1776. The Battle of Fort Washington: A Letter from Major Henry Bedinger to a Son of General Samuel Finley of Virginia

Jeannette Holland Austin
4 min readNov 18, 2017
The Battle of Fort Washington

“Some time in 1774 the late General Samuel Finley Came to Martinsburg, Virginia, and engaged with the late Colonel John Morrow to assist his brother, Charles Morrow, in the business of a retail store. Mr. Finley continued in that employment until the spring of 1775, when Congress called on the State of Virginia for two Complete Independent Volunteer Companies of Riflemen of l00 Men each, to assist General Washington in the Siege of Boston and to serve one year. Captains Hugh Stephenson of Berkeley, and Daniel Morgan of Frederick were selected to raise and command those companies, they being the first Regular troops required to be raised in the State of Virginia for Continental service. Captain Hugh Stephenson’s rendezvous was Shepherd’s Town (not Martinsburg) and Captain Morgan’s was Winchester. Great exertions were made by each Captain to complete his company first, that merit might be claimed on that account. Volunteers presented themselves in every direction in the Vicinity of these Towns, none were received but young men of Character, and of sufficient property to Clothe themselves completely, find their own arms, and accoutrements, that is, an approved Rifle, handsome shot pouch, and powder horn, blanket, knapsack, with such decent clothing as should be prescribed, but which was at first ordered to be only a Hunting shirt and pantaloons, fringed on every edge and in Various ways. Our Company was raised in less than a week. Morgan had equal success. — It was never decided which Company was first filled — “These Companies being thus unexpectedly called for it was a difficult task to obtain rifles of the quality required and we were detained at Shepherds Town nearly six weeks before we could obtain such. Your Father and some of his Bosom Companions were among the first enrolled. My Brother, G. M. B., and myself, with many of our Companions, soon joined to the amount of 100; no more could be received. The Committee of Safety had appointed Wm Henshaw as 1st Lieut., George Scott 2nd, and Thomas Hite as 3rd Lieut to this Company, this latter however, declined accepting, and Abraham Shepherd succeeded as 3d Lieut — all the rest Stood on an equal footing as volunteers. We remained at Shepherds Town untill the 16th July before we could be Completely armed…

Jeannette Holland Austin

Author of 100+ genealogy books. Owner of 8 genealogy websites available by subscription. https://georgiapioneers.com/subscribe/subscribe.html