Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO GOVERNOR DINWIDDIE. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. I (1748-1757)
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TO GOVERNOR DINWIDDIE. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. I (1748-1757) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1889-1893). Vol. I (1748-1757).
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TO GOVERNOR DINWIDDIE.
Little Meadows, 9 May, 1754.
I acquainted you by Mr. Ward with the determination, which we prosecuted in four days after his departure, as soon as wagons arrived to carry our provisions. The want of proper conveyances has much retarded this expedition, and at this time unfortunately delay’d the detachment I have the honour to command. Even when we came to Will’s Creek, my disappointments were not less than before; for there I expected to have found a sufficient number of packhorses provided by Captain Trent, conformable to his promise [in reply] to Major Carlyle’s letters and my own, (that I might prosecute my First intention with light, expeditious marches;) but instead of that, there was none in readiness, nor any in expectation that I could perceive, which reduced me to the necessity of waiting till wagons could be procured from the Branch, (forty miles distant.) However, in the mean time, I detached a party of sixty men to make and amend the road, which party since ye 25th of April, and the main body since the 1st instant, have been laboriously employed, and have got no further than these Meadows, about twenty miles from the new Store, where we have been two days making a bridge across, and are not done yet.
The great difficulty and labor, that it requires to amend and alter the road, prevents our marching above 2, 3, or 4 miles a day; and I fear, (tho no diligence shall be neglected,) we shall be detained some considerable time before it can be made good for the carriage of the artillery with Colonel Fry.
We daily receive intelligence from Ohio by one or other of the traders, that are continually retreating to the inhabitants with their effects. They all concur, that ye French are reinforced with 800 men; and this day, by one Kalender, I received an account, which he sets forth as certain, that there is 600 men building at the Falls of Ohio, from whence they intend to move up to the lower Shawnee Town, at ye mouth of Sciodo Creek, to erect other fortresses. He likewise says, that these forces at ye Forks are erecting their works with their whole force; and as he was coming met at Mr. Gist’s new settlement Monsieur La Force with 4 soldiers, who, under the specious pretence of hunting deserters, were reconnoitering and discovering ye country. He also brings ye agreeable news, that the Half-King has received, and is much pleased with, the speech I sent them, and is now upon their march with 50 men to meet us. The French down the river are sending presents and invitations to all the neighbouring Indians, and practising every means to influence them in their interest.
We have heard nothing from the Catawbas, or any of the Southern Indians, tho this is the time we mostly need their assistance. I have not above 160 effective men with me, since Captain Trent’s have left us, who I discharged from this detachment, and ordered them to wait your Honour’s command at Captain Trent’s; for I found them rather injurious to ye other men, than serviceable to ye expedition, till they could be upon the same establishment with us, and come under the regt. of the martial law.
May the 11th. I Detached a Party of Twenty-five Men, commanded by Captain Stephen and Ensign Peyronie, with Orders to go to Mr. Gist’s, to enquire exactly where La Force, and his Party were; and in case they were in the Neighborhood, to cease pursuit and protect themselves. I also ordered them to examine closely all the Woods round about, and should they find any Frenchman apart from the rest, to try to capture him and bring him in, that we might obtain intelligence: to make careful inquiry if it was Possible to descend by Water; as also to find out some convenient Place near the Mouth of Red-Stone Creek, where we could build a Fort; to salute the Half-King; and to send him back under a small Guard; as also to enquire what were the Views and designs of the French; what they had done, and what they intended to do, and to collect every Thing, which could give us the least Intelligence.
The 12th. Broke camp, and went on a rising Ground, where we halted to dry ourselves, for we had been obliged to ford a rapid where our shortest Men had Water up to their Arm-pits.
An Express came in with Letters acquainting us that Colonel Fry with a Detachment of more than One Hundred Men was at Winchester, and was to set out in a few Days to join us; as also that Colonel Innes was marching with Three Hundred and Fifty Men, raised in Carolina; that it was expected Maryland would raise Two Hundred Men, and that Pennsylvania had raised Ten Thousand Pounds, (equal to about Fifty-two Thousand Five Hundred Livres) to pay the Soldiers of other Colonies, as that Province could furnish no recruits; and that Governor Shirley had sent Six Hundred Men to harrass the French in Canada; I hope that will give them some Work to do, and will moderate their zeal in sending so many Men to the Ohio.
The 16th. Met two Traders, who told us they were retiring for fear of the French, as Parties of them were often seen around Mr. Gist’s. These Traders are of Opinion, as well as many others, that it is not possible to clear a road for any loaded wagon to go from hence to Red-Stone-Creek.
The 17th. This evening Mr. Ward, arrived with the young Indian returning from Williamsburg, and delivered me a Letter, wherein the Governor is so good as to approve of my Proceedings, but is much displeased with Captain Trent, and has ordered him to be tried, for leaving his Men at the Ohio; with these orders the Governor also informs me that Captain Mackay, with an Independent Company of One Hundred Men, besides the Officers, had arrived, and that we might expect them daily; and that the Men from New York would join us within ten Days.1
This evening also came two Indians from the Ohio, who had left the French Fort five Days ago: They relate that the French Forces are all employed in building their Fort, which is already Breast-high, and the Thickness of two fathoms, and filled up with Earth and Stone, &c. They have cut down and burnt all the Trees which were about it, and sown Grain in their place. They say themselves they are Eight Hundred. The Indians believe there were only Six Hundred in Number. They expect a greater Number in a few Days; which will make them One Thousand Six Hundred strong, and then, they say, they can defy the English.
The 18th. The Waters continuing very high, hindered me from marching my men and Baggage, which determined me to place myself in a Posture of Defence against any immediate Attack from the Enemy, and to go myself down to observe the river.
[1 ]Dinwiddie Papers, I., 148.