George Washington Papers

Orders, 6 October 1755


[Fredericksburg, 6 October 1755]

As Captain George Mercer of the Virginia Forces, has been appointed aide de camp to Colonel Washington, and declared in Publick Orders at Fort Cumberland—To prevent any Disputes or delays of Orders, which may be issued by him. It is also thought proper to acquaint all Officers, &c. at this place, with the said appointment; and that all Orders which come from him, are to be as punctually obeyed, as those which may come from the Commander in Chief.

Every Officer of the Virginia Regiment is, as soon as possible, to provide himself with an uniform Dress, which is to be of fine Broad Cloath: The Coat Blue, faced and cuffed with Scarlet, and Trimmed with Silver: The Waistcoat Scarlet, with a plain Silver Lace, if to be had—the Breeches to be Blue, and every one to provide himself with a silver-laced Hat, of a Fashionable size.

A Detachment of one Lieutenant, one Ensign, three Sergeants, three Corporals, a Drummer, and Fifty private men, under the Command of Captain Woodward, are to march on Monday next, for Fort-Cumberland,1 and to proceed according to the following March Route: viz.

Monday, October the 13 th To William Pickets
14 . To Martin Hardens
15 To Joseph Nevils
16 To Halt
17 To Watts’s
18 To the River
19 To Winchester
20 & 21 To Halt
22 To Jesse Pugh’s
23 To Henry Enocks
24 To Friend Cox’s
25 To Plumers, at Crisaps
26 To Fort Cumberland.2

Lieutenant Lomax3 and Ensign Hubbard,4 are Subalterns appointed for this Detachment, being the eldest at present fit for Duty. All the Officers, except such as Major Lewis shall think fit to stay in Town, to take care of the Recruits, are to disperse themselves to different parts, and have a farther time, ’till the 20th of October, allowed them for Recruiting, on which Day, they are to Repair to their place of Rendezvous, without Failure, with what Recruits they can Raise.


1The detachment began its march to Fort Cumberland on 10 Oct. instead of 13 Oct. It was placed under the command of Maj. Andrew Lewis and was composed of the recruits then in Fredericksburg as well as additional officers. GW altered his instructions on 8 Oct. after learning of the Indian attacks upon settlers along the Potomac below Fort Cumberland. See particularly Adam Stephen to GW, 4 Oct. 1755, GW to Andrew Lewis, 8 Oct. 1755, and Charles Lewis, “Journal” description begins Charles Lewis, “Journal.” Manuscript in the University of Virginia Library, Manuscripts Department. Charlottesville, Va. description ends (ViU: Lewis Family Papers).

2William Pickett’s ordinary was the first public house north of Falmouth between Fredericksburg and Winchester. Martin Hardin’s ordinary was about 16 miles above Pickett’s; Joseph Neville’s, 20 miles beyond Hardin’s; and Thomas Watt’s, 12 miles past Neville’s. The crossing of the Blue Ridge Mountains above Watts’s was at Ashby’s Gap, and the crossing of the Shenandoah River was at Ashby’s ferry below Winchester. Jesse Pugh’s place may have been a public house of some sort. Henry Enoch’s plantation, 45 miles north and west of Winchester, was in Hampshire County on the Great Cacapon River 15 miles upstream from the Potomac River. It was at Friend Cox’s place on the Little Cacapon River that the detachment was to cross the Potomac. Thomas Cresap’s trading post on the north or Maryland side of the Potomac was between Cox’s and Fort Cumberland.

The detachment that left Fredericksburg on 10 Oct. under the command of Andrew Lewis followed this route to Winchester but took only 2 days instead of 4 to march from Neville’s to the town. After leaving Winchester, instead of crossing the Potomac at Cox’s, the detachment remained south of the river until it was opposite Fort Cumberland.

3John Edward Lomax became a lieutenant in Robert Spotswood’s company of the Virginia Regiment in Sept. 1755. Most of his assignments during the next 3 years were to posts on the frontiers in Augusta and Frederick counties. On 18 April 1756 Capt. John Fenton Mercer left Lomax to hold the fort when he sallied forth from Edwards’s fort on the Cacapon River with a party of soldiers in pursuit of marauding Indians and was killed. Lomax remained in the regiment at least until the fall of 1758, for in early September during the Forbes expedition to Fort Dequesne he was on duty at the camp near Fort Cumberland where GW was staying.

4Edward Hubbard, one of the ensigns GW appointed to the Virginia Regiment on 3 Sept. 1755, was assigned to Charles Lewis’s company in Jan. 1756 and served on detached duty on the panic-stricken Virginia frontier in the spring and summer of 1756. Promoted to lieutenant in May 1757, he asked GW a year later to get him a position in Robert Stewart’s troop of light horse for the Forbes expedition against Fort Duquesne. After GW’s resignation from the regiment in late 1758, Hubbard became captain of one of the companies of artificers that the Virginia Assembly created in 1759 to aid Gen. John Stanwix in building a fort at Pittsburgh. It was probably after his company was disbanded in Dec. 1759 that Hubbard began his service as a volunteer in the Royal American Regiment. On the recommendation of Col. Henry Bouquet, who had taken a special interest in Hubbard’s career as early as 1758, General Amherst moved Hubbard to the 45th Regiment of Foot. Hubbard, who was promoted to lieutenant in this regiment in 1768, was made a captain on 23 Mar. 1775 before the regiment’s departure for Boston that summer.

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