George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Augustine Washington, 14 May 1755

To John Augustine Washington

[Fort Cumberland, Md., 14 May 1755]

To Mr Jno. Auge WashingtonMount Vernon
Dear Jack Brother

As wearing Boots is quite the Mode, and mine are in a declining State; I must beg the favour of you to procure me a pair that is good, and neat, and send them to Major Carlyle, who I hope will contrive them as quick as my necessity requires.1

I see no prospect of moving from this place soon; as we have neither Horses nor Waggons enough, and no forage for them to subsist upon but except what is expe[c]ted from Philidelphia;2 therefore, I am well convinced that the trouble and difficulty we must encounter in passing the Mountain for want of proper conveniences, will equal all the other Interruptions difficulties of the Campaigne; for I conceive the March of such a Train of Artillery in these Roads to be a tremendous undertaking: As to any danger from the Enemy I look upon it as a trifling, for I believe they French will be obligd to exert their utmost Force to repel the attacks to the Northward, where Governour Shirley and other’s with a body of 8,000 Men will annoy their Settlements and attempt their Forts.3

The Genl has appointed me one of his aids de Camps,4 in which Character I shall serve this Campaigne, agreeably enough, as I am thereby freed from all commands but his, and give his Order’s to all, which must be implicitly obey’d. I have now a good oppertunity, and shall not neglect it, of forming an acquaintance which may be serviceable hereafter, if I can shall find it worth while pushing to my Fortune in the Military way. line.

I have wrote to my two female corrispondants by this oppertunity, one of which Letters I have inclos’d to you, & beg yr deliverance off it.5 I shall expect a Succinct particular acct of all that has happen’d since my departure. I am Dear Jack Yr most Affecte Brothr

Go: Washington

The above Letter was not sent.6

LB (original), DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW.

1For the review held in Alexandria on 31 Mar. 1755, Braddock ordered “the Officers to be in Boots & the Men in brown Gaters.” On 2 April Sir Peter Halkett, commander of the 44th Regiment, instructed his officers “to do all Dutys in boots And never any plain Hatts and Gloves allways” (“Halkett’s Orderly Book,” in Hamilton, Braddock’s Defeat description begins Charles Hamilton, ed. Braddock’s Defeat. Norman, Okla., 1959. description ends , 68, 74). In the field all of Braddock’s officers, whether mounted or not, were supposed to wear high black riding boots, while the enlisted men were expected to augment their shoes with long gaiters made of brown cloth or linen. GW may have gotten new boots a few days later when a change of plans took him to Williamsburg by way of Fairfax County.

2See GW to Augustine Washington, 14 May 1755, n.3, for a discussion of Braddock’s forage problems, and GW to John Carlyle, 14 May 1755, n.3, for a discussion of the supplies forthcoming from Pennsylvania.

3William Shirley was to attack Niagara with his and William Pepperrell’s regiments, totaling about 2,000 soldiers if recruited to full strength. Col. William Johnson was to have 4,400 New England and New York provincials for the Crown Point expedition. Lt. Col. Robert Monckton was able to raise 2,000 New Englanders for use in Nova Scotia, but Shirley and Johnson had some trouble in obtaining all of their allotted men. See also GW to John Carlyle, 14 May 1755, n.5.

4Braddock appointed GW his third aide-de-camp on 10 May 1755, the day that the general and GW arrived at Fort Cumberland.

5GW intended to enclose the letter that he wrote this day to Sarah Cary Fairfax. The other letter was the unsent one to Sarah Fairfax Carlyle.

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