To John Forbes
Camp (at night) 17th Novr 1758.
Colon. Bouquets letter came to my hands1 (just as the Bearer was passing by) from Colo. Armstrong.
I shall punctually observe all the directions contained therein—altho’ I shall at the same time confess, I think it much safer and more elligible to have marched briskly on to our second Post, leaving the Road for Colo. Montgomery to open: We should by that means, have been as good as a covering-party to him, while we are fortifying a Camp which may be of great importance to the Army? Less time wou’d be lost by this means, and a straggling front (which ever will happen in expeditious cutting) would be avoided—besides the advantage of (perhaps) getting into a secure camp before we might be discovered.2
I have opened the Road between 7 & 8 miles to-day, and am yet 3 miles short of Colo. Armstrong, who marched at 8 o’clock.3
I understand by Captn Shelby, who is just come, from him, that Colo. Armstrong is not yet begun intrenching his Camp, which must again retard us to-morrow. Forwarding Provisions is highly necessary—hard labour consumes it fast—but all the men are in high spirits, and are anxious to get on. I shall be much pleased to see the Indians up; and am very glad to hear that Mr Croghan is so near at hand. The number with him is not mentioned—I wish they were in our front also. I was extremely sorry to hear of your Indisposition to-day, being Sir, Your most obedient, and most humble Servt
To Genl Forbes.
LB (recopied), DLC:GW.
2. This paragraph and the second paragraph of GW to Forbes, 18 Nov., suggest that Bouquet’s missing letter (see note 1) altered his instructions of 16 Nov., which were for GW, upon Col. Archibald Montgomery’s arrival at Armstrong’s New Camp, to “march wth a Sufficient force to the heads of Turtle Creek where you [will build a] Camp—leaving to Col. Montgomery’s Brigade the Road to cut to you.” The letter that GW got from Forbes on 18 Nov., which is also missing, evidently reaffirmed Bouquet’s original instructions for GW to proceed immediately to Turtle Creek and build there the second fortified encampment for the advancing army, leaving it to the Highlanders to cut the road from New Camp.