George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Ramsay, 3 September 1758

From William Ramsay

Camp near Rays Town Septr 3d 1758

Dear Sir

Yours of yesterday I have,1 you ought to have no uneasiness, you are not the cause of any delay, your friends & even those of ev’ry Core; who know you only by Character, wish for you. I presume you know Lt Col. Stephens has been under an arrest for some time by Sr John Wildair, Stephens says he is right & will not be releasd without a publick justification,2 even Lieut. Colo. Loyd of the Pensylvanias has taken the Command from the B—ly, this has mortified him much, & probably may humble his pride.3 Tomorrow Colo. Dagworthy marches with his Tatterdemalions4 & by report is to advance towards Fort Du Quesne, & there to throw up a breast work, or make some place of defence. The Genl not yet come. the 1st Inst. we had Sixty one Guns fir’d & three feu de joys for taking Louisburg. I wish Capt. Woodward every success, also Serjt Scott.5 I shall make evry remark in my power, but I hope to see you soon. I am Dr Sir yours Most Affectly

Wm Ramsay


1Letter not found.

2On 26 Aug. Adam Stephen wrote to Bouquet from his camp at Quemahoning Creek and gave in detail his version of his dealings with St. Clair, from 16 Aug. until the night of 24 Aug. when St. Clair put Stephen under arrest for having issued the parole for the sentries and then refused St. Clair’s orders “To Alter it! Alter it!” (Stevens, Bouquet Papers description begins Donald H. Kent et al., eds. The Papers of Henry Bouquet. 6 vols. Harrisburg, Pa., 1951-94. description ends , 2:430–33). St. Clair gave his version to Bouquet the next day: “Lt Coll Stephen’s behaviour is the most extraordinary, I ever saw or hear’d of, I have confined him for Mutiny in the Camp, so that the Virginians are now under Major [Andrew] Lewis, if it had not been for that Officer I had Reason to suspect that there wou’d have been a genl mutiny amongst both Officers and Men of the Virginians. I attempted to send him [Stephen] to Rays Town, but he refused after he was arrested to come down with his Major, that I might have forwarded him to you with an Officer.

“As I had not sufficient Strength to take him by the neck from amongst his own Men, I was obliged to let him have his own way, that I might not be the Occasion of Blood Shed. The Reason I confined that Lt Coll was that he told me [he] had given out his Parole and that rather than receive any Orders from me he woud brake his Sword in pieces” (ibid., 434–35).

On 28 Aug. Bouquet wrote St. Clair a stern letter expressing his surprise that St. Clair should arrest Stephen for mutiny since St. Clair did “not act in this Expedition as Colonel, but as Q[uarter] M[aster] G[enera]l only, and the Parole being the Ensign of Command, I doubt that you can pretend to give it” (ibid., 435–36). Bouquet delayed writing Forbes about the affair until 4 Sept., but on that same day Forbes wrote Bouquet: “Seal and send off the enclosed express to Sir John by some sure hand. He is a very odd Man, and I am sorry it has been my fate to have any Concerns with him. But more of this hereafter” (ibid., 477–78). On 13 Sept. Bouquet wrote Stephen and restored him to his command. By that time St. Clair had left for eastern Pennsylvania to seek wagons for the army, and he remained there for most of the rest of the campaign, although he seems to have been at Loyalhanna on 11 Nov. (Orderly Book, 11 Nov. 1758, n.1).

3Ramsay seems to be referring to St. Clair as the “B[ul]ly.” Col. James Burd of the Pennsylvania Regiment wrote Bouquet, 28 Aug. 1758: “Sr John informs me that Lieut Coll: Stephens is under arrest by him, but I will leave Lieut Coll: [Thomas] Lloyd in the Camp at Lawel Haining & send Major Lewis upon the Road” (ibid., 438).

4Forbes wrote Bouquet on 28 Aug.: “Governr Sharp has just asked a favour of me that I could not well refuse which was to allow him to make Capt Dagworthy a Lieut Colonel of the Maryland troops, and he is accordingly appointed by a Commission I sent him this night” (ibid., 439–41). Bouquet called John Dagworthy’s “Tatterdemalions” the “best rangers here” (Bouquet to Forbes, 31 Aug., ibid., 449–52).

Index Entries