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Communica

Jefferson, esquire.

tion of commissioners from the states of New Hamp-
shire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and
New York, held at Hartford. As likewise a proposi-
tion from colonel Spotswood, for raising a legionary
corps for the defence of the state. Whether it be
practicable to raise and maintain a sufficient num-
ber of regulars to carry on the war is a question; that
it would be burthensome is undoubted; yet it is per-
haps as certain that no possible mode of carrying it on
can be so expensive to the public and so distressing and
disgusting to individuals as by militia.
The approach of the British army under Lord Corn-
wallis, having rendered supplies of horses for the pur-
pose of mounting our dragoons indispensably necessa-
ry, for the reasons set forth in the inclosed extract of
a letter from general Greene, and it being apparent
that horses, in the route of their march if not used for
us, would be taken by them and used in subduing us,
I undertook to recommend to general Greene the ap-
plying to the use of his dragoons horses so exposed,
first ascertaining their value by appraisement; azid beg
leave to rest the justification of the measure on the ap-
pearance of things at that moment, and the sense of the
general assembly of its necessity, Could any further
means be devised for completing those corps of horse,
it might have the most important effects on the southern
operations.
i am desired to lay before the general assembly: the
resolutions of congress of February 5 & 7, 1781, which
accompany, this, as also the representations of our affi-
cers in captivity in Charlestown in favor of general
McIntosh. I likewise beg leave to transmit you the
advice of council for re-forming the first and second
state regiments, the state garrison regiment and regi-

ment of artillery.

Mr. Everard having declined resuming the office of auditor, to which the general assembly had elected him, the executive have appointed Bolling Stark, esq. in his room, to serve till the meeting of assembly.

Not doubting but that the general assembly would wish to be informed of the measures taken by the executive, on the invasion which happened at the rising of the last session of assembly, as well as on the one lately made on our southern frontier, I shall take the liberty of giving them a succinct state of them.

Having received information on Sunday the last day of December, of the appearance of twenty-seven sail of vessels in our bay, which whether friendly or hostile was not then known, we got the favor of general Nelson to repair immediately to the lower country, with

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instructions to call into the field such a force from the

adjacent counties as might make present opposition to the enemy, if it proved to be an enemy, according to an arrangement which had been settled in the preceding summer; waiting for more certain and precise ininformation before we should call on the more distant part of the country, and in the same instant stationed expresses from hence to Hampton. I took the liberty of communicating this intelligence to the general assembly on their meeting the next morning. No fur

ther information arrived till the 2d of January, when

We were assured that the fleet announced was hostile. We immediately advised with major general Baron Steuben, the commanding officer in the state, on the force he would wish to have collected, and in the course of the day prepared letters calling together one fourth of the militia from the counties whose turn it was to come into service, or whom vicinity rendered it expedient to call on, viz. Brunswick, Mecklenburg, Lunenburg, Amelia, Powhatan, Cumberland, Prince Edward, Charlotte, Halifax, Bedford, Buckingham, Henrico, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Sussex, Southampton, Goochland, Fluvanna, Albemarle, Amherst, Rockbridge, Augusta, Rockingham and Shanandoah, amounting to 4650 men, and directing them not to wait to be embodied in their counties, but to come in detached parties as they could be collected. I at the same time required the counties of Henrico, Hanover, Goochland, Chesterfield, Powhatan, Cumberland, Dinwiddie and Amelia, to send the half of their militia, intending to discharge what should be over their equal proportion as soon as those from the more distant counties should arrive, and in the morning of the 4th, finding the enemy were coming up James river, I called for every man able to bear arms from the counties of Henrico, Goochland, Powhatan, Chesterfield and Dinwiddie. Nevertheless so rapid were the movements of the efiemy, and so favorable to them the circumstances of wind and tide, that they were able to penetrate to this place and Westham on the 5th to destroy what public

Communication from T. Jefferson, esoire.

stores we had not been able to get away, to burn the

public buildings at Westham and some occupied by . the public at this place, and to retire to their shipping

before such a force had assembled as was sufficient to

approach them. I have the pleasure however to in-
forth you that we were enabled to withdraw almost the
whole of the public stores, so as to render our loss in
that article far less than night have been expected from
the rapidity of the movements of the enemy, atid the
difficulty of procuring suddenly any considerable num-
ber of waggons and vessels. -
General Nelson having collected and drawn towards
the enemy a body of militia on the north, and Baron
Steuben done the same on the south side of the river,
the enemy withdrew making descents and committing
depredations at places till they reached Portsmouth,
where they have since remained environed by the mi-
Hitia of this state and of North Carolina.
On receiving intelligence of the advance of the Bri-
tish army under Lord Cornwallis through North Ca-
rolina, we directed one fourth of the militia of Pittsyl-
vania, Henry, Montgomery, Washington and Bote-
tourt, to march immediately to reinforce general
Greene’s army; but learning very soon after that the
enemy were already arrived at or very near the Dan
river, we ordered out all the militia who had arms or
for whom arms could be procured, of the counties of
Jaunenburg, Brunswick, Amelia, Dinwiddie, Chester-

field, Powhatan and Cumberland. Colonel Lynch,

who happened to be here when the intelligence was received, was instructed to carry on immediately the mi}itia of Bedford. We at the same instant received notice that the militia of Prince Edward and MecklenVurg were already embodied, and we knew the counties of Halifax and Charlotte to be so immediately untier the approach of the enemy, as that they must be embodied under the invasion law before our orders could reach them; the counties below these on the south side of James river we thought it expedient to leave as a barrier against the army within Portsmouth. Thevery rapid approach of the enemy obliged us in this instance to disregard that regular rotation of duty which we wish to observe in our calls on the several counties, and to summon those into the field which had

militia on duty at the very time; however, the several onio: services of these as well as of the other counties shall “... be kept in view, and made as equal as possible in the esquire.” course of general service. - Voyo I have the honor to be, with the highest esteem and respect, sir, Your most obedient, & Most humble servant,

Th: JEFFERSON.

Letter from General Washington. HEAD QUARTERs, NEw WINDsor, 27th MARCH 1781.

Dear Sir,

ON my return from Newport, I found your Letter from

favor of the 16th of February, with its inclosures, at gen, WashHead Quarters. I exceedingly regret that I could not * have the pleasure of seeing you, not only from personal motives, but because I could have entered upon the subject of your mission in a much more full and free manner, than is proper to be committed to paper.

I very early saw the difficulties and dangers to which the southern states would be exposed for want of resources of clothing, arms and ammunition, and recommended magazines to be established as ample as their circumstances would admit. It is true they are not so full of men as the northern states, but they ought, for that reason, to have been more assiduous in raising a permanent force, to have been always ready, because they cannot draw a herd of men together as suddenly as their exigencies may require. That policy has, unhappily, not been pursued either here or there, and we are now suffering from a remnant of a British army, what they could not, in the beginning, accomplish with their force at the highest. *

As your requisitions go to men, arms, ammunition, and cloathing, I shall give you a short detail of our

Letter, from situation and prospects as to the first, and of our sup

gen. Washington.

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plies and expectations as to the three last. -
By the expiration of the times of service of the old
troops; by the discharge of the levies engaged for the
campaign only; and by the unfortunate dissolution of
the Pennsylvania line, I was left, previous to the late
detachment under the Marquis de la Fayette, with a
garrison barely sufficient for the security of West
Point, and two regiments in Jersey to support the com-
munication between the Delaware and North river,
The York troops I had been obliged to send up for the
security of the frontier of that state. Weak however as
we were, I determined to attempt the dislodgment of
Arnold in conjunction with the French fleet and army,
and made the detachment to which I have alluded.
In my late tour to the eastward, I found the ac-
counts, I had received of the progress of recruiting in
those states, had been much exaggerated, and I fear
we shall, in the end, be obliged to take a great pro-
portion of their quotas in levies for the campaign, in-
stead of soldiers for three years or for the war. The
regiments of New York having been reduced to two,
they have but few infantry to raise. Jersey depends
upon voluntary inlistments, upon a contracted bounty,
and I cannot therefore promise myself much success
from the mode. The Pennsylvania line, you know, is
ordered to compose part of the southern army. Gene-
rai Wayne is so sauguine as to suppose he will be
soon abie to move on with 1000 or 1200 men, but
I fancy be rather over-rates the matter. You will rea-
dily perceive from the foregoing state, that there is lit-
tle probability of adding to the force already ordered
to the southward; for should the battalions, from New
Hampshire to New Jersey inclusive, be compleated, (a
thing not to be expected) we shall, after the necessary
detachments for the froatiers and other purposes are
made, have an army barely sufficient to keep the ene-
my in check at New York. Except this is done, they
will have nothing to hinder them from throwing fur-
ther reinforcements to the southward; and to be obliged
to follow, by land, every detachment of their army,
which they always make by sea, will only end in a
fruitless dissipation of what may be now called the
northern army. You may be assured that the most
powerful diversion that can be made in favor of the

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