George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Robert Dinwiddie, 24 June 1757

From Robert Dinwiddie

[Williamsburg] June 24th 1757


I cd not answer yr several Letters till now,1 I’ve wrote to Mr Atkin abt the Indians, & he must know better than I can how to manage ’em—Capt. Pearis having accepted a Comisso. from Govr Sharpe [ ] any Expectations from this Colony, his Conduct has been bad, so I think it’s a good riddance of him. As to Bat-Men I presume My Ld overlook’d that Article, but on return from me he’ll be more particular, the Countrys at a monstrous Charge, therefore as formerly there are but two Bat-Men to be allowed to a Company & this is agreable to the Regulation in the Regulars, as Colo. Stanwix can inform Yo. Capt. Woodward will remain a short Time at fort Loudoun ’till Yo. are inform’d of the Designs of the Enemy—If the suplying the poor Country People will be of any advantage to the Country, it’s left wth Yo. to do it wth frugality, and proper Objects—Yr removal of Capt. Stewarts Compy from Maidston for the Reasons assign’d I approve of it—the 11 Deserters in Confinemt some of the ringleaders shd undergo Corporal Punishmt or on their Confession of their Faults & Promisses of good Behaviour for the future a proper reproof at the Head of the Regimt may do, but on this Yo. must act as you think fit—Colo. Stanwix being appointed Commander in chief Yo. must submit to his Orders witht regard to any Yo. have from me, he being near the Place, can direct Affairs more properly than I can. Majr Lewis has been very unlucky in all his Expeditions, I don’t impute this last to Mismanagemt, as the Indians cd not be prevail’d on to take Provisions suffict I wish we may have a good Accott of Capt. Spotswood—Colo. Stephen was highly blameable to take any of the regimental Suplies for the Indians more so as contrary to yr Orders, & his not bringing the Officers appointed for So. Carolina, if the King’s Ship & Transports had not been ready to sail I shd have order’d the Others down, if any of the Dutch Blankets rema[in] & not wanted for the Indians, I’ve no Objection to their being replaced in the Room of those made use of—The Provisions deliver’d to Capt. Dagworthy at fort Cumberland shd by Agreemt wth Govr Sharpe to be replaced at fort Loudoun in the diferent Species dd, the Beef proving bad shd have been objected to before Capt. Dagworthy gave his Receipt, & not to be condemned as useless partialy by their own Officers. I wrote Mr Sharpe agreable thereto. & he wrote Docter Ross their Comissy was to settle the Affr wth Yo., I can’t see how its to be settled but by supplying the diferent Species at fort Loudoun, or Mony to purchase the Qty[.] I do not think of the additional Companies till Yo. compleat the 8 Companies now in the Country—As to the Settlemt of yr Brother’s Estate, yr Absence on that Account from Ld Loudoun2 must be suspended till our Affrs gives a better prospect—I’ve yr roll of the Subaltern Officers & shall send Yo. some blanck Com[missi]o[n]s to be fill’d up. As to the Resignation of Williams & Dean, I hope their Places may be supplied by Persons of equal Merit—I agree that the Captns accepting Lieuts. Com[mission]s shd have rank prior to the other Lieuts.—Serjt Hews on yr recommendation and Capt. Stewarts has a Commission for Adjutant of the Regimt there, as yet, has no Clergiman offer’d to be Chaplain, if not one of good Character, better have none, and more so as the Regimt is to be devided, agreable to Ld Loudoun’s Disposition—I already wrote You to send Officers to Fredericksburg to receive the Draughted Men, who are to be incorporated with the Regimt And subject to the Laws and Discipline of the others witht any Restriction—I do not think of the rangers ’till yr Regimt is compleated. I propose the Rangers of your Way to be under Yr Directions, and those in Augusta under the commanding Officer there. I observe the return of your Men in May is 432 and the 16th of June only 384, this Dificiency Yo. can best explain.3 I wrote Yo. by the Express an Answer to the Melancholy Accott of the Motions of the Enemy from Fort Du Quesne and am in Pain to know their Nos. and Progress—I dread the first Accott will be their taking fort Cumberland, but hope yr Men with the Militia will secure fort Loudoun; by the return of the Bearer,4 who goes to conduct the Cherokees to Winchester, I expect as full an Account as yo. can give, and where Colo. Stanwix is, and his Motions on the Accott of the French &ca. I rema. Sir yr m. h. S.

LB, ViHi: Dinwiddie Papers; Hamilton, Letters to Washington description begins Stanislaus Murray Hamilton, ed. Letters to Washington and Accompanying Papers. 5 vols. Boston and New York, 1898–1902. description ends . This seems to be one of the rare instances in which the signed copy of a letter from Dinwiddie to GW has not survived. However, the version of the letter printed by Hamilton may well be a copy of the letter that GW received. There are numerous mutilations in the copy that Hamilton printed.

1Although Dinwiddie acknowledged on 16 June the receipt of GW’s letter of 10 June and wrote to GW on 20 June after receiving GW’s letters of 12 and 16 June, this letter of Dinwiddie’s for the most part is a point-by-point response to GW’s letters of 10 and 12 June 1757. Dinwiddie did deal with some of the same points, however, in his letter of 20 June.

2It may be that Dinwiddie’s clerk William Withers inadvertently wrote “Ld Loudoun” for “Ft Loudoun.”

3GW’s returns for the Virginia Regiment for May 1757 and for June 1757 are in DLC:GW. He reported 432 men in May and 412 in June. For GW’s explanation of the smaller number of men reported in his return of 16 June, which has not been found, see GW to Dinwiddie, 11 July 1757.

4On this day Dinwiddie wrote Edmond Atkin at Winchester: “This will [be] deliver’d Yo. by Mr Martin who comes Convoy to 10 Cherokees sent to our Assista[nce] by old Hop” (ViHi: Dinwiddie Papers). Mr. Martin may be John Martin, ordained on 7 June 1757 in Hanover County as a Presbyterian minister. Early in 1758 he was sent on a mission to the Overhill Cherokee where he remained only a few months before moving to South Carolina.

Index Entries