powered by google
Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Advanced Search Options
Instructions to James Innes concerning military actions
Dinwiddie, Robert, 1693-1770
June 25, 1754
Volume 05, Pages 126-128

-------------------- page 126 --------------------
[Reprinted from Dinwiddie Papers. Vol. 1. P. 195.]

Governor Dinwiddie's Instructions to Colonel Innes.

All the Forces appointed and by me directed and order'd to the Gen'l Rendezvous being joined, You are on the first convenient day [to] cause a Muster roll of the whole to be taken, and all such of the Articles of War to be publicly read as may relate to Mutiny, Desertion and the keeping up a proper Discipline among the Officers and Soldiers under Y'r Com'd, whereby each Officer may know and perform their respective Duties. And that I may be acquainted with the Exact Number of the Forces, You are once in every two Months [to] cause a Gen'l Muster to be made and a List or Muster roll sent me by the first Opp'ty or Courier, and the s'd Articles of War, at such Musters to be as publicly read. You are, before You enter on any Action of Attack or extraordinary Enterprize to annoy or circumvent the Enemy, [to] call a Council of War, to consist of the Field Officers and Capt's of the Independ't Compa's; in w'ch Council You are to form a Plan of Operations and issue Your Orders accordingly. The Capt's and Officers of the Independ't Compa's having their Com'ds sign'd by His M'y imagine they claim a distinguish'd rank, and being long train'd in Arms, expect suitable regards.

You will, therefore, consult and agree with Y'r Officers to shew them particular marks of Esteem, w'ch will avoid such Causes of Uneasiness as otherwise might obstruct His M'y's Service, wherein all are alike engag'd and must answer for any ill Consequences of an unhappy Disagreem't. You are to appoint and hold Courts Martial as often as the same shall be thought necessary, to proceed and give Sentence according to the rules and Articles of War, of w'ch You are to give me Advice. The French having unjustly invaded the King of G. B. Lands on the river Ohio and taken Possession of a Fort that was begun to be built by my Order for his s'd M'y and the territory around the same. You are hereby order'd and directed, as soon as Your united Forces shall be sufficient, to repair thither, and summons the French possessing it, to surrender the Fort and evacuate the King of G. B. Lands. And in case of refusal, You are to use Your utmost Efforts to compell and force them, and if You have the desired Success, You are to take especial Care of the Prisoners by sending them down to W'mburg. Or if You sh'd think the sparing of Men to guard them thither w'd too much weaken Y'r small Army, then, You may give them some Canoes to go down the river Ohio; by no means leting them go up that river to Canada or returning.

-------------------- page 127 --------------------

If, in Y'r Council of War, the taking the above na'd Fort sh'd be judged impracticable, You are to build another Fort on the s'd river Ohio, in some proper Place, for the better security of Your Men, Arms, Stores, Provis's, &c., And prevention of any Supplies being carried to the French Garrison, whereby, in all probability, They will be reduced to the Necessity of Capitulating and accept'g such Terms as the Situation and Circumstances of Y'r affairs may require and You may reasonably admit of. If any of the French Army sh'd desert to You, take proper notice of them, but not to give them too much Liberty, and w'n convenient, it may be proper to send them down the Country.

The Ohio Ind's having discover'd their Inclinations to join the English, being now convinced of their Intent's to defend and protect the Ind's ag'st the late Invasion and Encroachm'ts of the French on the Ohio Lands, And particularly the Half King who has greatly distinguish'd Himself as our hearty Friend, and appears to me a Man of good Sense and great resolution, I therefore recomend him in the Kindest maner to Y'r F'dship and good Offices and let him and the other Ind's know that we come to aid and assist them and to protect their Lands from the ruinous Excursions of the French and their Ind's, and so order it that Y'r Soldiers behave to them with great Decency and Brotherly Affect'n. If any of Y'r Officers sh'd die or unfortunately [be] slain in Battle, You are to supply their Places by the most deserving, hav'g regard to seniority in Com'o, And give me Advice thereof for my Approbat'n and Confirmation. Whilst it may be tho't unnecessary for His M'y's Service to keep his Forces on the river Ohio, a Courier will be appointed that I may be frequently advised of the Occurrences; You will therefore embrace such Opp'tys. As I have hitherto exerted my utmost Endeavours to hasten the several Corps to their appointed rendezvous, purchas'd and sent the necessary Provisions and Stores, tho' attended with extraordinary and great Delays, I am determin'd to continue my resolutions to have Your army supplied in future, trusting that His M'y and myself will have the pleasing Acc't of Y'r well doing. As many Occurrences and Accidents may happen that cannot be fore-known, You are to act in such Cases in the best manner advisable, as may conduce to His M'y's Service, for the doing of w'ch You have my full Power and Instruct'n. Wishing You and the whole Corps good Health and Success, I am Sir,

Y'r loving Friend.

Additional Instruct's.

To preserve regularity and Order, to keep up Discipline, and enforce Obedience, I do hereby further authorize and empower You to suspend

-------------------- page 128 --------------------
any Officer who shall misbehave himself or be refractory as You shall see Cause, and appoint another in his room, Giving me imediate Notice thereof.

June 25th, [1754], W'msburg.—The Independ't Compa's are also under Y'r Com'd. You are, therefore, to receive them in a particular manner, and give them Y'r Orders from Time to Time as You do the other regim'ts, they having my Orders to obey Y'r Com'ds, and to receive their Orders from You. I wish for Unanimity and good Conduct in defeating the Designs of the French. I wish You Health and Success.

I am S'r, Y'r h'ble Serv't.