Thomas Jefferson Papers

Advice of Council respecting Reinforcements of Militia, [ca. 4 September 1780]

Advice of Council respecting Reinforcements of Militia

[ca. 4 September 1780]

The board advise that 2041 militia be called into service to relieve those now on duty to the Southward to be made up by requiring so many men from the counties last called on for the Southern service as they failed to March from their county viz. Pittsylva. 45. &c.   notifying to the commanding officers of the said counties that every man to whose lot it now falls to go shall be excused by producing and delivering before the time of rendezvous to the jail of their county on warrant from the said commanding officer one of the delinquents or deserters of the militia so before called from their county and also that he may deduct from the number now required from his county so many as he shall have actually heretofore delivered of the said delinquents to any Continental officer. That the remaining numberbe made up from the following counties viz. Frederick 82. Berkeley 73. Hampshire 66. Shenand. 40. Rockingh. 52. Augusta 107. Rockbr. 40. Loudon 177. Fauqr. 105. Culpeper 161. Pr. Wm. 73. Fairfx 75. That the said militia rendezvous at Hillsborough in N. Carolina on or before the 20th. of Oct. next and serve the delinquents as provided by law, and the residue of the said militia 3. months from the time of their getting to the head quarters of the Commanding officer to the Southward. That a power be sent to each of the Commanding officers of the said counties to impress waggons, provisions and other necessaries for the subsistence and transportation of their men on their march; that they go under the command of captains and subalterns from their counties, be regimented by Genl. Stevens, and commanded by him and the feild officers under him.1

That instructions be given to one of the assistant Quartermasters to proceed to the Westward for the purpose of purchasing 100 waggons teams and geer to be paid for with certificates discountable for taxes or for land warrants, that he be also furnished with a power of seising so many waggons under the laws made for that purpose if his endeavors to purchase shall not be attended with full success.

Dft (Vi), in TJ’s hand, with numerous deletions and corrections; the principal deletion is noted below. Without caption but endorsed: “Advice of Council 1779.” The endorsement was presumably added later, for the date is not merely vague but mistaken; these instructions to the governor, prepared by the governor himself, were certainly written after Gates’ defeat at Camden and were carried into effect by the circular letters to the county lieutenants of 4 Sep. 1780, below. These circulars, it will be noted, fall into two groups: (1) those to Frederick and certain other counties (here enumerated) which had not heretofore furnished militia for the southern army; and (2) those to Pittsylvania and certain other counties (the names being left blank, except for the first, in the draft Advice), which had furnished militia but less than the number required of them.

1Following this a whole paragraph was crossed out in Dft: “That two troops of volunteer militia cavalry be raised and annexed to Majr. Nelson’s command to find their own horses and accoutrements (pistols and swords excepted) but these to be paid for by the public if lost or disabled in the service not through the default of the owner; to continue in service till the 1st. day of Dec. 1781, if so long wanted in the opinion of the Executive, to draw pay rations and forage, be exempted from the present call of militia from their county and be commanded by Captns. and subalterns of their own chusing; and as offers of troops have been made from the counties of Goochld. and Halifx. that this proposition be notified to the commanding officers of those counties.”

Index Entries