James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from Joseph Wheaton, 9 May 1814

From Joseph Wheaton

Richmond May 9. 1814

Excellent Sir

I regret the news from Bordeaux contained in the enclosed paper—every Success of the allies in Europe will Militate against us.1 I hope our preparations will be equal to any pressure.

The enclosed order of the Adjt. Genl. is the 3d. detachment of troops average about the Same no. Since I came to this post.2 It is with pleasure I can anounce to you Sir—the most essential benefits have been experienced from the Method which was immediately adopted, after the governor had Signified to me that I must provide for the movements of the troops—as the State declined to furnish the means any longer. Since which not an Article has been impressed or a certificate for Supplies been given to a Single inhabitant, and I trust the Secretary of war will not have cause to complain of the expence.3 With the homage of My heart I am Excellent Sir faithfully your most Obedt. Servant

Joseph Wheaton A.D.Q.M.G.

RC and enclosure (DLC). Docketed by JM. For surviving enclosure, see n. 3.

1The enclosure may have conveyed the news, published in the Richmond Enquirer on 11 May 1814, that by the middle of March the British had taken Bordeaux.

2The enclosure has not been found, but it was probably a copy of Virginia deputy Adj. Gen. Claiborne Gooch’s 8 May 1814 general order calling up for service at Norfolk a total of 1,564 officers and men from the Eighth, Eleventh, and Fifteenth brigades of Virginia militia, based in Surry, Sussex, Halifax, Pittsylvania, Mecklenburg, and Dinwiddie counties. The order specified that Wheaton would make arrangements to supply transportation and provisions for the march to Norfolk. Gooch had issued similar orders on 17 Feb. and 31 Mar. 1814 (CVSP, 10:301–3, 311–12, 328–30).

3Wheaton enclosed a copy of his 9 May 1814 instructions to an unnamed militia brigade commander for procuring supplies on the march (2 pp.). In order that the population along the way “not be vexed or molested,” officers were to purchase provisions and hire wagons and horses “on their own private account” to be reimbursed by the U.S. Army contractors’ agent and quartermaster general at Norfolk, rather than commandeering what was needed or binding the government to pay property owners.

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