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Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson - Volume I
by Thomas Jefferson
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I beg you to be assured, there is nothing consistent with the honor of your country, which we shall not, at all times, be ready to do for the relief of yourself and companions in captivity. We know, that ardent spirit and hatred for tyranny, which brought you into your present situation, will enable you to bear up against it with the firmness, which has distinguished you as a soldier, and to look forward with pleasure to the day, when events shall take place, against which the wounded spirits of your enemies will find no comfort, even from reflections on the most refined of the cruelties with which they have glutted themselves.

I am, with great respect,

your most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XIII.—TO GENERAL WASHINGTON, November 28, 1779

TO HIS EXCELLENCY GENERAL WASHINGTON.

Willlamsburg, November 28, 1779.

Sir,

Your Excellency's letter on the discriminations which have been heretofore made, between the troops raised within this state, and considered as part of our quota, and those not so considered, was delivered me four days ago. I immediately laid it before the Assembly, who thereupon came to the resolution I now do myself the honor of enclosing you. The resolution of Congress, of March 15th, 1779, which you were so kind as to enclose, was never known in this state till a few weeks ago, when we received printed copies of the Journals of Congress. It would be a great satisfaction to us, to receive an exact return of all the men we have in Continental service, who come within the description of the resolution, together with our state troops in Continental service. Colonel Cabell was so kind as to send me a return of the Continental regiments, commanded by Lord Sterling, of the first and second Virginia State regiments, and of Colonel Gist's regiment. Besides these are the following, viz. Colonel Harrison's regiment of artillery, Colonel Bayler's horse, Colonel Eland's horse, General Scott's new levies, part of which are gone to Carolina, and part are here, Colonel Gibson's regiment stationed on the Ohio, Heath and Ohara's independent companies at the same stations. Colonel Taylor's regiment of guards to the Convention troops: of these, we have a return. There may, possibly, be others not occurring to me. A return of all these would enable us to see what proportion of the Continental army is contributed by us. We have, at present, very pressing calls to send additional numbers of men to the southward. No inclination is wanting in either the Legislature or Executive, to aid them or strengthen you: but we find it very difficult to procure men. I herewith transmit to your Excellency some recruiting commissions, to be put into such hands as you may think proper, for re-enlisting such of our soldiery as are not already engaged for the war. The Act of Assembly authorizing these instructions, requires that the men enlisted should be reviewed and received by an officer to be appointed for that purpose; a caution, less necessary in the case of men now actually in Service, therefore, doubtless able-bodied, than in the raising new recruits. The direction, however, goes to all cases, and, therefore, we must trouble your Excellency with the appointment of one or more officers of review. Mr. Moss, our agent, receives orders, which accompany this, to pay the bounty money and recruiting money, and to deliver the clothing. We have, however, certain reason to fear he has not any great sum of money on hand; and it is absolutely out of our power, at this time, to supply him, or to say, with certainty, when we shall be able to do it. He is instructed to note his acceptances under the draughts, and to assure payment as soon as we shall have it in our power to furnish him, as the only substitute for money. Your Excellency's directions to the officer of review, will probably procure us the satisfaction of being informed, from time to time, how many men shall be re-enlisted.

By Colonel Mathews I informed your Excellency fully of the situation of Governor Hamilton and his companions. Lamothe and Dejean have given their paroles, and are at Hanover Court-House: Hamilton, Hay, and others, are still obstinate; therefore, still in close confinement, though their irons have never been on, since your second letter on the subject. I wrote full information of this matter to General Phillips also, from whom I had received letters on the subject. I cannot, in reason, believe that the enemy, on receiving this information either from yourself or General Phillips, will venture to impose any new cruelties on our officers in captivity with them. Yet their conduct, hitherto, has been most successfully prognosticated by reversing the conclusions of right reason. It is, therefore, my duty, as well as it was my promise to the Virginia captives, to take measures for discovering any change which may be made in their situation. For this purpose, I must apply for your Excellency's interposition. I doubt not but you have an established mode of knowing, at all times, through your commissary of prisoners, the precise state of those in the power of the enemy. I must, therefore, pray you to put into motion any such means you have, for obtaining knowledge of the situation of Virginia officers in captivity. If you should think proper, as I could wish, to take upon yourself to retaliate any new sufferings which may be imposed on them, it will be more likely to have-due weight, and to restore the unhappy on both sides, to that benevolent treatment for which all should wish.

I have the honor to be, &c. &c.

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XIV.—TO GENERAL WASHINGTON, December 10,1779

TO HIS EXCELLENCY GENERAL WASHINGTON.

Williamsburg, December 10,1779.

Sir,

I take the liberty of putting under cover to your Excellency some letters to Generals Phillips and Reidesel, uninformed whether they are gone into New York or not, and knowing that you can best forward them in either case.

I also trouble you with a letter from the master of the flag in this State, to the British commissary of prisoners in New York, trusting it will thus be more certainly conveyed than if sent to Mr. Adams. It is my wish the British commissary should return his answer through your Excellency, or your commissary of prisoners, and that they should not propose, under this pretext, to send another flag, as the mission of the present flag is not unattended with circumstances of suspicion; and a certain information of the situation of ourselves and our allies here, might influence the measures of the enemy.

Perhaps your commissary of prisoners can effect the former method of answer.

I enclose to you part of an Act of Assembly ascertaining the quantity of land, which shall be allowed to the officers and soldiers at the close of the war, and providing means of keeping that country vacant which has been allotted for them.

I am advised to ask your Excellency's attention to the case of Colonel Bland, late commander of the barracks in Albemarle. When that gentleman was appointed to that command, he attended the Executive here and informed them he must either decline it, or be supported in such a way as would keep up that respect which was essential to his command; without, at the same time, ruining his private fortune.

The Executive were sensible he would be exposed to great and unavoidable expense: they observed, his command would be in a department separate from any other, and that he actually relieved a Major General from the same service. They did not think themselves authorized to say what should be done in this case, but undertook to represent the matter to Congress, and, in the mean time, gave it as their opinion that he ought to be allowed a decent table. On this, he undertook the office, and in the course of it incurred expenses which seemed to have been unavoidable, unless he would have lived in such a way as is hardly reconcileable to the spirit of an officer, or the reputation of those in whose service he is. Governor Henry wrote on the subject to Congress; Colonel Bland did the same; but we learn they have concluded the allowance to be unprecedented, and inadmissible in the case of an officer of his rank. The commissaries, on this, have called on Colonel Bland for reimbursement. A sale of his estate was about to take place, when we undertook to recommend to them to suspend their demand, till we could ask the favor of you to advocate this matter so far with Congress, as you may think it right; otherwise the ruin of a very worthy officer must inevitably follow. I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect and esteem,

your Excellency's

most obedient servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XV.—TO GENERAL WASHINGTON, February 10, 1780

TO HIS EXCELLENCY GENERAL WASHINGTON.

Williamsburg, February 10, 1780.

Sir,

It is possible you may have heard, that in the course of last summer an expedition was meditated, by our Colonel Clarke, against Detroit: that he had proceeded so far as to rendezvous a considerable body of Indians, I believe four or five thousand, at St. Vincennes; but, being disappointed in the number of whites he expected, and not choosing to rely principally on the Indians, he was obliged to decline it. We have a tolerable prospect of reinforcing him this spring, to the number which he thinks sufficient for the enterprise. We have informed him of this, and left him to decide between this object, and that of giving vigorous chastisement to those tribes of Indians, whose eternal hostilities have proved them incapable of living on friendly terms with us. It is our opinion, his inclination will lead him to determine on the former. The reason of my laying before your Excellency this matter, is, that it has been intimated to me that Colonel Broadhead is meditating a similar expedition. I wished, therefore, to make you acquainted with what we had in contemplation. The enterprising and energetic genius of Clarke is not altogether unknown to you. You also know (what I am a stranger to) the abilities of Broadhead, and the particular force with which you will be able to arm him for such an expedition. We wish the most hopeful means should be used for removing so uneasy a thorn from our side. As yourself, alone, are acquainted with all the circumstances necessary for well informed decision, I am to ask the favor of your Excellency, if you should think Broadhead's undertaking it most likely to produce success, that you will be so kind as to intimate to us to divert Clarke to the other object, which is also important to this State. It will, of course, have weight with you in forming your determination, that our prospect of strengthening Clarke's hands, sufficiently, is not absolutely certain. It may be necessary, perhaps, to inform you, that these two officers cannot act together, which excludes the hopes of ensuring success by a joint expedition.

I have the honor to be, with the most sincere esteem,

your Excellency's most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XVI.—TO GENERAL WASHINGTON, June 11, 1780

TO HIS EXCELLENCY GENERAL WASHINGTON.

Richmond, June 11, 1780.

Sir,

Major Galvan, as recommended by your Excellency, was despatched to his station without delay, and has been furnished with every thing he desired, as far as we were able. The line of expresses formed between us is such, as will communicate intelligence from one to the other in twenty-three hours. I have forwarded to him information of our disasters in the South, as they have come to me.

Our intelligence from the southward is most lamentably defective. Though Charleston has been in the hands of the enemy a month, we hear nothing of their movements which can be relied on. Rumors are, that they are penetrating northward. To remedy this defect, I shall immediately establish a line of expresses from hence to the neighborhood of their army, and send thither a sensible, judicious person, to give us information of their movements. This intelligence will, I hope, be conveyed to us at the rate of one hundred and twenty miles in the twenty-four hours. They set out to their stations to-morrow. I wish it were possible, that a like speedy line of communication could be formed from hence to your Excellency's head-quarters. Perfect and speedy information of what is passing in the South, might put it in your power, perhaps, to frame your measures by theirs. There is really nothing to oppose the progress of the enemy northward, but the cautious principles of the military art. North Carolina is without arms. We do not abound. Those we have, are freely imparted to them; but such is the state of their resources, that they have not been able to move a single musket from this State to theirs. All the wagons we can collect, have been furnished to the Marquis de Kalb, and are assembled for the march of twenty-five hundred men, under General Stevens, of Culpeper, who will move on the 19th instant. I have written to Congress to hasten supplies of arms and military stores for the southern states, and particularly to aid us with cartridge paper and boxes, the want of which articles, small as they are, renders our stores useless. The want of money cramps every effort. This will be supplied by the most unpalatable of all substitutes, force. Your Excellency will readily conceive, that after the loss of one arm, our eyes are turned towards the other, and that we comfort ourselves, if any aids can be furnished by you, without defeating the operations more beneficial to the general union, they will be furnished. At the same time, I am happy to find that the wishes of the people go no further, as far as I have an opportunity of learning their sentiments. Could arms be furnished, I think this State and North Carolina would embody from ten to fifteen thousand militia immediately, and more if necessary.

I hope, ere long, to be able to give you a more certain statement of the enemy's as well as our situation, which I shall not fail to do. I enclose you a letter from Major Galvan, being the second I have forwarded to you.

With sentiments of the most perfect esteem and respect,

I have the honor to be

your Excellency's

most obedient, humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XVII.—TO GENERAL WASHINGTON, July 2, 1780

TO HIS EXCELLENCY GENERAL WASHINGTON.

Richmond, July 2, 1780.

Sir,

I have received from the Committee of Congress, at headquarters, three letters calling for aids of men and provisions. I beg leave to refer you to my letter to them, of this date, on those subjects. I thought it necessary, however, to suggest to you the preparing an arrangement of officers for the men; for, though they are to supply our battalions, yet, as our whole line officers, almost, are in captivity, I suppose some temporary provision must be made. We cheerfully transfer to you every power which the Executive might exercise on this occasion. As it is possible you may cast your eye on the unemployed officers now within the State, I write to General Muhlenburg, to send you a return of them. I think the men will be rendezvoused within the present month. The bill, indeed, for raising them is not actually passed, but it is in its last stage, and no opposition to any essential parts of it. I will take care to notify you of its passage.

I have, with great pain, perceived your situation; and, the more so, as being situated between two fires, a division of sentiment has arisen, both in Congress and here, as to which the resources of this country should be sent. The removal of General Clinton to the northward, must, of course, have great influence on the determination of this question; and I have no doubt but considerable aids may be drawn hence for your army, unless a larger one should be embodied in the South, than the force of the enemy there seems to call for. I have the honor to be, with every sentiment of respect and esteem,

your Excellency's

most obedient, humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.

[See Appendix, Note D.]



LETTER XVIII.—TO GENERAL EDWARD STEVENS, August 4, 1780

TO GENERAL EDWARD STEVENS.

Richmond, August 4, 1780.

Sir,

Your several favors of July the 16th, 21st, and 22nd, are now before me. Our smiths are engaged in making five hundred axes and some tomahawks for General Gates. About one hundred of these will go by the wagons now taking in their loads. As these are for the army in general, no doubt but you will participate of them. A chest of medicine was made up for you in Williamsburg, and by a strange kind of forgetfulness, the vessel ordered to bring that, left it and brought the rest of the shop. It is sent for again, and I am not without hopes will be here in time to go by the present wagons. They will carry some ammunition and the axes, and will make up their load with spirits. Tents, I fear, cannot be got in this country; we have, however, sent out powers to all the trading towns here, to take it wherever they can find it. I write to General Gates, to try whether the duck in North Carolina cannot be procured by the Executive of that State on Continental account; for, surely, the whole army, as well our militia as the rest, is Continental. The arms you have to spare may be delivered to General Gates's order, taking and furnishing us with proper vouchers. We shall endeavor to send our drafts armed. I cannot conceive how the arms before sent could have got into so very bad order; they certainly went from hence in good condition. You wish to know how far the property of this State in your hands is meant to be subject to the orders of the commander in chief. Arms and military stores we mean to be perfectly subject to him. The provisions going from this country will be for the whole army. If we can get any tents, they must be appropriated to the use of our own troops. Medicine, sick stores, spirits, and such things, we expect shall be on the same footing as with the northern army. There, you know, each State furnishes its own troops with these articles, and, of course, has an exclusive right to what is furnished. The money put into your hands, was meant as a particular resource for any extra wants of our own troops, yet in case of great distress, you would probably not see the others suffer without communicating part of it for their use. We debit Congress with this whole sum. There can be nothing but what is right in your paying Major Mazaret's troops out of it. I wish the plan you have adopted for securing a return of the arms from the militia, may answer. I apprehend any man, who has a good gun on his shoulder, would agree to keep it, and have the worth of it deducted out of his pay, more especially when the receipt of the pay is at some distance. What would you think of notifying to them, further, that a proper certificate that they are discharged, and have returned their arms, will be required before any pay is issued to them. A roll, kept and forwarded, of those so discharged, and who have delivered up their arms, would supply accidental losses of their certificates. We are endeavoring to get bayonet belts made. The State quarter-master affirms the cartouch boxes sent from this place, (nine hundred and fifty-nine in number,) were all in good condition. I therefore suppose the three hundred you received in such very bad order, must have gone from the continental quarter-master at Petersburg, or, perhaps, have been pillaged, on the road, of their flaps, to mend shoes, &c. I must still press the return of as many wagons as possible. All you will send, shall be loaded with spirits or something else for the army. By their next return, we shall have a good deal of bacon collected. The enclosed is a copy of what was reported to me, as heretofore sent by the wagons.

I am. Sir, with the greatest esteem,

your most obedient, humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XIX.—TO MAJOR GENERAL GATES, August 15, 1780

TO MAJOR GENERAL GATES.

Richmond, August 15, 1780.

Sir,

Your favor of August 3rd is just now put into my hand. Those formerly received have been duly answered, and my replies will, no doubt, have reached you before this date. My last letter to you was by Colonel Drayton.

I spoke fully with you on the difficulty of procuring wagons here, when I had the pleasure of seeing you, and for that reason pressed the sending back as many as possible. One brigade of twelve has since returned, and is again on its way with medicine, military stores, and spirit. Any others which come, and as fast as they come, shall be returned to you with spirit and bacon. I have ever been informed, that the very plentiful harvests of North Carolina would render the transportation of flour from this State, as unnecessary as it would be tedious, and that, in this point of view, the wagons should carry hence only the articles before mentioned, which are equally wanting with you. Finding that no great number of wagons is likely to return to us, we will immediately order as many more to be bought and sent on, as we possibly can. But to prevent too great expectations, I must again repeat, that I fear no great number can be got. I do assure you, however, that neither attention nor expense shall be spared, to forward to you every support for which we can obtain means of transportation. You have, probably, received our order on Colonel Lewis to deliver you any of the beeves he may have purchased.

Tents, I fear, it is in vain to expect, because there is not in this country stuff to make them. We have agents and commissioners in constant pursuit of stuff, but hitherto researches have been fruitless. Your order to Colonel Carrington shall be immediately communicated. A hundred copies of the proclamation shall also be immediately printed and forwarded to you. General Muhlenburg is come to this place, which he will now make his headquarters. I think he will be able to set into motion, within a very few days, five hundred regulars, who are now equipped for their march, except some blankets still wanting, but I hope nearly procured and ready to be delivered.

I sincerely congratulate you on your successful advances on the enemy, and wish to do every thing to second your enterprises, which the situation of this country, and the means and powers put into my hands, enable me to do.

I am, Sir, with sincere respect and esteem,

your most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XX.—TO GENERAL WASHINGTON, September 8, 1780

TO HIS EXCELLENCY GENERAL WASHINGTON.

Richmond, September 8, 1780.

Sir,

As I know the anxieties you must have felt, since the late misfortune to the South, and our latter accounts have not been quite so unfavorable as the first, I take the liberty of enclosing you a statement of this unlucky affair, taken from letters from General Gates, General Stevens, and Governor Nash, and, as to some circumstances, from an officer who was in the action.* Another army is collecting; this amounted, on the 23rd ultimo, to between four and five thousand men, consisting of about five hundred Maryland regulars, a few of Hamilton's artillery, and Porterfield's corps, Armand's legion, such of the Virginia militia as had been reclaimed, and about three thousand North Carolina militia, newly embodied. We are told they will increase these to eight thousand. Our new recruits will rendezvous in this State between the 10th and 25th instant. We are calling out two thousand militia, who, I think, however, will not be got to Hillsborough till the 25th of October. About three hundred and fifty regulars marched from Chesterfield a week ago. Fifty march to-morrow, and there will be one hundred or one hundred and fifty more from that post, when they can be cleared of the hospital. This is as good a view as I can give you of the force we are endeavoring to collect; but they are unarmed. Almost the whole small arms seem to have been lost in the late rout. There are here, on their way southwardly, three thousand stand of arms, sent by Congress, and we have still a few in our magazine. I have written pressingly, as the subject well deserves, to Congress, to send immediate supplies, and to think of forming a magazine here, that in case of another disaster, we may not be left without all means of opposition.

[* The circumstances of the defeat of General Gates's army, near Camden in August, 1780, being of historical notoriety, this statement is omitted.]

I enclosed to your Excellency, some time ago, a resolution of the Assembly, instructing us to send a quantity of tobacco to New York for the relief of our officers there, and asking the favor of you to obtain permission. Having received no answer, I fear my letter or your answer has miscarried. I therefore take the liberty of repeating my application to you.

I have the honor to be, with the most profound respect,

your Excellency's most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXI.—TO GENERAL EDWARD STEVENS, September 12,1780

TO GENERAL EDWARD STEVENS.

Richmond, September 12,1780.

Sir,

Your letters of August 27th and 30th are now before me. The subsequent desertions of your militia have taken away the necessity of answering the question, how they shall be armed. On the contrary, as there must now be a surplus of arms, I am in hopes you will endeavor to reserve them, as we have not here a sufficient number by fifteen hundred or two thousand, for the men who will march hence, if they march in numbers equal to our expectations. I have sent expresses into all the counties from which those militia went, requiring the county lieutenants to exert themselves in taking them; and such is the detestation with which they have been received, that I have heard from many counties they were going back of themselves. You will of course, hold courts martial on them, and make them soldiers for eight months. If you will be so good as to inform me, from time to time, how many you have, we may, perhaps, get the supernumerary officers in the State, to take command of them. By the same opportunities, I desired notice to be given to the friends of the few remaining with you, that they had lost their clothes and blankets, and recommended, that they should avail themselves of any good opportunity to send them supplies.

We approve of your accommodating the hospital with medicines, and the Maryland troops with spirits. They really deserve the whole, and I wish we had means of transportation for much greater quantities, which we have on hand and cannot convey. This article we could furnish plentifully to you and them. What is to be done for wagons, I do not know. We have not now one shilling in the treasury to purchase them. We have ordered an active quarter-master to go to the westward, and endeavor to purchase on credit, or impress a hundred wagons and teams. But I really see no prospect of sending you additional supplies, till the same wagons return from you, which we sent on with the last. I informed you in my last letter, we had ordered two thousand militia more, to rendezvous at Hillsborough on the 25th of October. You will judge yourself, whether in the mean time you can be more useful by remaining where you are, with the few militia left and coming in, or by returning home, where, besides again accommodating yourself after your losses, you may also aid us in getting those men into motion, and in pointing out such things as are within our power, and may be useful to the service. And you will act accordingly. I am with great friendship and esteem, dear Sir,

your most obedient, humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXII.—TO GENERAL EDWARD STEVENS, September 15, 1780

TO GENERAL EDWARD STEVENS.

Richmond, September 15, 1780.

Sir,

I beg leave to trouble you with a private letter, on a little matter of my own, having no acquaintance at camp, with whom I can take that, liberty. Among the wagons impressed, for the use of your militia, were two of mine. One of these, I know is safe, having been on its way from hence to Hillsborough, at the time of the late engagement. The other, I have reason to believe, was on the field. A wagon-master, who says he was near it, informs me the brigade quarter-master cut out one of my best horses, and made his escape on him, and that he saw my wagoner loosening his own horse to come off, but the enemy's horse were then coming up, and he knows nothing further. He was a negro man, named Phill, lame in one arm and leg. If you will do me the favor to inquire what is become of him, what horses are saved, and to send them to me, I shall be much obliged to you. The horses were not public property, as they were only impressed and not sold. Perhaps your certificate of what is lost, may be necessary for me. The wagon-master told me, that the public money was in my wagon, a circumstance, which, perhaps, may aid your inquiries. After apologizing for the trouble, I beg leave to assure you, that I am, with great sincerity,

your friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXIII.—TO MAJOR GENERAL GATES, September 23, 1780

TO MAJOR GENERAL GATES.

Richmond, September 23, 1780.

Sir,

I have empowered Colonel Carrington to have twelve boats, scows, or batteaux, built at Taylor's Ferry, and to draw on me for the cost. I recommended the constructing them so as to answer the transportation of provisions along that river, as a change of position of the two armies may render them unnecessary at Taylor's Ferry, and I am thoroughly persuaded, that, unless we can find out some channel of transportation by water, no supplies of bread, of any consequence can be sent you from this State for a long time to come. The want of wagons is a bar insuperable, at least in any reasonable time. I have given orders to have Fry and Jefferson's map, and Henry's map of Virginia, sought for and purchased. As soon as they can be got, I will forward them. I have also written to General Washington on the subject of wintering the French fleet in the Chesapeake. Our new levies rendezvous in large numbers. As General Washington had constituted them in eight battalions, and allotted none to Colonel Harrison, we think to deliver him about four hundred drafts of another kind, who are to serve eighteen months also. Unless Congress furnish small arms, we cannot arm more than half the men who will go from this State. The prize you mention of tents and blankets is very fortunate. It is absolutely out of our power to get these articles, to any amount, in this country, nor have we clothing for our new levies. They must, therefore, go to you clothed as militia, till we can procure and send on supplies. They will be as warm in their present clothing at Hillsborough, as at Chesterfield Court House.

We have an agent collecting all the beeves which can be got from the counties round about Portsmouth, to send off to you.

They have there also plentiful crops of corn growing. We have instructed him to try whether means of conveying it down into the Sounds, and up some of the rivers of North Carolina, or by land to Meherrin river, and thence down Chowan, and up Roanoke, cannot be rendered practicable.

I am, with every sentiment of esteem and respect,

your most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.

P.S. I enclose a certificate, acknowledging satisfaction for the money furnished Colonel Kosciusko. T. J.



LETTER XXIV.—TO GENERAL WASHINGTON, September 23, 1780

TO HIS EXCELLENCY GENERAL WASHINGTON.

Richmond, September 23, 1780.

Sir,

I yesterday forwarded to you a letter from Colonel Wood, informing you of his situation. That post has, for some time past, been pretty regularly supplied, and I hope will continue to be for some time to come. A person whose punctuality can be relied on, offers to contract for victualling it. If we can agree on terms, and the Assembly will strengthen our hands sufficiently, we think to adopt that method, as the only one to be relied on with certainty. I have heard it hinted that Colonel Wood thinks of quitting that post. I should be exceedingly sorry, indeed, were he to do it. He has given to those under his charge, the most perfect satisfaction, and, at the same time, used all the cautions which the nature of his charge has required. It is principally owing to his prudence and good temper that the late difficulties have been passed over, almost without a murmur. Any influence which your Excellency shall think proper to me, for retaining him in his present situation, will promote the public good, and have a great tendency to keep up a desirable harmony with the officers of that corps. Our new recruits are rendezvousing very generally. Colonel Harrison was uneasy at having none of them assigned to his corps of artillery, who have very much distinguished themselves in the late unfortunate action, and are reduced almost to nothing. We happened to have about four hundred drafts, raised in the last year, and never called out and sent on duty by their county lieutenants, whom we have collected and are collecting. We think to deliver these to Colonel Harrison: they are to serve eighteen months from the time of rendezvous. The numbers of regulars and militia ordered from this State into the southern service, are about seven thousand. I trust we may count that fifty-five hundred will actually proceed: but we have arms for three thousand only. If, therefore, we do not speedily receive a supply from Congress, we must countermand a proper number of these troops. Besides this supply, there should certainly be a magazine laid in here, to provide against a general loss as well as daily waste. When we deliver out those now in our magazine, we shall have sent seven thousand stand of our own into the southern service, in the course of this summer. We are still more destitute of clothing, tents, and wagons for our troops. The southern army suffers for provisions, which we could plentifully supply, were it possible to find means of transportation. Despairing of this, we directed very considerable quantities, collected on the navigable waters, to be sent northwardly by the quarter-master. This he is now doing; slowly, however. Unapprized what may be proposed by our allies to be done with their fleet in the course of the ensuing winter, I would beg leave to intimate to you, that if it should appear to them eligible that it should winter in the Chesapeake, they can be well supplied with provisions, taking their necessary measures in due time. The waters communicating with that bay furnish easy, and (in that case) safe transportation, and their money will call forth what is denied to ours.

I am, with all possible esteem and respect, your Excellency's

most obedient and humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXV.—TO HIS EXCELLENCY GENERAL WASHINGTON, September 26,1780

TO HIS EXCELLENCY GENERAL WASHINGTON.

Richmond, September 26,1780.

Sir,

The enclosed copy of a letter from Lord Cornwallis [See Appendix, note E.] to Colonel Balfour, was sent me by Governor Rutledge: lest you should not have seen it, I do myself the pleasure of transmitting it, with a letter from General Harrington to General Gates giving information of some late movements of the enemy.

I was honored yesterday with your favor of the 5th instant, on the subject of prisoners, and particularly Lieutenant Governor Hamilton. You are not unapprized of the influence of this officer with the Indians, his activity and embittered zeal against us. You also, perhaps, know how precarious is our tenure of the Illinois country, and how critical is the situation of the new counties on the Ohio. These circumstances determined us to detain Governor Hamilton and Major Hay within our power, when we delivered up the other prisoners. On a late representation from the people of Kentucky, by a person sent here from that country, and expressions of what they had reason to apprehend from these two prisoners, in the event of their liberation, we assured them they would not be parted with, though we were giving up our other prisoners. Lieutenant Colonel Dabusson, aid to Baron de Kalb, lately came here on his parole, with an offer from Lord Rawdon, to exchange him for Hamilton. Colonel Towles is now here with a like proposition for himself, from General Phillips, very strongly urged by the General. These, and other overtures, do not lessen our opinion of the importance of retaining him; and they have been, and will be, uniformly rejected. Should the settlement, indeed, of a cartel become impracticable, without the consent of the States to submit their separate prisoners to its obligation, we will give up these two prisoners, as we would any thing, rather than be an obstacle to a general good. But no other circumstance would, I believe, extract them from us. These two gentlemen, with a Lieutenant Colonel Elligood, are the only separate prisoners we have retained, and the last, only on his own request, and not because we set any store by him. There is, indeed, a Lieutenant Governor Rocheblawe of Kaskaskia, who has broken his parole and gone to New York, whom we must shortly trouble your Excellency to demand for us, as soon as we can forward to you the proper documents. Since the forty prisoners sent to Winchester, as mentioned in my letter of the 9th ultimo, about one hundred and fifty more have been sent thither, some of them taken by us at sea, others sent on by General Gates.

The exposed and weak state of our western settlements, and the danger to which they are subject from the northern Indians, acting under the influence of the British post at Detroit, render it necessary for us to keep from five to eight hundred men on duty for their defence. This is a great and perpetual expense. Could that post be reduced and retained, it would cover all the States to the southeast of it. We have long meditated the attempt under the direction of Colonel Clarke, but the expense would be so great, that whenever we have wished to take it up, this circumstance has obliged us to decline it. Two different estimates make it amount to two millions of pounds, present money. We could furnish the men, provisions, and every necessary, except powder, had we the money, or could the demand from us be so far supplied from other quarters, as to leave it in our power to apply such a sum to that purpose; and, when once done, it would save annual expenditures to a great amount. When I speak of furnishing the men, I mean they should be militia; such being the popularity of Colonel Clarke, and the confidence of the western people in him, that he could raise the requisite number at any time. We, therefore, beg leave to refer this matter to yourself, to determine whether such an enterprise would not be for the general good, and if you think it would, to authorize it at the general expense. This is become the more reasonable, if, as I understand, the ratification of the Confederation has been rested on our cession of a part of our western claim; a cession which (speaking my private opinion) I verily believe will be agreed to, if the quantity demanded is not unreasonably great. Should this proposition be approved of, it should be immediately made known to us, as the season is now coming on, at which some of the preparations must be made. The time of execution, I think, should be at the time of the breaking up of the ice in the Wabash, and before the lakes open. The interval, I am told, is considerable.

I have the honor to be, &c.

your most obedient and humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXVI.—TO MAJOR GENERAL GATES, October 4, 1780

TO MAJOR GENERAL GATES.

Richmond, October 4, 1780.

Sir,

My letter of September 23rd answered your favors received before that date, and the present serves to acknowledge the receipt of those of September 24th and 27th. I retain in mind, and recur, almost daily, to your requisitions of August; we have, as yet, no prospect of more than one hundred tents. Flour is ordered to be manufactured, as soon as the season will render it safe; out of which, I trust, we can furnish not only your requisition of August, but that of Congress of September 11th. The corn you desire, we could furnish when the new crops come in, fully, if water transportation can be found; if not, we shall be able only to send you what lies convenient to the southern boundary, in which neighborhood the crops have been much abridged by a flood in Roanoke. We have no rice. Rum and other spirits, we can furnish to a greater amount than you require, as soon as our wagons are in readiness, and shall be glad to commute into that article some others which we have not, particularly sugar, coffee, and salt. The vinegar is provided. Colonel Finnie promised to furnish to Colonel Muter, a list of the shades, hoes, &c. which could be furnished from the Continental stores. This list has never yet come to hand. It is believed the Continental stores here will fall little short of your requisition, except in the article of axes, which our shops are proceeding on. Your information of September 24th, as to the quality of the axes, has been notified to the workmen, and will, I hope, have a proper effect on those made hereafter. Application has been made to the courts, to have the bridges put in a proper state, which they have promised to do. We are endeavoring again to collect wagons. About twenty are nearly finished at this place. We employed, about three weeks ago, agents to purchase, in the western counties, a hundred wagons and teams. Till these can be got, it will be impossible to furnish any thing from this place. I am exceedingly pleased to hear of your regulation for stopping our wagons at Roanoke. This will put it in our power to repair and replace them, to calculate their returns, provide loads, and will be a great encouragement to increase their number, if possible, as their departure hence will no longer produce the idea of a final adieu to them.

Colonel Senf arrived here the evening before the last. He was employed yesterday and to-day, in copying some actual and accurate surveys, which we had had made of the country round about Portsmouth, as far as Cape Henry to the eastward, Nansemond river to the westward, the Dismal Swamp to the southward, and northwardly, the line of country from Portsmouth by Hampton and York to Williamsburg, and including the vicinities of these three last posts. This will leave him nothing to do, but to take drawings of particular places, and the soundings of such waters as he thinks material. He will proceed on this business to-morrow, with a letter to General Nelson, and powers to call for the attendance of a proper vessel.

I suppose that your drafts in favor of the quarter-master, if attended with sixty days' grace, may be complied with to a certain amount. We will certainly use our best endeavors to answer them. I have only to desire that they may be made payable to the quarter-master alone, and not to the bearer. This is to prevent the mortification of seeing an unapprized individual taken in by an assignment of them, as if they were ready money. Your letter to Colonel Finnie will go to Williamsburg immediately. Those to Congress, with a copy of the papers enclosed to me, went yesterday by express. I will take order as to the bacon you mention. I fear there is little of it, and that not capable of being long kept. You are surely not uninformed, that Congress required the greater part of this article to be sent northward, which has been done. I hope, by this time, you receive supplies of beeves from our commissary, Mr. Eaton, who was sent three weeks or a month ago, to exhaust of that article the counties below, and in the neighborhood of Portsmouth; and from thence, was to proceed to other counties, in order, as they stood exposed to an enemy.

The arrival of the French West India fleet (which, though not authentically communicated, seems supported by so many concurring accounts from individuals, as to leave scarcely room for doubt,) will, I hope, prevent the enemy from carrying into effect the embarkation they had certainly intended from New York, though they are strengthened by the arrival of Admiral Rodney, at that place, with twelve sail of the line and four frigates, as announced by General Washington to Congress, on the 19th ultimo. The accounts of the additional French fleet are varied from sixteen to nineteen ships of the line, besides frigates. The number of the latter has never been mentioned. The extracts of letters, which you will see in our paper of this day, are from General Washington, President Huntington, and our Delegates in Congress to me. That from Bladensburg is from a particular acquaintance of mine, whose credit cannot be doubted. The distress we are experiencing from want of leather to make shoes, is great. I am sure you have thought of preventing it in future, by the appointment of a commissary of hides, or some other good regulation for saving and tanning the hides, which the consumption of your army will afford.

I have the honor to be, with all possible esteem and respect, Sir,

your most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXVII.—TO GENERAL GATES, October 15, 1780

TO GENERAL GATES.

Richmond, October 15, 1780.

Sir,

I am rendered not a little anxious by the paragraph of yours of the 7th instant, wherein you say, 'It is near a month since I received any letter from your Excellency; indeed, the receipt of most that I have written to you, remains unacknowledged.' You ought, within that time, to have received my letter of September the 3rd, written immediately on my return to this place, after a fortnight's absence; that of September the 11th, acknowledging the receipt of yours which covered drafts for money; that of September the 23rd, on the subject of batteaux at Taylor's Ferry, wagons, maps of Virginia, wintering the French fleet in the Chesapeake, our new levies, and provisions from our lower counties; and that of October the 4th, in answer to yours of September the 24th and 27th. I begin to apprehend treachery in some part of our chain of expresses, and beg the favor of you, in your next, to mention whether any, and which of these letters have come to hand. This acknowledges the receipt of yours of September the 28th, and October the 3rd, 5th, and 7th. The first of these was delivered four or five days ago by Captain Drew. He will be permitted to return as you desire, as we would fulfil your wishes in every point in our power, as well as indulge the ardor of a good officer. Our militia from the western counties are now on their march to join you. They are fond of the kind of service in which Colonel Morgan is generally engaged, and are made very happy by being informed you intend to put them under him. Such as pass by this place, take muskets in their hands. Those from the,southern counties, beyond the Blue Ridge, were advised to carry their rifles. For those who carry neither rifles nor muskets, as well as for our eighteen months men, we shall send on arms as soon as wagons can be procured. In the mean time, I had hoped that there were arms for those who should first arrive at Hillsborough, as by General Steven's return, dated at his departure thence, there were somewhere between five and eight hundred muskets (I speak from memory, not having present access to the return) belonging to this State, either in the hands of the few militia who were there, or stored. Captain Fauntleroy, of the cavalry, gives me hopes he shall immediately forward a very considerable supply of accoutrements, for White's and Washington's cavalry. He told me yesterday he had received one hundred and thirteen horses for that service, from us. Besides these, he had rejected sixty odd, after we had purchased them, at L3000 apiece. Nelson's two troops were returned to me, deficient only twelve horses, since which, ten have been sent to him by Lieutenant Armstead. I am not a little disappointed, therefore, in the number of cavalry fit for duty, as mentioned in the letter you enclosed me. Your request (as stated in your letter of the 7th) that we will send no men into the field, or even to your camp, that are not well furnished with shoes, blankets, and every necessary for immediate service, would amount to a stoppage of every man; as we have it not in our power to furnish them with real necessaries completely. I hope they will be all shod. What proportion will have blankets I cannot say: we purchase every one which can be found out; and now I begin to have a prospect of furnishing about half of them with tents, as soon as they can be made and forwarded. As to provisions, our agent, Eaton, of whom I before wrote, informs me in a letter of the 5th instant, he shall immediately get supplies of beef into motion, and shall send some corn by a circuitous navigation. But till we receive our wagons from the western country, I cannot hope to aid you in bread. I expect daily to see wagons coming in to us. The militia were ordered to rendezvous at Hillsborough, expecting they would thence be ordered by you into service. I send you herewith a copy of Henry's map of Virginia. It is a mere cento of blunders. It may serve to give you a general idea of the courses of rivers, and positions of counties. We are endeavoring to get you a copy of Fry and Jefferson's; but they are now very scarce. I also enclose you some newspapers, in which you will find a detail of Arnold's apostacy and villany.

I am, with all sentiments of sincere respect and esteem, Sir,

your most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.

P. S. Just as I was closing my letter, yours of the 9th instant was put into my hands. I enclose by this express, a power to Mr. Lambe, quarter-master, to impress, for a month, ten wagons from each of the counties of Brunswick, Mecklenburg, Lunenburg, Charlotte, and Halifax, and direct him to take your orders, whether they shall go first to you, or come here. If the latter, we can load them with arms and spirits. Before their month is out, I hope the hundred wagons from the westward will have come in. We will otherwise provide a relief for these. I am perfectly astonished at your not having yet received my letters before mentioned. I send you a copy of that of the 4th of October, as being most material. I learn, from one of General Muhlenburg's family, that five wagons have set out from hence, with three hundred stand of arms, &c. However, the General writes to you himself. T.J.



LETTER XXVIII.—TO GENERAL WASHINGTON, October 22, 1780

TO HIS EXCELLENCY GENERAL WASHINGTON.

Richmond, October 22, 1780.

Sir,

I have this morning received certain information of the arrival of a hostile fleet in our bay, of about sixty sail. The debarkation of some light-horse, in the neighborhood of Portsmouth, seems to indicate that as the first scene of action. We are endeavoring to collect as large a body to oppose them as we can arm: this will be lamentably inadequate, if the enemy be in any force. It is mortifying to suppose that a people, able and zealous to contend with their enemy, should be reduced to fold their arms for want of the means of defence. Yet no resources, that we know of, ensure us against this event. It has become necessary to divert to this new object, a considerable part of the aids we had destined for General Gates. We are still, however, sensible of the necessity of supporting him, and have left that part of our country nearest him uncalled on, at present, that they may reinforce him as soon as arms can be received. We have called to the command of our forces, Generals Weeden and Muhlenburg, of the line, and Nelson and Stevens of the militia. You will be pleased to make to these such additions as you may think proper. As to the aids of men, I ask for none, knowing that if the late detachment of the enemy shall have left it safe for you to spare aids of that kind, you will not await my application. Of the troops we shall raise, there is not a single man who ever saw the face of an enemy. Whether the Convention troops will be removed or not, is yet undetermined. This must depend on the force of the enemy, and the aspect of their movements.

I have the honor to be

your Excellency's most obedient,

humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXIX.—TO GENERAL WASHINGTON, October 25,1780

TO HIS EXCELLENCY GENERAL WASHINGTON.

Richmond, October 25,1780.

Sir,

I take the liberty of enclosing to you letters from Governor Hamilton, for New York. On some representations received by Colonel Towles, that an indulgence to Governor Hamilton and his companions to go to New York, on parole, would produce the happiest,effect on the situation of our officers in Long Island, we have given him, Major Hay, and some of the same party at Winchester, leave to go there on parole. The two former go by water, the latter by land.

By this express I hand on, from General Gates to Congress, intelligence of the capture of Augusta, in Georgia, with considerable quantities of goods; and information, which carries a fair appearance, of the taking of Georgetown, in South Carolina, by a party of ours, and that an army of six thousand French and Spaniards had landed at Sunbury. This is the more credible, as Cornwallis retreated from Charlotte on the 12th instant, with great marks of precipitation. Since my last to you, informing you of an enemy's fleet, they have landed eight hundred men in the neighborhood of Portsmouth, and some more on the bay side of Princess Anne. One thousand infantry landed at New-ports-news, on the morning of the 23rd, and immediately took possession of Hampton. The horse were proceeding up the road. Such a corps as Major Lee's would be of infinite service to us. Next to a naval force, horse seems to be the most capable of protecting a country so intersected by waters.

I am, with the most sincere esteem,

your Excellency's most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXX.—TO GENERAL WASHINGTON, October 26, 1780

TO HIS EXCELLENCY GENERAL WASHINGTON.

Richmond, October 26, 1780.

Sir,

The Executive of this State think it expedient, under our present circumstances, that the prisoners of war under the Convention of Saratoga, be removed from their present situation. It will be impossible, as long as they remain with us, to prevent the hostile army from being reinforced by numerous desertions from this corps; and this expectation may be one among the probable causes of this movement of the enemy. Should, moreover, a rescue of them be attempted, the extensive disaffection which has of late been discovered, and the almost total want of arms in the hands of our good people, render the success of such an enterprise by no means desperate. The fear of this, and the dangerous convulsions to which such an attempt would expose us, divert the attention of a very considerable part of our militia, from an opposition to an invading enemy. An order has been, therefore, this day issued to Colonel Wood, to take immediate measures for their removal; and every aid has been and will be given him, for transporting, guarding, and subsisting them on the road, which our powers can accomplish. Notice hereof is sent to his Excellency Governor Lee, on whose part, I doubt not, necessary preparations will be made.

I have the honor to be, with the greatest esteem and respect,

your Excellency's most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXXI.—TO GENERAL GATES, October 28, 1780

TO GENERAL GATES.

Richmond, October 28, 1780.

Sir,

Your letters of the 14th, 20th, and 21st have come to hand, and your despatches to Congress have been regularly forwarded. I shall attend to the caveat against Mr. Ochiltree's bill. Your letter to Colonel Senf remains still in my hands, as it did not come till the enemy had taken possession of the ground, on which I knew him to have been, and I have since no certain information where a letter might surely find him. My proposition as to your bills in favor of the quarter-master, referred to yours of September 27th. I have notified to the Continental quarter-master, your advance of nine hundred dollars to Cooper. As yet, we have received no wagons. I wish Mr. Lambe may have supplied you. Should those from the western quarter not come in, we will authorize him or some other, to procure a relief, in time, for those first impressed. We are upon the eve of a new arrangement as to our commissary's and quarter-master's departments, as the want of money, introducing its substitute, force, requires the establishment of a different kind of system.

Since my first information to you of the arrival of an enemy, they have landed about eight hundred men near Portsmouth, some on the bay side of Princess Anne, one thousand at Hampton, and still retained considerable part on board their ships. Those at Hampton, after committing horrid depredations, have again retired to their ships, which, on the evening of the 26th, were strung along the Road from New-ports-news, to the mouth of Nansemond, which seems to indicate an intention of coming up James river. Our information is, that they have from four to five thousand men, commanded by General Leslie, and that they have come under convoy of one forty-gun ship, and some frigates (how many, has never been said), commanded by Commodore Rodney. Would it not be worth while to send out a swift boat from some of the inlets of Carolina, to notify the French Admiral that his enemies are in a net, if he has leisure to close the mouth of it? Generals Muhlenburg and Nelson are assembling a force to be ready for them, and General Weeden has come to this place, where he is at present employed in some arrangements. We have ordered the removal of the Saratoga prisoners, that we may have our hands clear for these new guests.

I have the honor to be, with the most perfect esteem and respect, Sir,

your most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXXII.—TO GENERAL WASHINGTON, November 3,1780

TO HIS EXCELLENCY GENERAL WASHINGTON.

Richmond, November 3,1780.

Sir,

Since I had the honor of writing to your Excellency, on the 25th ultimo, the enemy have withdrawn their forces from the north side of James river, and have taken post at Portsmouth, which, we learn, they are fortifying. Their highest post is Suffolk, where there is a very narrow and defensible pass between Nansemond river and the Dismal Swamp, which covers the country below, from being entered by us. More accurate information of their force, than we at first had, gives us reason to suppose them to be from twenty-five hundred to three thousand strong, of which, between sixty and seventy are cavalry. They are commanded by General Leslie, and were convoyed by the Romulus, of forty guns, the Blonde, of thirty-two guns, the Delight sloop, of sixteen, a twenty-gun ship of John Goodwick's, and two row-galleys, commanded by Commodore Grayton. We are not assured, as yet, that they have landed their whole force. Indeed, they give out themselves, that after drawing the force of this State to Suffolk, they mean, to go to Baltimore. Their movements had induced me to think they came with an expectation of meeting with Lord Cornwallis in this country, that his precipitate retreat has left them without a concerted object, and that they were waiting further orders. Information of this morning says, that being informed of Lord Cornwallis's retreat, and a public paper having been procured by them, wherein were printed the several despatches which brought this intelligence from General Gates, they unladed a vessel and sent, her off to Charleston immediately. The fate of this army of theirs hangs on a very slender naval force, indeed.

The want of barracks at Fort Frederick, as represented by Colonel Wood, the difficulty of getting wagons sufficient to move the whole Convention troops, and the state of uneasiness in which the regiment of guards is, have induced me to think it would be better to move these troops in two divisions; and as the whole danger of desertion to the enemy, and correspondence with the disaffected in our southern counties, is from the British only (for from the Germans we have no apprehensions on either head), we have advised Colonel Wood to move on the British in the first division, and to leave the Germans in their present situation, to form a second division, when barracks may be erected at Fort Frederick. By these means, the British may march immediately under the guard of Colonel Crochet's battalion, while Colonel Taylor's regiment of guards remains with the Germans. I cannot suppose this will be deemed such a separation as is provided against by the Convention, nor that their officers will wish to have the whole troops crowded into barracks, probably not sufficient for half of them. Should they, however, insist on their being kept together, I suppose it would be the opinion that the second division should follow the first as soon as possible, and that their being exposed, in that case, to a want of covering, would be justly imputable to themselves only. The delay of the second division will lessen the distress for provisions, which may, perhaps, take place on their first going to the new post, before matters are properly arranged.

I have the honor to be, with great esteem and respect,

your Excellency's most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXXIII.—TO GENERAL WASHINGTON, November 10, 1780

TO HIS EXCELLENCY GENERAL WASHINGTON.

Richmond, November 10, 1780.

Sir,

I enclose your Excellency a copy of an intercepted letter from Major General Leslie to Lord Cornwallis. [See Appendix, note F.] It was taken from a person endeavoring to pass through the country from Portsmouth towards Carolina. When apprehended, and a proposal made to search him, he readily consented to be searched, but, at the same time, was observed to put his hand into his pocket and carry something towards his mouth, as if it were a quid of tobacco: it was examined, and found to be a letter, of which the enclosed is a copy, written on silk paper, rolled up in gold-beater's skin, and nicely tied at each end, so as not to be larger than a goose quill. As this is the first authentic disclosure of their purpose in coming here, and may serve to found, with somewhat more of certainty, conjectures respecting their future movements, while their disappointment in not meeting with Lord Cornwallis may occasion new plans at New York, I thought it worthy of communication to your Excellency.

Some deserters were taken yesterday, said to be of the British Convention troops, who had found means to get to the enemy at Portsmouth, and were seventy or eighty miles on their way back to the barracks, when they were taken. They were passing under the guise of deserters from Portsmouth.

I have the honor to be, with the greatest esteem and respect,

your Exellency's most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXXIV.—TO GENERAL WASHINGTON, November 26, 1780

TO HIS EXCELLENCY GENERAL WASHINGTON.

Richmond, November 26, 1780.

Sir,

I have been honored with your Excellency's letter of the 8th instant. Having found it impracticable to move, suddenly, the whole Convention troops, British and German, and it being represented that there could not, immediately, be covering provided for them all at Fort Frederick, we concluded to march off the British first, from whom was the principal danger of desertion, and to permit the Germans, who show little disposition to join the enemy, to remain in their present quarters till something further be done. The British, accordingly, marched the 20th instant. They cross the Blue Ridge at Rock Fish gap, and proceed along that valley. I am to apprize your Excellency, that the officers of every rank, both British and German, but particularly the former, have purchased within this State some of the finest horses in it. You will be pleased to determine, whether it be proper that they carry them within their lines. I believe the Convention of Saratoga entitles them to keep the horses they then had. But I presume none of the line below the rank of field-officers, had a horse. Considering the British will be now at Fort Frederick, and the Germans in Albemarle, Alexandria seems to be the most central point to which there is navigation. Would it not, therefore, be better that the flag-vessel, solicited by General Phillips, should go to that place? It is about equally distant from the two posts. The roads to Albemarle are good. I know not how those are which lead to Fort Frederick. Your letter referring me to General Green, for the mode of constructing light, portable boats, unfortunately did not come to hand till he had left us. We had before determined to have something done in that way, and as they are still unexecuted, we should be greatly obliged by any draughts or hints, which could be given by any person within the reach of your Excellency.

I received advice, that on the 22nd instant, the enemy's fleet got all under way, and were standing toward the Capes: as it still remained undecided, whether they would leave the bay, or turn up it, I waited the next stage of information, that you might so far be enabled to judge of their destination. This I hourly expected, but it did not come till this evening, when I am informed they all got out to sea in the night of the 22nd. What course they steered afterwards, is not known. I must do their General and Commander the justice to say, that in every case to which their attention and influence could reach, as far as I have been well-informed, their conduct was such as does them the greatest honor. In the few instances of wanton and unnecessary devastation, they punished the aggressors.

I have the honor to be,

your Excellency's

most obedient, humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXXV.—TO GENERAL WASHINGTON, December 15,1780

TO HIS EXCELLENCY GENERAL WASHINGTON.

Richmond, December 15,1780.

Sir,

I had the honor of writing to your Excellency on the subject of an expedition contemplated by this State, against the British post at Detroit, and of receiving your answer of October the 10th. Since the date of my letter, the face of things has so far changed, as to leave it no longer optional in us to attempt or decline the expedition, but compels us to decide in the affirmative, and to begin our preparations immediately. The army the enemy at present have in the South, the reinforcements still expected there, and their determination to direct their future exertions to that quarter, are not unknown to you. The regular force proposed on our part to counteract those exertions, is such, either from the real or supposed inability of this State, as by no means to allow a hope that it may be effectual. It is, therefore, to be expected that the scene of war will either be within our country, or very nearly advanced to it; and that our principal dependence is to be on militia, for which reason it becomes incumbent to keep as great a proportion of our people as possible, free to act in that quarter. In the mean time, a combination is forming in the westward, which, if not diverted, will call thither a principal and most valuable part of our militia. From intelligence received, we have reason to expect that a confederacy of British and Indians, to the amount of two thousand men, is formed for the purpose of spreading destruction and dismay through the whole extent of our frontier, in the ensuing spring. Should this take place, we shall certainly lose in the South all aids of militia beyond the Blue Ridge, besides the inhabitants who must fall a sacrifice in the course of the savage irruptions.

There seems to be but one method of preventing this, which is to give the western enemy employment in their own country. The regular force Colonel Clarke already has, with a proper draft from the militia beyond the Allegany, and that of three or four of our most northern counties, will be adequate to the reduction of Fort Detroit, in the opinion of Colonel Clarke; and he assigns the most probable reasons for that opinion. We have, therefore, determined to undertake it, and commit it to his direction. Whether the expense of the enterprise shall be defrayed by the Continent or State, we will leave to be decided hereafter by Congress, in whose justice we can confide as to the determination. In the mean time, we only ask the loan of such necessaries as, being already at Fort Pitt, will save time and an immense expense of transportation. These articles shall either be identically or specifically returned; should we prove successful, it is not improbable they may be where Congress would choose to keep them. I am, therefore, to solicit your Excellency's order to the commandant at Fort Pitt, for the articles contained on the annexed list, which shall not be called for until every thing is in readiness; after which, there can be no danger of their being wanted for the post at which they are: indeed, there are few of the articles essential for the defence of the post.

I hope your Excellency will think yourself justified in lending us this aid without awaiting the effect of an application elsewhere, as such a delay would render the undertaking abortive, by postponing it to the breaking up of the ice in the lake. Independent of the favorable effects which a successful enterprise against Detroit must produce to the United States in general, by keeping in quiet the frontier of the northern ones, and leaving our western militia at liberty to aid those of the South, we think the like friendly offices performed by us to the Sates, whenever desired, and almost to the absolute exhausture of our own magazines, give well founded hopes that we may be accommodated on this occasion. The supplies of military stores which have been furnished by us to Fort Pitt itself, to the northern army, and, most of all, to the southern, are not altogether unknown to you. I am the more urgent for an immediate order, because Colonel Clarke awaits here your Excellency's answer by the express, though his presence in the western country to make preparations for the expedition is so very necessary, if you enable him to undertake it. To the above, I must add a request to you to send for us to Pittsburg, persons proper to work the mortars, &c, as Colonel Clarke has none such, nor is there one in this State. They shall be in the pay of this State from the time they leave you. Any money necessary for their journey, shall be repaid at Pittsburg, without fail, by the first of March.

At the desire of the General Assembly, I take the liberty of transmitting to you the enclosed resolution; and have the honor to be, with the most perfect esteem and regard,

your Excellency's most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXXVI.—TO GENERAL WASHINGTON, January 10, 1781

TO HIS EXCELLENCY GENERAL WASHINGTON.

Richmond, January 10, 1781.

Sir,

It may seem odd, considering the important events which have taken place in this State within the course of ten days, that I should not have transmitted an account of them to your Excellency; but such has been their extraordinary rapidity, and such the unremitted attention they have required from all concerned in government, that I do not recollect the portion of time which I could have taken to commit them to paper.

On the 31st of December, a letter from a private gentleman to General Nelson came to my hands, notifying, that in the morning of the preceding day, twenty-seven sail of vessels had entered the Capes; and from the tenor of the letter, we had reason to expect, within a few hours, further intelligence; whether they were friends or foes, their force, and other circumstances. We immediately despatched General Nelson to the lower country, with powers to call on the militia in that quarter, or act otherwise as exigencies should require; but waited further intelligence, before we would call for militia from the middle or upper country. No further intelligence came till the 2nd instant, when the former was confirmed; it was ascertained they had advanced up James river to Wanasqueak bay. All arrangements were immediately taken for calling in a sufficient body of militia for opposition. In the night of the 3rd, we received advice that they were at anchor opposite Jamestown; we then supposed Williamsburg to be their object. The wind, however, which had hitherto been unfavorable, shifted fair, and the tide being also in their favor, they ascended the river to Kennons' that evening, and, with the next tide, came up to Westover, having, on their way, taken possession of some works we had at Hood's, by which two or three of their vessels received some damage, but which were of necessity abandoned by the small garrison of fifty men placed there, on the enemy's landing to invest the works. Intelligence of their having quitted the station at Jamestown, from which we supposed they meant to land for Williamsburg, and of their having got in the evening to Kennon's, reached us the next morning at five o'clock, and was the first indication of their meaning to penetrate towards this place or Petersburg. As the order for drawing miliatia here had been given but two days, no opposition was in readiness. Every effort was therefore necessary, to withdraw the arms and other military stores, records, &c. from this place. Every effort was, accordingly, exerted to convey them to the foundery five miles, and to a laboratory six miles, above this place, till about sunset of that day, when we learned the enemy had come to an anchor at Westover that morning. We then knew that this, and not Petersburg was their object, and began to carry across the river every thing remaining here, and to remove what had been transported to the foundery and laboratory to Westham, the nearest crossing, seven miles above this place, which operation was continued till they had approached very near. They marched from Westover, at two o'clock in the afternoon of the 4th, and entered Richmond at one o'clock in the afternoon of the 5th. A regiment of infantry and about thirty horse continued on, without halting, to the foundery. They burnt that, the boring mill, the magazine, and two other houses, and proceeded to Westharn; but nothing being in their power there, they retired to Richmond. The next morning they burned some buildings of public and private property, with what stores remained in them, destroyed a great quantity of private stores, and about twelve o'clock, retired towards Westover, where they encamped within the Neck, the next day.

The loss sustained is not yet accurately known. As far as I have been able to discover, it consisted, at this place, of about three hundred muskets, some soldiers' clothing to a small amount, some quarter-master's stores, of which one hundred and twenty sides of leather was the principal article, part of the artificers' tools, and three wagons. Besides which, five brass four-pounders, which we had sunk in the river, were discovered to them, raised and carried off. At the foundery, we lost the greater part of the papers belonging to the Auditor's office, and of the books and papers of the Council office. About five or six tons of powder, as we conjecture, was thrown into the canal, of which there will be a considerable saving by re-manufacturing it. The roof of the foundery was burned, but the stacks of chimneys and furnaces not at all injured. The boring mill was consumed. Within less than forty-eight hours from the time of their landing, and nineteen from our knowing their destination, they had penetrated thirty-three miles, done the whole injury, and retired. Their numbers, from the best intelligence I have had, are about fifteen hundred infantry, and as to their cavalry, accounts vary from fifty to one hundred and twenty; and the whole commanded by the parricide Arnold. Our militia, dispersed over a large tract of country, can be called in but slowly. On the day the enemy advanced to this place, two hundred only were embodied. They were of this town and its neighborhood, and were too few to do any thing. At this time, they are assembled in pretty considerable numbers on the south side of James river, but are not yet brought to a point. On the north side are two or three small bodies, amounting in the whole to about nine hundred men. The enemy were, at four o'clock yesterday evening, still remaining in their encampment at Westover and Berkeley Neck. In the mean while, Baron Steuben, a zealous friend, has descended from the dignity of his proper command, to direct our smallest movements. His vigilance has in a great measure supplied the want of force in preventing the enemy from crossing the river, which might have been very fatal. He has been assiduously employed in preparing equipments for the militia, as they should assemble, in pointing them to a proper object, and in other offices of a good commander. Should they loiter a little longer, and he be able to have a sufficient force, I still flatter myself they will not escape with total impunity. To what place they will point their next exertions, we cannot even conjecture. The whole country on the tide waters and some distance from them, is equally open to similar insult.

I have the honor to be, with every sentiment of respect,

your Excellency's most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXXVII.—TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS, Jan. 15, 1781

TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

Richmond, January 15,1781.

Sir,

As the dangers which threaten our western frontiers, the ensuing spring, render it necessary that we should send thither Colonel Crocket's battalion, at present on guard at Fredericktown, but raised for the western service, I thought it necessary to give your Excellency previous information thereof, that other forces may be provided in time to succeed to their duties. Captain Read's troop of horse, if necessary, may be continued a while longer on guard.

I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect,

your Excellency's most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXXVIII.—TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS, Jan. 15, 1781

TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

Sir,

Richmond, January 15, 1781.

I received some time ago from Major Forsyth, and afterwards from you, a requisition to furnish one half the supplies of provision for the Convention troops, removed into Maryland. I should sooner have done myself the honor of writing to you on this subject, but that I hoped to have laid it before you more fully than could be done in writing, by a gentleman who was to pass on other public business to Philadelphia. The late events in this State having retarded his setting out, I think it my duty no longer to postpone explanation on this head.

You cannot be unapprized of the powerful armies of our enemy, at this time in this and the southern States, and that their future plan is to push their successes in the same quarter, by still larger reinforcements. The forces to be opposed to these must be proportionably great, and these forces must be fed. By whom are they to be fed? Georgia and South Carolina are annihilated, at least, as to us. By the requisition to us to send provisions into Maryland, it is to be supposed that none are to come to the southern army, from any State north of this; for it would seem inconsistent, that while we should be sending north, Maryland, and other states beyond that, should be sending their provisions south. Upon North Carolina, then, already exhausted by the ravages of two armies, and on this State, are to depend for subsistence those bodies of men, who are to oppose the greater part of the enemy's force in the United States, the subsistence of the German, and of half the British Conventioners. To take a view of this matter on the Continental requisitions of November the 4th, 1780, for specific quotas of provisions, it is observable that North Carolina and Virginia are to furnish 10,475,740 pounds of animal food, and 13,529 barrels of flour, while the States north of these will yield 25,293,810 pounds of animal food, and 106,471 barrels of flour.

If the greater part of the British armies be employed in the South, it is to be supposed that the greater part of the American force will be sent there to oppose them. But should this be the case, while the distribution of the provisions is so very unequal, would it be proper to render it still more so, by withdrawing a part of our contributions to the support of posts northward of us? It would certainly be a great convenience to us, to deliver a portion of our specifics at Fredericktown, rather than in Carolina: but I leave it to you to judge, whether this would be consistent with the general good or safety. Instead of sending aids of any kind to the northward, it seems but too certain that unless very timely and substantial assistance be received from thence, our enemies are yet far short of the ultimate term of their successes. I beg leave, therefore, to refer to you, whether the specifics of Maryland, as far as shall be necessary, had not better be applied to the support of the posts within it, for which its quota is much more than sufficient, or, were it otherwise, whether those of the States north of Maryland had not better be called on, than to detract any thing from the resources of the southern opposition, already much too small for the encounter to which it is left. I am far from wishing to count or measure our contributions by the requisitions of Congress. Were they ever so much beyond these. I should readily strain them in aid of any one of our sister States. But while they are so short of those calls to which they must be pointed in the first instance, it would be great misapplication to divert them to any other purpose: and I am persuaded you will think me perfectly within the line of duty, when I ask a revisal of this requisition.

I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, Sir,

your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXXIX.—TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS, Jan. 17, 1781

TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.

Richmond, January 17, 1781.

Sir,

I do myself the honor of transmitting to your Excellency a resolution of the General Assembly of this Commonwealth, entered into in consequence of the resolution of Congress of September the 6th, 1780, on the subject of the Confederation. I shall be rendered very happy if the other States of the Union, equally impressed with the necessity of that important convention, shall be willing to sacrifice equally to its completion. This single event, could it take place shortly, would overweigh every success which the enemy have hitherto obtained, and render desperate the hopes to which those successes have given birth.

I have the honor to be, with the most real esteem and respect,

your Excellency's most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XL.—TO THE VIRGINIA DELEGATES IN CONGRESS, Jan. 18, 1781

TO THE VIRGINIA DELEGATES IN CONGRESS.

Richmond, January 18, 1781.

Gentlemen,

I enclose you a Resolution of Assembly, directing your conduct as to the navigation of the Mississippi.

The loss of powder lately sustained by us (about five tons), together with the quantities sent on to the southward, have reduced our stock very low indeed. We lent to Congress, in the course of the last year (previous to our issues for the southern army), about ten tons of powder. I shall be obliged to you to procure an order from the board of war, for any quantity from five to ten tons, to be sent us immediately from Philadelphia or Baltimore, and to inquire into and hasten, from time to time, the execution of it. The stock of cartridge-paper is nearly exhausted. I do not know whether Captain Irish, or what other officer, should apply for this. It is essential that a good stock should be forwarded, and without a moment's delay. If there be a rock on which we are to split, it is the want of muskets, bayonets, and cartouch-boxes.

The occurrences, since my last to the President, are not of any magnitude. Three little rencounters have happened with the enemy. In the first, General Smallwood led on a party of two or three hundred militia, and obliged some armed vessels of the enemy to retire from a prize they had taken at Broadway's, and renewing his attack the next day with a four-pounder or two (for on the first day he had only muskets), he obliged some of their vessels to fall down from City Point to their main fleet at Westover. The enemy's loss is not known; ours was four men wounded. One of the evenings, during their encampment at Westover and Berkeley, their light-horse surprised a party of about one hundred or one hundred and fifty militia at Charles City Court House, killed and wounded four, and took, as has been generally said, about seven or eight. On Baron Steuben's approach towards Hood's, they embarked at Westover; the wind, which, till then, had set directly up the river from the time of their leaving Jamestown, shifted in the moment to the opposite point. Baron Steuben had not reached Hood's by eight or ten miles, when they arrived there. They landed their whole army in the night, Arnold attending in person. Colonel Clarke (of Kaskaskias) had been sent on with two hundred and forty men by Baron Steuben, and having properly disposed of them in ambuscade, gave them a deliberate fire, which killed seventeen on the spot, and wounded thirteen. They returned it in confusion, by which we had three or four wounded, and our party being so small and without bayonets, were obliged to retire on the enemy's charging with bayonets. They fell down to Cobham, whence they carried all the tobacco there (about sixty hogsheads); and the last intelligence was, that on the 16th they were standing for New-ports-news. Baron Steuben is of opinion, they are proceeding to fix a post in some of the lower counties. Later information has given no reason to believe their force more considerable than we at first supposed. I think, since the arrival of the three transports which had been separated in a storm, they may be considered as about two thousand strong. Their naval force, according to the best intelligence, is the Charon, of forty-four guns, Commodore Symmonds, the Amphitrite, Iris, Thames, and Charlestown frigates, the Forvey, of twenty guns, two sloops of war, a privateer ship, and two brigs. We have about thirty-seven hundred militia embodied, but at present they are divided into three distant encampments: one under General Weeden, at Fredericksburg, for the protection of the important works there; another under General Nelson, at and near Williamsburg; and a third under Baron Steuben, at Cabin Point. As soon as the enemy fix themselves, these will be brought to a point.

I have the honor to be, with very great respect, gentlemen,

your most obedient servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XLI.—TO GENERAL WASHINGTON, February 8, 1781

TO HIS EXCELLENCY GENERAL WASHINGTON.

Richmond, February 8, 1781.

Sir,

I have just received intelligence, which, though from a private hand, I believe is to be relied on, that a fleet of the enemy's ships have entered Cape Fear river, that eight of them had got over the bar, and many others were lying off; and that it was supposed to be a reinforcement to Lord Cornwallis, under the command of General Prevost. This account, which had come through another channel, is confirmed by a letter from General Parsons at Halifax, to the gentleman who forwards it to me. I thought it of sufficient importance to be communicated to your Excellency by the stationed expresses. The fatal want of arms puts it out of our power to bring a greater force into the field, than will barely suffice to restrain the adventures of the pitiful body of men they have at Portsmouth. Should any more be added to them, this country will be perfectly open to them, by land as well as water.

I have the honor to be, with all possible respect,

Your Excellency's most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XLII.—TO GENERAL WASHINGTON, February 12, 1781

TO HIS EXCELLENCY GENERAL WASHINGTON.

Richmond, February 12, 1781.

Sir,

The enclosed extract from a letter from Governor Nash, which I received this day, being a confirmation of the intelligence I transmitted in a former letter, I take the liberty of transmitting it to your Excellency. I am informed, through a private channel, on which I have considerable reliance, that the enemy had landed five hundred troops under the command of a Major Craig, who were joined by a number of disaffected; that they had penetrated forty miles; that their aim appeared to be the magazine at Kingston, from which place they were about twenty miles distant.

Baron Steuben transmits to your Excellency a letter from General Greene, by which you will learn the events which have taken place in that quarter since the defeat of Colonel Tarleton, by General Morgan. These events speak best for themselves, and no doubt will suggest what is necessary to be done to prevent the successive losses of State after State, to which the want of arms, and of a regular soldiery, seem more especially to expose those in the South.

I have the honor to be, with every sentiment of respect, your Excellency's most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XLIII.—TO GENERAL WASHINGTON, February 17, 1781

TO HIS EXCELLENCY GENERAL WASHINGTON.

Richmond, February 17, 1781.

Sir,

By a letter from General Greene, dated Guilford Court House, February 10th, we are informed that Lord Cornwallis had burned his own wagons in order to enable himself to move with greater facility, and had pressed immediately on. The prisoners taken at the Cow-pens, were happily saved by the accidental rise of a water-course, which gave so much time as to withdraw them from the reach of the enemy. Lord Cornwallis had advanced to the vicinities of the Moravian towns, and was still moving on rapidly. His object was supposed to be to compel General Greene to an action, which, under the difference of force they had, would probably be ruinous to the latter. General Greene meant to retire by the way of Boyd's Ferry, on the Roanoke. As yet he had lost little or no stores or baggage, but they were far from being safe. In the instant of receiving this intelligence, we ordered a reinforcement of militia to him, from the most convenient counties in which there was a hope of finding any arms. Some great event must arise from the present situation of things, which, for a long time, will determine the condition of southern affairs.

Arnold lies close in his quarters. Two days ago, I received information of the arrival of a sixty-four gun ship and two frigates in our bay, being part of the fleet of our good ally at Rhode Island. Could they get at the British fleet here, they are sufficient to destroy them; but these being drawn up into Elizabeth river, into which the sixty-four cannot enter, I apprehend they could do nothing more than block up the river. This, indeed, would reduce the enemy, as we could cut off their supplies by land; but the operation being tedious, would probably be too dangerous for the auxiliary force. Not having yet had any particular information of the designs of the French Commander, I cannot pretend to say what measures this aid will lead to.

Our proposition to the Cherokee Chiefs, to visit Congress, for the purpose of preventing or delaying a rupture with that nation, was too late. Their distresses had too much ripened their alienation from us, and the storm had gathered to a head, when Major Martin got back. It was determined to carry the war into their country, rather than await it in ours, and thus disagreeably circumstanced, the issue has been successful.

The militia' of this State and North Corolina penetrated into their country, burned almost every town they had, amounting to about one thousand houses in the whole, destroyed fifty thousand bushels of grain, killed twenty-nine, and took seventeen prisoners. The latter are mostly women and children.

I have the honor to be, &c. your Excellency's

most obedient, humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.

P.S. Since writing the above, I have received information which, though not authentic, deserves attention: that Lord Cornwallis had got to Boyd's Ferry on the 14th. I am issuing orders, in consequence, to other counties, to embody and march all the men they can arm. In this fatal situation, without arms, there will be no safety for the Convention troops but in their removal, which I shall accordingly order. The prisoners of the Cowpens were at New London (Bedford Court House) on the 14th. T. J.



LETTER XLIV.—TO GENERAL GATES, February 17, 1781

TO GENERAL GATES.

Richmond, February 17, 1781.

Dear General,

The situation of affairs here and in Carolina is such as must shortly turn up important events, one way orihe other. By letter from General Greene, dated Guilford Court House, February the 10th, I learn that Lord Cornwallis, rendered furious by the affair of the Cowpens and the surprise of Georgetown, had burned his own wagons, to enable himself to move with facility, had pressed on to the vicinity of the Moravian towns, and was still advancing: The prisoners taken at the Cowpens were saved by a hair's-breadth accident, and Greene was retreating. His force, two thousand regulars, and no militia; Cornwallis, three thousand. General Davidson was killed in a skirmish. Arnold lies still at Portsmouth with fifteen hundred men. A French sixty-four gun ship and two frigates, of thirty-six each, arrived in our bay three days ago. They would suffice to destroy the British shipping here (a forty, four frigates, and a twenty), could they get at them. But these are withdrawn up Elizabeth river, which the sixty-four cannot enter. We have ordered about seven hundred riflemen from Washington, Montgomery, and Bedford, and five hundred common militia from Pittsylvania and Henry, to reinforce General Greene; and five hundred new levies will march from Chesterfield Court House in a few days. I have no doubt, however, that the southwestern counties will have turned out in greater numbers before our orders reach them.

I have been knocking at the door of Congress for aids of all kinds, but especially of arms, ever since the middle of summer. The speaker, Harrison, is gone to be heard on that subject. Justice, indeed, requires that we should be aided powerfully. Yet if they would repay us the arms we have lent them, we should give the enemy trouble, though abandoned to ourselves.

After repeated applications, I have obtained a warrant for your advance money, L18,000, which I have put into the hands of Mr. McAlister, to receive the money from the Treasurer, and carry it to you.

I am, with very sincere esteem,

Dear Sir, your friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XLV.—TO GENERAL WASHINGTON, February 26,1781

TO HIS EXCELLENCY GENERAL WASHINGTON.

Richmond, February 26,1781.

Sir,

I gave you information in my last letter, that General Greene had crossed the Dan, at Boyd's Ferry, and that Lord Cornwallis had arrived at the opposite shore. Large reinforcements of militia having embodied both in front and rear of the enemy, he is retreating with as much rapidity as he advanced; his route is towards Hillsborough. General Greene re-crossed the Dan on the 21st, in pursuit of him. I have the pleasure to inform you, that the spirit of opposition was as universal, as could have been wished for. There was no restraint on the numbers that embodied, but the want of arms.

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