George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Smith, 2 March 1758

From John Smith

Winchester 2d Mch 1758


I am just returned from my Exile & have but a Short time to write to you (being desirous to see my Family after so long a Captivity) and therefore shall write as breif as I can.1 I was Sir Ordered by my Lord Louden to wait on Colo. Stannacks whose Orders is that I should Consult with you concerning the defence of this Colony and not meeting with you at Winchester desire you’l meet me at Augusta Court house or at Williamsburg by the 20th of this Instant (were I am Obliged to be) to pursue the above Orders.2 Or if you shall be so indisposed that you could not Attend desire you’l send one of your Officers according to the Time mentioned above to Consult the same I should have been Glad to see you myself but being so long from my Family am very Desireous to see them and therefore I can only at this Time subscribe my Self Sr Yr very Hble Servt

Jno. Smith


1John Smith was a major in the Augusta County militia and later this year was promoted to colonel. In the fall of 1755 he held from Dinwiddie the rank of captain of rangers. He was captured at the surrender of Vause’s fort on 25 June 1756. After his capture he was ultimately taken to Canada where he was exchanged for French prisoners and sent to England in 1757. For details of the raid on Vause’s, see Dinwiddie to GW, 12 July 1756, n.2.

2For evidence of GW’s irritation at Smith’s peremptory tone and his contempt for Smith’s plan for a campaign against the French in the Ohio Valley, see GW to John Stanwix, 4 Mar. 1758. Stanwix indicated on 10 Mar. that he and Loudoun shared GW’s low opinion of Smith’s scheme.

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