George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Robert Dinwiddie, 12 July 1757

To Robert Dinwiddie

[Fort Loudoun] July 12th 1757.

To Governor Dinwiddie
Honble Sir,

After Jenkins left this yesterday evening, the enclosed, from Capt. Dagworthy, came to hand.1

We have pretty many men, and very few arms here (that are fit for service).

I must now beg the favor of your Honor, to send me a commission for holding General Courts’-martial; as I apprehend that which I had under the former act, was no longer in force, than while that act existed.2 Irregularity and confusion will continually prevail among us, till the companies are formed, and the proper officers appointed to each: which can not be done, unless your Honor will take the trouble upon yourself, or invest me with power and blank commissions to do it. At this time it will take nearly a dozen and an half commissions to complete the eight companies in Virginia with officers, and to make the necessary changes.

There are (including those which I have appointed the oldest volunteers to) five or six vacancies, besides nine or ten Ensigns that will be made Lieutenants: and if Captn Spotswood’s company shou’d be disposed of to McNeill (but I think it would be a little premature to give the company away till time or something else, shall confirm his death) there will be another vacancy occassioned by his promotion.3

Capt. Woodwards company, nor any of the companies on the Branch were brought to this place.4 I am &c.



2A copy of the commission is an enclosure to Dinwiddie to GW, 18 July 1757.

3For a list of the officers that he commissioned and promoted before the end of July, see GW’s Memoranda, 29 July–3 Aug. 1757.

4GW wrote Dinwiddie on 16 June after receiving John Dagworthy’s report of an imminent large scale attack by the French and Indians that he proposed to take the advice of the council of war which he had convened that day and which had advised that he order the evacuation of the forts on the South Branch in order to reinforce Fort Loudoun.

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