George Washington

The Official Records of Robert Dinwiddle, Lieutenant-Governor of the Colony of Virginia, 1751-1758, Now First Printed from the Manuscript in the Collections of the Virginia Historical Society, with an Introduction and Notes by R. A. Brock. (Richmond, VA: Virginia Historical Society, 1884). Vol. II: 184-87.


Rob't Dinwidie, Esq'r, His Majesty's L't G'r, &c., to George Washington, Esq'r:

By Virtue of H. M'y's Royal Com'o. and Instruct's appoint'g me L't G'r and Com'd'r-in-Chief in and over y's his Colony and Dom'n of Virg'a, with full Power and Authority to appoint all Officers, both Civil and Military, within the same, I, repos'g especial Trust in Y'r Loyalty, Courage and good Conduct, do by these Presents appoint You COLONEL of the Virg'a Regim't and Com'd'r-in-Chief of all the Forces now rais'd and to be rais'd for the Defence of y's H. M'y's Colony, and for repell'g the unjust and hostile Invasions of the Fr. and their Ind'n Allies. And You are hereby charg'd with full Power and Authority to act defensively or Offensively, as You shall think for the good and Wellfare of the Service. And I DO hereby strictly charge and require all Officers and Soldiers under Y'r Com'd to be obedient to Y'r Orders and diligent in the Exercise of Y'r several Duties. And I do also strongly enjoin and require You to be Careful in execut'g the great Trust and Confidence y't is repos'd in Y'r Managem't by seeing y't strict Discipline and Order is carefully observ'd in the Army, and y't the Soldiers are duly exercis'd and provided with all convenient Necessaries. And You are to regulate Y'r Conduct in every Respect by the Rules and Discipline of War (as herewith given You) and punctually to observe and follow such orders and Direct's from Time to Time as You shall receive from me.

Given under my Hand, &c., Aug'st 14th, 1775. Pay to comence 1st Sep'r.


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'gs 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 readezvous 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 [symbol] 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 [symbol] 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 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 for 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 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 Cloath'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.


Take a particular Acc't of the Cloth'g at Maj'r Carlyle's and those at Winchester, and send me an Acc't of the Whole. The Provis's y't rema. at Alexa'a belong'g to y's Colony are to be shipt for N. York. Desire Mr. Carlyle to have the Pork and Beef trim'd and Pickled, and hire a small Sloop for y't Purpose. Consign the same to ____ Robinson, Esq'r, and desire Remittances in Flour. Speak to the Treasurer for a L'r on y't head. If Mr. Dick does not incline to continue Commissary, w'n You find a proper Person to succeed him You must take Security for the due discharge of his Duty, and it's necessary he rema. at the Fort the Time they are salt'g the Provis's to prevent embezzlem't. Endeavour to get Mr. Dick's Acc't Settled, y't the true Balla. due him may be known, y't he may be paid. You have a Power to appoint an Aid-de-Camp and Sec'ry. Write me their Names, y't they may be on the List with the other Officers and y't their Pay may be Settled; the same as to an Adjut't and Q'r Master. You, no doubt, will have regard to a prudent Frugality, y't the Money voted by the Assembly may be properly manag'd; and as the Paym'ts must be by my Warrants I must know the stand'g and daily Charge of Y'r Regim't's Pay. Whatever may be due from the Co'try at F't Cumb'l'd or any other Place, endeav'r to ascertain the same, in order for Paym't, y't You may begin Y'r Operat's on a new and clear Proceed'g, y't You maybe free from all old Dem'ds and the Credit of the Country Supported.

Exploration, Settlement and Conflict (1600-1799)