Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from George Muter, [7 January 1781]

From George Muter

Sunday evening [7 January 1781]


Colo. Syme is here, and his militia are mostly at Westham. From some difficultys that arise in consequence of the orders he has received, he is induced to send his son to wait on your Excellency for orders. I beg leave to refer to him for particulars.

I have a letter from Mr. Rose: Majr. Peirce (he informs) with two pieces of artillery, and stores to a considerable amount are at Goochland Court house. He intends to wait your Excellency as soon as he can.

Majr. Claiborne has orders from Barron Steuben to send 20.000 cartridges to Genl. Neilson. That (or rather a larger) quantity is on this side the river somewhere above but the Majr. and myself, will find it difficult to get an express to send to order it down. He is now gone in search of one.

Mr. Anderson has saved some of his tools: his bellows are all gone. Mr. Moody’s tools are some part lost, but still he has a considerable part remaining.

The damage at the Palace is very triffling; hardly worth speaking of.

It seems most probable, from what I have heard, that the British are gone to Westover again: tho’ I can learn nothing certain.

I have the honour to be Your Excellency’s most hl servt,

George Mut[er]

The brass cannon that cou’d not be carried off, and were put in the river, are lost. The Enemy had intelligence where they were, and got them up and carried them off.

RC (Vi).

This letter, without place or date, was obviously written at Richmond on 7 Jan., since that day was a Sunday. The preceding letter must have been written earlier the same day. See also Steuben to TJ, same day, below, concerning his order to send cartridges to Gen. Nelson. Letter from Mr. Rose: William Rose to George Muter (Vi), dated. “Anderson Peers Tavern Goochland 6th Jany 1781,” stating that he had “this moment sent on from this place seven waggons with the Laboratory and Military Stores and Tools from the Works at Westham to Goochland Court House where Major Pierce is, and two field Pieces”; that “Two Waggon Loads of Powder was safely conveyed from Hanover Town to a brick Church 8 miles below Chesterfield in Caroline County and a guard placed over it”; that “The Foundery and public buildings at Westham are destroyed”; and that, as soon as the scattered Stores are safe, he would inform Muter and “wait on his Excellency the Governor for his Commands when I am certain where he is” (printed in CVSP description begins Calendar of Virginia State Papers … Preserved in the Capitol at Richmond description ends , i, 418–19).

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