French and Indian War

George Washington to Governor Robert Dinwiddie, April 19, 1756

extracted from

The Writings of George Washington, Volume II, by Jared Sparks
(Boston: Charles Tappan, 1846), pages 142-143

To Governor Dinwiddie.
Winchester, 19 April, 1756.


Since writing my letter of yesterday's date, the enclosed came to hand, by which you will be informed of a very unlucky affair (*A skirmish with the Indians at Edward's Fort, in which Captain John Mercer and several of his party were killed).

I immediately consulted Governor Innes, and such officers of my regiment as were at this place, on the necessary steps to be taken. They unanimously advised, that I should remain here with the fifty recruits that are in town, for the defence of the place, until the militia be raised, that we may thereby be enabled to compose a formidable body, and march out against the enemy.

This engagement happened within twenty miles of Winchester, and the sergeant, who brought the letter, assures me there is reason to imagine, that their numbers are greater than the letter informs. He says there were many French among them, and that the chief part of the whole were mounted on horseback; so that there is a great probability of their having a design upon this place.

I have sent an express to Lord Fairfax, with a copy of Stark's letter, and have desired, in the most earnest manner, that he will be expeditious in calling the militia; but, alas! that is an unhappy dependence; yet the only one we have. I am your Honor's, &c.

French and Indian War Documents

West Virginia Archives and History