George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Forbes, 23 April 1758

To John Forbes

Fort Loudoun 23d of April 1758.


Permit me to return you my sincere, and hearty thanks for the honour you were pleasd to do me in a Letter to Mr President Blair; and to assure you, that to merit a continuance of the good opinion you seem to entertain of me, shall be one of my Principal Studies; for I have now no ambition that is higher, and it is the greatest reward I expect for my Services in the Ensuing Campaigne.1

It gives me no small pleasure to find we have an Officer of your universal good Character, and consummate Prudence to Command in this Expedition: and it is with equal degree of pleasure I congratulate you on the promising prospect of a glorious Campaigne⟨.⟩ The Indians seems to anticipate our success in joining Us so soon with 700 of their Warriors, of whose good Inclination’s to assist his Majesty’s Troops, Captn Bosomworth who held a Conference with their Chiefs, can fully inform you, and to whom I shall refer.2 There are two things I can find thô, that will contribute greatly to their ease, and contentment of Mind; namely, an early Campaigne, and plenty of Goods; these are matters they frequently remind Us of in their publick Councils, as well as private conferences.

I have receivd no Orders yet to Assemble the dispersd Companies of the Virginia Regiment, some of whom are two hundred Miles distant from this, and destitute almost of every necessary proper to a Campaigne; so that I fear we shall make a very shabby appearance at the General Rendezvous.3 We are in great want of Tents, having none to Incamp our Troops as they arrive: and this place cant yet furnish Barracks, nor the Town Quarters for them. I am Sir with very great Respect Yr Most Obedt and most Obligd Hble Servt

Go: Washington

ALS, Scottish Record Office; LB, DLC:GW. The changes appearing in the recopied letter book suggest that GW altered his original letter book to remove any appearance of fawning. For the text of the recopied letter book, see Fitzpatrick, Writings of Washington description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed. The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745–1799. 39 vols. Washington, D.C., 1931–44. description ends , 2:182–83. See also the source note, GW to John St. Clair, 12 April 1758.

1In his letter to Blair of 20 Mar., Forbes said: “I am this moment Informed . . . that Col: Washington has resigned, which I should be extreamly sorry for, as he has the Character of a good and knowing Officer in the back Countries. If he therefore would serve this Campaign I should be glad that you orderd his regt to repair to Winchester directly, and replace the Compys of that Regt in Augusta County or else-where by any of the Militia or provintiall troops” (Scottish Record Office: Dalhousie Muniments). For the location of the troops in GW’s Virginia Regiment, see GW to John St. Clair, 12 April 1758, n.5.

2In early spring Loudoun sent Capt. Abraham Bosomworth of the Royal American Regiment to Williamsburg where he was to hire a guide and interpreter. He was then to go on to the Cherokee country to help William Byrd recruit and take back “a large Body of Cherokees to Winchester” (John Blair to Bosomworth, 10 April 1758, ViU: Forbes Papers). On 10 April at Bosomworth’s suggestion and with the advice of the council Blair instructed Bosomworth instead to go up to Winchester “to engage and retain for the General [Forbes] those [Indians] that are now there or daily expected” (ibid.). See also Bosomworth to Forbes, 8 April, ibid. For Bosomworth’s return of the Indians in Virginia dated 21 April, from Winchester, see GW to St. Clair, 12 April, n.3.

3In his letter to President Blair, 1 May 1758, Forbes wrote: “I doubt not but you have orderd Colo. Washingtons Regt to be compleated directly and the whole to repair with out loss of time to Winchester” (Scottish Record Office: Dalhousie Muniments). For Forbes’s earlier instructions to Blair to have the companies in GW’s regiment assemble in Winchester, see Council of War, 24 April 1758, n.3.

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