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, 14 January, 1756.
Major Lewis, being at Winchester when your letter came to hand, was immediately despatched to Augusta, to take upon him the command of the troops destined against the Shawnese Town;1 with orders to follow such directions as he should receive from you. This scheme, though, I am apprehensive will prove abortive, as we are told that those Indians are removed up the river, into the neighbourhood of Fort Duquesne.
I have given all necessary orders for training the men to a proper use of their arms, and the method of Indian fighting, and hope in a little time to make them expert. And I should be glad to have your Honor’s express commands, either to prepare for taking the field, or for guarding our frontiers in the spring, because the steps for these two are very different. I have already built two forts on Patterson’s Creek, (which have engaged the chief of the inhabitants to return to the plantations;) and have now ordered Captain Waggener with sixty men to build and garrison two others, (on places I have pointed out high up on the South Branch,) which will be a means of securing near an hundred miles of our frontiers, exclusive of the command at Fort Dinwiddie, on Jackson’s River. And, indeed, without a much greater number of men than we have a visible prospect of getting, I do not see how it is possible to think of passing the mountains, or acting more than defensively. This seems to be the full determination of the Pennsylvanians; so that there can be no hope of assistance from that quarter. If we only act defensively, I would most earnestly recommend the building of a strong fort at some convenient place in Virginia, as that in Maryland, not to say any thing of its situation, which is extremely bad, will ever be an eyesore to this colony, and attended with more inconveniences than it is possible to enumerate. One instance of this I have taken notice of, in a letter that accompanies this, and many more I could recite, were it necessary.
If we take the field, there is no time to carry on a work of this kind, but we should immediately set about engaging wagons, horses, forage, pack-saddles, etc. And here I cannot help remarking, that I believe it will be impossible to get wagons or horses sufficient, without the old score is paid off; as the people are really ruined for want of their money, and complain justly of their grievances.
I represented in my last the inconveniences of the late act of Assembly, which obliges us first to send to your Honor for a commission to hold general courtsmartial, and then to delay execution until a warrant can be had from Williamsburg, and I hope you will take the thing into consideration. We have several deserters now on hand, whom I have taken by rigorous measures, and who should be made examples to others, as this practice is continued with greater spirit than ever.
Unless clothing is soon provided, the men will be unfit for any kind of service. And I know of no expedient to procure them, but by sending to the northward, as cloth cannot be had here. I left, among other returns, an exact account of the clothing at every place, when I was in Williamsburg. I shan’t care to lay in provisions for more than a thousand men, unless I have your Honor’s orders. We have put out such of the beeves as were unfit for slaughtering. If they survive the winter, they may be useful in the summer.
Ensign Polson having received a commission in Colonel Gage’s regiment, makes a vacancy here which, with your approbation, will be filled by Mr. Dennis McCarthy, whom you once appointed a captain. He has continued a volunteer ever since, and has recruited several men into the service, and I hope your Honor will allow me the liberty, as you once promised me, of filling up the vacancies, as they happen, with the volunteers, who serve with that expectation. We have several with us, that seem to be very deserving young gentlemen. I shall observe the strictest justice in promoting them according to their merit, and their time of entering the service. I have ordered Captn. Hog to render immediately a fair account to the company of the money sent him. He was ordered to lay in provisions for only 12 months. Captn. Stewart has recruited his complement of men. I should be glad to know whether he is to complete his horse against the spring and provide accoutrements.
I have been obliged to suspend Ensign Dekeyser for misbehaviour till your pleasure is known. See the proceedings of the enquiring courts. His character in many other respects has been infamous. I have also been obliged to threaten, in your name, the new appointed officers with the same fate if they are not more diligent in recruiting the companies, as each received his commission upon those terms. Captn. Mercer comes down for more money and to satisfy how the £10,000 has been applied.
The skipper of the vessels has embezzled some of the stores; but for want of a particular invoice of them, we cannot ascertain the loss. He is kept in confinement until your Honor’s pleasure is known. I am, &c.
[1 ]“The Cherokees have taken up the Hatchet against the Shawanese and French, and have sent 130 of their warriors into New River, and propose to march immediately to attack and cut off the Shawanese in their towns. I design they shall be joined with three companies of rangers and Capt. Hogg’s company, and I propose Colo. Stephens or Major Lewis to be commander of the party on this expedition.”—Dinwiddie to Washington, 14 Dec., 1755. Known as the Sandy Creek Expedition.