George Washington archives - 1755 and 1756:
William Passwater mentioned twice in the Papers of George Washington, in letters written by George Washington (two separate letters, 1755 and 1756):
Orders - Winchester: December 22d 1755.
Parole: Boston— Countersign:
A Return is to be made every morning to Colonel Washington of the number of men in this town—and all contingences. During his stay here, no provision is to be delivered out, but by a written order from him or the aid de camp. The Commissary is to send up the Cask of Tools by the first waggon that goes to the Fort. The following men being judged unfit for Duty, on Review; are ordered to be discharged: vizt
Francis Harlowin. Enlisted by Ensign Fleming
William Cross— ditto do
William Passwater ditto do
Patrick Connelly Lieutenant Brokenbrough.
Henry Banks Captain McKenzie.
John Hanks, an old Soldier.
The Commissary is to allow each of them eight days provision to carry them home. All the Recruits now in town, who have not received Clothes and arms; are to have them delivered to them to-day. The Officers and Commissary to be very exact; and see that none of them receive them twice. The Commissary to see that the Store-Houses are immediately repaired and secured: he is also to give in a return of the Arms which have been delivered to George Wright to repair.1
1 A man named George Wright was living in Frederick County in 1758.
--- Cite as: The Papers of George Washington Digital Edition, ed. Theodore J. Crackel. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2007. Document: Col02d227
The second reference was three weeks later, in regard to the same item:
To Peter Hog
[Winchester, 10 January 1756]
To Captain Peter Hogg.
Since writing you by Major Lewis, I have received yours; enclosing Returns of the eighth and fifteenth of December.1 In your letter, you speak of Johnstons claim to a discharge, as mentioned in a former letter— that letter I never received2 —and know of no pretence he can have, unless disobedience of Orders and other villanous practises, are sufficient grounds to claim a discharge. As he deserted before the present act of Assembly took place, I do not imagine that any very rigorous measures can be justified; therefore, in this case I would recommend moderation.3 For want of being acquainted with the particulars of Sergeant McCully’s charge, it appears to me to be a very exorbitant one: therefore I can not give orders for payment, further than the Stoppages you mention. Sergeant Wilper received twenty shillings from me to defray his Expences; if you find that insufficient, make a further allowance of what is reasonable.
I can not conceive what charge Mr Fleming can have; since he is allowed eight-pence per day, and no more, for the maintenance of his Recruits, until they are received: which was not before they arrived at your Garrison. Three of his men were discharged here; vizt Francis Harlowin, William Cross, and William Passwater: being judged unfit for Service.4 Captain Bell has orders to settle Ensign Flemings Recruiting Accompt; allowing two pistoles for each man received; and eight-pence per day for their subsistance; from the time of attestation, to the day of delivery, and no more—He will be allowed his arrears of pay for the months of September and October: and then the balance, if any, must be paid to Captain Bell; who is to account with me.
You must be very circumspect in employing Mr Fleming as a Surgeon; and to see that he has no more opportunities than what are absolutely necessary, to enhance a Bill; as these accompts will meet with strict scrutiny from the Committee. It is customary for all Soldiers while they are sick in the Hospital, to have stoppages from their pay, for expence of Nurses, &c.
I find it next to an impossibility to strengthen your Garrison 273 with a Subaltern and twenty men, as I was in hopes of doing sometime ago: so slowly do we proceed in the Recruiting Service: but if the Service you are ordered upon, does not continue long; and you can find time to recruit twenty or twenty-five men; I will see that another Subaltern shall be added to your Company. Lieutenant McNeil has an appointment in the Light Horse—In his room, you will receive Lieutenant Frazier; who must arrive there, before the other quits.5
You are to return me a pay-roll for September; as you received that months pay from me: but for the subsequent months, you are to account with the pay-master; transmitting regular Rolls and Receipts, signed by yourself and Officers; as mentioned in my last. You are to account with Mr Walker (Commissary) for the twenty pounds received of me; and the two hundred pounds by Lieutenant McNeil; as he is charged with those sums.6
I expect the Governor, as he is providing many necessaries for Major Lewis’s Expedition, will furnish you with Kettles. If he should not, you must endeavour to supply yourself among the Settlers; for the expence of sending them from this, is of greater value than the Kettles themselves. And indeed I can not see why your men, while they are in Garrison, may not use one Kettle as well now, as they did before; were there a certain place appointed for Cooking. I am &c.
Winchester, January 10th 1756.
1 The company return of 15 Dec. has not been found. That of 8 Dec. is in DLC:GW. See Hog to GW, 17 Dec. 1755, to which GW’s letter is a reply.
2 Hog later explained to GW on 27 Jan. what claims John Johnson had to a discharge from the regiment. For earlier references to the “Old Deserter” Johnson, see Hog to GW, 29 Nov. 1755, n.5, and 17 Dec. 1755.
3 The act passed in November, often referred to as the mutiny act (6 Hening 559–64), provided for the death sentence in cases of desertion.
4 See GW’s Orders, 22 Dec. 1755, by which these three men and three others were discharged.
5 Despite GW’s urgings (27 Jan. 1756), George Fraser refused to join Hog and resigned rather than go to Fort Dinwiddie.
6 John McNeil traveled from Fort Dinwiddie to Winchester in early December to get the £200 for supplies (Thomas Walker to GW, 4 Dec. 1755).
--- Cite as: The Papers of George Washington Digital Edition, ed. Theodore J. Crackel. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2007. Document: Col02d286
-------------------Notes by Donna Hay--------------------
The above two papers were transcribed from the online source of George Washington's papers. Although the first one references both Winchester and Boston, Captain Peter Hogg, Francis Harlowin and Lieutenant Brokenbrough were all from Virginia. Therefore, I think "Parole Boston" was meant linguistically to indicate that the letter was written in Boston -- i.e., "Speaking in Boston". There were also two small towns called "Boston" in Virginia -- in Culpeper and Halifax counties -- it is unclear that George Washington was in one of these small towns rather than Boston, Massachusetts.
This means that there was a William Passwater in VIRGINIA in 1755, and he was discharged for being unfit; this could mean he had a physical disability, or he might have been too young or too old. William was "enlisted by Ensign Fleming;" I believe this to be John Fleming who became a Captain by the time of the Revolution, and he was from Goochland, a county between Richmond and Charlottesville. This would indicate that William Passwater was also likely to be from Goochland, or possibly a bordering county in Virginia. The first letter does not mention Passwater being an "old soldier" like it does for Hanks; the "old soldier" John Hanks may have been one of the two John Hanks born 1712-1714 near Richmond, which would have made him 41-43 at the time of these letters.
-- If this is the same William Passwater as married Hannah Pezaza in SC in 1740, he should be in at least his late 30s by now; it is surprising he was not also specified as being older. Assuming SC William was 20-35 when married, he would be 35-50 now.
-- If this William was a son of Thomas Passwater of Old Somerset, he would have been born by 1803 and be 52 by now, which seems unlikely. Thus, he is more likely to be a grandson of Thomas, not a son.
-- But to be a son of William of SC, he would have to be 13 or younger, which seems very unlikely. It was normal for boys of 16 to be in the militia; it is possible that this William was unfit because he was too young. But since the marriage took place in 1740, and one child was born in 1741, this child would have been born at the earliest in 1742 and be only 13, which is thought unlikely.
-- Therefore, it seems most likely that IF this William is related to SC William, they are one and the same, and William was married at about age 20 and volunteered here at about age 35. That would mean he was born about 1720, and would be a grandson of Thomas Passwater of Old Somerset (who had died by 1703), father unknown.
It is possible that more VA records will be located that throw light on who this William Passwater is, and his age.