George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Forbes, 19–20 November 1758

From John Forbes

From the Camp where they are Building the Redouts.
just arrived 2 aClock afternoon1
[19–20 November 1758]


The Catawbas & those Indians that came with Crohgan, I have persuaded to march forward and join you were it never so late this night, the Cherokees are not come up.2 I know nothing of how far you go this night or where you make your last stop, so as by this time Colo. Bouquet must have joined you I suppose all that is settled. Be therefore so good, as send me back with a fresh Horse, where you are, this night, where you go to morrow,3 What orders Colo. Montgomery has, and as far as you have learned, the distances of the places before you as well as those distances from this forward to you, Turtle Creek &c. and where you intend to push for, that wee may assemble and proceed togather I have sent forward 30 head of Cattle from the 90 that came from Loyll Hanning with the last Division, they have orders to make no stop untill they reach you. I shall order Col: Montgomery to strengthen their escorts I never doubted of the ennemys scouting partys discovering us, but I think it highly necessary that wee discover them likewise, as also the sure Knowledge, if ever they send out any force from their fort capable of Attacking us I could not well join Montgomery this night, but shall if possible to morrow, for which reason if he is not absolutely necessary up with you his making a Short march to morrow will give me ane opportunity of joining him to morrow night, and wee can join you next day.

The Stillyards &c. were sent you per express 2 days ago, I have sent another express back to hasten up the Carpenter.

I have orderd 40 of the Waggon horses that arrived yesterday at Loyll Hanning (Which are very fine) to be directly sent off with light loads of Flour in order to make the train quite easy—And as there are a great number of Bats horses loaded with flour I should think the men ought to be putt again to their old Allowance, for otherwise our Cattle will not do and wee have flour enough.4

Croghan has sent off 3 of his Indians towards the Ohio for Intelligence, and Jacob Lewis that Colo. Armstrong sent out last thursday is just come in without having done, or learning any one thing.5

If Col: Bouquet chooses that Colo. Montgomery should halt ane hour or two for me to morrow morning, let him send him back orders by the return of this express to night or order him a Short march & I can join him and bring Cattle Artillery and all in with us.

This must serve as ane answer to Colo. Bouquet and your letters that I receivd this morning,6 wrote in my litter so excuse Yr Most obseqs &c.

Jo: Forbes.

ALS, British Museum: Add. MSS 21640.

1Forbes came on 19 Nov. to Armstrong’s New Camp with Col. Archibald Montgomery and his Highlanders from Loyalhanna, leaving Col. James Burd of the Pennsylvania Regiment at that place in command of a force of nearly twelve hundred men, many of them ill. Forbes wrote “20th Nov.” at the end of the letter, suggesting that perhaps he did not finish writing it until after midnight.

2For the small party of Indians that George Croghan brought to Forbes on this day from the conference at Easton, see Orderly Book, 3 Nov., n.5. Only a few of the large number of Cherokee who had come up in the spring and summer were still in Pennsylvania when Little Carpenter arrived at Raystown on 13 Oct. with thirty of his Cherokee warriors along with thirty Catawba Indians (Forbes to Richard Peters, 16 Oct. 1758, in James, Writings of Forbes description begins Alfred Procter James, ed. Writings of General John Forbes Relating to His Service in North America. Menasha, Wis., 1938. description ends , 234–37). On 21 Oct. Forbes reported to Bouquet from Raystown that he had “engaged the Little Carpenter with upwards of Eighty of the very best of the Indians to accompany us” (ibid., 241–42). Three days later he wrote Gen. James Abercromby: “Our Indians I have at length brought to reason by treating them as they always ought to be, with the greatest signs of scorning indifference and disdain, that I could decently employ, So the Little Carpenter with 100 good Indians, all well fitted for war are gone to our advanced post of Loyal Hannon, ready to act as desired” (ibid., 244–47); but on the next day, 25 Oct., Forbes wrote Bouquet at Loyalhanna: “The Catawbas marchd Monday with some Cherokees. . . . I do not know what to say to the Carpenter but I believe he will Come with me” (ibid., 248–50). Little Carpenter and about 30 Cherokee did go up to Loyalhanna at the end of October, arriving shortly before Forbes got there on 2 Nov. (see Bouquet to GW, 1 Nov., n.2). After writing this letter to GW from New Camp on 19 Nov., Forbes discovered that Little Carpenter with nine or ten of the Cherokee had left New Camp and were headed back toward Loyalhanna. Forbes immediately wrote, still on 19 Nov., to Col. James Burd at Loyalhanna about the “villainous desertion,” ordering Burd to send messengers to Raystown, Fort Cumberland, and Winchester to intercept the Indians so that the arms, ammunition, and horses given them could be recovered (James, Writings of Forbes description begins Alfred Procter James, ed. Writings of General John Forbes Relating to His Service in North America. Menasha, Wis., 1938. description ends , 256–58).

3GW was at a “Camp Near Turtle Creek” (Orderly Book, 19 Nov.) on the night of 19 Nov., and on 20 Nov. he was busy setting up the post for the army at Turtle Creek, to be known as Washington’s Camp. Bouquet joined him at the camp on 20 Nov. (see Orderly Book, 20 Nov., n.2).

4For the “old Allowance,” see Orderly Book, 12 November.

5Jacob Lewis may have been the man of the same name who was a carpenter and tax assessor in Philadelphia. “Last thursday” was 16 November.

6He is undoubtedly referring to GW’s letter of 18 Nov., but Bouquet’s letter has not been found.

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