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TO MAJOR-GENERAL BARON STEUBEN.'
RICHMOND, April 24th, į past 7 A.M. Sir, I have information this morning from Capt. Maxwell on his own view that the Enemy landed at Westover yesterday evening. If it be impossible that he should have been deceived, it is equally unaccountable that we are uninformed of it from the Videts sent. The movements of the Enemy up Chickataming obliged Col. Innes, incumbered with 20 Waggons with stores, and 100 sick, to cross Pamunkey at Ruffens Ferry: as soon as he has disposed of those, he will endeavour, if the movements of the Enemy render it proper, to retire towards this place; There are here about 200 Militia armed, and 300 unarmed, at Manchester there is I am told a larger number armed, but of this I have no proper information. The Militia of several Counties being here, I gave Col. Wood the command 'till you should be able to have them arranged as you should choose. pened to be here on business, and it will be inconvenient to him to continue any time. Can the object of the Enemy be our Vessels at Osbornes? There are no public Stores here, and they have shewed that private depredation is not within their views.
Col. Southell shewed to Col. Wood and myself, your Orders of yesterday for the Militia to divide into two parties and go to the Long Bridge, and Turkey Isld. and to correspond with Col. Innes. But the Enemy having as is supposed landed at Westover, and Col. Innes crossed Pamunkey ; it was thought
advisable, that Col. Wood should await your orders on those new circumstances, supposed to be unknown to you at the date of your order. As soon as it is known that the Enemy are landed at Westover, and my presence here no longer necessary I shall cross the river either here or at Tuckahoe and keep in the neighbourhood on the other side. I shall be ready and happy to give you every aid from the civil power which may
TO COLONEL VANMETER.
V. S. A.
RICHMOND. April 27th, 1781. SIR.--I have directed Mr. Woodrow to furnish money for the Bounty of the new Levies out of what was put into his hands for the removal of your Militia to Pittsburg.
I am sorry such a spirit of Disobedience has shewn itself in your county. It must be subdued. Laws made by common consent must not be trampled on by Individuals. It is very much the good to force the unworthy into their due share of Contributions to the public support, otherwise the burthen on them will become oppressive indeed. We have no power by the Law of raising Cavalry in the Counties generally, but on some similar occasions we have recommended to the County Lieutenants who have the power of forming their Militia companies as they please, to form into one Company such Individuals of their Militia as will engage to mount & equip themselves and to serve as mounted Infantry, & we give Commissions to the Officers in the ordinary style. These
These may be used as effectually as Cavalry; & men on horseback have been found the most certain Instrument of public punishment.
Their best way too perhaps is not to go against the mutineers when embodied which would bring on perhaps an open Rebellion or Bloodshed most certainly, but when they shall have dispersed to go and take them out of their Beds, singly and without Noise, or if they be not found the first time to go again & again so that they may never be able to remain in quiet at home. This is what I must recommend to you and therefore furnish the Bearers with the Commissions as you desire. If you
find this service considerable you will of course give the Individuals Credit for it as a Tour of Duty.
TO MAJOR-GENERAL BARON STEUBEN.
V. S. A.
RICHMOND. April 27th, 1781. SIR,-One half the Cumberland Militia, and of those of Amelia, were ordered down. Some of the former have come in, I have ordered them to go to You, but what should be done with such of them as have no arms I think doubtful.
We have found by experience that the men of those Counties where the Enemy are, cannot be kept in the field , They desert and carry off their Arms. It also seems reasonable that such should be permitted to go to their homes, to withdraw or otherwise to take care of their families and property. Under this view it would seem right that as unarmed Militia come in from other Counties, we should discharge those of Prince George, Dinwiddie & Chesterfield, next to these the Militia of Powhatan; and lastly Henrico, Hanover, Goochland. Indeed those of Amelia & Cumberland were only meant to be kept in the field till those whom I formerly stated to you as intended for the service of May & June should come in. I would observe to you that Prince George, Dinwiddie, Chesterfield, Powhatan, Amelia and Cumberland have not yet got through the raising their new levies. These observations suffice to possess you of the general views of the Executive, and you will be pleased to regulate by them the Discharges of the Militia as far as circumstances will admit.
CIRCULAR LETTER TO MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL ASSEM
BLY FOR THE COUNTIES OF FLUVANNA, ALBEMARLE, LOUISA, CAROLINE, KING WILLIAM, NEW KENT, CHARLES CITY, PRINCE GEORGE, DINWIDDIE, AMELIA, CUMBERLAND, POWHATAN, GOOCHLAND, HENRICO, HANOVER,
V. S. A.
RICHMOND. May ist, 1781.
Sir, -We deferred changing the place of calling the Assembly in hopes that every Day would give us a prospect of getting rid of the enemy in the neighborhood of Richmond.
The arrival of the Marquis Fayette with a detachment of Continental Troops, and the junction of our whole force together with his, has put these cowardly plunderers under way down the River and renders this place perfectly secure, so long as the Army retains its present position. Nevertheless as we know that Rumours have gone abroad very generally, that the enemy are in the vicinity of Richmond, and the Time of meeting of Assembly is too near to admit these to be corrected.
I take the liberty of particularly solliciting so many members of the nearer Counties as will suffice to make a House for adjourning from Day to Day, to attend punctually on the day of meeting, lest this general Rumour of Danger, should prevent the meeting of a sufficient number for adjournment, which would bring on a dissolution of the present Assembly and leave the State without one until the next regular Period of Election appointed by the Constitution. I hope that these reasons will excuse my earnest Sollicitation to you personally to attend on the first day of the session.
TO COLONEL JAMES INNES.
V. S. A.
RICHMOND. May 2d 1781. Sir,-Having received information that divers Citizens of this Commonwealth in the Counties of James City and York, have lately committed Acts, some of which amount to high Treason and others to Misprision of Treason, and that some tho' they may have been able to disguise and conceal their Transactions as that legal evidence cannot be obtained by which they may be subjected to prosecution for Treason or Misprision of Treason in a due course of law, yet have so conducted themselves as to furnish the most pregnant circumstances of Suspicion that they have been guilty of those offences, or are disaffected to the Independence of the United States, and will, whenever they shall have opportunity, aid or advise the measures of the public Enemy, which persons, in the critical situation of this Commonwealth, it is indispensably necessary to punish for their Crimes by way of Example to others and to disable from doing mischief : I must there