Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to William Preston, 7 August 1779

To William Preston

Aug. 7. 1779.


You are desired to call together your feild officers and in conjunction with them to recommend to the Executive a Lieutenant and an Ensign to take command in one of the battalions to be raised for the defence of the Western frontier under an act of the late assembly intit[uled ‘an] act for raising a body of troops for the defence of the Commonwealth.’ The men to be raised in your county under the same act and the officers to be recommended by you, if appointed, are to hold themselves in readiness on the shortest warning to proceed to such post on the Southwestern frontier, or on such other Western service as shall be ordered by the Executive or the officer who shall be appointed to take command of them. Be pleased to transmit your recommendation to the Executive in Williamsburg by the earliest opportunity you can, and also to report to them from time to time your progress in raising your men. I am Sir Your very humble servt.,

Th: Jefferson

RC (Vi); at foot of text: “Montgomery”; addressed in a clerk’s hand: “Col. Preston”; endorsed: “8 Sept Came to Hand.” Another RC to the county lieutenant of Hampshire (Ben Bloomfield, N.Y., 1950). An undated Dft (Vi) of this letter was written by TJ on the same page with drafts of two other form letters to the lieutenants of all the counties named in the Orders for Defense of the Western Frontiers, 23 July 1779, q.v.; the terms of these three letters vary according to the terms of that order; each draft has a list of counties preceding it, and TJ placed a checkmark above the name of the county when the appropriate form letter was dispatched. On verso of Dft is part of TJ’s calculations for estimates of troops for western battalions (see Notes and Plans for Western Defense, 23 July 1779).

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