George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Andrew Lewis, 21 April 1758

To Andrew Lewis

To Major Lewis—

Sir,Fort L[oudou]n April 21st 1758.

I do not yet know, whether any of the Levies raised by the newly appointed Officers, in consequence of the late act of Assembly, will fall to our share; and as we want about 130 men to complete the virginia Regiment; I earnestly recommend, that you will use the most efficacious means in your power to recruit your quota in Augusta, and its Borders: Farther than this District I wou’d not have you send Officers recruiting, as they must be ready to join you as soon as the Troops are ordered to this place. I have no money to send you for this purpose (which is a misfortune) but you may give the Recruits the strongest assurances, in my name, that they shall, upon their arrival at this place, receive each man £10. and a suit of clothes, advantage of the Recruits for the new Regiment.1

I would have you send Lt Crawford directly to this place; he is well acquainted in those parts; and I hope from such encouragement, will be able to pick up some clever fellows.2

I have so often, and so earnestly recommended the due practise of the Soldiers in their Exercises, that it is needless, I hope, to urge it again to in this letter. But I must desire, that you will take great pains to get all your Arms straightened, and the men taught to shoot well at Targets, as that is an highly necessary qualification in our Service.

I offer my Compliments to Captn McNeill, and all the Officers:3 & am, Sir, Your most obedient humble Servant,



Andrew Lewis (1720–1781) was made major of the Virginia Regiment when it was reconstituted in September 1755 under GW’s command. On Lt. Gov. Robert Dinwiddie’s instructions GW sent Lewis to Virginia’s Augusta County frontier in July 1757 with three companies of the Regiment to conduct the colony’s defenses on that front.

1In March 1758 the Virginia assembly passed an act designed to prepare the colony for its participation in the planned operation against the French at Fort Duquesne. After providing for the raising of money (1) to pay £10 to enlistees, (2) to defray the cost of maintaining a force of 1,000 men in addition to the 1,000 authorized for GW’s regiment, (3) to buy presents for those Indians who joined the expedition, (4) to reward men for scalping or capturing hostile French and Indians, and (5) to pay the cost of supporting 300 rangers for the protection of the colony’s frontiers, the act then stipulated “that the men to be raised by virtue of this act shall be formed into a regiment, to consist of ten companies, to be commanded by a colonel, lieutenant-colonel, major, seven captains, twenty lieutenants, and ten ensigns” (7 Hening description begins William Waller Hening, ed. The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619. 13 vols. 1819–23. Reprint. Charlottesville, Va., 1969. description ends 163–69). The wording of this provision of the act seemed to indicate that the other provisions of the act applied only to the 2d Virginia Regiment now being raised to serve until 1 Dec. 1758. GW protested on 10 May, with the support of his officers, the inequity of not making available to the 1st Virginia Regiment the funds to pay the same bounty of £10 to new enlistees that recruiters in the 2d Virginia Regiment were paying, and the president and council reluctantly agreed that GW should have the money he needed (see GW to John Blair, 4–10 May, Council of War, 9 May, and Blair to GW, 15 May, n.2).

2Commissioned an ensign in Christopher Gist’s company of scouts in December 1755, William Crawford (1732–1782) was made a lieutenant in the Virginia Regiment on 27 July 1757. Shortly thereafter he went to Augusta County with Major Lewis’s detachment as an officer in Robert Spotswood’s company (see note 3). GW must have originally written “these parts,” not “those parts,” for Crawford was being ordered back to Frederick County where he lived.

3John McNeill was the captain lieutenant of GW’s company in the Virginia Regiment from its formation in the summer of 1756 until the fall of 1757, when he was given command of the company of the slain Robert Spotswood stationed in Augusta County under Major Lewis (see John Baylis to GW, 30 Jan. 1758, n.3). In addition to Lewis, Crawford, and McNeill, the officers of the Virginia Regiment in Augusta County at this time included: Lt. William Fleming and Ens. George Speake in Lewis’s company; Lt. John Edward Lomax in McNeill’s company; and Capt. Henry Woodward, Lt. William Daingerfield, and Ens. Jethro Sumner in Woodward’s company at Vause’s fort. For the general instructions under which Major Lewis was acting in Augusta County, see GW to Andrew Lewis, 29 July 1757.

Index Entries