To George Gordon
[Winchester, 15 September 1755]
To Ensign George Gordon.
You are hereby Ordered, and appointed to act as Cornet of the Light Horse, until further Orders: you are therefore to repair immediately to the Troop, and take the Command thereof, until the arrival of Captain Stuart;1 and I do hereby Order and require strictly, them and each of them, to obey you as their Cornet. Given under my hand at Winchester, the fifteenth of September, 1755.
George Gordon (d. 1756) served under Robert Stewart and held the cavalry rank equivalent to ensign in the infantry. During the fall of 1755 Gordon acted frequently as a courier. In Mar. 1756 he was posted at Maidstone on the Virginia side of the Potomac River, opposite the mouth of Conococheague Creek; he crossed the river, “and falling into a Fray . . . was killed by an Inhabitant” of Maryland (Horatio Sharpe to Robert Dinwiddie, 30 Mar. 1756, in 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 , 1:386–87).
1. Robert Stewart, a native of Argyllshire, Scotland, entered the Virginia Regiment as a captain in 1754. In Braddock’s expedition Stewart commanded a troop of light horse, and after the defeat at the Monongahela, he is reported to have helped carry the wounded British general “off the field of battle” and “attended him . . . till he died” (Case of Robert Stewart description begins The Case of Lieutenant Colonel Robert Stewart. [“a Captain in a regiment, raised by the King’s orders, in Virginia”]. N.p., 1785. description ends ; Brock, Dinwiddie Papers description begins R. Alonzo Brock, ed. The Official Records of Robert Dinwiddie, Lieutenant-Governor of the Colony of Virginia, 1751–1758. 2 vols. Richmond, 1883–84. description ends , 2:425). When GW took command of the Virginia Regiment at the beginning of September, he intended to employ Stewart’s company, designated the 4th in Jan. 1756, as a troop of light horse; but on 4 Aug. 1756 he conceded to Dinwiddie that “Captain Stewarts Troop has for these twelve months past, and must still continue to do Duty on Foot.” In May 1756 GW dispatched Stewart to fortify Maidstone, and for the next 13 months he was chiefly occupied as commander of the garrison there. In John Forbes’s expedition against Fort Duquesne, Stewart again commanded a cavalry troop. Before that campaign ended, he became brigade major to the Virginia regiments. A favorite of Dinwiddie’s as well as of GW’s, Stewart enlisted the support of both men in his long quest for a royal commission. In Jan. 1759 he was appointed a lieutenant in the Royal American Regiment. Subsequently, Stewart, probably with GW’s assistance, persuaded Gov. Francis Fauquier “to intercede with . . . [Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Amherst] for an Indulgence to him [Stewart] that he may retain both Commissions, and do Duty in our Regiment” (Stewart to GW, 16 Jan. 1759; Fauquier to Amherst, 11 Mar. 1759, P.R.O., W.O. 34/37, f. 17). Ambitious for a regular captaincy, at least, Stewart delayed in reporting to his new regiment and remained with the Virginia forces. Whether he resigned or sold his royal commission is uncertain. After the French and Indian War, Stewart obtained a “civil office in Jamaica,” which he held until the mid-to-late 1770s. In 1785 he was still seeking “recompence for his military services” (Case of Robert Stewart description begins The Case of Lieutenant Colonel Robert Stewart. [“a Captain in a regiment, raised by the King’s orders, in Virginia”]. N.p., 1785. description ends ).