out Parties of this murder, that they may be strictly upon their Guard Marchg—& vigilant in their Camps.

The Inclosd I this Instant receivd from Captn Dagworthy—if it is not in your power to afford him assistance—tis intirely out of mine to do it.4 I am with great regard Yr Most Obedt Hble Servt

Go: Washington

P.S. Captn Bosomworth &ca are safely arrived here. he & Colo. Byrd join me in their Complimts.

ALS, British Museum: Add. MSS 21641 (Bouquet Papers); LB (original), DLC:GW; LB (recopied), DLC:GW.

1Abraham Bosomworth writing to Forbes from Fort Cumberland on 15 July described the raid in this way: “On the 13th (the day I arrived here) The Enemy Indians had killed & just scalped two men in sight of the Fort & taken one (a Cowherd) Prisoner I very narrowly escaped them as they had crossed the road I came along & had but Six light Horse with me, They were but about 6 or 7 in Number & Colo. Byrd sent out a Party of his Indians in pursuit of them who will follow them to the Gates of Du Quesne & if they cant retake the Prisoner will endeavour to bring one in his room” (ViU: Forbes Papers). James Glen, who was at Fort Cumberland at the time of the ambush, wrote Forbes later in the day: “I have seen the dead men—your men eating bread and cheese after his head was off was not half so disagreeable shot stabbed in several places Tamahawked and scalped” (first letter, Scottish Record Office: Dalhousie Muniments).

2The soldier killed was from Capt. John Rootes’s company (William Byrd’s return, 17 July 1758, DLC:GW). The grass guard kept watch over the grazing horses, cattle, and sheep belonging to the Virginia forces.

3Abraham Bosomworth believed that it was these Indians whom one of the parties of Cherokee from the camp at Fort Cumberland attacked near Great Meadows a day or so later (GW to Bouquet, 16 July, n.2).

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