Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO GENERAL FORBES. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. II (1758-1775)
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TO GENERAL FORBES. - 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 GENERAL FORBES.
Camp, atRaystown, 8 October, 1758.
In consequence of your request of the Colonels assembled at your lodgings, the 15th instant,1 I offer the plans (on the other side) to your consideration. They express my thoughts on a line of march thro’ a country covered with woods, and how that line of march may be formed in an instant into an order of battle. The plan of the line of march and order of battle,2 on the other side, is calculated for a forced march with field-pieces only, unincumbered with wagons. It represents, first, a line of march; and, secondly, how that line of march may in an instant be thrown into an order of battle in the woods. This plan supposes four thousand privates, one thousand of whom (picked men,) are to march in the front in three divisions, each division having a field-officer to command it, besides the commander of the whole; and is always to be in readiness to oppose the enemy, whose attack, if the necessary precautions are observed, must always be in front.
The first division must, (as the second and third ought likewise to be,) subdivided for the captains; these subdivisions to be again divided for the subalterns; and the subalterns again for the sergeants and corporals. By which means every non-commissioned officer will have a party to command, under the eye of a subaltern, as the subalterns will have, under the direction of a captain, &c.
N.B. I shall, altho I believe it unnecessary, remark here, that the captains, when their subdivisions are again divided, are to take command of no particular part of it, but to attend to the whole subdivision, as the subalterns are to do with theirs, each captain and subaltern acting as commandant of the division he is appointed to, under the field-officer, visiting and encouraging all parts alike, and keeping the soldiers to their duty. This being done, the first division is, so soon as the van-guard is attacked (if that gives the first notice of the enemy’s approach), to file off to the right and left, and take to trees, gaining the enemy’s flanks, and surrounding them, as described in the second plan.1 The flank-guards on the right, which belong to the second division, are immediately to extend to the right, followed by that division, and to form, as described in the aforesaid plan. The rear-guard division is to follow the left flankers in the same manner, in order, if possible, to encompass the enemy, which being a practice different from any thing they have ever yet experienced from us, I think may be accomplished. What Indians we have, should be ordered to get round, unperceived, and fall at the same time upon the enemy’s rear. The front and rear being thus secured, there remains a body of two thousand five hundred men to form two brigades, on the flanks of which six hundred men must march for the safety of them, and in such order as to form a rank entire, by only marching the captains’ and subalterns’ guards into the intervals between the sergeants’ parties, as may be seen by plan the second. The main body will now be reduced to nineteen hundred men, which should be kept a corps de reserve to support any part, that shall be found weak or forced.2
The whole is submitted to correction with the utmost candor, by Sir, &c.
[1 ]Should be ultimo.
[2 ]See diagram.
[1 ]This paper was reproduced in fac-simile and published in Monuments of Washington’s Patriotism (1841).
[2 ]An orderly book of this date shows the following course of the advance troops, by encampments:—
Here they remained until November 15th, when they removed to Chestnut Ridge.
A skirmish had occurred on the evening of the 12th, and a force of 543 officers and men was sent on the next day to the spot. On the 14th the army was divided into three bodies, to be commanded by Colonels Bouquet, Montgomery, and Washington, acting as Brigadiers. To Washington was assigned the command of the right wing, consisting of the 1st Virginia regiment, two companies of artificers, and men from North Carolina, Maryland, and the Lower Counties. Orderly book. “Our army in its approach, was divided into three brigades, one commanded by Col. Bouquet; another by Col. Montgomery; and the third by Col. Washington. These brigades marched in columns to shorten their lines, and enable them to form expeditiously. Flanking parties of the best gunmen marched on the flanks; Indians and light horse reconnoitred the ground as we advanced; and parties had been out the night before all round; a strong guard was advanced before the army, in the rear of which the General was in his litter with an officer’s guard, a little advanced before Col. Montgomery, who commanded the center brigade. A strong rear guard was likewise ordered, as also a guard for the artillery.”—Letter from an Officer.