[9, 10 December 1756]
Winchester, Thursday the 9th December 1756.
A Sergeant, and ten men who can be best spared from the works to parade immediately, and march to Joseph Edwards’s to strengthen the party there, and escort the Cattle as far as Pearsalls, and to return here again immediately1—This party to draw four days provision.
Winchester, Friday the 10th December 1756.
All the men to parade to-morrow morning at beating the prisoners march,2 with their arms & ammunition; and march to the Fort there to lodge their arms &c. where Mr Smith shall direct; and to bring them down with them at retreat beating. This to be continued until further orders.
1. The fortified houses of both Joseph Edwards and Job Pearsal were on the old wagon road to Wills Creek and Fort Cumberland from Winchester. Edwards’s fort was on the Cacapon River, a tributary of the Potomac, and Job Pearsal’s was on the South Branch of the Potomac. it was outside Edwards’s place that John Fenton Mercer and others were killed in a skirmish with the Indians in April 1756. On 5 Aug. 1756 GW ordered Capt. Robert McKenzie and his company to escort parties traveling between the two forts.
2. This is probably a misreading by the letter-book copyist for “pioneers march,” which was the drum beat for a fatigue party. The men working on the fort were supposed to lodge their arms and ammunition in a specified place before beginning their day’s work and to retrieve them before marching back to quarters.