George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Henry Lee, 8 October 1755

To Henry Lee

[Fredericksburg, 8 October 1755]

To Colonel Henry Lee, of Prince William.

As I understand Lord Fairfax has had great reason to order one hundred of the Militia of your County to march, to assist in the protection of our Frontiers; I must desire, that you will see that they come on Horse-back: as they will thereby be enabled to make Dispatch, and to carry Provisions with them, which must be done, as the scarcity of Bread between this and Fort Cumberland, renders it absolutely necessary. I must earnestly recommend dispatch to you, as you must be truly sensible, that the present situation of Affairs, will not admit of the least delay.

I shall be at Winchester to-morrow, and shall expect to see your Detachment there the next Day or the day after, at farthest.1 I am Yours,



Henry Lee (1729–1787) of Leesylvania was county lieutenant of Prince William. As such, he had repeated dealings with Colonel Washington of the Virginia Regiment during the next three years. The two began their long careers in the House of Burgesses together in 1758, and GW’s friendly relations with Colonel Lee and his children, who included “Light Horse Harry” Lee, endured until GW’s death.

1No militia from Prince William had shown up by 17 Oct., but on 19 Oct. Lord Fairfax reported to Dinwiddie that a total of 256 militiamen had come to Winchester from Fairfax, Culpeper, and Prince William counties. See GW to Dinwiddie, 17 Oct. 1755; and Dinwiddie to William Fairfax, 20 Oct. 1755, in 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 , 2:252.

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