Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to the County Lieutenants of Lunenberg, Amelia, Powhatan, Cumberland, and Brunswick, 18 February 1781

To the County Lieutenants of Lunenberg, Amelia, Powhatan, Cumberland, and Brunswick

Richmd. Febry. 18. 1781


Not knowing where the very rapid march of Ld. Cornwallis may terminate I think it necessary to desire that you immediately assemble the whole of your Militia who have arms, or for whom they can be procured by impressing or otherwise and march them with proper officers without delay to join Genl. Greene who by the last intelligence had crossed the Dan at Boyd’s ferry and was retreating before the enemy. The emergency is so extreme that I must rely on your losing not a moment’s time in executing this order. I shall be glad to be informed of the numbers you equip and time of their march. I am with much respect &c.

FC (Vi). On p. 118 of the Executive Letter Book, this FC precedes FC of TJ’s letter to Steuben, printed above under date of 17 Feb.; in that letter the FC was dated 18 Feb. and the RC dated 17 Feb., which Steuben on 18 Feb. acknowledged as TJ’s “Letter of Yesterday.” However, the reply of Vivian Brooking, county lieutenant of Amelia, 20 Feb., acknowledges TJ’s letter of 18 Feb.; hence the RC (not found) of the present letter was also dated 18 Feb. This must also have been true of the letters to the county lieutenants of Powhatan, Cumberland, Lunenberg, and Brunswick.

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