Washington Feb. 21. 06
In expectation that further information would give us a more distinct view of the course which our foreign affairs are likely to take, I have kept unanswered the letter of Capt Shallus & others covering resolutions of the 1st. light infantry company of the 1st. Brigade of the 1st. division of Pensylvania militia, offering their service to their country if necessary and asking the honour of being first called to it’s defence, & in that event, of being placed on the same footing with the regular troops of the US. I think it improper longer to withold the expression of my sense of this very generous & patriotic offer. it confirms me in the belief I have ever entertained that should this country be compelled to resort to war for justice, it will distinguish itself in that line by the same enterprize & activity which have distinguished it in the pursuits of peace. in our present uncertainty however I can but ask the favor of you to return, on behalf of our country, my thanks to Capt Shallus, his officers & company, and the testimony which I willingly bear, that they have deserved well of their country. Accept my salutations & assurances of great esteem & respect.
PHi: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.