Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO JOHN ROBINSON. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. I (1748-1757)
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TO JOHN ROBINSON. - 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 JOHN ROBINSON.
Winchester, 16 April, 1756.
When I wrote you last, I was in high hopes of being by this time at the head of a large party scouring the Allegany Hills. But the timidity of the inhabitants of this county is to be equalled by nothing but their perverseness. Yesterday was the time appointed for all to meet who were inclined to join for this desirable end, and only fifteen came, some of whom refused to go but upon such terms as must have rendered their services burthensome to the country. Therefore, I am again reduced to the necessity of waiting the arrival of a party from Fort Cumberland before I can leave this place.1 There has been no mischief done since I wrote you last,2 which I attribute in some measure, to the frequent parties I have ordered out in pursuit of the enemy. Yesterday I received an account which made me suspect that the Indians rendezvoused upon the back of the Warm Spring Mountain. I have, therefore, sent orders to an officer3 who is out with a party of one hundred men, to proceed thither with the best guides he can procure, and search that mountain well; which, if the intelligence be true, I hope he will render a good account of them.
Nothing, Sir, equals the pleasure I felt at hearing of the generous supplies the Assembly have voted. But to find that the men and money which they have given are properly disposed of, and that the men are formed for the service of the country, and not to make commissions to serve individuals, I have sent the Governor a plan or scheme, of which you have a copy; to form the two thousand men into one regiment, consisting of two battalions of ten companies each; with five field officers, each having a company, and every company to consist of one captain, two lieutenants, one ensign, four sergeants, four corporals, two drummers, and eighty-seven private men: which will save the country the annual expense of five thousand and six pounds, sixteen shillings and eight pence, as you may see by the enclosed. And we at the same time be better appointed and established more after the British custom than we now are, or shall be if formed into two regiments, or one regiment with only fifty men in a company.1 As instances of which I shall observe: first, were we formed into two regiments after our present appointment, we must have one hundred and two commissioned, and two hundred [and] twenty four non-commissioned officers, besides staff officers. But these indeed will be the same in two battalions, as in two regiments. Whereas in the present scheme, you have only eighty commissioned officers, and two hundred non-commissioned. The pay therefore of them, together with the staff-officers and private men, all amounts only to £34,145. 10. per annum. Whereas the same number of men in two regiments, or in fifties, according to our present establishment, will be £39,152. 6. 8. The difference therefore is, as I before observed, £5,006. 16. 8., which would go a great length either in clothing, or defraying incident charges of the regiment. Another difference is that of giving the field officers companies, which is practised in all parts of the world but this, and here discontinued evidently to the disadvantage of the country, as the field officers who have no companies are allowed in the same proportion as if they had, and three captains are paid to do this duty.
This calculation is made for the two thousand men, to include officers; but if that is not the intention of the Assembly, the scheme still holds good, or better in proportion, and differs in this respect only: that each company is to contain one hundred men instead of eighty-seven, and to have the addition of a sergeant or two to each.
I have made bold, Sir, to offer my opinion freely; and if it meets with the approbation of your House, I should be glad if you would help it into execution. Otherwise, as I am sensible, the Governor may be strongly importuned for commissions, he may good-naturedly grant them, without considering how manifest an injury it will be to the country and service in general.
As I am convinced, that no other method can be used to raise two thousand men, but by drafting, I hope to be excused, when I again repeat, how great care should be observed in choosing active marksmen. The manifest inferiority of inactive persons, unused to arms, in this kind of service, although equal in numbers, to lively persons who have practised hunting, is inconceivable. The chance against them is more than two to one. Another thing I hope will merit the consideration of the Assembly, and that is, that they will put all such men as are raised for the expedition in actual pay, and under the same discipline that ours are at present; otherwise, I am very well convinced their good intentions will prove abortive, and all the drafts quit the service as soon, or before, they are brought into it.
I do not conceive it to be a hardship to put even drafts under martial law, if they are only taken for a certain time, which I could wish to be the case, as I thereby hope for better men.1 I am &c.
[1 ]“The roads being so infested, that none but hunters who travel the woods by night, can pass in safety.”—To Dinwiddie.
[2 ]“The express, whom I sent to Colonel Stephen, notwithstanding he was an excellent woodsman, and a very active fellow, was fired upon five times at a place called the Flats, within six miles of Fort Cumberland. He had several bullets through, and his horse shot under him, yet made his escape from them.”—To Dinwiddie.
[3 ]John Mercer.
[1 ]“And I humbly conceive, where we can pattern after our Mother country upon as easy terms as pursuing plans of our own, that we should at least pay that deference to her judgment and experience.”—To Dinwiddie.
[1 ]“I have a brother that has long discovered an inclination to enter the service, but has till this been dissuaded from it by my mother, who now, I believe, will give consent. I must, therefore, beg that if your Honor should issue any new commissions before I come down, that you will think of him and reserve a Lieutenancy. I flatter myself that he will endeavor to deserve it as well as some that have, and others that may get [them].”—To Dinwiddie.