Which Company? Which Regiment?

Here’s the timeline.

At different times, both Captain George Mercer and Lt Col Adam Stephen headed a company listed as 2nd Company.

1754 Fort Necessity

17 September 1755

  • List of promotions, captain, uniform defined.
  • No captains and companies listed by number.
  • Captain Adam Stephen is appointed Lieutenant Colonel; and Captain Andrew Lewis, Major of the same Regiment—Captain George Mercer, of the Virginia Forces, is appointed aid de Camp to Colonel Washington.
  • http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-02-02-0034

9 January 1756

7 July 1756

20 April 1757

16 May 1757

  • Dinwiddie lists what forts are garrisoned by who
  • http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-04-02-0086
  • at Fort Loudoun                                                    100 Men                  commanded by Yourself [George Washington]
  • at Maidstone                                                          70 Men                    commanded by Capt. Stewart
  • at Edwards’s                                                           25 Men              Do by a Subaltern
  • at Pearsalls                                                             45 Men              Do by Capt. McKenzie
  • In the Nighbourhood of Butter Milk Fort.         70 Men                   Commanded by Capt. Waggener.
  • at Dickenson’s                                                        70 Men                   Commanded by Major Lewis
  • at Vauss’s                                                                70 Men             Do by Capt. Woodward
  • 450 Men Total

Then in 1758

  • Our Captain Mercer becomes a Lieutenant Colonel in the newly created 2nd Virginia Regiment.
  • Lt Col Adam Stephen then becomes Colonel Adam Stephen.
  • To make matters worse, there is a Lt Col Hugh Mercer from the Pennsylvania side.

December 1758

19 August 1759

  • The warrant appointing George Mercer assistant deputy quartermaster general of the army for Maryland and Virginia. Printed in Stevens, Bouquet Papers description begins Donald H. Kent et al., eds. The Papers of Henry Bouquet. 6 vols. Harrisburg, Pa., 1951-94. description ends , 3:583–84
  • You can see the silver lining to Adam Stephen’s uniform. George Washington on 17 September 1755 outlines what the officers must procure, and in what situations they wear their uniform.
  • “…Every Officer of the Virginia Regiment, to provide himself as soon as he can conveniently, with a Suit of Regimentals of good blue Cloath; the Coat to be faced and cuffed with Scarlet, and trimmed with Silver: a Scarlet waistcoat, with silver Lace, blue Breeches, and a silver-laced Hat, if to be had, for Camp or Garrison Duty. … Besides this, each Officer to provide himself with a common Soldiers Dress, for Detachments, and Duty in the Woods.”
  • Source of description – http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-02-02-0034
  • Source of picture – http://amhistory.si.edu/militaryhistory/collection/object.asp?ID=808

Picture taken of uniform located in the Smithsonian:


Fort Cumberland: September 17, 1755.

Winchester: Friday, January 9, 1756

The Virginia Regiment is now formed into Companies; and are (without a particular order to the contrary) to remain, and be as followed:

1st Company

Captain Peter Hogg [Hog].
Lieutenant George Frazier [Fraser]
Ensign William Fleming

2nd Company

Captain George Mercer
Lieutenant Thomas Bullett [Bullitt]
Ensign [George] Hedgman

3d Company

Captain Thomas Waggener
Lieutenant Walter Stewart [Steuart]
Ensign Nathaniel Milner

4th Company

Captain Robert Stewart
Lieutenant John McNeil [McNeill]
Ensign [George] Gordon.

5th Company

Captain Thomas Cocke
Lieutenant [William] Starke [Stark]
Ensign [George] Weedon

6th Company

Captain John Savage
Lieutenant John Blagg
Ensign [Charles] Smith

7th Company

Captain William Bronaugh
Lieutenant [Hancock] Eustace

8th Company

Captain John Mercer
Lieutenant John Lowry

9th Company

Captain Joshua Lewis
Lieutenant [John] King
Ensign [Mordecai] Buckner

10th Company

Captain Henry Woodward,
Lieutenant [Austin] Brockenbrough,

11th Company

Captain Robert Spotswood,
Lieutenant [John Edward] Lomax,
Ensign [Thomas] Carter.

12th Company

Captain [Henry] Harrison,
Lieutenant [John] Hall,
Ensign [Nathaniel] Thompson.

13th Company

Captain Charles Lewis,
Lieutenant [Peter] Steenbergen,
Ensign [Edward] Hubbard.

14th Company

Captain William Peachy [Peachey],
Lieutenant [John] Williams,
Ensign [William] Dangerfield [Daingerfield].

15th Company

Captain David Bell,
Lieutenant [John] Campbell,
Ensign [John] Deane.

16th Company

Captain Robert McKenzie,
Lieutenant [James] Baker,
Ensign [Leonard] Price.


Fort Cumberland [Md.]—Monday, July 12th 1756.

First Company

Colonel Washington
Captain Lieutenant John McNiell
Ensign [ ] 7

2d Company

Lt Colonel Adam
Stephen Lt John Blagg
Ensign James Roy

3d Company

Captain Peter Hogg
Lt Thomas Bullet
Ensign Fleming

4th Company

Captain George Mercer
Lt Bryan Fairfax
Ensign Denis McCarty

5th Company

Captain Thomas Waggener
Lt Walter Stewart
Ensign Charles Smith

6th Company

Captain Robert Stewart
Lt John Campbell
Ensign Henry Russell

7th Company

Captain Thomas Cocke
Lieutenant Buckner
Ensign Weedon

8th Company

Captain William Bronaugh
Lieutenant Eustace
Ensign Sumner

9th Company

Captain Joshua Lewis
Lt John King
Ensign Duncanson

10th Company

Captain Henry Woodward
Lt Brockenbrough
Ensign Dangerfield

11th Company

Captain Robert Spotswood
Lieutenant Lomax
Ensign Milner

12th Company

Captain Charles Lewis
Lt Steenbergen
Ensign Hubbard

13th Company

Captain William Peachy
Lt John Williams
Ensign Pert

14th Company

Captain David Bell
Lt John Lowry
Ensign Deane

15th Company

Captain Robert McKenzie
Lieutenant Baker
Ensign Price

16th Company

Captain Henry Harrison
Lt John Hall
Ensign Thompson

17th Company

Captain Christopher Gist
Lt Nathaniel Gist
Ensign Crawford

The following appointments are made to the aforesaid Companies—of Sergeants and Corporals, who are not to be broke or changed, but by the Sentence of a Court Martial—or particular orders from the Colonel: as such practices have made great confusion in the Regiments. 

  • Companies
  • Sergeants
  • Corporals

1st The Colonels

  • John Sallard
  • Samuel Longworth
  • John Belfour
  • Wm Stewart Packet

2d The Lt Colos.

  • Thomas Carter
  • Philemon Waters
  • John Graham
  • Isaac Barringer
  • Wm Grant
  • Wm Coffland

3d Capt. Hoggs

  • John McCulley
  • Smith
  • Wilper

4th Captain Mercers

  • Angus McDonnald
  • Saml French
  • John Matthews
  • Jno. Pope
  • John Grinnon
  • Benj. Barrett

5th Cap. Waggeners

  • Wm Shaw
  • Geo. Salmon
  • John [Francis] Austin
  • Sam. Poe
  • Mark Hollies
  • John Cray [Creagh]

6th Cap. Rt Stewarts

  • Wm Hughes
  • Wm Broughton
  • David Kenedy

7th Captain Cockes

  • John McWilliams
  • Jas Thomas
  • Henry Williams
  • Geo. Clark
  • Jno. Reynolds
  • Dougal Campbell

8th Capt. Bronaughs

  • Richard Trotter
  • Wm Hunt
  • John Nash
  • Jno. Naughty
  • Hugh Campbell
  • Heny Steel

9th Capt. Josh. Lewis’s

  • And. Vaughan
  • Joseph Wills
  • John Gender
  • Richd Foster
  • Hen. Carrier
  • Tho. Carrier

10th Cap. Woodwards

  • Joseph Faint [Fent]
  • Jas Carmichael
  • Wm Evans
  • Jno. Clark
  • Geo. Whitecotton
  • Wm Heath

11th Capt. Spotswoods

  • Joseph Bledsoe
  • Jno. Sale
  • Richd Good
  • Edw. Lary [Leary]
  • Saml Robinson
  • Jas Lile [Lyle]

12th Cap. Charles Lewis’s

  • Chas Collieux [Cailliaux]
  • Samp. Franklin
  • Abrah. Crittenoon
  • Tho. Edmondson

13th Cap. Peachy’s

  • Baker
  • Jno. Gaskins
  • Reuben Vass
  • John Gall [Richard Gale]
  • Bibby Brookes [Broocke]
  • Jas Gutridge

14th Capt. Bells

  • Tho. Ferguson
  • Dav. Hartwell
  • James Young
  • Whitnal Warner
  • Charles Scot
  • Jas Clark

15th Cap. McKenzie’s

  • James [John] Campbell
  • Timo. Shaw
  • James Hatfield
  • Jno. Adams
  • James Robinson
  • Bryan Page

16th Captain Harrisons

  • Jas Morrell [Norrell]
  • Tho. Wright
  • Tho. Seal
  • Francis Walker
  • Francis Moreland
  • Benj. Cotton

17th Cap. Gists

  • John Barrett
  • Tho. White
  • Richd Posey
  • Morde. Gosling
  • Rich. Davis
  • Gist Vaughan

From Robert Dinwiddie, 16 May 1757
     [Williamsburg, 16 May 1757]

  • at Fort Loudoun                                                          100 Men                  commanded by Yourself
  • at Maidstone                                                                70 Men                    commanded by Capt. Stewart
  • at Edwards’s                                                                 25 Men                    Do by a Subaltern
  • at Pearsalls                                                                   45 Men                    Do by Capt. McKenzie
  • In the Nighbourhood of Butter Milk Fort.              70 Men                    Commanded by Capt. Waggener.
  • at Dickenson’s                                                             70 Men                    Commanded by Major Lewis
  • at Vauss’s                                                                      70 Men                    Do by Capt. Woodward
  • 450 Men Total

The immediate response of the House to Dinwiddie’s words was to adopt a set of five resolutions on 20 April 1757:

  • (1) “That the Number of Men now in the Pay of this Colony be augmented, for the Service of the ensuing Year, to One Thousand”;
  • (2) “That the said One Thousand Men be formed into Ten Companies, consisting of One Hundred Men each, including non-commissioned Officers, to be commanded by a Colonel, Lieutenant-Colonel, Major, Ten [seven] Captains, and Twenty Lieutenants”;
  • (3) “That five of the said Companies be kept in this Colony for the Protection of our Frontiers, and that four of the said Companies be sent to the Assistance of South-Carolina, and one Company to garison the Fort lately built in the Cherokee Country”


FB post 5/16/2016

  • Changing the name of the FB page in the next day or so, but first before we do, A note.
  • When George Mercer was Captain there was ONLY the Virginia Regiment.
  • There was no 2nd Virginia Regiment. That would come later in 1758.
  • But we chose to say 1st Virginia Regiment to differentiate. And we wanted to follow the format of 1st Virginia Hogg’s Company FB page.
  • It can be confusing. This attempt to differentiate from other “later” regiments ultimately is misleading.
  • What makes our George Mercer more confusing for newcomers is that our Captain George Mercer in 1758 becomes Lt Colonel in the 2nd Virginia Regiment under Byrd in the Forbes Expedition.
  • That was our other reason to differentiate.
  • To make matters worse there was also a Lt Colonel Hugh Mercer in the Forbes Expedition too.
  • More on this with MORE sources.
  • http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-05-02-0275


Disambiguate Lt. Col Hugh Mercer at same time of  Lt. Col George Mercer

From George Mercer

  • Charles Town [S.C.] August 17th 1757
  • 3. Later in this letter Mercer reveals that he had his eye on Lt. Col. Adam Stephen’s position as second in command of the Virginia Regiment. He became instead the lieutenant colonel in William Byrd’s 2d Virginia Regiment in 1758.
  • http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-04-02-0242

From George Mercer

  • Camp at Raes Town July 27th 1758
  • Lt. Col. George Mercer commanded the party of soldiers that had just completed cutting the road from Fort Cumberland to Raystown as well as building the blockhouses on the road midway between the two encampments. Forbes did not get to Raystown until 15 September.
  • http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-05-02-0275
  • all letters between George Mercer and GW
  • http://founders.archives.gov/search/Correspondent%3A%22Mercer%2C%20George%22%20Correspondent%3A%22Washington%2C%20George%22

To Hugh Mercer

  • To Lieutt Colo. Mercer of Pensylvania or Officer Commanding at Rays Town
  • Camp at Fort Cumberland 9th Septr 1758.
  • http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-06-02-0004
  • http://founders.archives.gov/search/Correspondent%3A%22Mercer%2C%20Hugh%22%20Correspondent%3A%22Washington%2C%20George%22

William Byrd, 24 June 1758

  • To William Byrd
  • [Fort Loudoun, 24 June 1758]
  • Orders for Colonel Byrd—Commanding the 2d Virginia Regiment.
  • http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-05-02-0179
  • William Byrd III
  • https://www.history.org/almanack/people/bios/biowbyrd.cfm