George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Stanwix, 18 June 1757

From John Stanwix

Camp near Carlisle [Pa.] June. 18th 1757


I recd both yours of the 15th & 16th of June, by the Favour of Colonel Armstrong & some hour’s before that had recd intelligence from Capt: Dagworthy & Capt. Beal of their intelligence of the Motion of the French & Indians towards Fort Cumberland,1 on the receipt of which I directly apply’d to the Magistrates here for Waggons, for the Baggag artillery, Ammunition and Provisions: & the moment they are provid’d shall March with the Five Comps. of the First Battalion of the Royl Americans and what I can get together of Colonel Armstrongs Battalion wch I am hopefull will amount in the whole to six hundred men, shall march to Shippensburgh and from thence towards Winchester2 as I am inform’d there is thirty miles the other way to Fort Cumberland thrô the woods where there is no roads cut, and am the more inclin’d to come to Winchester to joyn you as it semes to be (for the reasons you give) the properest place to make a Stand & concert such measures as may be best for his Majestys service and shall depend a good deal upon your judgment & experience in the Opperations in this Country, which you know by being long in it & I a Stranger have consult’d Col. Armstrong who think’s with me that Winchester will be the properest place for a Rendevous & exept I meet with other intelligence on my March must make that my first object, hope soon to have the pleasure of kissing your hands who am Sir Your most obedt humble Servt

John Stanwix

I have a letter from Capt. Croghan who tell me he stay only two or three days at Winchester as his getting my letter would be uncertain please if you think propr to acquaint him with what I propose, & am a good deal hurryd or would have wrote to him dare say he will do that upon consulting with you, which may make the Indians of service, both you and he know infinately better then I can possibly know of Indian affairs.3

P.S: I have just recd intelligence from Fort Allen in Pensilvania that an Indian lately come from Alleghany Says that the French Indians has actually cut a Road within ten miles of Fort Augusta, it appears they design to amuse us in Sundry places, And as I am leaving a Large County Open into which is a great Road cut from the Alleghany Hills, I must depend on your Intelligence being expeditiously sent that I may take my measures accordingly.


1John Armstrong (1717–1795) was a lieutenant colonel in the Pennsylvania forces; Alexander Beall was commander of the Maryland forces at Fort Frederick, Conococheague.

2Word that it was all a false alarm reached Colonel Stanwix before he began his march to Winchester. See Stanwix to GW, 22 June 1757 (first letter).

3The Pennsylvania Indian agent George Croghan (d. 1782) arrived in Winchester with Col. John Armstrong and other Pennsylvanians on 13 June to confer with Edmond Atkin about their past and future dealings with the Cherokee parties headed by Wawhatchee and Youghtanno (see GW to Dinwiddie, 10 June 1757, n.1). David Ross and others came over from Maryland for the same purpose. All of them except Croghan and William Trent left on or before 16 June when word from Dagworthy of the supposed invasion made it possible for Croghan to persuade Atkin to allow him and Richard Smith to take a party of forty-seven (by Atkin’s count) Cherokee to Pennsylvania, and Croghan arrived at Fort Loudoun in Pennsylvania on 27 June with fifty-five Cherokee, drawn probably from those who had gone out with Smith and Andrew Lewis at the end of April. The Cherokee remained to serve as scouts for Colonel Stanwix until mid-July.

Stanwix may have known little of Indian affairs but his letter of 12 June 1757 to Gov. William Denny suggests that he understood Indian agents well enough: “I find all those employed as Agents very jealous of one another, and I can perceive Mr. Croghan so of Colonel Armstrong, and by the enclosed [Atkin to Croghan, 8 June 1757] you will find Mr. Atkins so of them all, as well as of the Provinces” (Pa. Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949. description ends , Col. Rec., 7:598–99).

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