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of their Coasts. Should the restriction to a vessel however be insisted on by the British Commander we should ultimately wish to urge that a Pilot Boat be permitted to attend her for the purpose of bringing back the Officers who necessarily go to attend to the Delivery of the Tobacco. As we have every Thing in readiness for sending this Relief to our prisoners and they are in extreme Distress, I will beg the favor of as early an Attention to the settlement of this matter as your business will permit you to bestow.


V. S. A.

RICHMOND. April 12th, 1781.

SIR, I have the honour of your Excellency's favor of March 23d and shall with great pleasure communicate to our Citizens our prospect of Aid from his most Christian majesty to whom we are already so infinitely indebted. I assure you Sir that these prospects are necessary to inspirit them under the present aspect of their Affairs. We suppose one half of the Enemy's force in the United States to be to the Southward. Georgia and South Carolina have been long theirs and North Carolina however disposed convulsed by the ravages of two Armies her citizens are too much engaged in saving their families and Property to go in the American Army. I believe it may therefore with truth be said that the opposition to the two hostile Armies in North

Carolina and Virginia falls at present on Virginia only aided with about 500 Men from Maryland. While our Northern Brethren infinitely superior in numbers, in compactness, in Strength of Situation, in Access to foreign supplies, of necessaries, possessed of all the Arms & Military stores of the Continent, opposed by an Enemy not superior to Ours, have the protection of almost the whole of the Continental Army, with the very important addition of the Army and fleet of our Allies. A powerful Enterprise meditated by the Northwestern savages has obliged this State to have an Army of between two & three thousand Men collected at this Time at the Ohio. The Cherokees on our Southwestern corner take off the Aid of our most valuable Counties in that Quarter. To support General Greene and prevent the Enemy entering our Country on the South we are obliged to send the whole of our regulars and continual reliefs of Militia, and on our seaboard an enemy three thousand strong is firmly posted, has totally shut up the only door we had to commerce for either private or public purposes, and lays us under the necessity of keeping up two Armies of Militia to prevent their ravaging the adjacent country. Notwithstanding all this I believe from what I have lately seen that we should be substantially safe were our Citizens Armed, but we have not as many Arms as we have Enemies in the State.

Under such circumstances it is not easy to foretell events, and it is natural for our People to ask if they are to have no help from others.

Should any considerable part of the Union be abandoned to the Enemy, it must be in their hands very formidable to the future safety of the rest.

The Interests of our Allies, were an appeal to that Motive necessary, would place the Southern States ina point of View of some Importance, as presenting to them very fair Objects of Commerce. This consideration however was not wanting to draw to us the Aid of his Most Christian Majesty. The late efforts made for us by his fleet and army demonstrate that his Attention is not partial, and the hope held up in your letter of the 23d is a further proof.

The Northern States are safe: their independence has been established by the joint efforts of the whole. It is proved as far as testimony can prove anything that our Enemies have transferred every expectation from that Quarter, and mean nothing further there than a diversion in favour of their Southern Arms. It would be unfortunate indeed should it be again proposed to lose a Campaign on New York and to exhaust on that the efforts of the Confederacy as those of Spain on Gibralta, to give up provinces in the South for towns in the North. Should a superiority on the Continental seas be obtained by your fleet, it will save everything from North to South If the Detachments of the British Army can once be insulated, they will be whittled down by the Militia, by famine, by sickness and desertion to nothing.

If they can be prevented availing themselves of an Army flying on the Wings of the wind to relieve the

labouring part acting in New York this week, in Portsmouth the next, in Charlestown the third, the Continental war would be totally Changed, and a single Campaign would strip them of the labours and laurels of half a dozen. Could the Enemies for instance at Portsmouth be excluded from the water, they might be blockaded by Land and must fall in a due course of Time without the Loss of a man on our part.


V. S. A.

IN COUNCIL. April 12th, 1781.

SIR, Having received an application from the Commanding Officer to strengthen our Army below, and being unwilling to harass the Militia more than shall be absolutely unavoidable, we are in hopes an immediate and sufficient Accession of force may be obtained by an Application to the several Counties for their delinquents in Militia Duty whom the Law sentences to six months service. Every County, we are Confident, must have a number of these, and the laying them under a Penalty is a Justice due to the better part of the County, on whom, without a strict Execution of the Law the whole Militia duties will fall.

These are now become too weighty not to be exacted equally and rigidly from all. You will consider it as a standing part of the Duty of an Officer whom in my letter of the 30th of March 1781, you were desired to appoint for receiving recruits for the war to receive from time to time all persons of whatever Denomination sentenced to serve in the Army and instruct him to march them to this place whenever he shall have such a number as the distance and public necessity may render it expedient to march. The delinquents now particularly called for he must march immediately on their Receipts to Williamsburg. By executing this Requisition, justice will be done to the past services of the worthier part of the County, the tardy will be punished, due

obedience to the Laws ensured in future, the military duties justly and equally divided, & the necessity of an immediate call on you for more Militia prevented.


V. S. A.

RICHMOND April 14th, 1781.

SIR,-The same very disagreeable intelligence which you have been pleased to communicate to me of the Operations of our savage Enemy on the Potowmac has come to hand from several Parts of that River. Colo Skinner particularly has written on the subject of Arms. The Order I inclosed him tardy as the supply may be is the utmost it is in our power to do. From his letter we are to judge about a third of his Militia have Guns. These I suppose not to be very good, but they are unfortunately what we are obliged to have recourse to: the 200 stand from Annapolis for which I gave him an order are said to be very fine. The defence at Hunter's and the public Work at Fredericksburg are very important indeed and I hope will be very particularly attended to by the adjacent Counties. No Intelligence from Portsmouth gives us reason to believe that any regular forces have been sent on this expedition; so that we trust that it is less formidable than some representations make it. The worst is that a Country vulnerable in every Point is open to insult and depredation to even the smallest force, yet important points may we trust be guarded. In effecting this we rely on your Exertions being added, as we are assured they will be.

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