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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, 4 May, 1758.
The enclosed letter from Capt. Waggener, will inform your Honor of a very unfortunate affair. From the best accounts I have yet been able to get, there are about 60 persons killed and missing. Immediately upon receiving this Intelligence, I sent out a Detachment of the Regiment, and some Indians, that were equipped for war, in hopes of their being able to intercept the Enemy in the retreat. I was fearful of this stroke, but had not time enough to avert it, as your Honor will find by the following account which came to hand just before Capt. Waggener’s letter, by Captn. McKenzie.
Lieutenant Gist with 6 soldiers and 30 Indians marched the 2d of April from the South Branch; and after a tedious march (occasioned by the deep snows on the mountains) got on the waters of the Monongahela, where Mr. Gist was lamed by a fall from a steep bank, and rendered incapable of marching. The white people and some of the Indians remained with him; and the rest of the Indians divided themselves into three parties & separated. Ucahula and two more went down the Monongahela in a bark canoe and landed near Ft. Duquesne, on the north side, where they lay concealed for two days. At length an opportunity offered of attacking a canoe, in which were two French men fishing; those they killed and scalped in sight of two other canoes with French men in them, and came off safe.
When he got about 15 miles on this side Ft. Duquesne, he came upon a large Indian Encampment, from the size of which, and the number of tracks, judged to be at least 100, making directly for the frontiers of Virginia, as they again discovered by crossing their tracks.1
At present I have nothing more to add to your Honor, having written several times lately on matters, to which I have received no answer.
I had wrote thus far, and was going to send off an Express with this melancholy account, when I received advice, that the Particulars relative to those murders had been transmitted from Augusta, to your Honor. I thereupon thought it most advisable to postpone sending ’till I should receive answer to my several letters by Jenkins and Mr. Gist; which I was accordingly honored with, the 7th and last night.
May 10th. After due deliberation on your Honor’s letter of the 2d by Gist, I am of opinion, that the number of Militia you have ordered for the defence of the Posts, to be evacuated by the regiment, will be sufficient, unless the completing the works at this place should be thought necessary.
As it can not be supposed that the Enemy will attempt any formidable incursion after the march of our army; and as to the depredations to be feared from their small scalping-parties, it would be out of the power of thrice the proposed number (or indeed of any number) effectually to prevent them. But, as you are pleased to desire my opinion—I beg leave to offer a few things relative to the disposition you propose.
I humbly conceive therefore, that it would be infinitely more for the interest of the service, to order the 100 from Prince William to the South Branch, and continuing Rutherford’s company in its present station, making this its headquarters. For, as that company is perfectly acquainted with all that range of mountains, extending from the Potomack to the Augusta Line, and thro’ which the Enemy make incursions into this settlement, they could with greater facility obstruct their inroads and assist the inhabitants of this valley (of whom they themselves form a very great part) than those who are ignorant of the ground. The militia from Prince William, equally know the Branch and this vicinity, and therefore may be supposed to do as much there, as here; whereas moving Rutherford’s there, would be stripping them of those essential advantages which they may derive from their thorough knowledge of these parts, and removing them from defending their immediate rights (the sole motive of the enlisting).
One half of this company, were it continued here, might be constantly ranging, and the other left in this fort, which is centrical to their present station.
If the works here are to be completed, which from their great importance I should think highly necessary, in that event, an additional number of 60 or 80 good men from the militia, for that particular service, would be wanted; and I do not know any person so capable of directing the works as Major Joseph Stephen, of Caroline County. He formerly had the overlooking of them, and managed with remarkable industry.
A part of the militia ordered for the Branch should take post at Edwards’s (on Cacapehon) and at Pearsalls, for the security of convoys passing from hence to Fort Cumberland.
I really do not know what method can be practised to compel the country people to deliver up the public arms, unless there could be a general search in every county.
Governor Dinwiddie, if I remember right, issued two or three proclamations ordering them in, to no purpose.
With regard to opening the roads, I think it would be most advisable to postpone all attempts, ’till Sir Jno. St. Clair’s arrival, as he is expected so soon. For Pearsalls, altho’ it is the most convenient road for the Virginia, may not be used by the northern troops; as I understand their rendezvous is ordered at Fort Frederick in Maryland. This may also (altho’ I cannot yet absolutely say) render garrisons at Edwards and Pearsalls, useless, unless it be a few to preserve the forts and the families gathered into them.
As several of our best sergeants were made officers in the Carolina Regiment (besides some other vacancies in that Rank) parting with 10 for the use of the new Regiment will be a very great hardship at this juncture.
We are likewise short of our number of Drummers, and many of those we have are raw and untutored. As the General expects not regularity from the new levies, well knowing how little any attempts towards it, in a short time, would avail; I can not help being surprized at their requesting your Honor to give directions for doing what would be of no real service to the new Regiment, and would be of vast prejudice to that I have the honor to command.
In consequence of your orders for completing the Regiment (with all possible despatch) by recruiting, I sometime ago sent all the officers I could spare to those parts of the Country where there is the greatest probability of success and furnished them with all the money I had, and directions to draw upon me for whatever sum they might want for that service. I likewise engaged some of the most popular of the country gentlemen to recruit for me, giving them the same liberty to draw upon me. Well knowing the difficulty of getting any tolerable number in a short time, I exerted myself in prosecuting every measure, that afforded a prospect of success, having then not the least reason to doubt of being duly supplied with money: But how great is my surprise at that paragraph of your Honor’s letter, that you can not send me any for that service. As I had immediate demands upon me, which I put off until Mr. Gist’s arrival, I consulted with my officers about applying the £400, sent for contingencies, towards these demands; and enclose you their opinion on that head; and I must earnestly request, that you will be pleased to fall upon some measures of sending me 800 or 1,000£ more; as your honor, the honor of the Colony, as well as mine, and the officers, together with that of those gentlemen above-mentioned, whom I have employed, is so nearly and immediately interested in the completion of those engagements, which I have, in consequence of your orders, entered into. Surely it cannot be imagined that I can pay the money (if I had it to deposit) out of my own private fortune; nor does the shortness of the time, nor the circumstances I am under, admit of any other alternative.
I will chearfully bespeak, and can easily procure, the Stage Horses you desire—when furnished with money for that purpose.
As Jno. Berry was made a soldier (how legally the Court of Officers &c, that sent him can better declare) I must think it not only repugnant to law, but to the articles of War, and the customs of the army, to allow him to enlist in any other corps; for, by this means, if there were no other bad consequences attending it, he defrauds the Country of double-bounty-money.
I shall make a prudent use of the power you have been pleased to give me, respecting the issuing orders to the parties of militia.
Your favor of the 3d by Mr. French Mason, I have just been presented with; and would gladly have appointed him Ensign in the regiment, had not the vacancies been disposed of, in the following manner, before it came to hand, vizt.:
Capt. Lt. Bullet, to Joshua Lewis’s company—Mr. Duncanson, oldest Ensign, to the Lieutenancy occasioned by this removal: and Mr. Thomas Gist and Mr. Allen, volunteers, and John McCully & John Sallard, worthy Sergeants, (all of whom had served a considerable time with credit and reputation) to be Ensigns.—I had likewise before the receipt of yours, promised Major Hite, of this County, a gentleman of good character, the Colors that would become vacant; upon the event of Colo. Mercer’s Company being filled up; as he in consideration, had engaged to recruit 50 men, for the service—which I then thought would be a vast advantage. I am, &c.
[1 ]“This Indian’s account of Ft. Duquesne, corresponds with most others I have heard, vizt., that it is strong on the land-side, but stockaded only where it faces the Ohio-river. It does not appear from his information that there are many men there, or that they have thrown up any new works. He saw a party on the other side of the river, which he supposed to be newly come, because there were several canoes near them; and they seemed to be busy in putting up bark huts, which however were not many—and only two tents pitched. When he had got about 15 miles on this side of Fort Duquesne he came upon a large Indian encampment and tracks, steering towards Virginia; and after the parties had joined and were marching in, Lt. Gist came upon a track of another large party, pursuing the same course. These parties have since fallen upon the back-inhabitants of Augusta County, and destroyed near 50 persons, besides an officer and 18 men, belonging to Captn. Hog’s ranging-company, who we suppose (for I have no advice from him) were sent to the country-people’s assistance. As soon as I obtained notice of this, I ordered a detachment from the Regiment, and some Indians, that were equipped for war, to march, and endeavor to intercept their retreat—if they are not too numerous.—I have also engaged Ucahula, with a small party of brisk men to go immediately for Ft. Duquesne, and try to get a prisoner. He seems confident of success, and promises to be back in 20 days at the farthest. The two Virginia Companies from Carolina came to this place yesterday.—Enclosed is a return of their strength.”—To Sir John St. Clair, 4 May, 1758.