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TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. II (1758-1775) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1889). Vol. II (1758-1775).
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TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL.
Fort Loudoun, 24 April, 1758.
Your letter of the 19th instant, intended to come by Colonel Stephen, was delivered me to-day about noon by express. As there are several matters contained in it of an interesting nature, I chose to be aided in my determinations by the advice of my officers, and have enclosed your Honor their and my opinion on the several heads.
I could by no means think of executing, (willingly,) that discretionary power, with which you were pleased to invest me, of ordring out the militia.1 It is an affair, Sir, of too important and delicate a nature for me to have the management of; for much discontent will be the inevitable consequence of this draft.
Your Honor will no longer be at a loss for a return, after you receive my letter by Jenkins; and lest any accident may have happened to that, I herewith enclose another for the same month.
When the relief of our outposts in Augusta marches, Major Lewis, who commands on that quarter, should be advised thereof, and he will order them to their stations.
That was a most extraordinary request of Colonel Mercer, concerning the exchange of officers, and calculated, it would seem, rather to breed confusion, and to gratify his own vanity, than to benefit the other regiment.2 There is not an ensign there, that would not rather quit the service, than accept of a company in the other regiment, so much do they disapprove Colonel Mercer’s proposal; and I have neither inclination nor power to force their compliance.
Captain Rutherford’s company was raised and posted on this quarter by Governor Dinwiddie’s express orders, and can be more useful here, than any other men whatever, being all sons of the neighboring farmers, men of property, young, active, and entirely acquainted with the woods on these frontiers. Whereas, if they go to the southward, they will be utter strangers to the enemy’s haunts, and of no more use there, than the militia of an adjacent county; while their places here must be supplied by militia equally ignorant of these woods as they will be of any others; besides giving them a useless march of two hundred miles, and exposing the frontiers in the mean time. Another reason may be urged; their property all lies in this county. Interested motives induced them to enlist, and to be vigilant in defending it, and, I believe, they would desert, rather than go to the southward.
Your Honor will please to remember, it was one among the last questions, I had an opportunity of asking, if I should send parties a recruiting? You replied, “that, as the Assembly was so near meeting, you would defer giving any directions on that head,” and as I had no money for the purpose, I hope it will not seem surprising, that we have recruited but a few men since, and that I have been waiting for orders to complete the regiment. I shall now use my best endeavors, with what few officers, can be spared from the garrisons, (which will be very few, indeed!) dispersed as we are. I shall also be under a necessity of sending down for money to carry on this service; and should be glad that your Honor would order it to be ready immediately to prevent delay of the officer, who will set off to-morrow, or the next day after at the farthest. I am, &c.
[1 ]This power of drafting the militia, with which the forts were to be garrisoned while the regular troops were employed in the expedition, was conferred equally on the President, and the Commander-in-chief; a substantial proof of the confidence reposed in the latter by the Assembly, although in this case, as in all others, he could not be prevailed upon to exercise a delegated power to any greater extent, than was absolutely necessary for a full discharge of the duties of his station.—Sparks.
[2 ]Mercer was lieutenant-colonel of the second, or new regiment. The commanding officer of this regiment was Colonel Byrd.