George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Francis Fauquier, 7 October 1758

From Francis Fauquier

Wmsburgh Octr 7th 1⟨758⟩


I recd your Dispatches containing the disagr⟨ee⟩able Accts of the Check we received before Fort du Quesn⟨e⟩ forwarded by Lieutt Smith from Fort Loudoun on 2d instant, and laid them immediately before the Hous⟨e⟩1 who are still debating, one Day resolving on one Sch⟨eme⟩ the next, on another in Relation to Military affairs [so] that nothing is yet determined upon.2

Our Loss is great if we consider the brave Off⟨icers &⟩ men who fell, but if we think only of numbers ⟨mutilated⟩ inconsiderable, and can be of no great Consequ⟨ence⟩ for by the Behaviour of your Men they shew they a⟨re⟩ not to be soon daunted: They have acted in the Man⟨ner⟩ that was expected from them, and in wch I don’t doubt they will continue to act, and so merit and meet the Applause of their Country.

I have order’d the Blankets up to Winchester to be deliverd as soon as possible that you may repay the General those he furnish’d you with. And have sent up the blank Commissions you desired, and dont doubt but you will fill them up according to merit.

The same Messenger who brot yours brought also an ⟨a⟩cct of the blowing up a Magazine at Fort-Cumberland ⟨w⟩ch surely was owing to Neglect some where; for I should think it highly improper that every Officer should have free Admission into a Magazine, and suppose it is some ⟨p⟩articular Officers Duty, whether Store keeper or other⟨wi⟩se to go in; and fetch what is wanted from Magazines. ⟨Mutilated⟩ this is the Case at present I think Inquiry ought to ⟨be⟩ made where the Neglect lay, if it is not a Rule, I think ⟨it oug⟩ht to be made one.3

⟨I am s⟩orry to give you any additional Trouble, but must ⟨mutilated⟩ you will give orders, that whoever is sent down to ⟨mutilated⟩ wth Expresses may be furnish’d with Money in ad⟨va⟩nce to proceed on his Journey, for want of which ⟨D⟩avis a Soldier in your Regiment (I think) who brought ⟨t⟩he Dispatch to me, came almost dead having lain ⟨t⟩hree nights in the Woods almost without Sustenance. He having no Money, no House would receive him, or ⟨su⟩pply him wth common necessaries of Life. This can ⟨mutilated⟩ no hardship on any Body as they are sure to have it ⟨a⟩llowed and repaid. ⟨I⟩ most sincerely wish you better and speedy Success, being wth great Esteem Yr very Hum. Servt

Fran: Fauquier

Davis applyed to Lieut. Smith ⟨mutilated m⟩oney and was refused at least his Desire was without Effect.4

ALS, DLC:GW. The letter is badly faded as well as torn; the conjectural readings in nearly every case are the same as in Reese, Fauquier description begins George Reese, ed. The Official Papers of Francis Fauquier, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, 1758–1768. 3 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1980–83. description ends , 1:86–88.

1A messenger delivered to the House of Burgesses on 4 Oct. “several Letters his Honor received last Night, by Express from Colonel Washington, and Lieutenant [Charles] Smith, giving an Account of the late Engagement with the French near Fort Du Quesne, and of the blowing up one of our Magazines at Fort Cumberland,” JHB description begins H. R. McIlwaine and John Pendleton Kennedy, eds. Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia. 13 vols. Richmond, 1905–15. description ends , 1758–61, 37. See GW to Fauquier, 25 Sept. 1758, n.3.

2On this day, Saturday, 7 Oct., the House sitting as a committee of the whole resumed its debate on the bill to raise money for the colony’s military forces and then amended it. On the following Monday, 9 Oct., it passed the amended bill and sent it to the council for its approval. For a discussion of the act, see Fauquier to GW, 16–29 Sept., n.4.

3See note 1. The messenger was Christopher Gist. GW informed Fauquier on 30 Oct. that Gov. Horatio Sharpe was himself commanding the Maryland militia at Fort Cumberland when the explosion occurred. One of the magazines at the fort blew up on 27 Sept., killing militia captain Spriggs and Sharpe’s adjutant named Luckett. The fire was contained to the one room (Sharpe to Forbes, Browne, Sharpe Correspondence description begins William Hand Browne, ed. Correspondence of Governor Horatio Sharpe. 3 vols. Archives of Maryland, vols. 6, 9, and 14. Baltimore, 1888–95. description ends , 9:270; Maryland Gazette [Annapolis], 5 Oct. 1758).

4For the identity of several soldiers in the 1st Virginia Regiment named Davis, see Charles Smith to GW, 7 Sept. 1758, n.9. For Smith’s denial of any fault in this matter, see Smith to GW, 16 November.

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