From Robert Stewart
Staunton March 19th 1762
My Dear Colo.
I did myself the pleasure to write you from Doctor Walker’s, I have since from Fort Lewis acknowledg’d the rect of your extreme Friendly and affecte Letter of the 31st December.1
A number of our Officers are by Orders assembled here to Settle some Regimental Affairs, which we have just finish’d, and now the Virginia Regt exists no longer, I wish they have not been premature in Disbanding a Corps which might have been very Serviceable in prosecuting a war that does not yet seem to draw to a conclusion2—I set out to morrow or next Day for the hot Springs in this County in hopes that the efficacy of their Waters will effectually readicate my Rheumatism & reestablish my Health3 I propose to stay three or four weeks at the Springs & will then proceed to Winchester on my way to Mount Vernon and as I can by no means think of leaving this Country without enjoyg the happiness of your Compy for a few Days I would be much oblig’d by your sending me a Line to the next Winchester Court, informing me whether it is most probable I should find you at Home or at Williamsburgh about the latter end of April.4
We have just receiv’d accots from Phila. that Sir Jeffry Amherst has made a requisition of a considerable Body of Troops (or rather Men) from all the different Colonies, if this should be true our Assembly will undoubtedly be call’d, and something may occur that will cause a material change in affairs5—I would gladly avail myself of any Expedient that could extricate me out of the very mortifying alternative of Joining the Royal Americans as a Sub: or quiting the Service—should a Body of Men be rais’d I imagine it would be no very difficult matter to get me Introduc’d into pretty high Rank, for I cannot think that Colo. Byrd will Serve again, Stepn makes sure of a Compy in the Service6 and Colo. Lewis has repeatedly declar’d that he never will Serve unless a permanent Provision is made for him, under these circumstances the great object of my endeavours must be to prevent Mr Peachy’s getting Superior Rank which for reasons that will instantly occur to you I could not Submit to7—Whatever may cast up I’m well assur’d that you will have a Friendly Eye towards me—The Speaker who possesses a real regard for you would I conceive be the most certain Channel, for by a proper exertion of his Interest which is very prevailing at the Palace, any reasonable point might be carried—Should you not be at the Assembly yourself may I beg your writing by a certain oppy to him on this Subject.8
There is nothing here new or entertaining—I most ardently wish you every thing that make you supremely happy and ever am with the most exalted and unalterable Esteem My Dear Sir Your most Affecte & Most Obliged hble Servt
I Beg my most Respectfull and obliging Complimts to Mrs Washington.
4. It is not known whether Stewart visited Mount Vernon after the next meeting of the Frederick County Court in Winchester, which occurred on 6 April, but he did visit before the end of the year. See Stewart to GW, 5 Nov. 1762.
7. William Peachey (Peachy; 1729–1802) was a captain in the Virginia Regiment under GW until July 1757, and he returned to the military service in 1758 as a major in the 2d Virginia Regiment commanded by Col. William Byrd, which was created for the Forbes campaign of the summer and fall of 1758. For earlier complaints about Peachey’s pretensions, see Stewart to GW, 2 Oct. 1760. Fauquier wrote Amherst on 21 May, “Colonel Byrd has declined the Service [in the new Virginia Regiment], so Colonel [Adam] Stephen will have the Command of the Regiment; to which Mr. Stewart who has or had a Commission in the Royal Americans will in right of Seniority be Lieutenant Colonel” (Reese, Fauquier description begins George Reese, ed. The Official Papers of Francis Fauquier, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, 1758–1768. 3 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1980–83. description ends , 2:737–39).
8. GW may have spoken about this to Speaker John Robinson during the meeting of the assembly at the end of March and early April, which GW attended.