George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Daniel Brodhead, 18 August 1780

From Colonel Daniel Brodhead

Fort Pitt Augt 18th 1780.

Dear General

The Lieutenant of Mongalia County informs me that ten men were killed on friday last above the forks of Cheat.1 They were quite off their guard when the Indians attacked them, and made no resistance.

The Troops are suffering for want of bread, the waters being too low to grind the Grain, and I am informed that the pack horse men have left the Service for want of pay &c.

I take the liberty to inclose the proceedings of the Genl Court Martial on the trials of Captn Thomas Beall, Peter Davis & David Gamble, and shall be happy to receive your Directions respecting them.2 The Genl Court Martial has addressed a Letter to your Excellency which is inclosed with the proceedings.3

I have lately received two Letters from the Delaware Towns, copies of which I likewise take the liberty to inclose. It appears by the Contents, that the Delawares and Wyondats & their Numerous allies, might be speedily involved in a War against each other Provided we were possessed of the means to reward the Delawares for bringing in Wyondat Scalps & Prisoners.4

The Forts in the new Country were taken by about two hundred whitemen & Seven hundred Indians.5 Encouraged by their Success its highly probable they will attempt Carrying these Garrisons, which in their present circumstances, to superior Numbers must inevitably fall a prey, unless timely Supplies can be obtained. But the best exertions in my power shall not be wanting to prevent so fatal an event. I have the Honor to be with the utmost respect & esteem your Excellencies most Obedt Humble Servt

Daniel Brodhead


1Shavers Fork and Black Fork join to form the Cheat River near present-day Parsons, West Virginia.

2This enclosure has not been identified. The court sentenced Capt. Thomas Beall to dismissal from the army for defrauding the United States. It sentenced privates Peter Davis and David Gamble to death for desertion. GW subsequently approved the sentences of the court, but pardoned Davis based on the court’s recommendation. He refused the court’s recommendation to reinstate Beall (see General Orders, 13 Oct., and GW’s reply to Brodhead, 13 Oct., NNGL on deposit at NNPM).

3This letter has not been found.

4The enclosed copy of a report dated 19 July from Delaware Indian leader John Killbuck and others to Brodhead, regarding an Indian council at Detroit, is in DLC:GW. The enclosed copy of a letter from John Heckewelder to Brodhead, dated 26 July, reporting a willingness on the part of the Delaware Indians to join Brodhead’s troops in a joint campaign against more hostile Indian nations, is also in DLC:GW (see also Kellogg, Frontier Retreat description begins Louise Phelps Kellogg, ed. Frontier Retreat on the Upper Ohio, 1779–1781. Madison, Wis., 1917. description ends , 217–220, 231–32).

5Brodhead is referring to the destruction of two forts in Kentucky by British troops and Shawnee Indians, an event mentioned in the report of the Indian council.

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