Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO GOVERNOR FAUQUIER. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. II (1758-1775)
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TO GOVERNOR FAUQUIER. - 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 GOVERNOR FAUQUIER.
Camp, atFort Duquesne, 28 November, 1758.
I have the pleasure to inform you, that Fort Duquesne, or the ground rather on which it stood, was possessed by his Majesty’s troops on the 25th instant. The enemy, after letting us get within a day’s march of the place, burned the fort, and ran away (by the light of it,) at night, going down the Ohio by water, to the number of about five hundred men, from our best information. The possession of this fort has been matter of surprise to the whole army, and we cannot attribute it to more probable causes, than those of weakness, want of provisions, and desertion of their Indians. Of these circumstances we were luckily informed by three prisoners, who providentially fell into our hands at Loyal Hanna, at a time when we despaired of proceeding, and a council of war had determined, that it was not advisable to advance beyond the place above mentioned this season, but the information above caused us to march on without tents or baggage, and with a a light train of artillery only, with which we have happily succeeded. It would be tedious, and I think unnecessary, to relate every trivial circumstance, that has happened since my last. To do this, if needful, shall be the employment of a leisure hour, when I have the pleasure to pay my respects to your Honor.
The General purposes to wait here a few days to settle matters with the Indians, and then all the troops, (except a sufficient garrison which will I suppose be left here, to secure the possession,) will march to their respective governments. I therefore give your Honor this early notice of it, that your directions relative to those of Virginia may meet me timely on the road. I cannot help premising, in this place, the hardships the troops have undergone, and the naked condition they now are in, in order that you may judge if it is not necessary that they should have some little recess from fatigue, and time to provide themselves with necessaries, for at present they are destitute of every comfort of life. If I do not get your orders to the contrary, I shall march the troops under my command directly to Winchester; from whence they may then be disposed of, as you shall afterwards direct.
General Forbes desires me to inform you, that he is prevented, by a multiplicity of different affairs, from writing to you so fully now, as he would otherwise have done, and from enclosing you a copy of a letter which he has written to the commanding officer stationed on the communication from hence to Winchester, &c. relative to the Little Carpenter’s conduct, (a chief of the Cherokees). But that, the purport of that letter was to desire, they would deprive him of the use of arms and ammunition, and escort him from one place to another, to prevent his doing any mischief to the inhabitants, allowing him provisions only. His behavior, the General thought, rendered this measure necessary.
This fortunate, and, indeed, unexpected success of our arms will be attended with happy effects. The Delawares are suing for peace, and I doubt not that other tribes on the Ohio will follow their example. A trade, free, open, and upon equitable terms, is what they seem much to stickle for, and I do not know so effectual a way of riveting them to our interest, as sending out goods immediately to this place for that purpose. It will, at the same time, be a means of supplying the garrison with such necessaries as may be wanted; and, I think, those colonies, which are as greatly interested in the support of this place as Virginia is, should neglect no means in their power to establish and support a strong garrison here. Our business, (wanting this) will be but half finished; while, on the other hand, we obtain a firm and lasting peace, if this end is once accomplished.
General Forbes is very assiduous in getting these matters settled upon a solid basis, and has great merit (which I hope will be rewarded) for the happy issue which he has brought our affairs to, infirm and worn down as he is.1 At present I have nothing further to add, but the strongest assurances of my being your Honor’s most obedient and most humble servant.2
[1 ]General Forbes died a few weeks afterwards in Philadelphia.
[2 ]The French account of the later events of this campaign may be found in the “Papers relating to the French Occupation in Western Pennsylvania,” published in the Pennsylvania Archives, Second Series, Vol. VI. Extracts from a few of the more important letters are here quoted:—“M. de Ligneris has written me from Fort Duquesne on the 30th of last month; he continues to have parties out, who brought him two prisoners on the 30th, from whom he learned that General Forbes was immediately expected at Royal Amnon; where there were more than 2,000 men, under the command of Colonel Bouquet, with 8 pieces of cannon on field carriages and several mortars; that a fort had been built there of piece upon piece, and one saw mill; as for the rest, they are ignorant whether Fort Duquesne is to be attacked this fall; that the Provincials had orders to go into winter quarters; that they had been since countermanded, but that people still spoke of dismissing them; that there are no more horned cattle at Royal Amnon, but plenty of provisions of flour and salt meats; that the English suppose us to be very numerous at Fort Duquesne. I am not sure, my Lord, whether the enemy will organize any expedition this fall, or wait until spring; the advanced season and the two advantages we have gained in succession over them, would lead me to hope that they will adopt the latter course. ’Tis much to be desired, for ’twould not be possible for M. de Ligneris to resist the superiority of the enemy’s forces. Meanwhile, he will use all means in his power to annoy them; embarrass their communications and intercept their convoys. It is a great pity that he has been absolutely obliged, by the scarcity of provisions, to reduce his garrison to 200 men; fortunately, the messages he has delivered in my name, to the Delawares and Chawenons of the Beautiful river, have confirmed these nations in their attachment to the French. The Delawares of the mountains have also favorably received the messages sent to them, and are beginning to remove their villages to our territory. I have renewed my orders to all the posts to procure for M. de Ligneris, early in spring, all the assistance in their vicinity. I beg you, my lord, to be pleased fully to assure his Majesty that I will neglect nothing to preserve for him the possession of the Beautiful river, and of this colony in general; that it will not be my fault, should our enemies make, eventually, any progress, but in fact and strict truth, the salvation of this colony will depend on the prompt arrival of the succors of every description, which I have had the honor to demand of you.”—M. de Vaudreuil to M. de Massiac, 28 November, 1759. “We obtain[ed] some new advantages on the Beautiful river, at the close of the month of October. The English repaired in force, on the 23d of November, to within three leagues of Fort Duquesne, which was abandoned after having marched out of, and burned it; the artillery has been sent to the Illinois, by descending the Beautiful river which empties into that of the Onias, the latter flowing into the Mississippi, which is ascended thirty leagues to reach the fort of the Illinois; and the garrison retreated to Fort Machault, where it still remained on the 8th of March, according to intelligence received on the day before yesterday. . . . Scarcity of provisions and the bad position of Fort Duquesne have compelled its abandonment. The consequences may become unfortunate, if the Indians pronounce in favor of the English. Although they hesitate, they appear still attached to us; ’tis to be hoped that they will remain at least neutral. M. de Ligneris, who commands at Fort Machault, writes that the English are constructing forts at Attiqué and Royal Hannon; that the Indians are become very familiar with them; he flatters himself, however, that he will induce them to strike, if he receive reinforcements capable of controlling them; the greatest part of them are on the way.”—M. Malartic to M. de Cremille, 9 April, 1759.