French and Indian War

Instructions of Governor Robert Dinwiddie for Major Andrew Lewis, commander of expedition against the Shawnee, n.d.

extracted from

The Official Records of Robert Dinwiddie, Volume II, R. A. Brock, editor
(Richmond: Virginia Historical Society, 1884), page 320-322.

Governor Dinwiddie's Instructions to Major Lewis.

Instruct's for Maj'r And'w Lewis, Com'd'r in Chief of the Forces on an Expedit'n ag'st the Shawnesse:

Whereas, the Shawnesse have, contrary to their Faith, in a most violent and barbarous manner robbed and murdered many of our Bro. Subjects in our frontier Settlem'ts, It is resolved to attack them in y'r Towns to punish them for y'r Insults and great Barbarities. And by Virtue of the Power invested in me as L't-Gov'r and Com'd'r in Chief of Virg'a, I do appoint You, Maj'r And'w Lewis, to Com'd the Forces and conduct the necessary and just Expedit'n. The Cherokee Ind's being sensible of the Great Cruelties and Murders comitted by the Shwnesse ag'st their Bro's, the Eng., have generously sent in a No. of y'r Warriors to join our Forces ag'st those perfidious People, the Shawnesse, and they propos'd march'g to attack them in y'r Towns. I therefore in a particular Manner recomend these Ind's to Y'r Care, that You may shew them due Respect and y't they may be supplied with all necessaries the same as our own Forces. I have order'd C't. Hogg, with 40 of his Co'y, to march on 's Expedit'n; a Draught of 60 Men to be made from C't. Preston's and C't. Smith's Compa's, and y't C't. Smith have the Com'd of them. Capt. Sam'l Overton, with his Co., I suppose to be 40 Men; C't Obadiah Woodson, with his Co'y, I hope will be forty Men more. One C't. McMett, and some others propos'd some Men on a voluntary Subscript'n. From the foremention'd four Compa's, the Cherokee Ind's and the Volunteers, making in all 350 Men, I think will be sufficient for the Expedition; but if You sh'd think more Men necessary I leave it to You. You are imediately to order a proper Place to redezvous and to collect all Y'r men together to proceed to the Shawnesse Towns with't Loss of Time, as the Season of the Year requires imediate Dispatch. I enclose You 8 blank Com'o's to be fill'd up as You may see necessary. I recommend Mr. Pearis for one, as he had the Trouble of bring'g the Ind's to our Assist'ce. The others You may fill up as occasion requires, first consult'g with Pearis those People y't may be proper to attend the Ind's. You are to do every Th'g in Y'r power to cultivate Morality among the Men, and y't they may have Dependence on God, the God of Armies and the Giver of Victory. You may appoint a Comissary to attend You to see Y'r Provis's properly issued, and as Frugality is absolutely necessary, I think if he has [a] Lieut's Pay [it] will be sufficient; but y's I must refer to You. The No. of Horses You ment'n for Y'r Provisions and Baggage surpriz'd me and the Council. We do not conceive You can want half y't No., as we think You cannot be six Weeks on the Expedit'n, and You must consider the Impossibility of provid'g Fodder and Corn for such a No., and surely every private Man can carry five Days' Allow'ce of Bread kind, w'ch, I think, must be of Wheat or Corn Flour; therefore, it's expected You will take no more Horses than are absolutely necessary. The manner of agreeing for them must also be left to You, and I recomend Frugality. If you are oblig'd to press Horses, I herewith send You a press Warr't; if press'd, You must comply with the Law in hav'g them aprais'd. Co. Stewart, no doubt, must have a Qu'ty of Provis's by him, as he had 200 from me besides the Mo[ney] You gave him. I observe by a L'r from C't Hogg he has a large Qu'ty of Beef and Corn, w'ch You must make use of, but in case more is wanted, I send You 200 to be applied as You may see proper. I sent up to C't Smith 150 Small Arms, to b'ls Gun Powder, and 140 Blankets, for the Ind's, w'ch is all I possibly c'd provide here. As to the Security of the Forts, after You march on the Expedit'n, as You are the Com'd'g Officer of the Co'ty, You must order some of the Militia to defend them till Y'r ret'n, w'n You may dispose of Y'r Men as You may see proper. I have sent the Chief Warrior of the Ind's a Com'o., he has the Character of a brave Officer; shew him respect. If any Difficulties unforeseen sh'd occur in Y'r Expedit'n, call the Officers of the Ind's and Capt's of the different Compa's to advise with You in such cases. As many Things may happen, y't I cannot give You particular Direct's on, I must, therefore, refer the Conduct to Y'r prudent Managem't, and recomend Frugality. I wish You Health and Success, with a safe return, and am, sincerely,

S'r, Y'r most h'ble Serv't.

French and Indian War Documents

West Virginia Archives and History