Letter from Robert Dinwiddie to Matthew Rowan
Dinwiddie, Robert, 1693-1770
Volume 05, Pages 135-136
[Reprinted from Dinwiddie Papers. Vol. 1. P. 276.]
Governor Dinwiddie to President Rowan, of North Carolina.
Aug'st 5th, [1754.]
Y'r Let'r of 21st Apr. I rec'd on my return from Winchester where I went to meet the Chiefs of the Ind's, but was disappointed (the French invading their Lands on the Ohio); they sent me a Message y't they c'd not leave their Young Men for fear the French with their fair Promises sh'd delude them. The first Detachm't of our Forces march'd over the Allegany Mount's, [in] the Mo. of May, under the Com'd of Colo. Washington; the 26th of y't Mo., the Half-King wrote him y't a Party of French from the Fort were hankering round his small Camp and desir'd y't he w'd march a Party of his Men to join him and he w'd conduct them to their Lodgm't; he accordingly, with 40 Men march'd in the Night and join'd the Half-King, one of the Indians tract the feet of the French and in the Morning were in sight of them; the French imediately flew to their Arms, a small Action ensued; we had one Man killed and two wounded; we killed 14 French and took 21 Prisoners, who are now in our Goal. The rest of our regim't and the Ind't Co. from Car'o. join'd Colo. W. in June; they had Acc't Y't the French were re-inforced with 700 Men, and the 3rd July had a further Acc't y't the French were on their March to attack them. They had not time properly to draw their Men up in Order till they were in Sight, y'n another Action ensued, the Particulars whereof You have in the enclos'd News Paper, just as it
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was reported to me by our Officers. The French obtain'd the Victory by the Capitulat'n, but the Behaviour of our few Forces gives them Hon'r. If Y'r regim't had join'd our Forces in Time, as might have been expected, they w'd not have got this Advantage. The monstrous Delay of Y'r People I cannot acc't for. Capt. McKilware went from Hampton the Middle of last Mo., Capt. Varle ab't the same Time, Maj'r Roan some Time after, and C't Bryan was at Augusta 27th July. His People mutined, and w'd go no further with't Money, w'n a Friend of mine was obliged to let him have 40£, to quiet their Mutiny, and Y'r regim't have not as yet wholly join'd our Army. Co. Innes writes Y'r Money will not last above two Mo's longer, w'n he will be oblig'd to disband them. There has been bad Conduct, y't the Money rais'd in Y'r Province sh'd be expended before the regim't gets to the Place of Action. The high Pay (I understand y't was allow'd them while in Carolina) is the reason. Our Forces had no more y'n 8d. per Day from [the] Time they were enlisted. I shall be glad if you can find some Method to raise Money to continue them longer in the Service. My Orders to Colo. Innes are, w'n all the Forces are collected in a Body, to march them over the Allegany Mount's endeavour to dislodge the French from the Fort, if y't is not practicable, to call a Council of War, and choose a proper Place, and there build a Fort, w'ch is all y't can be done at pres't. He will have near 1,000 Men with him. M'yl'd has voted 6,000[£]. Pensylv'a Assembly is now siting. The Gov'r thinks they will grant a handsome Supply. The Money rais'd here is very near expend'd. I have call'd the Assembly to meet the 22d of this Mo., w'n I have pretty good Assurances they will grant further Supplies. I desire You will, on return of this Express, write me if You think You have any probability of more Supplies from Y'r People. It's too hot Weather to drive Steers, but in the Fall no doubt they will sell here. The Pork Colo. Innes sent to Mr. Hunter proves very bad, but he will make the most of it. If You will write Colo. Innes, I shall take care to forward it. I remain with great respect,
Y'r Hon'r's most h'ble Serv't.