George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Peter Hog, 26 June 1756

From Peter Hog

Fort Dinwiddie 26th June 1756


Refering to mine of the 14th Instant this Comes Express by Corporal Smith1 to Inform you that When I had Drawn up the Men on the parade to Acquaint them of the Arrival of their pay for 5 Mos., they all Exclaimed because their Cloaths were not Sent along with their pay; Saying they were Imposed on & Cheated out of their 2d. per day: that the sd Arrears of 2d. per day had run now almost 18 Months & In that time they had only Recd one shirt a pr of Stockgs & a pr of Shoes; notwithstanding they were promised 2 of Each Last Spring at Winchestr by Sir Jno. St Clair & the adjutant2 as well as Rollers for their Neck:3 that they heard the Rest of the Companies had recd their Cloaths & that 2 Companies from No. Carolina had been lately Compleated with the Cloaths belonging to them: In Short after they were Dismist from the parade their discontent was so great, & Vented in Such Speeches, that the Officers came and Advised me to Send off a Messenger Express to quite the Men: & Even the Serjts4 came privately and Complained of their being used Worse then the other Companies, & Neglected because of their distance from the Regt; I told them it was owing to the distraction that had been in Frederick County, and the Embargoe that had taken place at home which delayed the Arrival of the Shipping:5 however as I mentd In both my Letters the tattered Condition of the Men Occassioned by the hard March & difficult paths on the Expedition It Surprises me you should overlook it.6 As the Opportunities are so Infrequent and the Conveyance of Letters so Indirect & Uncertain I could Wish you would be very particular In answering Every paragraph. I was Informed by Majr Lewis that the other Companies of the Regt were to Garison a Chain of Forts to be Erected from the Mouth of the So. Branch, along this River & so by Craigs Creek to Roanoke[.]7 Now I should be glad to know Whether this Fort will be Continued In same Spott as I would Enlarge it this Sumr if it is to Remain Also if we are to Lay in our own provisions or if a Commissary is to be appointed to Act for the Whole as Beeff will be scarse, & some allready Begin to Buy up In order to Drive them away in the Fall. In Inclosed Serjt McCullys Accot of Charges in going after the Deserters & Wrote to You his demand of a pistole reward besides; Which Last the Men think is all that can In Justice be Stopt from their pay. Let me know how his Accot is to be Satisfied.8 I also Inclosed pay Rolls & Recpts for the Months of Decr & January together with the Accot of Debursements for the Commissary the Whole In a Letter dated the 3d February advise if it Came to hand I Likewise at that time Sent my Recruiting Accot to Capt. Stewart & Desired the Amot to be paid to him being £21.4. I have Enlisted two or 3 since and as the Company is not Compleat desire you would Send money for that purpose.

Inclosed is the Weekly Return the others were Sent in mine of the 14th.9 I have Just taken up one David Currie a Young Fellow that Came out in a Compy of Militia from Albemarle & stayed behind here to Evade being Draughted I shall Confine him untill he agrees to Enlist or have a return from You.10 I am wt. Respect Sir Your Very hume Servt

Petr Hog

P.S. as the Bearer Comes on publick Bussiness and such as I hope you will judge Necessary Expect you will Allow of his Expences. P:H:


1William Smith, one of the corporals in Hog’s company, was about twenty-seven years old, a shoemaker by trade, and had enlisted in Prince William County. Smith later served in Andrew Lewis’s company.

2Sir John St. Clair (d. 1767) was deputy quartermaster general of all forces in North America under General Braddock. For fuller identifications, see Memorandum, 30 May–11 June 1755, n.1, and GW to Adam Stephen, 18 May 1756, n.12. The adjutant for the companies of Virginia rangers and artificers with Braddock’s army was Simon Fraser (Frazier). See Edward Braddock’s undated memorandum for the establishment of companies of rangers and carpenters in the letter book of Sir John St. Clair, ViU: John Forbes Papers. He is probably the man of that name who advertised on 10 July 1752 in the Virginia Gazette (Williamsburg) to teach “Military Discipline, according to the new Way of Generals Bland and Bleekny.” Adjutant Fraser, formerly of the 1st Regiment of Foot, was denounced by his former fellow officers as “a very bad Man a bad Subject & a bad Soldier, and by no means to be trusted, he was by some means or other transported in Consequence of a Court Martial for his Transgressions” (James Abercromby to Robert Dinwiddie, 28 Aug. 1755, James Abercromby’s Letter Book, Vi).

3Rollers were white linen stocks worn by British soldiers.

4The three sergeants in Hog’s company were John David Wilper (Woelpper), John McCulley, and Josias Baker.

5On 2 Mar. 1756 all ships in British ports were laid under a general embargo on the strength of “a memorial from the Admiralty relating to the scarcity of seamen for the fleet.” This action was taken in an effort to man the understaffed British navy in anticipation of a full-scale war with France. The embargo was partially lifted on 12 Mar. and taken off entirely on 18 Mar. (Acts of the Privy Council description begins W. L. Grant and James Munro, eds. Acts of the Privy Council of England. Colonial Series. 6 vols. 1908–12. Reprint. Nendeln, Liechtenstein, 1966. description ends , Col. Ser., 4:326–27).

6This was the unsuccessful Sandy Creek expedition which had taken place in the late winter and early spring of 1756.

7Craig Creek is an affluent of the James River, flowing generally in a northeasterly direction to join the James in present-day Botetourt County. The Roanoke River rises in southwest Virginia and flows east and southeast to Albemarle Sound in North Carolina. For the proposed line of forts, see GW to Dinwiddie, 3 May 1756, n.2, William Fairfax to GW, 13 May 1756, especially note 5, and GW to Dinwiddie, 25 June 1756 (first letter), nn.3, 4.

8See Hog to GW, 14 June 1756, especially note 5.

9No return for the week of 21 June has been found.

10David Currie was listed as a member of Hog’s company on the 4 Aug. 1757 “Roll of the Compy Late Capt. Hogs with Acct of their state of Cloths Arms &c.” (DLC:GW). In an undated size roll of Andrew Lewis’s company (probably 1757–58) Currie appears as a 20–year-old planter from Virginia, “Entertained” in Albemarle County (ibid.).

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