George Washington Papers

Memorandum respecting the Militia, 7 May 1756

Memorandum respecting the Militia

[Winchester, 7 May 1756]

May 7th Lieutenant Colo. Peyton came to Town1—and Captn Joseph Murdock with 2 Officers and 20 Men from King George sent up by Colo. Champe, a detacht of 50 private left the County the rest deserted on their March.2

1Henry Peyton, lieutenant colonel of the Prince William County militia, insisted on marching with his men to Patterson Creek on 12 May. In March Peyton had challenged the election of Col. Henry Lee, also of the Prince William militia, to the House of Burgesses from that county, on the grounds that Lee “had treated the Freeholders of the said County, to engage their Votes” (31 Mar. 1756, in JHB description begins H. R. McIlwaine and John Pendleton Kennedy, eds. Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia. 13 vols. Richmond, 1905–15. description ends , 1752–1755, 1756–1758, 352). After the House declared Lee’s seat vacant on 31 Mar., Peyton was elected to replace him. There is no evidence that Peyton attended the assembly before marching with the militia to Winchester, but he did attend in 1757. One of the incorporators of the town of Dumfries, Peyton was also a justice of the peace in Prince William County and at one time county sheriff.

2Joseph Murdock (died c.1770), from King George County, seems not to have remained with the detachment of his county militia, for it was Lt. Thomas Newgent whom GW on 13 May ordered to take the King George County militia to join Lt. Col. Henry Peyton’s party on Patterson Creek and then on 15 May to remain at Ashby’s fort. John Champe (d. 1763), of Lamb’s Creek, was a well-to-do planter in that county.

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