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TO COLONEL BOUQUET. - 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 COLONEL BOUQUET.
Camp atFort Cumberland, 18th Augt., 1758.
I am favored with yours of yesterday, intimating the probability of my proceeding with a body of troops on General Braddock’s road, and desiring my retaining for that purpose, a month’s provisions at this place, a thing which I should be extreme fond of, but as I cannot possibly know what quantity of provisions may be necessary for that time, without knowing the number of men I may probably march with, and when it is likely we may leave this, I hope you will be pleased to give me the necessary information on this head. As also how this place is to be garrisoned, and what provisions and stores should be left.
I have talked a good deal with Kelly upon the nature of the intervening ground, from the new road to Braddock’s, and from what he says I apprehend it impracticable to effect a junction with the troops on the new Road till we advance near the Salt Lick, which is no great distance from Fort Duquesne. And how far it may be advisable to send a small body of troops so near the enemy at so great a distance from the army without any kind of tools (which is certainly our case) for repairing the roads, or throwing up any kind of defence in case of need, I shall not presume to say, but I cannot help observing, that all the guides and Indians are to be drawn from hence, and that the greatest part of my regiment is on the other road; so that I have but few remaining with me of the first regiment, and 8 companies of the second only, whose officers and men can be supposed to know little of the Service, and less of the country, and near, or I believe, quite a fifth of them sick. I thought it incumbent on me to mention these things, that you might know our condition; at the same time I beg leave to assure you that nothing will give me greater pleasure than to proceed with any number of men, that the general or yourself may think proper to Order.—
With regard to keeping out a succession of strong parties on this road from the troops here,1 I must beg leave to observe, that we have not so much as one carrying horse to take provisions out upon, being under a necessity t’other day of pressing five horses from some countrymen, (that came to Camp on business,) before I could equip Captn. McKenzie’s party for a 14 days march.2 That we have not an oz. of salt provisions of any kind here, and that it is impossible to preserve the fresh, (especially as we have no salt neither) by any other means than Barbacuring it in the Indian manner; in doing which it loses near a half; so that a party who receives 10 days provisions will be obliged to live on little better than 5 days’ allowance of meat, kind—a thing impracticable. A great many of Colo. Byrd’s men are, as I before remarkd, very sickly, the rest became low spirited and dejected. Of course the greatest share of that service must fall upon the 4 companies of the first regiment. This sickness and depression of spirits, cannot arise I conceive from the situation of our Camp, which is, undoubtedly the most healthy and best aired in this vicinity, but is caused, I apprehend, by the change in their way of living, (most of them till now having lived in ease and affluence,) and by the limestone water and air. The soldrs. of the first would be sickly, like those of the 2d Regiment, was it not owing to some such causes as these.
Captn. McKenzie’s party is not yet returned. I will advertise you of his discoveries, if any are made by him.1
We have reasons to believe that parties of the enemy are about us likewise. Yesterday afternoon a waggoner had his horse shot under him about three miles from hence.
The convoy from Winchester has been detained much longer than was expected. Mr. Walker desired a party to reinforce the escort at Pearsalls (30 miles distant), the 15th Inst., which was accordingly sent; but I have since been informed that the waggons did not leave Winchester till a few days ago.
We have no Indian goods of any kind here. It gives me great pleasure to hear that the General is getting better and expected soon at Rays Town.1 I am, &c.
[1 ]“As it is highly necessary to keep the enemy in doubt about our roads, the General desires that you continue sending strong parties along, with orders to reconnoitre where the junction of the two roads could be made. I hear by Kelly, who is gone from Loy: H.—to the Salt Lick, that it is about 16 miles across from that post to the end of Chestnut Ridge, where this path goes; and the woods so open that without cutting, carrying horses may easily go through, all pretty level.”—Bouquet to Washington, 17 August, 1758.
[2 ]“I detached Captain McKenzie with four officers and 75 rank and file to way lay the road at the Great Crossing. From him a sergeant and four active woodsmen are to proceed to Fort Duquesne, so that I am in great hopes we shall be able to get some intelligence of the strength of the enemy at that place.”—Washington to Bouquet, 13 August, 1758.
[1 ]“This afternoon the party commanded by Capt. McKenzie returned without being able to discover any thing of the Enemy’s motions. They waylaid the road for several days near the great Crossings, and intended to have advanced quite to that post, had not their provisions entirely spoiled, notwithstanding every method and the utmost pains for its preservation was taken. Some of their advanced sentries had nearly killed a small party of 3 Cherokee Indians, returning from war. This small party went from hence upwards of six weeks ago, and this is the fourth day since they left Fort Duquesne, the environs of which they long watched. At length was obliged to cross the Ohio, where they killed two squaws, whose scalps they brought in here. They say there are a good many women and children on that side the river, but very few men, either French or Indians, at the Fort. Captn. McKenzie says there is no sign of the Enemy, having been lately on General Braddock’s road so far as he proceeded on it. Sergeant Scott and four privates of his party went on to Fort Duquesne. So soon as they return will transmit you any intelligence they may procure.”—Washington to Bouquet, 19 August, 1758.
[1 ]“I went Saturday to the top of the Allegheny Hill, where I had the satisfaction to see a very good road; 20 loaded wagons went up without doubling their teams, and proceeded as far as Edmund’s Swamp.”—Bouquet to Washington, 21 August, 1758.