George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Roger Morris, 3 November 1755

From Roger Morris

Philadelphia Novr 3d 1755

Dear Washington

Yours of the 17th Octr from Winchester I receivd from Gist, when I was down at Newcastle with Governor Morris.1

I own, I am at a loss what to say in answer to some particulars in your Letter; & shall only appeal to your Judgment, from what I say.

I have not since we parted at Fort Cumberland, recievd a single Line from you; Orme indeed, had a Letter wherein you desird I would send you a Copy of the Orders given from the time Gen. ⟨Braddock⟩ left the little Meadows to the Time of the Action on the Monengahela.2

Major Halkets & my orderly Books, being lost I could not gett an authentick, one that was proper, & therefore was obligd from Necessity, to omit, what I would have complyd with, with Pleasure, if I had had it in my Power.3

We are here greatly alarmd, the Particulars of which you will receive a better Information of from Gist.4

I am left here recruiting, but I am told Application is made, to Genl Shirley to order back, the two Regts that are now at Albany, or such part of them, as he thinks can be spared5—I own I dont imagine they can come, or if they do, that they will come time enough to prevent the Mischief, that will be done by the Indians.

I must now conclude, as Gist is waiting, to desire you to forbear your Judgment, till I am convicted by Proof, or very strong Presumption, of ⟨mutilated⟩ I am sure at present I am innocent of—I am as I always was Your very well Wisher, & obedt Sert

Roger Morris


1The letter has not been found.

2GW to Robert Orme, 28 July 1755. Braddock left Little Meadows on 19 June 1755, and the Battle of the Monongahela took place on 9 July 1755.

3Capt. Francis Halkett of the 44th Regiment, eldest son of the regimental commander Sir Peter Halkett, was appointed by Braddock to be brigade major for his army on 27 Mar. 1755. While serving in this position, young Halkett retained his captaincy in his father’s regiment but was attached to Braddock to assist with a number of administrative duties, among them the recording of all of the general’s orders in an official orderly book. This volume was apparently lost at the Battle of the Monongahela on 9 July 1755, and with it disappeared the most accurate and most complete version of Braddock’s orders. Copies of most of his orders for the period 27 Mar. to 8 July are preserved in the 44th Regiment’s orderly book, which the regimental adjutant, Lt. Daniel Disney, saved at the battle (Hamilton, Braddock’s Defeat description begins Charles Hamilton, ed. Braddock’s Defeat. Norman, Okla., 1959. description ends , 61–126); but it apparently never came to GW’s attention, for his transcription of Braddock’s orders remains incomplete, including only those issued between 26 Feb. and 17 June 1755. See GW to Robert Orme, 28 July 1755.

5In early August, after General Braddock’s death, Captain Morris, Braddock’s aide, marched with the 44th and 48th regiments led by Col. Thomas Dunbar from Fort Cumberland to Philadelphia. Morris remained in the city when Dunbar left Philadelphia on 1 Oct. with the two British regiments en route to Albany, N.Y.

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