French and Indian War

Instructions to George Washington, May 16, 1757

extracted from

The Official Records of Robert Dinwiddie, Volume II, R. A. Brock, editor
(Richmond: Virginia Historical Society, 1884), pages 622-623.

Instructions to Colonel George Washington, Commander-In-Chief of the Virginia Regiment.


You are, so soon as yo. arrive at Fort Loudoun, to inform the Officers that the Assembly having consider'd the great Expence the Virg'a Regim't has cost the Country from the No. of Companys it has consisted of, and those Companys not half compleat in proportion to the vast Charge of Officers. It is resolv'd, for the better saving of Expences and establishing a proper Regulation, that the said Regim't shall consist only of ten companies of 100 Men each; that all the Captains but seven be reduc'd. Those I have thought proper to continue are Captains Mercer, Waggoner, Stewart, Joshua Lewis, Woodward, Spotswood, and McKenzie. To those discontinued in the Command of Captains (not from any particular Misconduct or Demerit imputed) You are to offer Lieutenants, and compleat the No. of Lieut'ts to 20 out of the eldest Subalterns, unless there be some whose Conduct does not entitle 'em to the Preference. The Ensigns for the Regim't are to consist of 10, and to be fill'd up in the same Manner, having regard to their Characters and Behaviour.

After the Companys are form'd You are to occupy the following Posts in the following Manner till y'r Numbers and increas'd, Vizt:

At Fort Loudoun, 100 Men, commanded by Yourself.
At Maidstone, 70 Men, Do., by Capt. Stewart.
At Edwards's, 25 Men, Do., by a Subaltern.
At Persall's, 45 Men, Do., by Capt. McKenzie.
In the Neighborhood of Butter Milk Fort. 70 Men, Do., by Capt. Waggoner.
At Dickinson's 70 Men, Do., by Maj'r Lewis.
At Vass's, 70 Men, Do.,by Capt. Woodward.

You are to remain at Winchester, and there use your utmost Diligence and Care in forwarding the public Works w'th all possible Expedition.

You are to continue all the assistant Commissarys that are requisite 'till such [time] as the Assembly comes to some further Resolution on this head - and issue your Orders accordingly. You are no longer to have concern with, or Management of Indian Affairs. The Hon'ble Mr. Atkin is appointed by His M'y for that extraordinary Service. He is now repairing to Winchester for that purpose, and will, I suppose, if he sh'd be obliged to leave it before the Indians return home, appoint some person to transact the Business in his absence. So soon as the Assembly have resolved on the Ways and Means of raising men, I shall advise you thereof, that you may be prepared for their reception, and send officers to meet them if ordered so to do.

Given at Williamsburg this 16th day of May, 1757.

French and Indian War Documents

West Virginia Archives and History