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.
Alexandria, 20 August, 1754.
Mr. Peyroney, soliciting for leave to attend the Assembly, hoping to have some allowance made for his loss of cloathes &c, which he sustained in common with us all, and being not thoroughly cured of his wounds,1 which has hitherto rendered him unfit for duty, I thought it proper to indulge him in this request and he now comes for these purposes aforesaid. By him I again take the liberty of recommending to your Honor the great necessity there is of a regulation in the soldiers’ pay, and that a deduction be made for the country to furnish them with cloathes; otherwise they never will be fit for service. They are now naked, and can’t get credit even for a hat, and are teazing the officers every day to furnish them with these and other necessaries. Another thing, which should be fixed indisputably, is the law we are to be guided by, whether martial or military. If the former, I must beg the favour of your Honour to give me some written orders and indemnification; otherwise [I] cannot give my assent (as I am liable for all the proceedings) to any judgment of the martial court, that touches the life of a soldier; tho at this time there is absolute necessity for it, as the soldiers are deserting constantly, and yesterday, while we were at church, 25 of them collected, and were going off in the face of their officers, but were stopped and imprisoned before the plot came to its full height. Colonel Innes did not fill up any commissions for the Virginia regiment, which has given those that were entitled to promotion some uneasiness. His reasons were, it would be unnecessary expense to the country, till there were orders to recruit; but this, I think, should not have been considered, whilst it is remembered how small encouragement is shown them upon every occasion. Another motive, which, I believe, served to prevent it, was his dislike to the tenour of the commission, which savoured so much of the militia. He told me he would send down another for your approbation, and Colonel Fairfax has also taken another, both of which is greatly preferable to those by which we act. And here I must beg leave to acquaint your Honour, that the one you sent me is not signed. The officers are uneasy about their pay, and think it hard to be kept out of it so long. They hope your Honour will order that the dates of their commissions be from the vacancy’s that happened, of which I have enclosed a list for [your] information, hoping with them, your Honour will be kind enough to fill them up yourself, and send such commissions as were sent for precedents. Mr. West, lieutenant of Vanbraam’s company, has resigned his commission, which I herewith send. I also enclose a list of medicines, which the doctor desires may be procured for the use of the regiment. He solicits much for a mate, and I believe it necessary, as he often has more business than he can well manage, [if] there were a large detachment sent upon duty, it would be imprudent to go without the surgeon. If your Honour should think proper to promote Mr. Peyroney, we shall be at a loss for a good disciplinarian to do adjutant’s duty, which requires a perfect knowledge of all the kinds of duty. I should, therefore, take it extremely kind, if you would be pleased to confer the office upon Mr. Frazier, whom I think I can fully answer for, let his former conduct have been what it will.
We have catch’d two deserters, which I keep imprisoned till I receive your Honor’s answer how far the martial law may be extended, and it is necessary that an example be made of some, for warning to others; for there is scarce a night, or an opportunity, but what some or other are deserting, often two, or three, or four at a time. We always advertise and pursue them as quickly as possible, but seldom to any purpose. The expenses attending this will fall heavy upon the country while this spirit prevails. I am, &c.
[1 ]Received in the action of Fort Necessity at the Great Meadows.