George Washington Papers

George Mercer to Henry Campbell, 11 December 1755

George Mercer to Henry Campbell

[Alexandria, 11 December 1755]

To Sergeant Campbell, of the Virginia Regiment.

You are to be particularly careful of the waggons &c. under your charge, and are to see that centinels are kept over them. If any just complaint is made of the misbehaviour of the party under your command, upon their march, you will be punished by a Court Martial—You are to see that the waggoners do not loiter or idle their time, but make the utmost dispatch to Winchester. So soon as you arrive at Winchester, you are to deliver the things to the Commissary there, and are to take his receipt for them. Given at Alexandria, &c. December 11th 1755.

G:M. aid de camp.


After his arrival in Winchester, Henry Campbell was accused of embezzling some of the goods in the wagons and was reduced in rank. He deserted at Winchester the night before Christmas but was soon caught. “Upon the most solemn promises of good Behaviour, [he] was pardoned” (GW to Dinwiddie, 23 May 1756). Then, in May 1756, he deserted from George Mercer’s company with seven others and was again caught. On 18 May he was sentenced to death.

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