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Colo Digges and Mr. Prentis and Mr. Tyler having resigned you will see the necessity which impells me to ask your attendance to make a Board.


V. S. A.

RICHMOND. May 14th, 1781. SIR,—I was sorry that the situation of my family had occasioned my absence from this place when you were pleased to send Captn. Langhorne to me.

I enclose you a State of the Counties who have been called on to come into the Field, some of them to perform full Tour of Duty & others to make a present opposition to the junction of the two hostile armies. The delay and deficiencies of the first are beyond all expectation and if the calls on the latter do not produce sufficient Reinforcements to You I shall candidly acknowledge that it is not in my power to do any Thing more than to represent to the General Assembly that unless they can provide more effectually for the Execution of the Laws it will be vain to call on Militia. I could perhaps do something by Repremands to the County Lieutenants by repeating and even increasing the Demands on them by way of penalty. If you would be so good as to have returns made to me once a week or at any other stated periods of the particular number of men from each County. Without these we can never know what Counties obey our Calls, or how long your men are to continue with you so as to provide in time. From Hampshire and Shenandoah we expected many Riflemen. From Berkeley and Frederic some, and a few from Culpeper, Orange, Loudoun & Fauquier, but what number may be expected I cannot even conjecture. One tenth of the whole force (except from the Counties of Frederic, Hampshire, Berkeley, Shenandoah, & Orange, who were called on before we had concluded on this measure) were desired to come prepared with the Horses to do duty as Cavalry. The militia which were called to do a full Tour were to join the Army wherever it should be. Those Counties called on to send as many men as they could send armed were to rendezvous at Richmond, Prince Edward Court House and Taylor's Ferry on Roanoke as should be most convenient where they were given to believe Orders would be lodged from you for their future movements. These men are collecting to their places of Rendezvous, so that they will need immediately such Orders as you should be pleased to give them. I have the pleasure to enclose to You the four Impress warrants, desired by Capt Langhorne.

Capt Maxwell called on me the 10th inst, and informed me he was building a few Boats at the Shipyard on Chickahominy. I desired him to send a ood Batteau Builder to Colo Davies to superintend and direct a number of hands whom he would immediately put under him for building Batteaux for the River above the Falls, and that he would set all the rest of his people to building Boats for navigating the lower parts of the river, but so light and of such a form as that they might be moved on wheels, and that those should be built either here or above the Falls as Safety and Convenience should dictate. He left me with a promise to do so, and I expect he is engaged in the Execution. His hands being to remove from the Shipyard there will of course occasion some delay.

The General Assembly having determined to meet at Charlottesville on the 22d inst renders it necessary for the Executive to prepare for removing there, and particularly for myself to go and see that provision be made for the Reception of the Public Boards & Records. I shall leave this place this Evening.

As a very frequent communication between yourself and the Executive will be necessary I have directed the State Quarter Master to station a line of Express Riders from your Camp to Charlottesville by whom you will be so good as to communicate your Wants from Time to Time under a full assurance that nothing in my power shall ever be wanting to supply them. Interesting events will always be acceptable whenever you shall have time to add them to a Letter or make them the subject of a special one.

P. S.-Lest anything should suffer which it is in power to prevent I have concluded to stay here this evening and to do myself the pleasure of calling on you at your Quarters tomorrow morning.


V. S. A.

(May 15, 1781.] SIR,—There being reason to apprehend that the two hostile Armies under Lord Cornwallis and Genl Phillips will form a junction and for that purpose pass through this State along the road from Petersburg to Halifax :

I instructed the Lieutenants of the Counties lying in that Route to give notice to the Inhabitants to remove all Horses fit for Cavalry within twenty miles of an Enemy's Army and all Draught horses lying in their Front and within the same distance and if they failed, to take possession of them and send them to the Army within this State.

Time having been now given for the execution of this Business lest there should be a Failure in the People, or in the County Lieutenants you are hereby authorized to proceed and to take such Horses described as aforesaid as you shall find within the limits specified, and moreover to proceed along the whole Route from Petersburg to Halifax as far as it lies within this Commonwealth and to require a removal of all such Horses within twenty miles of that Route, and on Failure of the Owners to comply with your Requisition within a short and reasonable Time, to take such Horses and retain them either for Public Service, or to be returned to the Owners as shall be here after directed. Should the Route of the Enemy be different from that expected as before mentioned you will be pleased to do in the vicinities of that Route what is prescribed before as to the other, for all of which this shall be your warrant. Given under my hand and the Seal of the Commonwealth at Richmond the 15th Day of May 1781.



CHARLOTTESVILLE May 28th, 1781. SIR, I make no doubt you will have heard, before this shall have the honour of being presented to your Excellency, of the junction of Ld Cornwallis with the force at Petersburg under Arnold, who had succeeded to the command on the death of Majr. Genl Phillips. I am now advised that they have evacuated Petersburg, joined at Westover a reinforcement of 2000 men just arrived from New york, crossed James River, and on the 26th instant, were three miles advanced on their way towards Richmond ; at which place Majr Genl the Marquis Fayette, lay with three thousand men Regulars and militia : these being the whole number we could arm, until the arrival of the 1100 arms from Rhode Island, which are about this time at the place where our Public stores are deposited. The whole force of the Enemy within this State, from the best intelligence I have been able to get, is I think about 7000 men, infantry and cavalry, including, also, the small garrison left at Portsmouth : a number of privateers, which are constantly ravaging the Shores of our rivers, prevent us from receiving any aid from the Counties lying on navigable waters; and powerful operations meditated against Western frontier, by a joint force of British, and Indian Savages, have as your Excellency before knew, obliged us to embody, between two and three thousand men in that quarter. Your Excellency will judge from this State of things, and from what you know of our country, what it may probably suffer during the present campaign. Should the Enemy be able to produce no opportunity of annihilating the Marquis's army a small proportion of their force may yet restrain his movements effectually while the greater part employed in detachment to waste an unarmed country and lead the minds of the people to acquiesce under those events which they see human power prepared to ward off. We are too far removed from the other scenes of war to say whether

"A letter to the President of Congress, of the same date, is of much the

same tenor.


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