George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Henry Bouquet, 27 June 1758

From Henry Bouquet

Camp at Reas Town1 [Pa.], 27th June 1758


I hope this Letter will find you Safely arrived at Fort CumberLand; as Soon as you are Settled in your Camp, I beg you will begin to cut the Waggon Road to open the Communication between us.2

I have ordered Nichols the Pilot to blaze the Road in going, and to Stay wth you.3

His Escort may rest one day or two, then come back again.

I have wrote to Col. Byrd to engage the Indians to cover you in your march. I need not recomand you to keep always Strong flanking Parties besides, as you are perfectly acquainted wth the dangers of a Sudden attacq.

We have not discovered yet any trac or appearance of Ennemis, but we expect to be harrassed as Soon as they know our position.

Mr Walker has not engaged I hear to Supply you for more than a fortnight after your arrival, and it will be necessary therefore that we join here as Soon as possible.

You will be pleased to provide for the Safety of the Fort, in leaving a Sufficient Garrison, wth Provisions and ammunition. I think the Maryland Troops could be lefft untill we have further orders from the General.

As I allow no other Pay than one Jill of Rum a day here for common Work as Roads & Intrenchments, I beg you will give the Same allowance to your men.4

I shall be extremely glad to See you Soon and am wth great Regard Sir Your most obedt & most hble Servant

Henry Bouquet


1Bouquet arrived at Raystown from the camp at Juniata on 24 May with a regiment of Pennsylvanians and the six companies under Lt. Col. Adam Stephen of the 1st Virginia Regiment. For a description of the camp that Bouquet built at Raystown, see James Glen to GW, 19 July 1758.

2When in May it was decided that GW’s regiment should be sent to Fort Cumberland, Bouquet made it clear that the first order of business was to cut a road the 40 miles from Fort Cumberland to Raystown. See Bouquet to John Forbes, 25 May, in Stevens, Bouquet Papers description begins Donald H. Kent et al., eds. The Papers of Henry Bouquet. 6 vols. Harrisburg, Pa., 1951-94. description ends , 1:361–65. Although Bouquet was steadfast in his support of Forbes’s determination to find a new route to Fort Duquesne from Raystown, the correspondence between Forbes and Bouquet through the summer and into the fall of 1758 reveals that both knew that they might fail in their search for a new route and be forced to drop down from Raystown to Fort Cumberland with the army to take Braddock’s old road from there toward the French fort. Furthermore, for a brief time at the beginning of July, Bouquet thought that Forbes and the regulars perhaps should go down from Carlisle to Fort Frederick, Md., and follow a road being built from there to Fort Cumberland and then on to Raystown instead of following the route he had traveled in Pennsylvania from Carlisle to Fort Loudoun, to Fort Lyttelton, to Juniata, and finally to Raystown (see Bouquet to GW, 1 July 1758, n.1). The urgency that Bouquet betrays in this letter to GW of 27 June about cutting the road from Fort Cumberland to Raystown seems to have derived from Bouquet’s mistaken impression that Commissary Thomas Walker would not for long continue to supply the Virginians with needed provisions.

3In “A List of Guides Employed in His Majesties Service” drawn up by John Fraser, John Nichols’s name heads the list, with this notation: “knows the woods about Reastown & Genll Braddocks road” (ViU: Forbes Papers). The Indian trader John Fraser was captain of the guides for Forbes’s army.

4Bouquet wrote Forbes on 28 June: “From the very start [of cutting the road to Raystown from Fort Loudoun in Pennsylvania] I encountered a difficulty which I had foreseen, in that the Virginia troops do not wish to work without being paid. The Pennsylvanians have all offered voluntarily to work for a gill of rum a day” (Stevens, Bouquet Papers description begins Donald H. Kent et al., eds. The Papers of Henry Bouquet. 6 vols. Harrisburg, Pa., 1951-94. description ends , 2:142–44).

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