Wednesday, 08-Dec-2021 18:06:04 UTC

George Washington's Letter to Augustine Washington

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Mount Vernon, August 2, 1755.

Dear Brother: The pleasure of your Company at Mount Vernon always did, and always will, afford me infinite satisfaction; but at this time, I am too truly sensible how needful the Country is of the assistance of all its members, to desire to hear that any are absent. I most sincerely wish that harmony and unanimity may prevail amongst you, and that a happy issue may attend your prudent resolutions.

I am not able were I ever so willing, to meet you in Town, for I assure you it is with some difficulty and with fatigue that I visit my Plantation's in the Neck, so much has a sickness of five weeks' continuance reduced me: But tho it is not in my power to meet you there, I can nevertheless assure you, and other's (who it may concern to borrow a phrase from Governor Innes) that I am so little dispirited at what has happen'd, that I am always ready and always willing, to do my Country any Services that I am capable off; but never upon the Terms I have done, having suffer'd much in my private fortune, besides impairing one of the best of Constitution's. I was employ'd to go a journey in the Winter (when I believe few or none wou'd have undertaken it) and what did I get by it? my expenses borne!

I then was appointed with trifling Pay to conduct an handful of Men to the Ohio. What did I get by this? Why, after putting myself to a considerable expence in equipping and providing necessarys for the Campaigne I went out, was soundly beaten, lost them all—came in, and had my Commission taken from me or, in other words my Corn'd, reduced, under pretence of an Order from home. I then went out a Volunteer with Genl. Braddock and lost all my Horses and many other things, but this being a voluntary act, I shou'd not have mention'd it, was it not to shew that I have been upon the loosing order ever since I enter'd the Service, which is now near two year's; so that I think I can't be blare'd, shou'd I, if I leave my Family again, end'vt. to do it upon such terms as to prevent my sufferg., (to gain by it, is the least of my ex- pectation).

I doubt not but you have heard the particulars of our shameful defeat, which really was so scandalous that I hate to have it mention'd. You desire to know what Artillery was taken in the late Engt; it is easily told, we lost all that we carr'd out, save 2 Six pound'rs, and a few Cohorns that were left with Colo. Dunbar; and the Cohorns have since been destroy'd to expedate his flight. You also ask whether I think the Forces can March this Fall. I must answer, I think it impossible, for them to do the French any damage (unless it be by starv'g) for want of a proper Train of Artillery; yet they may be very serviceable in erect'g small Fortresses at convenient places to deposit provisions in, by which the Country will be eas'd of an immense expence in the Carriage, and it will also be a mean's of securing a Retreat if we sh'd be put to the Rout again; the success of this tho' will dep'd gre'tly upon what Gov'r. Shirley does at Niagara, for if he succeeds, their Comn. with Canada will be entirely stop'd.

It is impossible for me to guess at the number of recruits that may be want'g, as that must depend altogeth'r upon the strength of the French on the Ohio, w'ch to my g't. astonishm't we were ever strangers to.

I thank you very heartily for your kind offer of a Chr. and for your goodness in sending my things; and, after begg'g you excuse the imperfect'ns. of the above which in part are owing to hav'g much Comp'y that hurrys me I shall conclude Dr. Sir,

Yr. most Afft. Broth'r.