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French and Indian War

Instructions for George Washington, n.d.

extracted from

The Writings of George Washington, Volume II, by Jared Sparks
(Boston: Charles Tappan, 1846), pages 184-186.


Instructions for Colonel Washington.

WHEREAS, the Fr. have unjustly invaded H. M’y’s Lands on the Ohio, and have sent flying Parties of Fr. and Ind’s to rob and murder our back Settlers to the Westw’d, w’ch the Legislature of Y’s Dom’n hav’g seriously taken into their Considerat’n and voted Money for the Protect’n of our Frontiers and for conduct’g the necessary Expedit’n to drive the Fr. from the Ohio. In Consequence thereof I have granted Comissions for rais’g sixteen Compa’s of Men to be form’d into a Regim’t. The Com’d of w’ch Regim’t, together with all the Forces that now are or may be employ’d in the Co’try Service, being given to You. You are, as soon as possible, to use Y’r utmost Endeavours to compleat the s’d Regim’t by send’g the officers to recruit in the different Counties of y’s Dom’n, as You shall see most convenient, leav’g six to do Duty with the Men who remain at F’t Cumb’l’d. As it will facilitate the Recruit’g Service to have the Regim’t seperated, You are to divide them into three Places – viz’t, at Winchester, Alexandria, and Fredericksburg – at each of w’ch Place a Field Officer is to reside to receive such Recruits as are fit for the Service, w’ch shall be sent by the Officers in his Division. As Winchester is the highest Place of rendezvous w’ch is expos’d to the Enemy, You are hereby requir’d to make y’t Y’r head quarters. The Clothing of the Reg’t is to be provided by the Co’try, and to be sent to You in order to be delivered to the Effective Men of each Company. The Men to be regularly p’d their full Subsistence with’t any Deductions, except’g two Pence [per] Month from each Non-Comission’d Officer and Private Man, for the Surgeon to purchase Medicines. Y’s Money to be stopped by the Pay M’r and to be p’d to the Surgeon quarterly, as also six Pence [per] Month from the Drumers, to be p’d to the Drum Maj’r to repair the Drums and teach the Drumers. You are hereby requir’d to preserve good Order and Discipline among the Officers and Private Men of the Regim’t under Y’r Com’d, and to conform Y’r Self in every Respect to the Rules and Articles of War. You are to transmit to me Weekly Returns of the Regiment, and a Return the first Day of every Month with the Variations y’t may have happen’d the preceding Month. When any of the Non-Comission’d Officers or Private Men shall happen to die they are to be continued on the Returns and Rolls as Effective Men to Twenty Eight Days to pay for his Coffin, y’t the Com’d. of the Com’y may be no Loser by his Death. It is strictly recommended to You to take particular Care y’t no Officer Com’d’g a Co’y shall supply the Men with Necessaries, deduct’g the Price out of the Men’s Pay. They are only to take Care to see the Men lay out their Money in purchas’g w’t they may stand in need of, and in order y’t the Men may not suffer for want of those Necessaries, You are hereby empowered to contract with any Person or Persons to supply the Camp with such necessary Coath’g, &c., as is requisite.

You are also empower’d to purchase suitable Goods for Ind’s, to offer them Presents in such Manner and at such Times as You shall think advisable, either for attain’g their Int’t or promot’g the Service. You will be entrusted with a Military Chest, w’ch You are to use as You see the Nature and Good of the Service requires. As it will be necessary, in Order to fill any Measures y’t may be taken next Spring to lay in Stores of Provis’s, &c., &c., at F’t Cumb’l’d, or some other convenient Place, and to make all the necessary Advances y’t the Season and other Conveniences will admit, You are hereby order’d to take such steps to do it as Your own Prudence or my further Orders shall direct. As an Aid-de-Camp and Sec’ry are necessary to ease the Duty of Y’r Com’d, I do hereby invest You with full Power and Authority to appoint and Commiss’n such Person and Persons as You shall think most advisable, and as Mr. Dick has declar’d his Intent’s of declin’g any further Services as Comissary, I also impower You to appoint a Commissary in his room, together with an Adjut’t, Q’r Master, and such other inferior officers as You shall find absolutely necessary to carry on the Service with Spirit and Vigour. And as the Conduct and Success of the whole must entirely depend upon the Regulat’n and Discipline of the Forces, w’ch cannot be attain’d but by a due and proper exertion of the Military, You are therefore to conform Y’r Self in every Respect to the Rules and Articles of War herewith given You, for w’ch I will see You justified in the just and due Conformance thereto. I sincerely desire that You will inculcate Morality and Virtue among Y’r Men – to punish Drunkenness and Swearing. Wishing you Health and recomend’g You to the Protect’n of God, I am,

S’r, Y’r F’d and h’ble serv’t.


French and Indian War Documents

West Virginia Archives and History