Special Collections, John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

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  • D2012-Copy-0717-1005.jpg

    Military commission signed by John Hancock appointing George Weedon Lieutenant Colonel in the 3rd Virginia Regiment. George Weedon (1734-1793) was a businessman, landholder and tavern keeper of Fredericksburg, Virginia. He served in George Washington’s Virginia Regiment during the French and Indian War. By the end of the war, Weedon had risen to the rank of Captain Lieutenant and had eight years of military experience under his belt. Following the war, Weedon ran his mother-in-law’s tavern and sold meat in partnership with Washington’s brother Charles. While not taking a leading political role in the controversy with Great Britain, Weedon was active in the patriot cause. In December, 1774, he was made a captain in the Spotsylvania Independent Company under Colonels Hugh Mercer and Alexander Spotswood. With the outbreak of war in 1775, Weedon put his tavern up for lease in anticipation of active service. The Virginia Convention which met in Richmond in July, 1775 created two regiments under Patrick Henry and William Woodford but decided against a third which was to be commanded by Hugh Mercer with Weedon as his second in command. The Virginia Convention of December, 1775 added several more regiments including the Third which was designated for Continental service. George Weedon was in Williamsburg, Virginia when he received this commission on March 5th, 1776. With Mercer’s promotion to brigadier general, Congress promoted Weedon to colonel. Weedon was involved in the Virginia campaign against Governor Dunmore including the action at Gwynn’s Island. Following Dunmore’s exit from Virginia, Weedon went north to serve in the Continental Army under Washington. In February, 1777, Congress elected Weedon to the rank of brigadier general. While in Fredericksburg on furlough from the American encampment at Valley Forge, Weedon learned that a board of officers had decided to reinstate William Woodford’s seniority over Weedon. Though both brigadier generals, Weedon originally was granted seniority over Woodford because the latter had resigned his colonelcy for a time. With this reversal in seniority, Weedon sought his release from active service. Weedon remained on the sidelines until British forces under Arnold and Phillips brought the threat of invasion home to Virginia in 1780. He was active in raising, equipping and leading militia against British forces. At the siege of Yorktown, Weedon commanded American forces at Gloucester Point opposite the main British force under Cornwallis.
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