George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Henry Bouquet, 4 September 1758

From Henry Bouquet

Reas Town Camp 4th September 1758

Dear Sir

I detained your Express1 in Expectation of receiving a Letter from the General which is just come to hand, he Sets out to day, and orders me to go to our advanced Post, where there is Some appearance of an attack, and as Soon as their Intrenchm⟨ts⟩ are raised, and the necessary dispositions made for the Communication I am to return here: It Seems by his Intelligences that the French expects a large body of Indians from beyond the Lakes, and as it is not in their Power to Keep them long, he judges that they could be prevailed upon to make a Push at our Head. He desires me to inform you that the Militia of Maryland and Governor Sharpe himself will be the 10th at Cumberland, where you will leave no Body who is able to go upon the Expedition⟨.⟩2 That Militia is to be victualled, and to have Some Liquor.

As we have no accomodation here for your Sick, You will leave them in the Fort, where I Shall Send a Surgeon and Medecines wth furnitures of the General Hospital, Please to let me Know their Number: and to order a Sufficient number of Women to attend them as Nurses, they will be paid.

I can not fix the day of your march as it depends on two things out of my Power, The arrival of the General and a Sufficient Number of Waggons, to Send you from here Provisions, Tools Liquor &ca.

I am Sensible that your March would be more Expeditious had you only carrying Horses, but we have no Keggs for Pork nor Boxes for the Tools, therefore you must have at least 28 Waggons which will be choosen among the best, They will not make a long line.

Your march will be covered by our advanced Post and 300 of the best Woodsmen, and the Indians who are marched to day under Comand of Lt Col. Dagworthy, and are to be advanced nearer to the fort, Keeping continually Spyes and little Party’s about it to give Intelligence of the Ennemys motions; When you are upon your March, I will propose to the General to ⟨S⟩end 500 men from our Deposite to take Post at the Salt Like, and help you to fortify your Camp.3

I hear that the most dangerous Place for an attack upon you Would be from Read Stone Creek, as the Ennemy has boats and could go up Mononghehela, It would therefore not be improper to have that Side reconnoitred before you march by, and as it is at a great distance of the Roads you would have time to make the necessary dispositions, and prevent a Surprise the only thing I am in fear of with our new Soldiers.4

Here is the Calculation I make for your Ammunition, and Provisions.

20 Rounds carried by Each man, and 80 in Reserve will require

24 Barrills of Powder in 2 Waggons
53 Boxes of Muskett Balls [and] Flints 4 do
Tools 2 do
Liquor and Salt 2 do
20,000 lbs. Pork for 4 Weeks 16 do
Rice 1 do
42,000 lbs. of flour 210 horses
50 Heads of Cattle

I make the Computation for 1000 Effective, including the Waggoners, Drivers, &ca, and I ⟨propose⟩ 4 Weeks of Pork, as I think live Cattle a very precarious5 thing.

If I have omitted any article I beg you will let me know it We are entirely Stopped for Want of Waggons, and if it is possible to get any in Virga and Maryland, they would be of infinite Service; We have a considerable quantity of forrage on the so. Branches which they could carry to Cumberd.

I am very Sorry of Col. Byrd’s Indisposition, I hope he will be able to march wth his Regt. My best Wishes attends him.

I desired Col. Mercer who will have the Comand here to inform you of the General’s arrival.6

I am wth a Sincere Regard Dear Sir Your most Obedient hble Servant

Henry Bouquet

ALS, DLC:GW; copy in Bouquet’s hand and signed by him, British Museum, Add. MSS 21641 (Bouquet Papers).

1GW’s express took GW’s letter of 2 Sept. to Bouquet, to which this letter from Bouquet is a response.

2Forbes’s letter to Bouquet, dated 2 Sept., includes the injunction: “Be so good as write to Coll Washington & Byrd and acquaint them of my project for bringing all they can from Fort Cumberland of their troops” (Stevens, Bouquet Papers description begins Donald H. Kent et al., eds. The Papers of Henry Bouquet. 6 vols. Harrisburg, Pa., 1951-94. description ends , 2:460–63). Two days later, after receiving Bouquet’s letter of 31 Aug. suggesting that it was “time to Strike, before a Reinforcemt can join them,” Forbes wrote Bouquet again, saying: “I agree with you that a Disposition ought to be made for marching forward. But still that must be consider’d, as likewise the march of the Virginians as I am affraid our Army will not admitt of Divisions least one half meet with a Cheque. therefore would consult C: Washington, altho perhaps not follow his advice, as his Behaviour about the roads, was no ways like a Soldier” (ibid., 449–52, 477–78). Bouquet left Raystown for Loyalhanna on the next day, 5 September.

3At this time Bouquet still expected GW to advance along the Braddock Road to the salt lick and from there make a conjunction with the rest of the army as it opened up a road beyond Loyalhanna. GW and William Byrd did not leave their camp at Fort Cumberland, for Raystown, until 21 Sept. (see Bouquet to GW, 30 Aug., n.2). John Dagworthy and his party built a camp across Chestnut Ridge, about nine miles beyond Loyalhanna, but it was abandoned after Maj. James Grant’s defeat near Fort Duquesne on 14 September.

4At a camp at the salt lick GW would have been about ten miles from Youghiogheny River at its nearest point, and the Monongahela River runs about five miles west of that.

5The copy in the British Museum has “Pernicious.”

6Hugh Mercer (d. 1777) was colonel commandant of the 3d Battalion of the Pennsylvania Regiment. See GW to Mercer, 9 September.

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