Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Steuben, 19 February 1781

From Steuben

Chesterfield Ct Ho. 19th. feby 1781


I have the honor to inclose your Excellency Copy of a Letter I have just received from General Greene.

The absolute necessity of supporting him and consequently of calling out the Militia makes me extremely apprehensive that it will prevent the drafting the Recruits. The time fixed for this is the 10 of March. Before this time there may be a necessity of ordering out a part of every County. Should this happen not a Recruit will be drafted and our whole dependance will be on Militia.

This consideration urges me to submit to your Excellency if it would not be proper to order the Lieutenants of those Counties whose Militia are now at home to draft their Recruits immediately. If you approve this the Officers are ready and shall be sent to the places of Rendezvous immediately.

With great regard & respect I am Your Excellencys most Obedt Servt.,

Steuben Maj: Gen.

RC (Vi); in an aide’s hand, signed by Steuben; endorsed. Dft (NHi); heavily scored out, interlined, and partly illegible. Enclosure (Vi): Greene to Steuben, “Camp Irwins Ford on Dan River,” 15 Feb. 1781; printed in CVSP description begins Calendar of Virginia State Papers … Preserved in the Capitol at Richmond description ends , i, 519.

The enclosed letter … from General Greene gives more detailed information on the movements of Greene and Cornwallis than Greene supplied in his letter to TJ of the same date. It also enclosed “an Account of the Enemy’s Strength, and the formation of their Army, also of our own force, by which you may see [our] critical Situation”; TJ stated in his letter to Gen. Lawson of 25 Feb. that “the State of Genl. Greene’s force” had been withdrawn from Greene’s letter while it was in transit.

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