Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from William Garrard and Other Officers of the Stafford Militia, [11 April 1781]

From William Garrard and Other Officers of the Stafford Militia

To his Excellency Thomas Jefferson Esqr. Governor of Virginia,

The Feild Officers and Captains of The Stafford Militia represent To your Excellency that as a Number of the Enemies Ships are Ravageing burning and Destroying the property of all the People Situated on the Waters, that we have thought it Advisable to detain the Militia to be Assisting in repelling ’em, hoping it will meet with your Excellencies approbation. Should it not you will Please Advise us; in which we shall be very Particular in Executing? We are your Excellencies Very Humble Servants

William Garrard C[ounty] L[ieutenant] Elizah Threlkeld
James Garrard C[ol.] George Mountjoy
William Phillips L[ieutenant] C[ol.] Mason Pitcher
John Grigg M[ajor.] James Primm
Geo. Burroughs Capt. Edward Cary

RC (Vi); endorsed in part: “Apr. 14th 1781” (date of receipt?).

This letter is assigned the probable date of 11 Apr. since on that date Col. Skinker of King George co. wrote to TJ to the same effect and TJ replied both to Skinker and to Garrard on 14 Apr. Indeed, the proceedings of Council on 14 Apr. refer to the “joint letter” of Skinker and Garrard, “informing that they had been obliged to delay the march of the Militia lately called from their Counties on account of the Depredations committed by the enemy on Potowmack” (Va. Council Jour. description begins Journals of the Council of the State of Virginia, ed. H. R. McIlwaine description ends , ii, 335). No such joint letter has been found and it is unlikely that one was written in view of the fact that the present letter and Skinker’s of 11 Apr. fit the description given in the proceedings of Council. The probable explanation is that both Skinker’s letter of 11 Apr. and that of Garrard and the Stafford officers were carried to Richmond by the same messenger.

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